If you are bought up in Hindu family like me, the stories from Mahabharata can never escape you. Such is a cult of Mahabharata in Indian society that every sub-plot and character has maintained a metaphoric reference in the lives.
Jaya is the ancient name of the epic, probably the name given Vyasa himself, who is credited to be author of the epic. In the adaptation of television series of Mahabharat produced by BR Chopra, the story is narrated by body less figure called “Samay” (Time). In this book, the story is narrated to Janamejaya (Great-Grand son of Arjun) to re-consider the mass killing of Nagas that he had ordered. Then this great epic of love, hate, revenge, family drama, murder, death, war and redemption was narrated to him.
Dr. Devdutt Pattnaik, who has authored many mythological books, has beautifully compiled this book. Every episode is complemented with folk tales from different parts of India. There are many explanations like why Draupadi is worshiped in Tamil Nadu or Duryodhana is worshiped in Uttranchal or Barbareek is worshiped in Rajasthan. The spiritual understanding of Heaven, Hell, Vaikuntha, dharma , Karma , re-birth etc is explained throughout the book.
Also the book has a small summary of Gita, which is narrated by Lord Krishna to mighty warrior Arjuna. Also the book tells why Karna is the most tragic hero in the history, or how Shadeva got all the knowledge of the world. In the story of Devas, Asuras, Gods and Demons, Devdutt protected the human aspect of the story. There are also visible illustration in the book, similar to Myth= Mythya by same author and folk reference like Devdutt’s Pregnant King.
Place of Illusion, another book in English based on Mahabharata is also recommended if you like this genre.
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