The Archer

Indian Mythology 13 Comments


Shiva raises the bow Pinaka and destroys the three worlds with a single arrow. This is why Shiva is called Tripurantaka or destroyer of three cities. The cities were said to belong to demons and could fly leading to speculation that this is the story of flying saucers and alien invasions. This story is also an allegory.

Three worlds = objective, subjective,  and the rest

Arrow = yoga

  • Dear Dr. Pattnaik
    Is there any tale which establishes the coming into existence of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva? or have these 3 forces been omnipresent?
    Yet there would be some event which brings them forth to the conscience?
    is there any such tale on these?

    • There is no certain answer in mythology. Ever. But you could read the tale of the ‘re-awakening of Narayana’ in my books Myth=Mithya and 7 secrets from Hindu Calendar art.

  • Why does everything always need to have a meaning? Or in other words, why do we have to go around looking for meaning in everything? Why can’t things just be? Taken at face-value? Like this illustration for example… why did you have to say that it’s an allusion to yoga and the three worlds? It was so much simpler when I saw it just as an episode in mythology. In trying us see it from a different perspective, I’ve now lost that simple pleasure which I derived from this artwork and the piece of trivia that it depicts.

    • Because we are humans we seek meaning…not everyone has to….everyone has the freedom to shut their ears to deconstruction….it is a valid option.

      • Srinivas

        Hi Devdutt ji,

        I read different blogs and watch videos in you tube.. I have a habit of reading the comments section..I find some kind of people everywhere, who criticize others ideas and say its their birth right to do so.. I see these shit pickers who always pick some shit out of everything.. Even I find these people in my work place too.. Is there any article/ story in mythology which emphasizes on this kind of behavior.. and how someone in the story overcomes it..??

        • Devdutt

          Everyone is entitled to their point of view…and you are entitled to ignore them

  • amit tiwari

    Is it possible to get ur collection in HINDI language.?
    plz provide glossary of ur HINDI ARTICLES AND MATERIALS also ur videos.



    • Devdutt

      Not yet…but we are hoping to get publishers.

  • raj

    i watch the serial mahadeva which has your concept aswell ,i like the same but the shukracharya shown in the same does not give strenght to the whole serial as according to my view shukracharya was also one of the great sage of the era

    • Devdutt

      The TV soap medium has its own demands on which I have no control

  • Hello Dr. Pattanaik,

    My father was reading your book ’99 Thoughts on Ganesha’, and he introduced me to your writing. I totally appreciate the work that you are doing on disseminating the Indian mythological thoughts and stories through very lucidly written books, and the most amazing illustrations. This is the best work that one can do in this day and age.

    I gifted ‘Vishnu’ to my Dad on his birthday this year.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Jit Rambhiya

    Hi Devdutt ji,

    Any possibility of decoding Bhavgvatam?

  • Pramod Kumar

    The three cities Tripura , in my view are , Sleep, Awake and Dream, the three states of Consciousness. Shiva achieved higher state above those. Shiva represents a higher or highest state of spiritual aim. maybe this illustration or story is a guide or map for spiritual progress. specially how to use time and space as a weapon or tool. Thanks for the tv program.