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Indian Mythology: Tales, Symbols, and Rituals from the Heart of the Subcontinent

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  108 ratings  ·  8 reviews
An exploration of 99 classic myths of India from an entirely non-Western paradigm that provides a fresh understanding of the Hindu spiritual landscape

• Compares and contrasts Indian mythology with the stories of the Bible, ancient Egypt, Greece, Scandinavia, and Mesopotamia

• Looks at the evolution of Indian narratives and their interpretations over the millennia

• Demonstra
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 24th 2003 by Inner Traditions
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Riku Sayuj

Pattanaik tries to illustrate a very basic concept -- that myths and rituals make sense only in their context -- and instill tolerance/respect for even outlandish tales in the hearts of the modern readers. He uses a variety of well-known examples to illustrate this. On the one hand he attempts to demystify them by showing their cultural and historical contexts and at the same time he seems to be implying that those contexts might be very exotic and hence when you encounter a myth/ritual, the bes
I started this book looking for examples of Indian myths: both the larger myths and the shorter tales. The book provides more than enough of this. The commentary is constantly punctuated by examples of myths.

I also hoped to find some comparative mythology, showing some parallels or differences compared to Greek or Egyptian myths, as promised by the book's description. The book had almost nothing on this score.

I almost put the book down because the author spends the introductory sections on comm
Riju Ganguly
Unfortunately, in trying to cover too many areas in too few pages, the author has spread his focus too thin. Consequently, this book falls short of his usual standards (whereby he simultaneously intrigues & mystifies the reader, by exposing hitherto unknown and often unimaginable stuff). However, if you are looking for a quick primer with which you can impress your parents or in-laws, this one might come handy.
Indian Mythology has always made my imaginations complex. I have been unable to understand much things when I was small. But when I read more, my understanding just got broadened. It is a sad fact that most the Indians doesn't know the deep meanings of symbols, rituals, gods, Gods. In the name of religion people are going blind, madly following things they don't understand. this book is helpful in many aspects. But like the great poet'e song.... "Into the heaven of freedom, My Lord, Let my count ...more
"Myths may not satisfy the demands of rationality or science, but they contain profound wisdom - provided one believes they do and is willing to find out what they communicate." (p. 160)

From the back cover:

The Hindu spiritual landscape is populated by multidimensional characters whose embodiment of both positive and negative aspects finds no parallel within the good versus evil mythology of the Western world. From the goddess Kali to the mysterious elephant-headed Ganesha, Indian Mythology explo
Vibhu Rishi
Very good starter crash course in Indian Mythology. DP weaves stories from different sources on each section to give a bigger understanding of what it is all about. The various levels of Gods and gods. The myths and why they make sense for an Indian concept. This book will not obviously teach you all about the Indian mythology, but it will start making some sense of the madness.
At first it reads like a dry reference book; but on careful reading, it does illustrate some unique perspectives!
Mousumi Singha
The book gives a glimse of hundu religion. It helps us to come closer to the meaning of various symbols and rituals we have come across many times. It is very interesting to know about them when we have practiced or seen such things at various ocasions. It helps us to know our religion deeply,created interest about how to know self and realise self. The language is lucid as always. I found the myth=mythia more enchanting and interesting though. The book Jaya is also excellent one.
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Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik (born December 11, 1970) is an Indian physician turned leadership consultant, mythologist and author whose works focus largely on the areas of myth, mythology, and also management. He has written a number of books related to Hindu mythology, including Myth = Mithya: A Handbook of Hindu Mythology, a novel, The Pregnant King, and Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharat ...more
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“Myths may not satisfy the demands of rationality or science, but they contain profound wisdom - provided one believes they do and is willing to find out what they communicate.” 4 likes
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