Tag: Decoding Mythology

Four-headed Vishnu of Kashmir
Feature Articles

Four-headed Vishnu of Kashmir

June 25, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist The Chaturmukha Vishnu is a very rare form of Vishnu once worshipped in Kashmir from the 8th and 9th century, when it was an important centre of Hinduism. The image shows Vishnu with four heads. Three clear faces are those of Vishnu, the Narasimha or the…

The Love-God’s Mother
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The Love-God’s Mother

June 18, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Between the 5th and 10th century C.E., we find the development of Puranic literature. Many stories explained the relationships of Vishnu’s many avatars. One story that merits attention is the story of Pradyumna, the son of Krishna and Rukmini. The story is told very differently in…

When the Vedas Reached South
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When the Vedas Reached South

June 11, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist The mention of Southern States is conspicuously absent in Vedic literature. Hymns of the Rig Veda date back to 1500 BCE. They refer to the Saptasindhu or Indus Valley region. Shatapatha Brahmana, dated to 800 BCE refers to a movement towards what is now Bihar. In…

Lion King of Sri Lanka
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Lion King of Sri Lanka

June 4, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Once upon a time, there was a Princess of Kalinga, who was abducted by a lion who forced her to bear him a child. The child, Sinhabahu, killed his own father and, for this crime, was told to leave the country on a ship. He travelled…

India’s Tribal Mythologies
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India’s Tribal Mythologies

May 28, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist When speaking of Indian mythology, the focus is on the stories, symbols and rituals of major religions such as Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. We ignore the mythologies of the various tribal communities of India, who have lived in the subcontinent long before the arrival of Aryan…

How ‘dharma’ manifests in Vedas and Puranas
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How ‘dharma’ manifests in Vedas and Puranas

May 21, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist The word ‘dharma’ first appears in the Rig Veda; but in a collection of a thousand hymns, the word dharma occurs less than a hundred times, making it not a very key concept. It is related to ‘foundation’ and ‘stability’ and ‘governance’. Even in the Upanishads,…

Fourteen jewels from the sea
Feature Articles

Fourteen jewels from the sea

May 14, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist The churning of the ocean of milk is a key theme found in temples across ancient Southeast Asia indicating the spread of Hindu ideas there between the 3rd and 13th century. This story is linked to kingship and enterprise as it shows how Vishnu gets the…

Dharma During Crisis
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Dharma During Crisis

May 7, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist As we go through a global pandemic which demands a major change in our lifestyle and which will have a major impact on the economy, it is a good time to remember a conversation in the Mahabharata, where Bhishma tells the Pandavas, about Apaddharma, or dharma…

A Family in a Temple
Feature Articles

A Family in a Temple

April 30, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In a typical Hindu temple, we do not find just one image. We find multiple images. For many people, unfamiliar with Hindu tradition, this looks like polytheism. But for Hindus, these are various manifestations or expressions of the same divine principle, different facets of divinity expressed…

The Amazing Rani Rashmoni
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The Amazing Rani Rashmoni

April 23, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In early 19th century, in a society dominated by men, mostly wealthy landed Brahmins, and by the Colonial rulers of the land, a woman called Rani Rashmoni rose to be a successful business leader in Kolkata. She built the famous Dakshineshwar Temple where Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa,…

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