Tag: Decoding Mythology

Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah…
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Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah…

September 16, 2021

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah is a line that is found in Manusmriti. If you assume dharma to be religion or state or law, it means if you protect religion or state or law, the religion/state/law will protect you. Why does religion or state or law exist? In…

From Vedas to Puranas
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From Vedas to Puranas

September 9, 2021

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Vedas were composed 3,000 years ago, while the Puranas were composed 1,500 years ago. In between, came the great epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, after the Vedas, but before the Puranas. The two reflect dramatically different world views. Vedas do not factor in monastic ideals; the Puranas…

Epics as Novels
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Epics as Novels

September 2, 2021

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Most people in India are not familiar with the Sanskrit Ramayana or Mahabharata. We read popular versions, which in turn are based on regional re-tellings, which began appearing less than 1,000 years ago and became very prevalent from around 500 years ago. Many regional works are…

Gods who remove suffering
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Gods who remove suffering

August 26, 2021

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Once upon a time, Vishnu came looking for his wife, Lakshmi, who left their house after a fight. During his search, he took residence in a termite hill under a tamarind tree. A cowherd came and gave him milk there. So he made that place his…

How the temple became the hub for an economy
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How the temple became the hub for an economy

August 19, 2021

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Vedic Gods resided in the sky. They were unbound by geography. Temple Gods are firmly bound by geography. Jagannath is firmly linked to Odisha, Tirupati to Andhra Pradesh, Nathdvara to Rajasthan. The temple as we know it today is closely linked to land given by kings…

Origins of Nepotism
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Origins of Nepotism

August 12, 2021

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist These days, business families are including their daughters in the family businesses. Yet on careful observation, one notices that the son is given responsibility for “outside” jobs such as production and sales, the jobs that take you to the factory and the market. The daughter is…

Ancestor Worship in the Vedas
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Ancestor Worship in the Vedas

August 5, 2021

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist The Vedic people worshipped celestial beings known as devas. They also worshipped their ancestors known as pitras. The worship of these two sets of divinities complements each other. People worship the devas during the waxing of the moon, in spring and summer, before rains. People worship…

Metaphor of the three Goddesses
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Metaphor of the three Goddesses

July 29, 2021

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Hindu mythology uses metaphor of human relationships to explain concepts. This can be confusing as metaphors are rarely consistent. This confounds those who see mythology as history and insist on reading stories literally. The case of the three Goddesses — Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga — who…

Dayananda & Vivekananda
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Dayananda & Vivekananda

July 22, 2021

Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist The 19th century saw Hinduism being re-framed for two reasons. First was missionary activity that, with its aim of gaining converts, consciously spotlighted aspects of Hinduism that the elite could not explain and found embarrassing. Second was exposure to humanistic values of the Enlightenment, with ideas such…

Last of the Vedic Texts
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Last of the Vedic Texts

July 15, 2021

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In the Mimansa school that became popular 2,000 years ago, the Rig Veda was considered ‘apaurusheya’ (not of human origin) and ‘ekavakya’ (a single sentence), with no breaks between words and no punctuations. Sounds (pada) fused to create words (shabda) which merged with other words (sandhi)…

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