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

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  234 Ratings  ·  20 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
May 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 17, 2015 rated it liked it
I like the way Devdutta Patanaik discuss different stories from various regions. Different school of thoughts is discussed which is very engrossing and makes you curious to understand how mythology and stories have evolved and propagated. You get the insight of every region and their beliefs and stories behind it through this book and also why same rituals vary from place to place. He presents every small concepts with elaborate background stories which is entralling.
Riju Ganguly
Jul 27, 2015 rated it liked it
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.
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Book is well written though some pieces are here and there like pictures should have been at places where they are referred and not collectively at one place. Book has many short stories giving knowledge about many characters and their doings and eventful life, which is interesting. Many tables were not required, but they give the writer's perspective. I liked the stories, but the narrations in between are sometimes too lengthy.
Prashanthi Chennupati
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Perspective is what I look forward to in any book. I'm a big admirer of Mr. Devdutt Pattanaik work. I see his writings and perspectives more from the human psychological evolution level rather than religious or mythical notes. This book has given a very clear insight on what binds humans emotionally and psychologically at different levels and how humans behave in different situations. There is no sin or sinner. There is nothing called as good or bad, right or wrong. Every action has an outcome a ...more
Indian Mythology : Tales, symbols and rituals from the heart of the sub continent is one of the earlier product from the stables of Devdutt Pattnaik, who has emerged as an author of great pedigree in modern and slightly offbeat interpretation of Indian Mythology. The book is a decent read, nothing more than that. The biggest drawback, I feel, is that it tries to cram too much into a 200 odd page narrative and in the process loses its plot in a lot of places. It tries to structure its contents th ...more
May 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hinduism, mythology
"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
Oct 04, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Mousumi Singha
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
More about Devdutt Pattanaik...
“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.” 5 likes
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