Tag: Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik

Ancient incest in the sky
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Ancient incest in the sky

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In the Vedas, long before people knew about Gods such as Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, there was a story of how the God of Heaven committed incest with the Goddess of Dawn, his daughter. Now this is called the problem of primal incest, which is found…

Metaphors of the Goddess
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Metaphors of the Goddess

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In Hinduism, God cannot be divine without the Goddess. There is no Vishnu without Lakshmi. No Shiva without Shakti. No Brahma without Saraswati. But it is a mystery for many why Hindus, for whom divinity is both male and female, treat women so badly. Aren’t women…

Is Ganesha married?
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Is Ganesha married?

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In South India, Kartikeya is worshipped as Murugan, who stands on top of mountains. On either side of him stand his two wives, Valli and Sena. Valli is a tribal girl, while Sena is a celestial princess, the daughter of Indra. There are songs of Murugan’s…

Many happy Buddhas
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Many happy Buddhas

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist A dramatic shift happened in Buddhism roughly 500 years after the historical Buddha. This dramatic shift is the rise of what is called Mahayana Buddhism or the Great Vehicle of Buddhism. This thought perhaps emerged in Kashmir and Afghanistan and spread to China, where it was…

Krishna as a Girl
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Krishna as a Girl

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist Back in the year 2011, I went to an exhibition of Sudarshan Sahoo, master stone carver from Odisha, at Jehangir Art Gallery, and saw an image of Krishna, standing with flute in hand. What caught my eye was the nose-ring worn by Krishna on the right…

Breaking the binary
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Breaking the binary

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In the Puranas, we have heard the story of the Narasimha avatar. Hiranyakashipu had obtained a boon from Brahma that he should not be killed by either man or animal, at day or at night, above or below, inside or outside, by neither weapon nor tool….

The Immortals
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The Immortals

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In Hindu mythology, whenever an asura asks for immortality, Brahma tells them that they can have whatever they wish except that. The clever asura then asks for a boon that will render him immortal for all practical purposes. But, embedded in the boon is a loophole,…

Expressing devotion sensually
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Expressing devotion sensually

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist The story of Gajendra Moksha from the Bhagavata Purana speaks of an elephant king, Gajendra, who is in a state of erotica arousal, and is having fun with his herd of cow elephants in a lotus lake in a heady erotic atmosphere. But the pleasure is…

Above many realms of desire
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Above many realms of desire

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist When we study how people imagine the world, and how they express it in art, we understand their world-view. Buddhist stupas crowned with special umbrellas indicate Sumeru, the central world axis and the heavens above it, above which sits the Buddha in a formless state after…

Othering the Asuras
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Othering the Asuras

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist In Hindu mythological stories narrated in the Puranas, Brahma’s son Kashyapa has two wives. One called Aditi, the other called Diti. Aditi’s children are called Adityas or Devas, and they reside in the celestial realms above the sky. Diti’s sons are called Daityas, and they reside…

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