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Book review | Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata by Devdutt Pattanaik

The Hindu epic Mahabharata is a timeless story that has been told and retold for centuries. It’s a complex and fascinating epic that has something to offer everyone. It is relevant to people of all cultures and religions, and it can teach us a lot about ourselves and the world around us.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Mahabharata is not just a story; it is also a guide to living a good life. It teaches lessons about dharma, karma, and the nature of reality. It also explores complex themes such as war, peace, love, and loss.

Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata by Devdutt Pattanaik is a concise and beautifully illustrated retelling of one of the world’s greatest epics. The book tells the story of the Pandavas and Kauravas, two sets of cousins who fight a long and bloody war for control of the kingdom of Hastinapura. Along the way, the reader is introduced to a cast of unforgettable characters, including the wise and compassionate Krishna, the cunning and ruthless Duryodhana, and the beautiful and tragic Draupadi.

Jaya is an illustrated retelling of the Mahabharata, one of the longest and most complex epics in the world. The book is divided into 18 chapters, each of which tells a different story from the epic.

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Pattanaik’s writing has been praised for its ability to make mythology relevant to modern readers. He has been called “the mythologist for the masses” and “the most popular mythologist in India.” His books have been used in schools and universities around the world to teach mythology and culture.

One of the things that makes Jaya stand out is its illustrations. Pattanaik himself is an accomplished artist, and his drawings bring the characters and events of the Mahabharata to life. They are a work of art in themselves. The illustrations are not just decorative; they also help to tell the story and provide insights into the characters’ motivations. They are simple but evocative, and they perfectly capture the spirit of the story.

Another thing that makes Jaya unique is its commentary. Pattanaik provides insights into the Mahabharata from a variety of perspectives, including Hindu mythology, philosophy, and history. He also discusses the relevance of the Mahabharata to modern-day life.

The Mahabharata is a complex and challenging text, but it is also a rewarding one. It is a story that can teach us a lot about ourselves, the world around us, and the nature of reality. Pattanaik’s retelling is faithful to the original text, but he also brings his own unique insights and perspectives to the story. He explores the themes of good versus evil, duty versus desire, and the nature of power. He also provides insights into the Hindu faith and mythology.

Jaya is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the Mahabharata. It is a well-written and engaging book that is both informative and thought-provoking. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in Indian mythology, the Mahabharata, or simply a good story.

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