So, what does really happen if you are an Indian and don't understand Sanskrit? Chances are, you may grow up to be a fake mythologist like Devdutt Pattanaik. It is a matter of shame that Indians grow up reading the interpretation of our mythologies and other scriptures of only western authors and then grow up … Continue reading What happens when you don’t understand Sanskrit
If I were asked to have only one post on the current AtoZ theme, mera gaon mera desh, I would have this one. It is a book review of ‘India: a sacred Geography’. The book was written by Diana L. Eck - an award winning professor of comparative religion and Indian Studies at Harvard University. … Continue reading The Idea of India
In my first article of this series I have mentioned about the tradition of Boita Bandana and Bali Jatra that commemorate the glorious maritime adventures of Odias in South East Asia. The businessmen who engaged in such maritime trade were known as sadhabas. There is a popular folk tale in Odisha about one of sadhaba … Continue reading The Missing History of Hindustan
In India along with books of chick-lit genre written by the ilks of Chetan Bhagat, the books of another genre that sell well are those based on the characters of our mythologies like Ramayana and Mahabharata. Some authors like Devdutt Patnaik call their books as re-tellings, which of course is nothing new. Retelling is perhaps … Continue reading how far can one deviate in retelling our mythologies?
The Little Clay Cart Some of the interesting books I have read are associated with their own interesting stories about how I came across the books or, in what circumstances I read the books. While helping my father-in-law arranging his home library a couple of years back I came across an Odia version of the … Continue reading How I met my books
The fare comes to Rs. 492. I hand over a five hundred rupee note. While searching diligently for the change to return, the Ola driver smiles sheepishly and says, 'Sir, five star please'.. Let me simplify this for you. There are two kinds of reviews. Influenced reviews and honest reviews. Or, paid reviews and honest … Continue reading To buy or not to buy
Post independence we can say our constitution defines the idea of India, apart from its physical boundries carved out through historical corrections and blunders. But the idea of India is an ancient one, as ancient as perhaps when efforts were taken to sanctify its mountains, rivers and all other important natural landmarks and link those with local/pan Indian deities and events of our great epics. It is not great kings or factors like language or ethnicity that created and sustained the idea of India, but rather the footsteps of the humble pilgrims.
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“A specialty of India’s landscape is that all its physical features such as rivers, mountains and seashores, are associated with myths and stories, ranging from local to pan Indian, from obscure tales to famous legends known throughout the length the breadth of the country,” writes Durga Prasad Dash
There have been numerous western scholars who have written books about India and Hinduism. Most of them have tried to see India through the lenses of either orthodox Christian values or liberal western values. Having done away with the pagan Gods at the advent of Christianity, it baffled the Europeans who came to India to see a thriving civilization with polytheistic beliefs and multicultural identities. However, instead of probing India’s cultural roots and taking a holistic view, some authors focused selectively on only the negative aspects of Indian society such as the caste system, and tried to establish that their own culture…
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