Tag: Decoding Mythology

Flying mountains do not lie
Feature Articles

Flying mountains do not lie

June 23, 2022

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Nationalists want to believe that Hinduism existed homogeneously across the Indian subcontinent (Akhand Bharat) since time immemorial. However, everyone who studies history knows this is not true. Harappan civilisation thrived 4,000 years ago only in NorthWest India. Vedic civilisation emerged 3,000 years ago only in Gangetic…

Dakshina, daan & bhiksha
Feature Articles

Dakshina, daan & bhiksha

June 9, 2022

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Giving in Hindu society can be categorised in three ways: dakshina, bhiksha and daan. Dakshina is repayment. Bhiksha is alms. Daan is charity. But meanings are often confusing, as people use the same term differently in different contexts. In Vedic times, poets were given daan. And…

Creepy-Crawly Lore
Feature Articles

Creepy-Crawly Lore

June 2, 2022

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist The story of Bhramari Devi comes to us from Andhra Pradesh’s Mallikarjuna temple. It is said that there was an asura called Arunasura. He had asked for protection from all creatures that have no legs, two legs or four legs. This meant he was protected from…

Lion atop an Elephant
Feature Articles

Lion atop an Elephant

May 26, 2022

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist A very common motif found in Indian art is the lion standing on top of the elephant, defeating it. These images are called the Gaja-Simha images, Gaja meaning the elephant and Simha meaning the lion. Some Orientalist scholars have tried to explain this image as the…

Female Voice in Rig Veda
Feature Articles

Female Voice in Rig Veda

May 19, 2022

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist The Rig Vedic hymns were composed over 3,000 years ago, most probably by children of men who migrated into India with horses from Central Asia, and married local women. The hymns mostly reveal the valours of the fathers, but occasionally the longings of the mother. The…

Sankhya and Yoga
Feature Articles

Sankhya and Yoga

May 12, 2022

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Sankhya and Yoga form the building blocks of Indian philosophy. Sankhya means “enumeration.” To understand this philosophy, we have to compare and contrast it with yoga. Yoga means “union” with “vi-yoga” meaning separation and “su-yoga” meaning “good alignment.” Now, when things are separated, you can list…

Decoding mythology: Ganesha & Ambition
Feature Articles

Decoding mythology: Ganesha & Ambition

May 5, 2022

Ganesha, the elephant-headed God of Hindus, is renowned for his huge belly, which is a symbol of affluence and abundance. His elephant head evokes power. His vehicle, or vahana, is a tiny mouse, which is known to overcome barriers, and find its way into storehouses, find food and hoard it. Rats are notorious to catch….

Seven Holes of Hundun
Feature Articles

Seven Holes of Hundun

April 28, 2022

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Hundun gave food to two beings, one who came from the north and the other who came from the south. Grateful, the two decided to help Hundun. Hundun had no eyes, nose, ears or mouth. He did not have the seven holes to appreciate the world…

The Dark Man on a White Horse
Feature Articles

The Dark Man on a White Horse

March 31, 2022

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Most Indians have heard about Somnath temple that was raided by Mahmud of Ghazni a thousand years ago. Very few know that in the same century, the Chola king from the South raided Odisha and Bengal and took back with him images of Shiva. Even fewer…

Ramayana in Jataka
Feature Articles

Ramayana in Jataka

March 17, 2022

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist The Ramayana story reveals the Vedic world that thrived in the Gangetic plains between 1,000 CE and 500 CE, though the story itself came to be written between 200 BCE and 200 CE. Buddhist Jataka tales also written at the same time tell stories that are…

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