Devdutt Pattanaik uncovers the hidden stories of the greatest epics in Hindu mythology, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Like the Sumerians, Hindus wrote poetic stories which focused on the powers of the gods. Ramayana translates to the story of Rama. It is believed that Valmiki, a Brahmin whose style of writing poetry was carried forward from that point on, wrote the epic. Following its main hero Rama on his journey to Lanka, Ramayana praises the heroism and virtues of the Aryan warrior princes. Mahabharata meaning The Great India, is said to be written by a Brahmin Veda Vyasa. It is divided into verses interspersed with passages of prose. A story incorporated into the Mahabharata came to be known as the Bhagvad Gita.
Trimurti translates as three forms. It is an iconographic representation of God in Hinduism which depicts divinity as a threefaced figure. These three faces represent Gods roles of creation, preservation and destruction which are associated with Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Sustainer and Shiva the Destroyer.Devdutt Pattanaik discusses the three personas and their different modalities in this episode. The trio are assisted in their duties by their consorts, Saraswati, Laxmi and Parvati respectively. The specific gods of the Trimurti each have their own origins in Hindu mythology but the single iconographic representation finds its source in the Vedas. It is only after the arrival of the Puranas that Trimurti becomes a standard doctrine.
Colors play an important role in Hindu culture and have a deep significance transcending decorative values. Hindus use colors on their deities and their clothes, signifying their qualities. Devdutt Pattanaik introduces the concept of using a specific color for a deity to create an environment that highlights the persona of the god or goddess.Some of the more prominent colors used in our rituals and festivals are red, green and saffron. While goddesses Saraswati and Parvati are seen in red sarees, goddess Laxmi is seen in white. Similarly, sages are seen in saffron. Devdutt does a comparative study on the use of colors by hermits and householders. The legend of the color filled festival, Holi, is also highlighted.
Various stories and legends surround the prominent figure, Shiva. He is one of the most powerful gods of the Hindu pantheon and is one of the godheads in the Trimurti. Known as the Destroyer, Shiva is perhaps the most complex of Hindu deities. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks about Shiva being at the core of the centrifugal force of the universe, because of his responsibility for death and destruction. He is the dissolving force but he dissolves in order to create since death is a mode to rebirth. Thus, life and death, creation and destruction, both reside in Shiva. Devdutt also talks about his various manifestations as Bholenath, Mahadev, Nataraja, Vishwanath and Bhairava.
Hindu mythology boasts of numerous stories of supernatural beings, either fighting against one another for supremacy or joining forces to fight some other being.Devdutt Pattanaik introduces the various supernatural beings from Indian mythology, in this episode. The Hindu universe is divided into different Lokas or worlds and in each world, reside different beings. All of these beings are said to be Brahmas children. Devas reside in DevLok, Asuras live in Paatal, Nagas in NagLok et al. Devdutt does a comparative study of the characteristics of these beings. While Devas are said to be benevolent and debauched, the Rakshasas are shown as mean and ugly. Yakshas are known to hoard everything they get their hands on and Asuras are said to be obsessed with wealth and power.
Indra Dev is the God of rain and thunder. He is one of the primary gods of the Vedas who all phenomenons of nature.In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik highlights Indras characteristics of insecurity and jealousy which drive him to sabotage sages meditations and instigate battles between the devas. He also discusses the shift in Indras position from the Vedas where he is considered the king of all devas to the puranas but his position fades as the Holy Triad emerges.
Hindu narratives offer explanations for any event. Good things happen because of boons bad things happen because of a curse. Boons and curses served as narrative tools to explain the idea of karma.In this episode, Devdutt provides stories of some interesting boons and curses that resulted in grave consequences. Some stories like that of Kaikeyi and Dasharatha talk about a boon given to Kaikeyi by Dasharatha that takes an interesting turn when Dasharatha is forced to send his son Rama on exile. This event is said to be the result of a curse given to Dasharatha by Shravan Kumars parents when he was a young prince. Watch the episode to understand this phenomenon of boons and curses.
At its fundamental level, Hinduism terms heaven and hell as swarga and naraka . Heaven is inhabited by devas and good souls while hell consists of raakshas and pain. However, Hinduism also stresses on the idea of no judgement.In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik does a comparative study of heaven and hell between 3 religions Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Understand the phenomenon as he takes you through different views and concepts.
Shakti is described as the cosmic energy that powers the world. According to Hindu mythology, Shakti is regarded as a Goddess either a consort or queen of a deity and more importantly Gods active and dynamic form.Devdutt Pattanaik discusses the significance of Shaktis creative energies underlying the cosmos. While Lakshmi is the energy of Vishnu Parvati is the energy of Shiva. As Devi, She takes different forms with respect to her male counterpart and manifests as Kali, Durga, Gauri or Sati. Shakti is revered as the mother Goddess, the universal source of power, vitality and creativity. Understand Her omnipotence through this episode exploration.
Ganpati Bappa Morya The most revered and popular God of Hinduism is Lord Ganesha. Devdutt Pattanaik discusses the significance of the elephantheaded god, the legends that encapsulate the idea of Ganesha being the supreme consciousness that pervades all beings. He also talks about how as the son of Shiva, the Destroyer and Parvati, one of the many incarnations of Shakti, Ganesha becomes the symbol of unification for the followers of Shiva and Shakti
Most deities in Hindu mythology possess a weapon or more than one weapon that enables them to tide over a particularly conflicting or tough situation. The users of these weapons are said to have an indepth knowledge about the use and misuse of the astra weapon. Apart from their usage in the epic Ramayana and Mahabharata, they are talked about in the Puranas and Vedas as well. Devdutt Pattanaik discusses the variety of astra possessed by various deities, their USPs and the conditions that existed involving their usage. He also talks in depth about some very wellknown astra like the Sudarshan Chakra, the Brahmastra, Indras Vajra et al.
