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Jaya : An Illustrated Retelling Of The Mahabharata

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Language: English
Length: 372 Pages
Publisher: Penguin Books India
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Jaya : An Illustrated Retelling Of The Mahabharata By Devdutt Pattanaik
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Jaya : An Illustrated Retelling Of The Mahabharata (Paperback) Price: Rs.280

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 (Paperback)

Contributors
Author Devdutt Pattanaik
Book Details
Publisher Penguin Books India
Imprint PENGUIN
Publication Year 2010
ISBN-13 9780143104254
ISBN-10 014310425X
Language English
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 372 Pages
Dimensions
Width 6.90 inch
Height 1.20 inch
Weight 612 g
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Book Reviews of Jaya : An Illustrated Retelling Of The Mahabharata

4.6
Average Rating
Based on 560 ratings
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Most Helpful Reviews (5 of 197)

26 August 10
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Jaya

Outstanding book. If you have read Devdutt before, he won't disappoint you with this one. Rich in depth, fluent in language, and simple in style. The greatest epic ever told. Devdutt simplifies it for us to digest the complex meanings and semiotics of The Mahabharata.

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80% of 25 users found this review helpful.
16 September 10
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Jaya - The illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata

The book making a very enjoyable reading - more so because of the tit -bits of information and the trivia , the pages are peppered with . Very well written and gripping for a story told so many times and so many ways .

The mention in Dharma about -

1. The sense of casteism seems to have developed strong roots then . The fact of three tier society of Rajas , Priests and commoners and one cannot and should not move from one to another may not be relevant in today's world

2. The fact that people should diligently follow the four stages of life - Bhrammacharya , Grihastacharya , ashramacharya and Vanaprashtha and that people should be disciplined to do so is gain not rlevant in today's world .

However a fantastic read and the way the stories are contexualised and weaved into the book with present day relevance - too good to miss out .

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71% of 17 users found this review helpful.
08 October 10
Post modern approach

This book is extremely powerful....it does not insult the intelligence of the reader nor tries to 'sell' Mahabharata to children by being defensive and apologetic or editing out controversial episodes, as one observes in Rajagopalachari's books or in BR chopra's teleserial......very intelligent for the young generation....everyone knows Bhisma's story but then Devdutt says - he is the young son who gave up sex so that the old father could remarry - such a radical but honest approach.

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85% of 13 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
28 September 11
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 haves in your classics.....! Happy Reading...!

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8 of 9 users found this review helpful.
15 September 10
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jaya ho

dev has done a great service to mahabharat by introducing it in short and interesting form while not losing the strands of the story.
the various viewpoints in regional variants have also been taken care of in the book.
overall a collector's item

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7 of 8 users found this review helpful.

Most Recent Reviews

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★★★★★
★★★★★
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A must read for someone who dosnt want to go too much in depth & still cover everything necessary

This is a gem of a book.
It is perfect for someone like me who dsnt want to go in depth of the great epic but still want...

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15 April 14
★★★★★
★★★★★
Thoughtful and Unbiased

I like the way Author tries to present the book objectively and communicates also all the possible references of the topics in...

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15 April 14
★★★★★
★★★★★
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Catching ones interest

My son went thru the book in under 3 days and has read it several times. It has completely caught his attention and knowledge o...

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15 April 14
★★★★★
★★★★★
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Awesome Story telling of Grt Epic : Mahabharata

I really like the story telling or Devdutt patnayak about our great Epic : Mahabharat, where you find the all characters are b...

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14 April 14
★★★★★
★★★★★
An epic which is relevant today - retold for today

The Mahabharata is an epic which has stood the test of time - covering philosophy, domestic matters, war, and pretty much every...

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14 April 14
    Book: Jaya : An Illustrated Retelling Of The Mahabharata by Devdutt Pattanaik
    ISBN Number: 014310425X, 9780143104254, 978-0143104254

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