Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jaya, by Devdutt Pattanaik

I bought this book a long time ago on Flipkart, recently finished reading it. It's an interesting read, once you start it becomes an addiction -:).

Most of us would have heard the stories of Mahabharata either through our elders or by watching the famous 'Mahabharata' which used to be aired on DD once upon a time. I have couple of books on Mahabharata one for the children , one for facts by C Rajagopalachari . But what is interesting in 'Jaya' is its simple, beautiful illustrations, the way it is narrated. You feel like reading more and more and never putting it down. Even people who don't like mythological stories too would love to read this since it flows like a fiction.

What I loved was the box in the end of each chapter where the author gives us an insight into the local, regional version of few of the plots. Also how these stories are relevant even today, what lessons we can learn from it as a reader. At the end of the story  the concepts of dharma and justice are explained very well.
You will learn lot of new things from reading this for instance,
Pandu while dying tells his sons, ' I have after years of meditation and celibacy have achieved  great knowledge and is embedded in my body. When I die eat my flesh and you will be blessed with knowledge'. But the Pandavas cremate their father and will not do as their father had instructed them. However Sahadeva one of the Pandavas sees ants carrying tiny pieces of his fathers flesh and eats the ants. After doing this he would know what happened in the past and in future. He eagerly wishes to share this information with his brothers but stopped by the God himself. God instead  forbids him telling anything voluntarily to anyone. He says when people ask you questions reply with a question. He waited for the people to ask him right question but it never came. Interesting isn't it?

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