• File Size: 5369 KB
  • Print Length: 373 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 014310425X
  • Publisher: Penguin (August 16, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014310425X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143104254
  • ASIN: B008G2EEH4

Book 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 Chattisgarh, 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.
Click Here to Buy Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata

Book Review

Growing up in India it is impossible to have not heard the story of Mahabharat. One has read the scaled down version of the epic in school, watched the numerous television series made on the story and generally known what to expect when someone says Mahabharat...till you pick up this book! Devdutt Pattanaik has made the old tale come alive in its day of origin.

The story is nothing new, but the light in which he describes each happening is absolutely different. The context in which the actions are seen today are so different from the context that they must have occurred in all those ages ago. The regional differences in the tale make for interesting reading as does the status of women in the olden days. The objective manner in which the author deals with each character, Pandav or Kaurav, good or bad, is in itself an education.

Even if you think you know the story of the Mahabharat, you must read this book to gain a better understanding of how it is not merely a story of truth and evil, but of many shades of grey in between. Fantastic job by the author!

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