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Devdutt Pattanaik

A decoding of Hindu mythology. Hindus have one God. They also have 330 million gods: Male Gods, Female Gods, Personal Gods, Family Gods, Household Gods, Village Gods, Gods of space and time, Gods for specific castes and particular professions, Gods who reside in trees - in animals - in minerals - in..
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A fish saves the world. A horse flies across the sky. A king discovers that his beloved wife is actually a frog. Hindu mythology is full of tales in which animals play important roles. Some animals are looked upon with dread, while some are worshipped along with the gods. Some shape the fate of the..
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How do myths and stories influence culture? What is the difference between one culture and another, and how did these differences come to be? Are cultures fixed or do they change over time? Devdutt Pattanaik, India's leading mythologist, breaks down the complex maze of stories, symbols and rituals t..
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For Hindus, Vishnu is God who inspires man to discover humanity by engaging with the world. Artists have visualized him with as curly-haired, dark complexioned man with a smile on his lips and a sparkle in his eyes. Draped in yellow silk, garlanded with forest flowers, bedecked with dolphin-shaped e..
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Shiva, ‘the destroyer’ among the Hindu trinity (of gods), is depicted in many contradictory manners. He is an ascetic who wears animal skin, his body smeared with ashes. Contradictory to his wild nature, he is also depicted as having a family, with a beautiful wife and two children. There are many m..
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Hindu mythology abounds with fascinating gods, goddesses and characters whose visual representations — through calendar art — are equally colourful. Hindu calendar art may seem fantastic and kitsch, but it is in fact the most democratic expression of a mythic imagery that was once restricted to temp..
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‘Ram’s story as a metaphor for human strengths and weaknesses and as a window to inner divinity’—Tehelka / Ram is maryada purushottam, the supreme upholder of social values, scion of the Raghu clan, jewel of the solar dynasty, seventh avatar of Vishnu. Reviled by feminists, appropriated by politicia..
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We live in times where people have extreme views. On the one hand, there are scholars who describe Shiva's linga literally as a phallus, and see all metaphoric meaning as embarrassed apology of the uneducated. On the other hand, we have puritanical Hindus who want to strip the Shiva linga of all sex..
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What does the Biblical story of Nathan and David say about effective communication skills? How do you identify the Raja Bhoj, the Gangu Teli and the Shekchilli in your office? What is the corporate equivalent of an Ashwamedha yajna? Drawing from sources as diverse as the Mahabharata and the Bible, t..
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High above the sky stands Swarga, paradise, abode of the gods. Still above is Vaikuntha, heaven, abode of God. The doorkeepers of Vaikuntha are the twins, Jaya and Vijaya, both whose names mean 'victory'. One keeps you in Swarga - the other raises you into Vaikuntha. In Vaikuntha there is bliss fore..
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In the forest of insecurities, is it possible to discover humanity through pleasure? Can we stop seeing each other as predator, prey, rival or mate, and rediscover ourselves as lovers? Does the divine reside in sensual delight, in emotional intimacy and in aesthetic experience? Yes, yes, yes. That ..
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