Tag: Decoding Mythology

How ‘dharma’ manifests in Vedas and Puranas
Feature Articles

How ‘dharma’ manifests in Vedas and Puranas

May 21, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist The word ‘dharma’ first appears in the Rig Veda; but in a collection of a thousand hymns, the word dharma occurs less than a hundred times, making it not a very key concept. It is related to ‘foundation’ and ‘stability’ and ‘governance’. Even in the Upanishads,…

Fourteen jewels from the sea
Feature Articles

Fourteen jewels from the sea

May 14, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist The churning of the ocean of milk is a key theme found in temples across ancient Southeast Asia indicating the spread of Hindu ideas there between the 3rd and 13th century. This story is linked to kingship and enterprise as it shows how Vishnu gets the…

Dharma During Crisis
Feature Articles

Dharma During Crisis

May 7, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist As we go through a global pandemic which demands a major change in our lifestyle and which will have a major impact on the economy, it is a good time to remember a conversation in the Mahabharata, where Bhishma tells the Pandavas, about Apaddharma, or dharma…

A Family in a Temple
Feature Articles

A Family in a Temple

April 30, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In a typical Hindu temple, we do not find just one image. We find multiple images. For many people, unfamiliar with Hindu tradition, this looks like polytheism. But for Hindus, these are various manifestations or expressions of the same divine principle, different facets of divinity expressed…

The Amazing Rani Rashmoni
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The Amazing Rani Rashmoni

April 23, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In early 19th century, in a society dominated by men, mostly wealthy landed Brahmins, and by the Colonial rulers of the land, a woman called Rani Rashmoni rose to be a successful business leader in Kolkata. She built the famous Dakshineshwar Temple where Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa,…

One Idea, Many Expressions
Feature Articles

One Idea, Many Expressions

April 16, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In a typical Hindu temple, we do not find just one image. We find multiple images. For many people, unfamiliar with Hindu tradition, this looks like polytheism. But for Hindus, these are various manifestations or expressions of the same divine principle. Broadly there are three categories…

Mythology as Politics
Feature Articles

Mythology as Politics

April 2, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist As a child in Mumbai, I watched Rajan Uncle perform Chakyar Kootu. My parents were economic migrants from Odisha. My neighbours were from Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. And we got to see cultural performances that no one in Odisha or Maharashtra, would have had access…

A Pair of Goddesses
Feature Articles

A Pair of Goddesses

March 26, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Across India, there are many temples where the Goddess is worshipped as a pair of women. In Nainital, Uttarakhand, we find the temple of Nanda and Sunanda Devi. At this temple, we find the Goddess worshipped as a pair — Nanda and Sunanda. In Gujarat, we…

A Brief History of Goddess Worship
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A Brief History of Goddess Worship

March 19, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Harappan civilisation, which thrived over 4,000 years ago, had seals of as-yet-unidentified Goddesses emerging from trees and Goddesses riding tigers. Vedic religion that thrived 3,000 years ago, however, was primarily a masculine religion dominated by worship of Indra, Varuna, Agni and Soma, even Prajapati. Goddesses play…

From Square Harappa to Circular Mandala
Feature Articles

From Square Harappa to Circular Mandala

March 12, 2020

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik Hindutva historians insist that the Harappan cities, that thrived 4,500 years ago across Punjab, Sindh, Rajasthan and Gujarat were full of Aryas chanting Vedic hymns and pouring ghee in fire altars made of brick. These convoluted theories have not been accepted in any peer reviewed international journal — but this is…

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