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Myth = Mithya: A Handbook Of Hindu Mythology is a guide to unravel and understand the many myths and legends and the symbolism of the Hindu religion.
Summary Of The Book
Hinduism can be a puzzle or even an enigma to the uninitiated. There are so many different beliefs, so many rituals and so many myths and legends, it can be hard to follow. Myth = Mithya: A Handbook Of Hindu Mythology is an attempt by the author to shed light on this seeming tangle, to show the deeper meanings of the different stories. He explains about the Hindu Trinity and their Divine Consorts. He also goes into the puzzle of why Hindus believe in one Supreme Reality and yet claim the existence of 330 million Gods.
The book explains concepts like the Pitr, Jiva, and about the Devas and the Asuras. He explains the significance of various rituals. He discusses how the warrior-like Kali and the benign Gauri are different forms of the same Goddess. He also compares the roles and the powers of the Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. He goes into the idea behind the various avatars or incarnations of the Preserver, Vishnu. He examines why the Rama and Krishna avatars have assumed such significance.
Myth = Mithya: A Handbook Of Hindu Mythology also compares the two major epics, The Ramayana and The Mahabharata. It analyzes why the two avatars in the epics, Rama and Krishna, were so different. It shows that the age that these epics were set in demanded different perspectives to handle similar situations. This book is not a continuous narrative, it does not read like a novel. Instead, it is a source of reference for those who want to gain a deeper understanding of the stories and rituals and symbols that permeate the Hindu faith. The book is not aimed just at those who are non-Hindus. Even those who have been brought up in the Hindu faith can gain some deeper insights into their customs and beliefs through this book. Myth = Mithya: A Handbook Of Hindu Mythology also includes illustrations which are drawn by the author.
About Devdutt Pattanaik
Devdutt Pattanaik is a physician who turned his love for Indian mythology into his profession. Other books by this author include The Goddess In India: The Five Faces Of The Eternal Feminine, The Man Who Was A Woman And Other Queer Tales Of Hindu Lore, Indian Mythology: Tales, Symbols, And Rituals From The Heart Of The Subcontinent, and Hanuman: An Introduction.
Devdutt Pattanaik was born in 1970 in Mumbai. He graduated from Grant Medical College. He worked in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry for around 14 years. He then decided to use his passion for Hindu Mythology to write about it and use the stories as the base for teaching about leadership skills. He was invited to speak at the first TED Conference in India. He also did a show called Business Sutra on CNBC-TV18. This show taught business lessons from stories and incidents in The Ramayana and The Mahabharata.