Tag: Decoding Mythology

The Wish-Fulfilling Paradise
Feature Articles

The Wish-Fulfilling Paradise

November 24, 2022

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In Hindu, Jain and Buddhist mythology, paradise or Swarga, is described as a place where the wish-fulfilling tree, Kalpataru, grows; where the wish-fulfilling cow, Kamadhenu, lives; and where Chintamani, the wish-fulfilling jewel is found. In other words, it is a place of infinite plant, animal and…

Mandhata, the Ancient King
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Mandhata, the Ancient King

November 10, 2022

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In folklore, Age of Mandhata refers to an ancient time, even before Krishna and Ram lived on earth. As per the Mahabharata, Mandhata was the son of Ram’s ancestor, Yuvanashva. Yuvanashva wanted a child. But he consumed the magic potion that was meant to make his…

The Shaven Head of Adi Shankara
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The Shaven Head of Adi Shankara

October 27, 2022

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Vedic Rishis are imagined with long hair, tied in a topknot. But Adi Shankara, the Vedanta philosopher, is depicted in popular artworks with a shaved head, covered with a drape. An enquiry into how the Hindu sage and monk treated his hair reveals how it has…

Passionate Devotion for Shiva
Feature Articles

Passionate Devotion for Shiva

October 20, 2022

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist About a thousand years ago, we are told that the Chola king was drawn to a Jain epic called Jivaka Chintamani. It tells the story of a young man’s erotic and valiant adventures, who eventually becomes a Jain monk. To prevent local kings from becoming monks,…

Divine Mathematics
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Divine Mathematics

September 22, 2022

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist People often ask, if Aryabhatta invented zero, how did people count Ravana’s ten heads and Gandhari’s hundred heads before that. It is one of those foolish WhatsApp “mysteries” for people who do not realise number systems pre-dated the invention of the number zero. For example, ten…

Ballads that make Kings
Feature Articles

Ballads that make Kings

September 15, 2022

Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist To be king, a man has to establish himself as belonging to a royal family. But what about the founder? How does he distinguish himself from the men he is supposed to rule over? How does he become a special man, a super human, with the power…

Wisdom of Seeds… before Sanskrit
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Wisdom of Seeds… before Sanskrit

September 8, 2022

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In Indian mythology, two metaphors are used to explain the origin of things and the cause of things. These are womb (yoni, in Sanskrit) and seed (bija). Related to bija is the concept of fruit or phala. From the yoni comes the phala that contains the…

Two Gods in our Brain
Feature Articles

Two Gods in our Brain

August 18, 2022

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist We are familiar with that false idea that the left brain grants us logical thinking and mathematics and the right brain grants us creativity and abstract thinking, and that students of science and commerce have left brain orientation while students of the arts have right brain…

Burning Lanka in Odisha
Feature Articles

Burning Lanka in Odisha

July 14, 2022

Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Ravana-podi means burning effigies of Ravana. In the Gangetic plains, this happens at the end of autumn Navaratri after the rains on Vijaya Dashami. In Odisha’s Dasapalla, Nayagarh district, the same happens at the end of the spring Navaratri before the rains on Ram Navami. However, in…

Claiming the Earth as Nation
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Claiming the Earth as Nation

June 30, 2022

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In prehistoric times, people captured a hunting ground or agricultural land or pastures by claiming that is where the ancestor was buried. Burial was an important ritual invented by ancient people to claim rights over lands. Later, they invented stories to claim land. The Maori say…

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