Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana Sita discussion


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Sita- By Devdutt Pattanaik

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Arpit SITA : AN ILLUSTRATED RETELLING OF THE RAMAYANA is a book written by famous Indian author and mythologist, Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik. He has attempted to retell the epic saga encompassing the various versions of it that has been prevailing over the millenia. I think every Indian has known the epic in one or other form or atleast has heard of it. This book sure gonna add dimensions to it.

Currently Reena and I are reading the book. Anyone who is currently reading it or has read is welcome to share his/her views.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Hola!! :)

I Am so far loving this book. I love how Devdutt had simplified it to the point that anyone can understand and derive meaning from it.
What are your thoughts on the following quote?

"Every human creates his own imagined version of the world, and of himself. Every human is therefore Brahma, creator of his own aham."

How much of it do you agree with and can relate to? Do you feel you too have fallen victim too it?


Prem Today morning started reading this book. Interesting to know different version of Ramayana.


Arpit I have this life theory according to which world exist because you exist. Once you die, the world itself ceases to exist. The world is a mythya weaved by the mind.

I was reading a similar concept in other book, Homo Dues. According to the author, we have two different self within us - the experiencing self and a narrating self. The experiencing self is our moment to moment consciousness. However, our narrating self is responsible for retrieving memories, telling memories and making big decisions. We view our life very differently from what we experience.


Arpit Welcome Prem :)


Prem Arpit wrote: "I have this life theory according to which world exist because you exist. Once you die, the world itself ceases to exist. The world is a mythya weaved by the mind.

I was reading a similar concept ..."


I could relate this to System-1 and System-2 in Thinking fast and slow.


message 7: by Sucharita (last edited Oct 10, 2017 09:41PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sucharita Paul Tiwari Hello guys!! I would like to share an excerpt of an interview of Devdutt's wherein he says," The journey to discover Sita makes you realize that the Ramayana is not a book, as most people assume, but a vast tradition manifesting itself in written, oral and visual traditions. And for some reason, children of India have been kept away from it. Yes, we are told of the Valmiki Ramayana, but we are not told that there are several versions of this original story itself a northern version, a southern version, an eastern version, which have barely a third of the verses common between them. Then there are Sanskrit plays written by dramatists like Bhasa and Bhavabhuti where Ram is a great hero, not necessarily God. Then we find Ramayanas of the Jains, the Buddhists as well as from South East Asia, which retell the same story but with a very different emotion. From the tenth century onwards we find the Ramayana in each and every Indian language, written by several authors, in different scripts, with different styles, all deeply immersed in bhakti. It is through these regional narratives, not the Sanskrit ones really, that ideas related to love, valour, fidelity and wisdom spread to every corner of India.."

I loved the way Devdutt has interpreted the epic Ramayana without tempering with the purity of its essence!!


Shruti Hello everyone! I'm thinking about start reading Sita too.I've read Ramayana many times as a child and I'm curious to know how this story differs from the original one as I didn't like what happened to Sita in the original Ramayana.


Prem welcome Shruti. I just started today.


Shruti Sucharita wrote: "Hello guys!! I would like to share an excerpt of an interview of Devdutt's wherein he says," The journey to discover Sita makes you realize that the Ramayana is not a book, as most people assume, b..."

I didn't know that there were so many versions of Ramayana.Loved the way Devdutt expressed his thoughts.Let's see what this book has to offer!


message 11: by Shruti (last edited Oct 10, 2017 11:13PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shruti Prem wrote: "welcome Shruti. I just started today."

I've just started reading.How many chapters have you read so far?


message 12: by Prem (new) - rated it 5 stars

Prem Shruti wrote: "Prem wrote: "welcome Shruti. I just started today."

I've just started reading.How many chapters have you read so far?"


chapters??? Just completed reading Authors note . How about u?


Shruti Prem wrote: "Shruti wrote: "Prem wrote: "welcome Shruti. I just started today."

I've just started reading.How many chapters have you read so far?"

chapters??? Just completed reading Authors note . How about u?"


I've finished reading author's note.Just started the prologue.


Arpit I agree with the author that Ramayana is not just a tale but a way of living, a tradition. Although there are many versions of it but all are consistent in set of moral values that they impart.

Yesterday, I went to watch ramleela play. There was yet another story how Ramji was destined to go on exile. It was because Naradji cursed lord Vishnu that you too will mourn for your beloved's separation and no one will help you except monkeys. (Why Naradji cursed lord Vishnu is altogether a different story). I was unaware about this tale.


