Narendra Kohli

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Narendra Kohli
Narendra Kohli (Dec. 2008).JPG
Narendra Kohli
Born (1940-01-06) 6 January 1940 (age 76)
Punjab (Undivided India)
Occupation Teacher
Nationality Indian
Citizenship India
Education PhD
Alma mater Delhi University
Period 1970–present
Notable works Na Bhooto Na Bhavishyati
Notable awards Vyas Samman in 2012
Dr. Narendra Kohli with wife Dr. Madhurima Kohli, his elder son Kartikeya, and grandsons, New Delhi (2008)

Narendra Kohli (नरेन्द्र कोहली)(born 6 January 1940, Sialkot) is a Hindi-language author. He is credited with reinventing the ancient form of epic writing in modern prose.[1] He is also regarded as a trend-setter in the sense that he pioneered the creation of literary works based on the "Puranas".[2] Because of the large impact of his body of work on Hindi literature, this era of contemporary modern Hindi literature, since about 1975, is sometimes referred to as the 'Kohli Era'.[3]


Narendra Kohli was born to Parmananda Kohli and Vidyavanti in Punjab province of British India.[4] His first school was the Dev Samaj High School in Lahore. Then he attended the Ganda Singh High School in Sialkot for a few months. In 1947, after the partition of India, the family moved to Jamshedpur (Bihar). He resumed his schooling in third grade at Dhatkidih Lower Primary school. He spent fourth to seventh grade (1949–53) at New Middle English school. Urdu was the medium of instruction for all subjects except English, which was limited to reading and writing. From eighth to eleventh grade, he attended KMPM High School in Jamshedpur. He selected the science stream in high school. The medium of instruction was Urdu till this point.[5]

For higher education, he joined the Jamshedpur Co-operative College. He took the IA exams in 1959 from Bihar University with Compulsory English, Compulsory Hindi, Psychology, Logic, and special Hindi as his subjects. He completed his BA (Hons.) in 1961 from Jamshedpur Co-operative College (Ranchi University) in Hindi. He completed his MA in 1963 at Ramjas College (University of Delhi), and in 1970, received his PhD from the University of Delhi.[5]

Early writings[edit]

Kohli at his writing table, New Delhi (2008)

His first story was in sixth grade for the handwritten class magazine. In eighth grade, his Urdu story Hindostan: Jannat Nishan was published in the school's printed magazine. As a child author, some of his first Hindi stories were published by Kishore (Patna) and Avaaz (Dhanbad). During his IA years, Sarita (Delhi) published his story Paani ka Jug, Gilas aur Ketli in its Nae Ankur ("New Sprouts") column.

After February 1960 his works started getting published regularly. He considers Do Haath published by Kahani (Allahabad) as his first published work.

He wrote a few novels based on the life of families and societies as well. But just portraying the society, or ridiculing its flaws and dilemmas was not going to satisfy him. He realised, that literature cannot reach its ultimate goal just by a narrow, partial and limited display of society, nor can the society benefit from such literature. The demonstration of poor human qualities will only encourage the evil and the foul. Therefore, it must be the goal of literature to demonstrate the great, honourable and moral aspect of life, he believes.[2]


Narendra Kohli took the entire material of the Ramayana and wrote a huge 1300 page novel "Abhyudaya" in four parts (now published in 2 volumes). This was perhaps the first novel in any language that dealt with the entire Ramayana. As by definition of the genre, it must be contemporary, progressive, modern, and logic based. Its basic story line comes from the cultural tradition of India and therefore it portrays the higher values of life. Abhyudaya shows the greatness of human kind, and the boundlessness of life. It frees the reader from all dilemmas of his intellect and traditional values. Through this book, the reader gets answers to his/her defiant questions, and solutions for his/her doubts related to the story of Ram. This book has been hugely welcomed and has changed the direction of Hindi novels.[2]

In Abhyudaya, Kohli has successfully exemplified Rama as a committed humanist and a karma-yogi who deeply believes and works toward creating a society on the true basis of equality, liberty and fraternity. His Rama is a revolutionary thinker who in his search for truth and fight for justice questions each and every stuck-in-time and dead convention of his time and place, is an idealist dreamer and a meticulous planner who is also powerful and capable of building a utopian society in actuality. Narendra Kohli's Rama in Abhyuday, is not a perfected God who doesn't need to deal with personal dilemmas and inner conflicts, but is a yogi who is able to grasp reality with a deep yogic insight and with a calm, detached and disinterested reason and a keen intuitive perception can transcend his dilemmas and doubts to plunge into action. I believe modern minds of today can more easily have true and meaningful reverence for such a Rama. I can see that such a Rama will make many more devotees among the present generation Indians than the Rama of Tulsidas or Rama of the famous TV serial by Ramanand Sagar.[6]


Todo, Kara Todo a novel based on the life of Swami Vivekananda. One reviewer called it the best on this topic in any of the languages so far.[7]

Vasudeva is a novel describing the life and times of Vasudeva, the father of Krishna; it describes his virtues and draws parallels between that era and the present day. It has been described by critics as a manifesto of a cultural revolution and an epic of human endurance and endeavour.


