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Jaya (English)

Author: Pattanaik
Paperback
Language: English
Length: 349 Pages
Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens Books
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Jaya (English) (Paperback) Price: Rs.270

The Mahabharata, India's greatest epic, is a huge, sweeping work and is the longest Sanskrit epic. It tells the story of the Kuru family, and the events that lead to the fratricidal Mahabharata War. It describes the events during the 18-day war and its aftermath.

In the Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata, Devdutt Pattanaik has condensed the epic into a small capsule. For those who do not know the story of the Mahabharata, this can be a good choice for a first book based on Mahabharata. What makes this book special is that it collects tales from various regional and folk versions in addition to the original Sanskrit composition. This book is divided into 108 chapters and is illustrated with around 250 simple line drawings done by the author himself.

The author draws the reader into an interesting retelling of the Mahabharata. The book contains many intriguing tales from other versions of the epic, not just the major regional versions, but also those used in enacting the epic in folk arts like Chattisgarh's Pandavani, Tamil Nadu's Terukuttu and Karnataka's Yakshagana.

The book contains stories of Aravan, Barbareek, Jaimini, Astika and Madhavi. It also highlights some intriguing traditions like the Draupadi temples in Tamilnadu where she is worshipped as a Goddess. It devotes pages to the Mahabharata versions of Sanskrit Classics like Shakuntalam and Ramayana.

The author also devotes a section to dating the Mahabharata War based on the detailed astronomical information provided in the book, like the position of certain constellations etc. By bringing together many prevalent versions of the Mahabharata, he gives a pan-Indian view of the epic that has shaped the history and culture of the country over millennia.

General Reception
The book has become a popular choice for those who want to read the story of the epic for the first time as well as those who want to know even more about the Mahabharata and its sweeping influence on the country's culture and traditions. This highlight of the book is its simple style and the author's own interpretations of various incidents in the epic.

About the Author
Devdutt Pattanaik is a doctor who shifted his focus to Indian mythology and their influence on the people of the country. He has written many books based on Indian epics and Puranas.

Devdutt Pattanaik has written other books based on Hindu epics and other related works. Some of his other books are:

  • Devi, the Mother-Goddess: an introduction
  • Shiva: an introduction
  • Vishnu: an introduction
  • The Goddess in India: the five faces of the eternal feminine
  • Hanuman: an introduction
  • The Man Who Was A Woman and other queer tales of Hindu lore
  • Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and fortune: an introduction

His Writing Style
Devdutt Pattanaik's style is simple and elegant, and he adds value by creating his own line drawing illustrations ? an unusual combination. He is not strictly traditional in his retelling, yet he remains true to the original spirit of the stories. He also explores the influence of the epics on Indian thought and their continued relevance to life, even today, thousands of years after the stories were written.

His Personal Life
Devdutt Pattanaik grew up in Mumbai and graduated with a degree in medicine from the Grant Medical College. He later studied Comparative Mythology at Mumbai University.

After working in the Healthcare industry for 14 years, he turned his attention to the wisdom and insights contained in the ancient Hindu texts. He started to write books and columns on the subject and has also delivered many lectures on Indian mythology.

Specifications of Jaya (English) (Paperback)

Contributors
Author Pattanaik
Author Info

Devdutt Pattanaik is a medical doctor by education, a leadership \consultant by profession, and a mythologist by passion. He has written \and lectured extensively on the nature of sacred stories, symbols and \rituals and their relevance in modern times. His books... Read More

Book Details
Publisher Harpercollins Childrens Books
Imprint Penguin Global
Publication Year 2011 October
ISBN-13 9780143104254
ISBN-10 014310425X
Language English
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 349 Pages
Dimensions
Width 7 inch
Height 9.01 inch
Depth 1.25 inch
Weight 644 g
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Book Reviews of Jaya (English)

TOP REVIEWS View All Top Reviews (212)

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★★★★★
★★★★★
Siddhartha Sharma
28 Sep 2011
A MUST READ..!!

I had always thought of reading and knowing the Mahabharata but somehow I just couldn't sit down and go through the traditional one. That is when I stumbled upon JAYA. And grateful as I am, this book is for all those who just want to know that little something about our culture and beliefs. The work put in by the author in gathering the facts will leave you absolutely stunned and once you are done with it you would feel like acting like an expert on hindu Mythology.....!!! Really it is that good...... So go ahead and grab your copy..... do not borrow it but Buy it..... it is one of the must... ()

I had always thought of reading and knowing the Mahabharata but somehow I just couldn't sit down and go through the traditional one. That is when I stumbled upon JAYA. And grateful as I am, this book is for all those who just want to know that little something about our culture and beliefs. The work put in by the author in gathering the facts will leave you absolutely stunned and once you are done with it you would feel like acting like an expert on hindu Mythology.....!!! Really it is that good...... So go ahead and grab your copy..... do not borrow it but Buy it..... it is one of the must...
I had always thought of reading and knowing the Mahabharata but somehow I just couldn't sit down and go through the traditional one. That is when I stumbled upon JAYA. And grateful as I am, this book is for all those who just want to know that little something about our culture and beliefs. The work put in by the author in gathering the facts will leave you absolutely stunned and once you are done with it you would feel like acting like an expert on hindu Mythology.....!!! Really it is that good...... So go ahead and grab your copy..... do not borrow it but Buy it..... it is one of the must haves in your classics.....! Happy Reading...!

