Thursday, January 26 2017, 02:14:02
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Shreeya Kishanpuria Agarwal

JWB Intern

Our Blogger Leaves THIS Question Open For Krishna Himself At Devdutt Pattanaik’s JLF Session

  • JWB Post
  •  January 22, 2017


If you attended his earlier sessions on Jaya and Sita, you would know why Devdutt Pattanaik ‘s latest gathering at JLF, was to me personally, a disappointment.

But hey, that’s just me. An Indian Epic lover. His previous books have dealt with stories revolving around Mahabharata and Ramayana. Stories of Sita and Draupadi, so imbibed in our history and heritage, felt closer to heart and mind. But this latest offering, Olympus, brings forward stories from the Greek mythology and draws parallels and perpendiculars to its Indian counterpart. Not exactly exciting me.

But the fans there thought otherwise. Please don’t boo me. Free speech remember?!

Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik is an Indian physician turned leadership consultant, mythologist, author and communicator whose works focus largely on the areas of myth, religion, mythology, and also management.

His session today largely emphasized on the similarities and disparities between the Greeks and Indian mythologies.

The hall was packed. I spotted Shobhaa De somewhere in the crowd looking helplessly for a seat. Nuh uh! Won’t get one today. I sat through all my sessions on the grass.

What was most interesting was the number of little school kids his talk attracted. Devdutt has to be credited for bringing back the stories of Ram, Sita, and Shikhandi back into the lives of young Indian readers and not just as a story to know, but a story to think about and think with. He is offering young minds a torch to question the past and search for its relevance in the presence.

A fun moment: Devdutt referring to the current political scenario in UP as inspired by Greek story telling. There’s always feud between father and son for power and the son always wins.

“It’s not that simple in the Indian epics,” he says. “Ramayana is about the young submitting to the wills of their elders while Mahabharata kills the teachers and the brothers.” 

Ambiguous like the Indian Nod.

The session ended with the usual Q&A and no. I didn’t get the mic this time. And I was really throwing up my hands.

Do you want to know what my question was in any case? Good thing I have a blog and maybe someone will listen!

I was reading Jaya yesterday, and in the chapter Bloodshed, Devdutt’s description of the battle scene is horrid. Dead bodies were strewn everywhere. Arjuna’s dilemma was understandable. I cannot fathom how Krishna managed to justify this. Innocent lives lost. Yes, I don not understand The Gita yet.

But bring this to the modern context and see the wars that are destroying homes everywhere. How does one passively sit back and think of an act of war destroying a family as a passage for the soul from one body to another?

Krishna. Answer.

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