  • Ek aur lal tikon – 1970
  • Paanch absurd upanyas – 1972
  • Aashriton ka vidroh – 1973
  • Jagane ka apradh – 1973
  • Pareshaniyan – 1986
  • Gantantra ka ganit – 1997
  • Aadhunik ladki ki peeda – 1978
  • Trasidiyan – 1982
  • Mere mohalle ke phool – 2000
  • Samagra vyang – 2002
  • Sabse bada satya – 2003
  • Woh kahan hai – 2003
  • Aatma ki pavitrata – 1996
  • Meri shreshth vyang rachnayen – 1977
  • Samagra natak – 1990
  • Samagra vyang (part 1, 2, 3) – 1998
  • Samagra kahaniyan (Part 1, 2) – 1991, 1992
  • Abhyuday (2 parts) – 1989
  • Narendra kohli: Chuni hui rachnayen – 1990
  • Narendra kohli ne kaha – 1997
  • Meri ekyavan vyang rachnayen – 1997
  • Meri terah kahaniyan – 1998
  • Na bhuto na bhavishyati – 2004
  • Swami vivekanand – 2004
  • Das pratinidhi kahaniyan – 2006
  • Premchand ke sahitya sidhhant – 1966
  • Premchand (aalochana) – 1976
  • Parineeti – 1969
  • Kahani ka aabhav – 1977
  • Drishti desh me ekaek – 1979
  • Shatal – 1982
  • Namak ka kaidi – 1983
  • Nichale flat me – 1984
  • Sanchit bhookh – 1985
  • Punarambh – 1972
  • Aatank – 1972
  • Saha gaya dukh – 1974
  • Mera apna sansar – 1975
  • Deeksha – 1975
  • Awsar – 1976
  • Jangal ki kahani – 1977
  • Sangharsh ki oor – 1978
  • Yuddh (2 parts) – 1979
  • Abhigyan – 1981
  • Aatmadan – 1983
  • Preetikatha – 1986
  • Mahasamr 1 (Bandhan) – 1988
  • Mahasamr 2 (Adhikar) – 1990
  • Mahasamr 3 (Karm) – 1991
  • Todo kara todo 1 (Nirman) – 1992
  • Mahasamr 4 (Dharm) – 1993
  • Todo kara todo 2 (Sadhana) – 1993
  • Mahasamr 5 (Antaral) – 1995
  • Kshama karna jiji – 1995
  • Mahasamr 6 (prachhanna) – 1997
  • Mahasamr 7 (Pratyaksh) – 1998
  • Mahasamr 8 (Nirbandh) – 2000
  • Todo kara todo 3 (Parivrajak) – 2003
  • Todo kara todo 4 (Nirdesh) – 2004
  • Ganit ka prashna – 1978
  • Aasan rasta – 1985
  • Ek din mathura me – 1991
  • Abhi tum bachche ho – 1995
  • Kukur – 1997
  • Samadhan – 1997
  • Shambook ki hatya – 1975
  • Nirnay ruka hua – 1985
  • Hatyare – 1985
  • Gare ki deewar – 1986
  • Kishkindha – 1998
  • Agastya katha – 1998
  • Hatyare – 1999
  • Kise Jagau – 1996
  • Pratinaad – 1996
  • Nepathya – 1983
  • Majra kya hai – 1989
  • Baba nagarjun – 1987
  • Smarami – 2000


  1. ^ Kumar, J. Ajith (5 December 2004). "Learning lessons from mythology". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Learning lessons from mythology, The Hindu.
  3. ^ सन् १९७५ में उनके रामकथा पर आधारित उपन्यास 'दीक्षा' के प्रकाशन से हिंदी साहित्य में 'सांस्कृतिक पुनरुत्थान का युग' प्रारंभ हुआ जिसे हिन्दी साहित्य में 'नरेन्द्र कोहली युग' का नाम देने का प्रस्ताव भी जोर पकड़ता जा रहा है. – नरेंद्र कोहली- हिंदी के सर्वश्रेष्ठ रचनाकार, Hridyanjali.
  4. ^ डॉ. कृष्णकुमार ,लेखक करता है परकाया प्रवेश , Madhumati:Rajasthan Sahitya Acadami, (2006).
  5. ^ a b Brief Introduction,
  6. ^ Re-telling Classical Literature, Awakening a Generation: Case of Ramayana, by Beloo Mehra,Ph.D.
  7. ^ Swami Videhatmananda, Contemporary Hindi Literature, Vedant Kesari,(June 2006), pg.22

External links[edit]