9 of 10 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
Pranav Bhat
14 May 2013
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FANTASTIC BOOK- A MUST READ

Flipkart.. Good job again in delivering the book..

I have always been interested in human civilzation. Ramayan and Mahabharat are stories of our civilization. Devdutt Patnaik does a fantastic job of covering smallest of details of the great epic. He has covered generations before and after the Pandavas and Kauravas giving complete detail of their family line.

He also covers details about Suryavanshis and Chandravanshis. I always wondered what happened to Suryavanshis after Lord Ram.

The pictorial representation are fantastic. Just adds value to the wonderful book that the author has c...
()

Flipkart.. Good job again in delivering the book..

I have always been interested in human civilzation. Ramayan and Mahabharat are stories of our civilization. Devdutt Patnaik does a fantastic job of covering smallest of details of the great epic. He has covered generations before and after the Pandavas and Kauravas giving complete detail of their family line.

He also covers details about Suryavanshis and Chandravanshis. I always wondered what happened to Suryavanshis after Lord Ram.

The pictorial representation are fantastic. Just adds value to the wonderful book that the author has c...
Flipkart.. Good job again in delivering the book..

I have always been interested in human civilzation. Ramayan and Mahabharat are stories of our civilization. Devdutt Patnaik does a fantastic job of covering smallest of details of the great epic. He has covered generations before and after the Pandavas and Kauravas giving complete detail of their family line.

He also covers details about Suryavanshis and Chandravanshis. I always wondered what happened to Suryavanshis after Lord Ram.

The pictorial representation are fantastic. Just adds value to the wonderful book that the author has composed.

I love people's take on philosophy. I like the different perspectives of different people about life. Devdutt Patnaik in the last few chapters of the book has covered some philosophical points. I just loved them.

A must read for people who love mythology. ANd people who dont like mythology, will start liking mythology after reading this book. Non believers of god can read this as fiction and you will still learn and appreciate a lot of things in this book when you finish this book.

3 of 3 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
TANAY RAJPUROHIT
26 Jan 2012
One of the most insightful books on Hindu Mythology.

Devdutt Pattanaik has given one of the best insights into Mahabharata. The book provides with a fresh perspective into the great mythology and also increases the reader's understanding of the purpose of writing the epic. The author has not only painted a vivid picture of the events in the Mahabharata but also has clearly identified the lessons to be learned from it. Such a fine balance is difficult to come by and shows the extensive research that the author has put in. There is no doubt that the author has understood the epic better than many but what is laudable is the ease with which he i... ()

Devdutt Pattanaik has given one of the best insights into Mahabharata. The book provides with a fresh perspective into the great mythology and also increases the reader's understanding of the purpose of writing the epic. The author has not only painted a vivid picture of the events in the Mahabharata but also has clearly identified the lessons to be learned from it. Such a fine balance is difficult to come by and shows the extensive research that the author has put in. There is no doubt that the author has understood the epic better than many but what is laudable is the ease with which he i...
Devdutt Pattanaik has given one of the best insights into Mahabharata. The book provides with a fresh perspective into the great mythology and also increases the reader's understanding of the purpose of writing the epic. The author has not only painted a vivid picture of the events in the Mahabharata but also has clearly identified the lessons to be learned from it. Such a fine balance is difficult to come by and shows the extensive research that the author has put in. There is no doubt that the author has understood the epic better than many but what is laudable is the ease with which he imparts this wisdom to the readers.

3 of 3 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
Arun Vasan
03 Nov 2012
Intersting but...

The book is an easy read, captures the gist of the story, and takes interesting detours that not commonly seen in the standard canon. The book highlights and celebrates what we may find weird by modern mores. So far so good.

Some of the author's comments and observations may seem uber-bold (by say Rajaji's standards) and even provocative. However, the summaries/analysis accompanying each chapter, if one may call them so, seem quite shallow and heavily influenced by others such as Wendy Doniger. Most of these comments go like: "Rationalists say ...". Indeed, they strongly reek of...
()

The book is an easy read, captures the gist of the story, and takes interesting detours that not commonly seen in the standard canon. The book highlights and celebrates what we may find weird by modern mores. So far so good.

Some of the author's comments and observations may seem uber-bold (by say Rajaji's standards) and even provocative. However, the summaries/analysis accompanying each chapter, if one may call them so, seem quite shallow and heavily influenced by others such as Wendy Doniger. Most of these comments go like: "Rationalists say ...". Indeed, they strongly reek of...
The book is an easy read, captures the gist of the story, and takes interesting detours that not commonly seen in the standard canon. The book highlights and celebrates what we may find weird by modern mores. So far so good.

