Tag: Decoding Mythology

Marking your expiry date
Feature Articles

Marking your expiry date

June 21, 2018

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Everything in nature has an expiry date. Even the sun. Talk to an astrophysicist and they will tell you when the sun will eventually die. Nothing lasts forever. We know that. Yet, culture is all about ‘built to last’. The obsession with defying mortality, defying nature,…

Yagna or Puja
Feature Articles

Yagna or Puja

June 14, 2018

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist It is common amongst Western scholars and their Westernised students to differentiate between the Vedic yagna and the Puranic puja, rituals that define the two major phases of Hinduism, one that flourished over 3,000 years ago and one that emerged 2,000 years ago. Of course, at…

The Gita without the Mahabharata
Feature Articles

The Gita without the Mahabharata

June 7, 2018

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist The Gita is a part of the Mahabharata. It is the dialogue of 700 verses between Krishna and Arjuna just before the Kurukshetra War, where the Pandavas fight the Kauravas. This dialogue is found in the Bhisma Parva, one of the 18 books of the epic….

Global misogyny
Feature Articles

Global misogyny

May 31, 2018

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik Some feminists expect me to ‘explain’ Hinduism’s misogyny. Typically, a verse from Manusmriti will be thrown at me. For example, verse 2.213: It is the nature of women to seduce men in this world; for that reason the wise are never unguarded in the company of females. Or verse 5.151: Girls are…

Beware the deer hunt
Feature Articles

Beware the deer hunt

May 24, 2018

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Ancient India was known as Arya-varta, or the land of the noble people. In the early scriptures, the extent of this region was described as the forests where the black buck roamed. Hunting deer, the black buck, was the favourite pastime of kings in Vedic times….

From five to ten directions
Feature Articles

From five to ten directions

May 17, 2018

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist If you walk around a traditionally-built Hindu temple, it is likely that you will see images of the guardians of the directions (diggapala): Kubera in the north, Yama in the south, Indra in the east and Varuna in the west, with Vayu, Chandra (or Ishana), Agni…

The end of the Buddha’s clan
Feature Articles

The end of the Buddha’s clan

May 10, 2018

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist The Buddha and his followers used to always eat one meal in the house of a layman. King Pasenadi of Kosala asked the Buddha how a monk chose a house to eat at. The Buddha replied that it will be a house that one trusts. The…

Ram and the Rooster
Feature Articles

Ram and the Rooster

May 3, 2018

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Valmiki composed the Ramayana and it is still popular though no one reads the old 2,000-year-old Sanskrit version nor the 1,000-year-old regional classics in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Assamese, Awadhi. What we usually access as colloquial folk versions, often transmitted orally, known as the Ramakatha….

Chinese love stories
Feature Articles

Chinese love stories

April 26, 2018

By Devdutt Pattanaik Once upon a time there was a weaver girl who loved a cowherd. But she was no ordinary weaver girl; she was the daughter of the Goddess of Heaven and she wove clouds for the sky. She came down to earth for fun, met the cowherd, married him and had two children….

Gender studies in ancient India
Feature Articles

Gender studies in ancient India

April 19, 2018

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Every woman does not have a vagina. Every man does not have a penis.” This language is familiar to students of gender studies around the world. Here, gender and even sexuality are seen as a social constructs, not biological fact, outcomes of nurture and culture, not…

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