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Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata (English)

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Language: English
Length: 372 pages
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
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Key Features of Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata (English)

  • Language: English
  • Author: Devdutt Pattanaik
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata (English) (Paperback) Price: Rs. 399

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.

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Specifications of Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata (English) (Paperback)

Book Details
Publisher Penguin Publishing Group
ISBN-10 014310425X
Imprint Penguin Global
Number of Pages 372 Pages
Publication Year 2010 October
Language English
ISBN-13 9780143104254
Binding Paperback
Dimensions
Weight 1.42 Pounds (US)
Height 8.99 Inches (US)
Width 1.09 Inches (US)
Depth 1.25 inch
Contributors
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 include The Book \of Ram, Myth=Mithy...View More
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 include The Book \of Ram, Myth=Mithya: A Handbook of Hindu Mythology and The Pregnant \King and The Book of Kali is based on his talks.
Author Devdutt Pattanaik
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Reviews of Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata (English) (Paperback)

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★★★★★
★★★★★

Abhishek Chowdhary

Jan 15, 2016

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certified buyer

You won't regret it even if you have read the original.

Devdutt has put his knowledge of Indian Mythological in bits and pieces as footnotes,which at times become more interesting than the text.
Coming to Mahabharat content, author has maintained a very logical sequence and also enthused many folk stories aptly(,ie why "Retelling") in the content. (View complete review)
★★★★★
★★★★★

Meghna Tripathi

Dec 28, 2015

Finest book available on Mahabharata in out times

This is the finest book available on Mahabharata in out times. This gives not only covers Mahabharata of Vedvyas but also many variations of it. Writer also attempted to find the relevance in modern times.
★★★★★
★★★★★

charanpreet singh

Dec 17, 2015

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certified buyer

Beauty!!!

This book is so beautifully written that I read this in 2 days. Must buy for anyone looking to understand the Mahabharata.
Disclaimer: You'll be glued to the book till you finish it!! :P
★★★★★
★★★★★

Arti Survar

Dec 9, 2015

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certified buyer

Disappointing.

No 'out of the box' views! Written in modern times, I expected the author to have inserted some enlightening, modern view of the pathetic, unreasonable, ridiculous ending of the Mahabharata, but there were none.
★★★★★
★★★★★

Visitor

Oct 14, 2015

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certified buyer

Jaya

Most of the stories are already known if you have read CR's mahabaratha or the original one. No surprises at all. Made boring reading after a while.

Top reviews

View all top reviews(251)

'Top Reviews' lists the most relevant product reviews only. Show ALL instead?

★★★★★
★★★★★

Arun Vasan

Nov 3, 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 powerpoint su
★★★★★
★★★★★

Siddhartha Sharma

Sep 28, 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 ha
★★★★★
★★★★★

Sony Swamy

Jan 11, 2012

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certified buyer

A research item

A good research work, complete with family hierarchy maps, and relationships between characters in the Mahabharata. A contemporary style of writing. But that's it.

It lacks the passion, emotions, and the spiritual message be found in a version of Mahabharata written by a devotee or a yogi. And it trivialises some deeper aspects; like Brahmacharya is written as just giving up of sex.

It isnt completely illustrated, as i expected. Has a few pictoral depictions in some pages.
★★★★★
★★★★★

G Venkatram

Feb 5, 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 Bhagav
★★★★★
★★★★★

Parth Pooniwala

Sep 22, 2013

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certified buyer

Spectacular book

This has to be one of the best books on Mahabharat.
The best part of book is it is impartial and factual. Also every chapter end with few bullet points, trying to connect events and customs in story, with probable prevailing customes in reality around that period. It interprets Mahabharat not just as a stoy, but also from a rational point of view.
A Must-Read !
★★★★★
★★★★★

Sumit Pandey

Nov 16, 2012

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certified buyer

True "Jaya" in totality!

All I have is Respect for Mr.Devdutt for his brilliant understanding of mythology and mastery in portraying the most complex thoughts in the simplest , believable and UN-offending manner.
Jaya is mahabharat the biggest epic ever written uncovered to the roots...
I loved reading every single word from it...like I was discovering my own past.
Its a must read for all mythology buffs!
★★★★★
★★★★★

Swati Gupta

Jan 11, 2012

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Enlightening

I am impressed by the flipkart's service. I ordered the book in the morning and received it next afternoon. I am an ardent reader of Mahabharat. I have read it many times from different sources, I also have great intrest in Indiam mythology which prompted me to pick this up. And I must say I was pleased to make this choice.

There are certain revelations which I have never came across before. Language is lucid and just allows you to flow easily with it. What made an impact on me was how writer has emphasized on the symbolical importance of any action taken by the characters of that era. One c
★★★★★
★★★★★

Pamela

Jan 6, 2012

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certified buyer

Amazing book

Devdutt Pattanaik has taken care to make Jaya an entertaining as well as a rich learning experience. For each chapter, he has included beautiful sketches pertaining to the story and many important historical facts also! Hats off to the author; Mahabharata was never so much fun!
As for Flipkart, thank you once gain for the prompt service! Keep up the good work, folks!
★★★★★
★★★★★

gagan gc

Feb 5, 2014

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All characters and incidents portrayed in negative manner

I purchased this book seeing overwhelming positive reviews on flipkart. After going through this book,I felt complete disappointment as there is no positive take away from this book. Mahabharat is intended to give positive life lessons.This book completely falls flat in portraying characters as inspiring one,instead this book describes every character in the epic with a ulterior motive and every incident with bad moral take away.

Finally,This is complete waste of money and time.I never wrote a review for any product I purchased but I felt need to write and inform buyers about this book as th
★★★★★
★★★★★

K Ashhar

Oct 14, 2011

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Beautiful compilation

The book beautifully encompasses the various stories and characters that make up the Mahabharata. What I find the most interesting is the small 'notes' type blocks with each story which make you think in the other direction for the reasons behind an incident, its implications on the future, and what we can derive out of it. Its not at all a boring droning story, but very interactively written.
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