Myth = Mithya

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A Handbook of Hindu Mythology

Hindus have one God.
They also have 330 million gods: male gods, female gods, personal gods, family gods, household gods, village gods, gods of space and time, gods for specific castes and particular professions, gods who reside in trees, in animals, in minerals, in geometrical patterns and in man-made objects.
Then there are a whole host of demons.
But no Devil.

In this groundbreaking book Dr Devdutt Pattanaik, one of India’s most popular mythologists, seeks an answer to these apparent paradoxes and unravels an inherited truth about life and death, nature and culture, perfection and possibility. He retells sacred Hindu stories and decodes Hindu symbols and rituals, using a unique style of commentary, illustrations and diagrams. We discover why the villainous Kauravas went to heaven and the virtuous Pandavas (all except Yudhishtira) were sent to hell; why Rama despite abandoning the innocent Sita remains the model king; why the blood-drinking Kali is another form of the milk-giving Gauri; and why Shiva wrenched off the fifth head of Brahma.

Constructed over generations, Hindu myths serve as windows to the soul, and provide an understanding of the world around us. The aim is not to outgrow myth, but to be enriched and empowered by its ancient, potent and still relevant language.

Price Rs. 250/-

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  • Amit Tewary

    I have reservations about the way complex Hindu Culture is understood by writers, especially the intellectual snobs who dominate the Indian media today. I should admit that it was with great hesitation that I bought this book at Mumbai airport. But after having gone through this book, I recommend this as a brilliant piece of work, a must read for all Indophiles. This book moves elegantly through the maze of Hindu symbols, siphons relevant information from plethora of ancient texts and makes a beautiful collage. I have learnt a lot from this book ……….

  • Denim

    Must read for all those who want to know deeper meaning behind mythological stories, symbols and rituals. Reminded me of my childhood time with my grandmother.

  • Aashu Madhan

    I am completely awed by the book and moreso with the way the ideas are compiled and presented by Dr.Pattanaik. This book is like a modern mans Ready Reckoner to Mythology.

    I used to hear these stories from my grandmother (many many years back) and since she passed away (many many years back) there was no one to validate these stories and no hope of reviving the logic attached to these mythological stories.

    Dr.Pattanaik has re-told all my grandmothers stories with greater detail (than my grandmother) and with such perfection that i feel there should be some mechanism through which i could email these stories to her (wherever she is). But the brighter side is, i will be in a better position to convey them to my grandchildren. I am sure Brahma, Vishnu, Shiv and Dr.Pattanaik will help me in this mission.

  • Neelesh

    I was never fond of reading books till I read this one.

    It was pretty informative and I am going to have a second read too.

    Its very well organised and you feel like reading the pages non stop. :)

  • vinod

    Hello Mr. Devdutt,

    Have you planned to release a Hindi language copy of this book. I would like to read this in Hindi and I believe it will be beneficial for other Indian reader who can’t read English.

  • I will have to Agree with Aashu. This is indeed a ready recknor for Hindu Mythology.

    I’ve never been overly religious, though I’m surrounded by those who believe in mindlessly repeating every single ritual they can summon from their memories, without stopping to validate it. thus, it was apprehension I picked the book up for reading. And voila, from 2nd page onward, I just KNEW that I was gonna enjoy reading this.

    Those of us, who read, heard stories from their grandparents; those who thought they knew what being a Hindu means; to those who have NO idea where we all come from, this is THE book to read. It freshens up your memories, clarifies your doubts and most of all, explains to you why Hinduism, is undoubtely the finest way of looking at living being. (whether its a religion or the greatest one, is a matter of argument, in which I dont wanna dwell)

    Reading Myth = Mithya, is like eating home cooked meal in a foreign country. You are not only satiating your taste buds, but are also reliving times gone by.

    Hats off to Dr. Devdutt, for writing such a commendable book AND doing it in such a non-controversial way…

    Keep up the good work…and Good luck for your upcoming books, am looking forward to reading them.

    i agree with Vinod, that you should consider translating the book to Hindi as well as other regional languages. This book should reach to all the audience that it can get.

