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Jaya : An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata – Devdutt Pattanaik

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Description

High above the sky stands Swarga, paradise,
abode of the gods. Still above is Vaikuntha,
heaven, abode of God.

The doorkeepers of Vaikuntha are the twins,
Jaya and Vijaya, both whose names
mean ‘victory’. One keeps you in Swarga;
the other raises you into Vaikuntha.

In Vaikuntha there is bliss forever, in Swarga there
is pleasure for only as long as you deserve.
What is the difference between Jaya and Vijaya?
Solve this puzzle and you will
solve the mystery of the Mahabharata.

In this enthralling retelling of India’s greatest epic, the Mahabharata originally known as Jaya, Devdutt Pattanaik seamlessly weaves into a single narrative plots from the Sanskrit classic as well as its many folk and regional variants, including the Pandavani of Chhattisgarh, Gondhal of Maharashtra, Terukkuttu of Tamil Nadu and Yakshagana of Karnataka.

Richly illustrated with over 250 line drawings by the author, the 108 chapters abound with little-known details such as the names of the hundred Kauravas, the worship of Draupadi as a goddess in Tamil Nadu, the stories of Astika, Madhavi, Jaimini, Aravan and Barbareek, the Mahabharata version of the Shakuntalam and the Ramayana, and the dating of the war based on astronomical data.

With clarity and simplicity, the tales in this elegant volume reveal the eternal relevance of the Mahabharata, the complex and disturbing meditation on the human condition that has shaped Indian thought for over 3000 years.

About the Author

DEVDUTT PATTANAIK writes, illustrates and lectures on the relevance of mythology in modern times. He has, since 1996, written over fifty books and 1000 columns on how stories, symbols and rituals construct the subjective truth (myths) of ancient and modern cultures around the world. His books with Penguin Random House India include Myth=Mithya: Decoding Hindu Mythology, The Book of Ram, Olympus: An Indian Retelling of the Greek Myths, Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana, Shyam: An Illustrated Retelling of the Bhagavata and the Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik Series, among others.

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