Some of the author's comments and observations may seem uber-bold (by say Rajaji's standards) and even provocative. However, the summaries/analysis accompanying each chapter, if one may call them so, seem quite shallow and heavily influenced by others such as Wendy Doniger. Most of these comments go like: "Rationalists say ...". Indeed, they strongly reek of powerpoint summaries one might see in the corporate world.

Sometimes, the rapid shifts in perspective - e.g., Krishna is God in some places and a very clever kingmaker immersed in realpolitic at others- is somewhat jarring. IMHO, the book tries to appeal somewhat to both spiritual and critical (scientific,academic,rational,etc.) thought processes, but ends up coming short on both. Having said that, it may appeal to some to see their heroes as mostly human.

Another thing which bothers me is this constant reference to Nagas/Asuras etc. as tribes who were subdued by the so-called Aryan rulers. St. George is supposed to have subdued dragons in the UK (he's their patron saint). So dragons were the original inhabitants of the UK, eh? I've found better scholarship on this topic from Edwin Bryant's books.

Overall, interesting book, worth a read, but I expected better.

5 of 6 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
G Venkatram
05 Feb 2014
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certified buyer
A retelling divorced from the true Spirit of Mahabharata

I purchased this book to have a easy and interesting read on the Mahabharata. However, I did not think it will be so much divorced from the Spirit of Mahabharata- Spirituality. Any attempt to retell the Epic without dealing with the Spiritual significance of the events, characters and portrayal is bound to fall far short of a faithful retelling.

Mahabharata puts forth every possible human predicament before our eyes, in the form of its characters and situations and tells us the correct way of dealing with them through the various Spiritual messages scattered all over it (including the Bha...
()

I purchased this book to have a easy and interesting read on the Mahabharata. However, I did not think it will be so much divorced from the Spirit of Mahabharata- Spirituality. Any attempt to retell the Epic without dealing with the Spiritual significance of the events, characters and portrayal is bound to fall far short of a faithful retelling.

Mahabharata puts forth every possible human predicament before our eyes, in the form of its characters and situations and tells us the correct way of dealing with them through the various Spiritual messages scattered all over it (including the Bha...
I purchased this book to have a easy and interesting read on the Mahabharata. However, I did not think it will be so much divorced from the Spirit of Mahabharata- Spirituality. Any attempt to retell the Epic without dealing with the Spiritual significance of the events, characters and portrayal is bound to fall far short of a faithful retelling.

Mahabharata puts forth every possible human predicament before our eyes, in the form of its characters and situations and tells us the correct way of dealing with them through the various Spiritual messages scattered all over it (including the Bhagavad Gita). It speaks about vengeance and the futility of it. It speaks about valour and the futility of it. It states emphatically the importance of having a personal stake or interest in the riches offered by this world and at the same time points out how futile it would be to hug on to it for ever. It puts every aspect in proper perspective and measures what is Dharma in each situation. A retelling has to succinctly deal with the philosophical and spiritual import of all this.

The crux of Mahabharata war was- its conclusion was obvious and foregone before the actual war. That is the essential beauty of it. It was decided before the war that Draupadi will marry five Pandavas and because of them the kauravas will be killed...It was decided before the war that Drupada's son will kill Drona...It was decided that the same Drupada's daughter (who became son) will be instrumental in killing Bhishma. It was decided before the war that Sri Krishna will sit with Pandavas and his army will be with Kauravas- and that none can equal Sri Krishna. It is not just a fight between Dharma and Adharma. It is a whole lot of other things. The destruction of each of the important character is brought out to be the result of the character's own past deeds and actions.

In many ways this war resembles human life in this earth. The final outcome (like the war) is known- that we will all end one day. However, it is of prime importance that we live (perform the war). This is the central message that can be beautifully read on to the entire story of Mahabharata.

Without this, no retelling would achieve what it set out to achieve.

2 of 2 users found this review helpful.

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★★★★★
★★★★★
ashok yedla
22 Aug 2014
Jaya

The book is an amazing read both for people who have no knowledge about the Mahabharata as well for people who have an idea about it. (View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
Dyuti Ananthanara...
18 Aug 2014
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A Good Read

I had ordered some 7-8 books, and this was delivered to me a bit late. However, it was mentioned that Flipkart was out of stock and it will take a week, so no issues there. It was delivered in excellent condition to me. The copy is an authentic one.

As for the book, I think it is worth a read. I...
(View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
Krishnakumar T K
14 Aug 2014
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It's pleasure to read

Mahabharata is the epic which has been read or heard by millions of people for the past thousands of years. It is retold in different languages adding various flavours to the original Sanskrit scripture.

The author has rewritten the entire epic in a simple and straight forward way. He has added...
(View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
Sruthilaya
10 Aug 2014
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Amazing read

It's an amazing book. A must read. Don't think twice go ahead and read this well researched and well written book. (View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
suraj gupta
01 Aug 2014
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A true retelling of Mahabharata

This book takes you to the journey of mahabharata again and in different way. It explains in between the lines of the various events very well. A must read for those interested in mythologies. (View complete review)

    Book: Jaya (English) by Pattanaik
    ISBN Number: 014310425X, 9780143104254, 978-0143104254

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