The term Vahana translates as that which carries, that which pulls. In Hindu mythology, a vahana is called a deitys mount. Deities are often depicted riding a vahana or sometimes, the vahana is depicted alongside the deity.In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik discusses the various mounts. The positive aspects of the mounts are in tandem with the strengths of the deities. While often the mounts function alongside the deities, on some occasions, they act independently. Devdutt also narrates stories of the birth of various mounts in this episode.
The Ganga is the most sacred river to the Hindus. Along its length and breadth, Hindus pay homage to their ancestors, pray to their gods and cleanse their souls by taking a dip in the river and cupping the water in their hands. They even carry a small amount of water, known as Gangajal on their way back to be used in rituals. Devdutt Pattanaik traces the history of the Ganga in Hindu mythology. He discusses the importance of Ganga as a deity, her corelation with the other deities, especially Shiva, her prominence in different sects and her descent from heaven to earth.
Hinduism lays a lot of importance on Yatra or pilgrimage. It is a popular belief that yatra enables people to connect themselves to their spiritual goals. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik touches upon the many famous Hindu pilgrimage centres inclusive of the Dhams, Kshetras, Peetas and the Melas. He also discusses the ideas behind pilgrimage, its birth and growth.
The numerous gods in Hindu mythology, although manifestations of one supreme being, are very varied by ways of their personalities. Generally speaking, the devas and devis are benevolent beings who support the physical world. Hindus consider it important to keep their deities happy and content by way of offering them food. Every deity is associated with one of more food items either raw or cooked. In his episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks about these deities and their favorite foods. He also explores the stories and folk tales behind Krishnas association with maakhan, Ganeshas love for modaks and Shivas affiliation with the bel leaf.
According to Hindu mythology, all mortal beings are destined to pass through four great epochs in every cycle of creation and destruction. These four epochs are Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik explains the different stages of evolution in the Yugas, their significance and the important events that occurred in the different Yugas. He touches upon the Mahabharata and the Ramayana and also talks about the features of the Kali Yuga.
In Hindu mythology, the act of the creation of the universe is talked about in more than one manner. Hinduism also defines fourteen worlds seven higher worlds and seven underworlds and how they came into existence also has many different versions. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik decodes the various cosmogonic myths surrounding the creation of the world. He explains the various stories accepted by people belonging to different sects i.e: Vaishnavaites believe that Lord Vishnu, in the shape of a boar, plunged into the cosmic waters and brought forth the earth. He offers a neutral viewpoint regarding the roles played by the Hindu pantheon in the creation of the universe.
In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik introduces the Guardians of the Directions the deities who rule the specific directions of space according to Hindu mythology. They are known as Dikpalas.Though frequently mentioned, they are rarely worshiped. The Dikpalas of the cardinal points are Kubera North, Yama South, Indra East and Varuna West. He also discusses the Dikapalas of the intermediate points and their significance in Hindu mythology. The images of these Dikapalas are found on the walls and ceilings of temples and tombs.
Hindu mythology abounds with stories of gods and their husbands/wives. Most of these stories are interesting narratives that comprise of necessary storytelling elements like drama, intrigue, romance, thriller and heartbreak. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik discusses the tales of love and marriage of the gods in the Hindu pantheon. He also talks about introducing the story form to explain the philosophical ideas to the common man. For example: Shiva, the hermit and Shiva, the householder are two, very deep philosophical ideas and these are explained through various stories of Shiva and Sati, Shiva and Parvati et cetera.
In mythology, shape shifting refers to the ability of any form to physically transform to another form or being. This is generally achieved through the forms inherent intellectual faculty, divine intervention or the use of boons and curses. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks about the idea of shape shifting and its existence since time immemorial. He introduces us to stories about shape shifting in Hindu mythology. He also talks about some important forms i.e. Mohini a form of Vishnu and discusses the theories behind changing forms.
The concept of avatar in Hindu mythology refers to the descent of a deity or a supreme being to Earth. This idea is most often associated with Vishnu. It is said that Vishnu incarnates on Earth from time to time to eradicate evil forces and to restore Dharma on Earth. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik introduces Vishnus avatars and talks about each one of them in brief. He also discusses Dashavatara and changes in the list based on sects and regions. The human forms of Vishnu Parashurama, Rama, Krishna are also discussed in detail.
One of the most important elements of Hindu mythology are Nakshatras and Grahas. Nakshatras refer to constellations or a cluster of stars and Grahas refer to astrological figures. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks about some of the more famous nakshatras in Hindu mythology and narrates interesting stories about them. He also briefly talks about the idea that the positions of the nakshatras and grahas influence our lives. This belief is deeply ingrained in followers of Hinduism and is a major element in Hindu mythology.
Plants and trees are natures processors of solar energy which is vital for our existence. Plants, trees, flowers and fruits have been worshiped by Hindus since a long time. Hindu sages and seers have eulogized peepal, bel, banyan tree, amla etc. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks about the association of trees and plants with deities in Hindu mythology. He narrates stories from the Vedas and the Puranas that tell us how a particular plant or tree became a favorite with a particular god or sect. Devdutt also discusses the directions for the plantations of sacred trees and how they are worshipped.
An essential part of Hindu mythology is the connection made between a devotee and a deity. This usually occurs through Puja. Puja is the act of showing reverence to a god, a spirit or another aspect of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs and rituals. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik breaks down the idea of Puja, the different kinds of Puja and how they are performed. He talks briefly about yagna, temple ceremonies like an abhisheka, annual festivals like Durga puja etc. He describes the significance of each of them and explains the core idea of puja serving as a mean of gaining access to the divine.
31 July 2020
Shyni Shetty, Rishab Seth, Danish Aslam