Arpit I have just started chapter 2. Author narrates how Sita ji came into being. The author talks about ayonijas, the one who is not born out of womb . In Indian mythology, many characters are described as ayonijas. Do you think it is to convey that they are not bound by the worldly orders, that they are divine?


Shruti Yeah I think you are right.Not being born from womb makes her a goddess.In Mahabharata,Droupadi is also an ayonija,born from fire.Maybe this unusual birth makes them divine.
Also I didn't know the tale of Rishyashringa.


Shruti ''This imagined notion of who we are, and how others are supposed to see us, is called aham. Aham constantly seeks validation from the external world. When that is not forthcoming it becomes insecure. Aham makes humans accumulate things; through things we hope people will look upon us as we imagine ourselves. That is why,people display their wealth and their knowledge and their power. Aham yearns to be seen.’'
This book is proving to be much deeper than I thought.


Arpit A very apt explanation of ego.

The author compares Indra with Greek God Zeus. Does anyone has interest in Greek mythology? There is a book on Greek mythology by Devutt Pattnaik. Would like to read it some day.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

@ Arpit- Yes I have been interested in it since my school days. It was part of our curriculum in highschool. I suggest you study it, you will find, there are a lot similarities between Greek and Indian Mythology.


Sucharita Paul Tiwari In Hinduism, two concepts are very powerful: Yonija and Ayonija. Yoni means womb. Yonija means one born of a womb. Such a creature has a past life: it is the fruit of a seed. Ayonija means one not born of a womb. Such a creature does not have a past life: it is not the fruit of a seed. It is self-born, swayambhu. Yonija are part of samsara and the karmic cycle: they take birth and they die, bound by rules of space and time. Ayonija or swayambu are not part of samsara or the karmic cycle: they exist always, unbound by rules of space and time. I think therefore Sita was bestowed with the title Ayonija because she was beyond Sanskriti and the rules of society. I guess the same can be said for Draupadi as well.


Sucharita Paul Tiwari Do you guys think that there can be a more scientific explanation to this theory of Ayonija??


Arpit I think the concept of Ayonija is purely metaphorical to emphasize their divine nature. There are many more which are just symbolical like beheading ' which refers to the mind being forced into realization through trauma'.
Also, can this explanation be extended for Jesus as he was said to be born out of virgin Mary to emphasize that he was Son of God ?

Since Ayonijas dont have a past or future life, I was wondering whether laws of karma apply to them?


message 23: by Arpit (last edited Oct 13, 2017 02:41AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Arpit Finished reading chapter 2. Four sons of Dasharath married four daughters of Janak and now going to Ayodhya from Mithila. Moving onto chapter 3, Ram's Exile.


Shruti Yeah I've also finished chapter 2.Just started chapter 3.
Laws of karma means what you are doing will affect your next life.So I don't really think that they are applied to ayonijas as they don't have any future life.


Arpit I recently visited Kanha national park in MP. There is a pond which is believed to be the same place where Shravan kumar was killed by raja Dasharath. There is even a plaque installed to mark the event.
However, as per author the episode took place in Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh. God knows which one is true.


Sucharita Paul Tiwari If king Dasharatha lived in Ayodhya which is in Uttar Pradesh isn't it is more likely that he had gone for hunting in Unnao rather than Kanha?


Arpit Yes it makes more sense. If thats true then its a big mistake on part of MP forest officials and MP tourism. Its there on their official website !


Sucharita Paul Tiwari Have you read or heard of any other retellings of Ramayana? Or Ramayana told from a different perspective other than Sita's?


Arpit Mmmm no, I have read only valmiki Ramayana. That too not completely. This book is complete in itself isnt it ? I am loving the little nuggets of wisdom this book has to offer. I am on chapter 4 currently. Hoping to make a good progress on weekend.


Shruti Hey guys I'm back!
How much have you read Arpit?
I haven't read any other retellings of Ramayana.I'm curious about what happened to Luv and Kush after the ending of this book.
What is your perception on Ram now?


Arpit Hello Shruti, I am still on chapter 4 where Sita is being abducted by Ravana. Did not get much time to read over the weekend.
Well, Shree Ram is 'Maryada Purshottam', the ideal man revered by all ayodhya vasis. He is the perfect son to his parents and perfect husband to his wife. His love for his brothers is unparalleled. His adherence to dharma even in difficult situations speaks volumes about his character. For him dignity of Raghu clan is foremost.
I would also like to give credits to Bharat, who, refused to be the king despite of given the opportunity and administrated the kingdom on Rama's behalf. It shows his respect for his elder brother,


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