Jaya (An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata) MP3 CD – Audiobook, 2011
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About the Author
Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik is a medical doctor by training, a marketing manager by profession and a mythologist by passion. He lectures extensively on the relevance of sacred stories, symbols and rituals in modern times. His books include 7 Secrets of Hindu Calendar Art, Shiva: An Introduction, Vishnu: An Introduction, Devi: An Introduction, Hanuman: An Introduction, Lakshmi: An Introduction, Krishna: An Introduction, Shiva to Shankara: Decoding the Phallic Symbol, Goddesses in India, Man Who Was a Woman and Other Queer Tales from Hindu Lore and Indian Mythology: Stories, Symbols and Rituals from the Heart of the Subcontinent.
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Associates Avial to Tamilnadu whereas it is a staple in Kerala.
Makes many compromising statements about many Rishis and Kings.
Mahabharata:::::: The greatest epic of all time. “It is an ancient Hindu epic where
A son renounces sex so that his old father can remarry
A Daughter is a prize in an archery contest
A teacher demands half a kingdom as his tuition fee
A student is turned away because of his caste
A mother asks her sons to share a wife
A father curses his son-in-law to be old and impotent
A husband lets another man make his wife pregnant………… D.Pattanaik”
When Mahabharata was first written it was known as Jaya. Then with the passage of time, it evolved through Vijaya, Bharata, and finally, Mahabharata, containing 100,000 verses. The length of the epic is so long that a total sum of verses of Greek Epic Illiad and Oddessey is less than it. Drama, Melodrama, Poem, Wisdom, Whitt, war, jealousy godly works everything is contained in the Mahabharata. Some historians even say that it is based on true events.
Not only this, the Mahabharata contains the greatest Hindu literature the Geeta, words from God. The whole story of the Mahabharata is based on DEEDs or KARMA. Whatever you do whether intentionally or unintentionally, you have to face the consequences. There is no getting away from this cycle. And when you win this cycle of victory and failure, you will win the Spiritual Freedom, Jaya.
As per the author, when one understands the true nature of Dharma, the idea of Jaya & Vijaya, then he will be finally able to understand the Mahabharata.
I’ve read the Mahabharata several times before & so did the Geeta. But reading this retelling gave me another idea of how to see the world. It’s not just a story. It’s a SEA of KNOWLEDGE and WISDOM.
But speaking of the cons, I personally didn’t like the illustrations. It looked like cartoonish to me.
And finally, My Rating is 4.0/5.0.
So, let's start with some basic questions.
What is Mahabharata? Who was the author of this epic? Why he named his tale as Jaya, not Vijaya? Who were the Pandavas? Who were the Kauravas? And what we can learn from this great epic?
Mahabharata is the world's largest epic, in its present form it contains eighteen chapters and thousands of verses. It tells us about the story of the Pandavas, the Kauravas, and the other important kings who were once ruled the great land known as the bharata-varsha.
The author of this great epic was Krishna Dwaipayana aka Veda Vyasa.
Veda Vyasa named his tale as 'Jaya', because there are two kinds of victories. One is Vijaya, the material victory, other is Jaya, the spiritual victory. In the former there is a loser. And in the latter there are no losers. That's why he named his composition as Jaya, also known as the Mahabharata.
The Pandavas were the son of Pandu, kunti and madri. The name of the five Pandavas are as follows - Yudhishtira, Bhima, Arjun, Nakul and Sahadev.
The Pandavas were born by using the ancient Indian concept of 'Niyog'.
The sons of Dhritarashtra and Gandhari, were called the Kauravas. They had in total hundred sons and one daughter named as Dusshala.
We can learn lots of things from the Mahabharata. The latter is also known as the complete epic. In this epic, Veda Vyasa covered all the four aspects of human existence, Dharma (social conduct), Artha (economic activities), Kama (Pleasurable pursuits) and moksha (Spiritual activities). And by covering all these aspects of life, Veda Vyasa told us about our limitations and as well as how we can triumph over those limitations which stops us from being able to achieve our full potential.
Before reading this book I suggest you to read, The Ramayana and afterwards read The Mahabharata.
I will end with these lines :-
Jaya and Vijaya are the twins and the doorkeepers of vaikuntha, the abode of God. The meaning of their name is 'victory'. Find the difference between Jaya and Vijaya, and you will unravel the mystery of the world's greatest epic, The Mahabharata.
My Ratings : ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5)
I hope you like this, Thanks for reading, Jai Hind.
Of his best books, JAYA stands at the very top. It is, as the sub title hints at, a retelling of the great Indian epic The Mahabharata.
Pros ~ 1. It is NOT a biased retelling, unlike many of its kind. It brings to you almost all the prevailing narratives of the same story which helps you to form a better understanding of the characters as well as events.
2. Episodes are narrated in small chunks which make the reading process an enjoyable one.
3. Every chapter has a box at the end explaining various aspects of the things just discussed in that very chapter.
4. Lively illustratrations are a bonus.
Cons ~ I haven't found one.
Do yourself a favour and READ this book. It will be worth your time. 🙂
Top international reviews
This is one book I plan to read every year, for the rest of my life.
This book was truly a great introduction about the Hindu mythology for me. The book is divided into 18 parts, and the whole first part is used to outline certain laws and ancestral stories that play a contextual role later on into the story.
I loved this book! It's not heavy on Hindi jargon, and if there is no English translation/substitution for the word, it provides a nice, simple explanation of what they are. The notes at the end of each chapter also help to make sense of the story, and how they have different versions of that same story in certain parts of India, Nepal, Indonesia, etc. And they also provide cool cultural, social, or historical details about the story which was really cool!
So, if you're a white-washed south asian growing up in the US/UK/Canada, and want to learn more about Hindu mythology without much Hindi jargon, I would 100% recommend this book!
This version has some notes at the end of each chapter that make you comprehend a little bit more what you've read.
Rational explanation of mythological stories
Wide ranging references giving a broader perspective
Overall superb effort
Would also recommend his other book Sita
Just a note to readers: To get the best from this book I would suggest keeping a broad and detached mind while reading it and the less judgemental one is, the better - this may be especially true for those who have been exposed more to mainstream thoughts and concepts on the Epic and its key characters.
The Mahabharata itself--the classic tale of an ancient, cataclysmic war in North India--is incredibly moving. It asks (among a hundred other questions with which it challenges us), if God should appear on Earth in human form to speak directly to us--we violent beings who in spite of our best efforts seem always to destroy ourselves in the end-- what would he say?