Devdutt Pattanaik

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Devdutt Pattanaik (Odia: ଦେବଦତ୍ତ ପଟ୍ଟନାୟକ Devanagari: देवदत्त पट्टनायक) is an Indian author known for his work in mythology and interpretations of ancient Indian scriptures, stories, symbols and rituals.

Quotes[edit]

  • The Sanskrit word ‘maya’ refers to all things that can be measured. Human understanding of the world is limited, hence measurable, hence maya. To believe this maya is truth is delusion. Beyond maya, beyond human values and human judgements, beyond the current understanding of the world, is a limitless reality which makes room for everyone and everything. That reality is God.
Devdutt Pattanaik: The Goddess is Maya, embodiment of all delusions. She is Shakti, personification of energy. She is Adi, primal, as ancient and boundless as the soul...The embodiment of Adi- Maya-Shakti – Durga is the invincible one. She is at once bride and warrior. The one establishes home, provides pleasure, produces children and offers food.
  • The Goddess is Maya, embodiment of all delusions. She is Shakti, personification of energy. She is Adi, primal, as ancient and boundless as the soul...The embodiment of Adi- Maya-Shakti – Durga is the invincible one. She is at once bride and warrior. The one establishes home, provides pleasure, produces children and offers food.
  • Though in Bengal and Orissa, some say, Alakshmi is visualized as an owl seated beside Lakshmi, Alakshmi is a secret goddess, invisible to all. The only way to see her is to have Saraswati, goddess of knowledge and good sense by your side. But Lakshmi will never let Saraswati stay in the same house as her. She will go wherever there is Saraswati and kick her out, making room for Alakshmi. Why does she do that, one wonders. But then one is told that Lakshmi is a whimsical goddess, she does not like to stay in one place too long. By kicking Saraswati out and by getting Alakshmi in, she ensures there is a fight in the house and when there is a fight, wealth invariably moves out of a house.
  • The standard trope in modern historical studies seems to be that Hindu temples were destroyed not only by Muslim rulers but also by Hindu rulers as part of establishing their authority. It disregards all Hindu memory and Islamic writing that shows motivation of Muslim rulers at its core was religious, designed to replace the Hindu faith with Islam. This is aligned with Western academic anxiety at being seen as Islamophobic – no points lost if one is Hinduphobic.
    • Devdutt Pattanaik, quoted from Elst, Koenraad. Hindu dharma and the culture wars. (2019). New Delhi : Rupa.
  • Despite their deep knowledge of Hinduism, neither Elst nor Frawley, neither Doniger nor Pollock, believe in letting go and moving on, which is the hallmark of Hindu thought, often deemed as a feminine trait. Instead, Elst and Frawley keep drawing attention to injustice done by colonisers, goading Indians to rise up and fight, a violent tendency that is the hallmark of Western thought, often deemed as a masculine trait... Elst and Frawley follow the Abrahamic mythic pattern that establishes them as ‘prophets’ leading the enslaved – colonised – Indians back to the ‘Vedic Promised Land’.
    • Devdutt Pattanaik, quoted from Elst, Koenraad. Hindu dharma and the culture wars. (2019). New Delhi : Rupa.

The Book of Ram[edit]

...Ram's story has reached the masses not through erudite Sanskrit texts but through theatre song and dance performed in local languages. All of these retellings of Ramayan have their own turns and twists, their own symbolic outpouring, each one valid in their respective contexts...

Devdutt Pattanaik The Book of Ram, Penguin UK, 21 October 2008

  • Ram's calm repose in the face of all adversity, so evident in the Ramayan, has made him worthy of veneration, adoration and worship. Ram's story has reached the masses not through erudite Sanskrit texts but through theatre song and dance performed in local languages. All of these retellings of Ramayan have their own turns and twists, their own symbolic outpouring, each one valid in their respective contexts.
    • In: p. vii
  • The Ramayan, one of the most revered texts in Hinduism, tells the story of a prince called Ram. Dashrath, king of Ayodhya, had three wives but no children. So he conducted a yagna and invoked the gods who gave him a magic potion that was divided among his three queens. In time the queens gave birth to four sons. Ram was the eldest, born of the chief queen, Kaushalya, Bharat was the second born to Dasharath’s favourite queen Kaikeyi. Lakshman and Shatrughna were the twin sons of the third queen Sumitra.
    • In: p. 3
  • The Ramayan also happens to be part of the Mahabharata, dated between 300 BCE and 300 CE, where it is called the Ramopakhyan. When the Pandavas bemoaned their thirteen years of forest exile, Rishi Markandeya retorted by telling them how Ram suffered for fourteen years and while the Pandavas deserved their punishment for gambling away their kingdom, Ram did not deserve his fate – he was simply obesing his father.
    • In: p. 183

External links[edit]

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