Tag: Decoding Mythology

Why do Hindus light lamps?
Feature Articles

Why do Hindus light lamps?

November 30, 2017

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist It is curious that the practice of lighting lamps seems integral to Hinduism today, but it was not a dominant one in Vedic times, when the fire-altar of the yagna took centre-stage. Perhaps its entry as a ritual owes much to non-Vedic Hinduism.  Lamps slip into…

Bali underfoot
Feature Articles

Bali underfoot

November 16, 2017

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist A few months ago, there was a war going on in Kerala about whether Onam has to be celebrated as the annual return during harvest of Maha-bali, the asura-king, from Pa-tala, his subterranean realm or as Vaman Jayanti, the triumph of Vishnu’s dwarf avatar, Vaman over…

Lopamudra’s Consent
Feature Articles

Lopamudra’s Consent

November 9, 2017

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In the Rig Veda, most hymns are by male sages. But there are a few by women, the rishikas, some independent and others, wives of sages. Lopamudra is the wife of Agastya and both compose hymns. In her hymn, she expresses her sexual longing and asks…

God of Craftsmen
Feature Articles

God of Craftsmen

November 2, 2017

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist If you were a craftsman hailing from the Gangetic Plains, or from Assam, Bengal, or Odisha, it is quite likely that you would have celebrated Vishwakarma Puja, just towards the end of Pitra Paksha, and just before Mahalaya, the first day of Navratri. Pitra Paksha, when…

Cinderella Vrata-Katha
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Cinderella Vrata-Katha

October 27, 2017

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist A friend pointed out that the popular fairy tale Cinderella is very much like a vrata-katha: a girl in trouble, tortured by female members of her family, prays to and is saved by a Goddess (fairy Godmother in this case). But grace depends on her following…

Castrated for God
Feature Articles

Castrated for God

October 5, 2017

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In a Guru’s Ashram, I saw a young, beautiful girl who had completely stripped herself of her gender and sexuality: shaven hair, ash on her face, baggy clothes, bare feet, and complete subservience to her Guru, who she referred to as ‘master’. The men were similarly…

Balancing the Love Charger
Feature Articles

Balancing the Love Charger

September 14, 2017

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist When you go to someone’s house, we expect to be served water. But today, more than water, we expect to be offered a phone charger. So imagine when someone comes up with a phrase ‘Love charger.’ You cannot help but be impressed by the pop innovation….

The Myth of Cultural Marxism
Feature Articles

The Myth of Cultural Marxism

September 7, 2017

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Right now, in the United States of America, something terrifying is happening. A whole bunch of aggressive violent white men have publicly marched in the city of Charlottesville for White Supremacy. They embody the visible tip of a deeper rage that festers across many parts of…

Chef Nala
Feature Articles

Chef Nala

August 31, 2017

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Once upon a time, there was a man who cooked so well that a woman decided to marry him. And when he ran away, taking up a job as a cook, she tracked him down by the flavours he conjured up in his master’s kitchen. His…

Guru of Gurus
Feature Articles

Guru of Gurus

August 17, 2017

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Datta, the son of Atri and Anasuya, is considered Adi Guru, the first teacher. He is visualised as under a banyan tree with a cow (who provides) and four dogs (who protect), while he enlightens. Who was his teacher? Nature, he replies. In the Avadhuta Gita,…

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