One of the sweetest memories of my childhood is my Grandmother telling me legendary tales of Mahabharata, Ramayana but like short stories where each deity was like a superhuman character. I would sit attentively, spellbound by them. One thing always had me wondering though was what if each of these characters had their own take on the story? Where each one has a different perspective of what happened?
This provoked me to read more. Like a dedicated bookworm, I started biting into every book I could find on Hindu Mythology. I wanted to understand the different takes, different characters and different writers had on the same story.
So here are few books on Hindu Mythology that a beginner can read to analyze Hindu Mythology in a different light:
A King, a man, Purushottam Ram has always been a debated character in Hindu Mythology and among mythologists. He was given the title of ‘ekam-patni-vrata’ which mean ‘devoted to a single wife.’ But he is also associated with the most unfair act of deserting his wife in the forest to protect family reputation. So was he, in fact, dedicated to her?
In this book, Devdutt Pattanaik explains the Ramayana, different versions of it written or passed orally in different times, in different places, by different poets, each one trying to solve this debate in its own creative way.
Mahabharata, the biggest war ever known to mankind; the story of Pandavas and Kauravas. There are a lot of amazing characters in this legendary tale though that are often forgotten. One of these characters is Draupadi or Panchalli.
Chitra Banerjee has written a breathtaking half myth, half history tale of Mahabharata narrated by Panchalli. The Palace of Illusion will take you on to a journey of a woman who had it all and yet was deprived.
Rise of Devas is truly what its name suggests. The book that narrates the tale of devas uprising. It’s a concept of fiction for the non-judgmental intellectuals who love brainstorming ideas and analogies. The writer has painted a new picture of who were the asuras and how the doctrine of evil and good emerged. This book will leave you wondering until the end, what is right and what is wrong.
4. The Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi
For anyone looking to fall in love with the Hindu Mythology, this is where you will find it. The story of a man who turned into a legend.
These books will bring a fresh perspective on the tale of the God of gods, Shiva. You will get a chance to see the world through the eyes of various different characters. Amish has carried along the original essence of Shiva’s story and explained how he was not God but a man with a Karma so inspiring that people could not help but bow their heads in front of him. The books are a beautiful sync of the traditional tales along with a modern take; blended to perfection.
Watch out for the next list of modern books on Hindu Mythology you must read, until then I hope you will enjoy these amazing books.
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