Tag: Decoding Mythology

Metaphor of the three Goddesses
Feature Articles

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
Feature Articles

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)…

Of‌ ‌Weight‌ ‌and‌ ‌Value‌ ‌
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Of‌ ‌Weight‌ ‌and‌ ‌Value‌ ‌

July 8, 2021

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist One of the most peculiar things about the Harappan civilisation is its obsession with weights and measures. They had binary measuring systems and decimal measuring systems. They also had pans for measurement. The people of Indus were particular about measurement. The weights and volumes were standardised…

Snake in the Termite Hill
Feature Articles

Snake in the Termite Hill

July 1, 2021

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist One of the most sacred images in India is the snake emerging from a termite hill. Termite hills are remarkable natural constructions. They provide ventilation and protection from flooding and predators for the termites. When the termites abandon their gigantic mounds, they are often occupied by…

On Bhagavata
Feature Articles

On Bhagavata

June 24, 2021

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist People often confuse the Bhagavata Purana (commonly referred to as the Bhagavata) with the Bhagavad Gita (commonly referred to as the Gita). * Bhagavata focuses on Bhagavan or God who engages with the world; it establishes Krishna as an avatar of Vishnu. Mahabharata focuses on the…

Unspoken language of village Gods
Feature Articles

Unspoken language of village Gods

June 17, 2021

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist If you want to understand the village Gods of India, you must understand what defines a living creature. The fundamental difference between a living creature and a non-living creature is that a living creature seeks food. Plants seek food, animals seek food, humans seek food. In…

Vikramaditya’s Throne
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Vikramaditya’s Throne

June 10, 2021

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist About a thousand years ago, a collection of Sanskrit tales, known as ‘32 tales of the throne’, came into being to draw attention to the qualities of a good king. In the narrative, king Bhoja finds the throne of legendary king Vikramaditya but every time he…

Where do Rishis come from?
Feature Articles

Where do Rishis come from?

June 3, 2021

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Many believe Rishis are special beings, who have access to special mantras. They understand the vibrations of the universe. They communicate these mantras through words, chants and hymns of Vedas. They play a very important role in Vedic literature. They can summon the Gods; they can…

Lakshmi’s Purana
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Lakshmi’s Purana

May 27, 2021

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist We often assume that a Purana is a Sanskrit text that is known across India. That is not true. Take, for example, the Lakshmi Purana, which Balaram Das wrote in Oriya in the 15th century. It speaks of an event that took place in Puri, where…

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