    • Devdutt

      I want to translate….but things are not falling into place

      • anu

        can you please tell where Ican get this book in Dubai or in Trivandrum Kerala

        • Devdutt

          Via Flipkart.com it can be delivered anywhere or call the number 09650-457-457

      • Ritu

        Hello Dr. Pattnaik..I have jus started reading your book and I was wondering if you have contemplated translating it in French. I have a masters degree in French literature and I know many French people who would be very interested in reading a French version of your fascinating book ” myth is mithya”. I would be willing to
        take on the translation myself as it would be a thoroughly enjoyable exercise

  • Neelkanth D. Mehta

    Most of the stories written were known to me as child. But the writers connections and interpretations maka a difference.

  • basant jain

    purchased in english
    kindly inform whether hindi language edition is available or not

  • Shiva Karadi

    This book made me difference in my life !..It has great concept with spiritual connection with god and human form ! Thank you so much Devji…I admire your work.

  • Vikram Trivedi

    Brilliant read!
    Thank you Devdutt, this has helped me understand my universe.
    The best is that every time I read a part again, I understand and learn different things depending on my state of mind at that point in time.


    I would like to thank you for this book. You as an author was first introduced to me through “The Speaking Tree”..Mithya is your first book which i have read.Amazing book…You been really good in connecting one story to another…i always thought that my mother must be knowing all this but i was surprised that she got so involved when i told her about some of the tales mentioned in your book..Look forward to reading more books of yours…:-)

  • Sushma

    The Pandavas went to Swarg too, not just the Kauravas. Even Karna went to Swarg. Yudhistir had to have a Narak Darshan before he went to Swarg, so he was given an illusion where all the Pandavas, Karna & Draupadi were in Narak, at least that was what I got from Bhagavatam .

  • Aparna

    Great read for those who think of Hindu mythology as one complicated riddle. There are more answers than questions to the patterns of universe. Devdutt has simplified the theories and made it understandable to lay man’s perceptions.

  • Aravind S Raamkumar

    Great book…must read for anyone…5/5 Thanks Devduttji

  • Pradeep Pandey

    Dear Devdutt,

    The first time i saw your video was six month back, and since then i m regular to you videos.

    Few days back i got to read ur one of the book Myth=mythia. I have already read it twice. I have referred it to my friends aswell.

    But I have one request. Please get Hindi Language version of this book aswell.


    Pradeep Pandey

  • Vishal Kumar Singh

    My mom loves this book, I keep on translating it for her, she always says, “Yeh Kitaab hindi mein zaroor hoga, tum khojo”.

    Would really appreciate if you can get all your books translated to Hindi.


  • Debasish

    Very nice style – and reminds of many stories we were told by grandmoms and has forgotten over a period of time.

  • Ritika

    Dear Mr Pattanaik,
    I have read both Jaya and Myth= Mithya. Both the books were such an interesting read and more like a short course in Mahabharat and hindu Mythology. In todays world where are following rites and rituals blindly without realizing the significance of it, the book gives an insight to why certain rituals are followed in a particular manner. For eg. at the function of a new born baby, me being the mother wore red and my child green. I argued with elders as to why green and not a pretty pink as my first born was a girl. They did not have an answer to this and simply it was done so, because thats the way it was being done for years… Now i can make sense as green represents ‘Life’.
    I never did quite know the reason for lemon and chillies as well…
    My sincere request to you is for a hindi version of your books so that one can pass it on to the older generations and those who are not well versed with english. Rites and rituals followed with some logic makes more sense than to just follow it blindly…

  • find

    Just requesting a Hindi translation of this excellent book.

    Thank you for your wonderful contribution to all readers interested in exploring Hindu Mythology further.

  • ratna jagtap

    i have’nt read this book but surely am going to read it.it sounds very intresting.

  • Ruta

    Dear Mr.Patnaik,
    You are God sent for me. for years i have been longing to read indian mythology and stories from our culture. But the books i came across never enthused me or held me for long. Somehow i missed out on reading mahabharatha & ramayana stories as a child as well.
    Your books & writings i thoroughly enjoy. Your understanding of graphics and its metaphorical releveance is also very enlightining.

    Someday I am sure i am going to raise my kids reading your books


  • Abhijit Pardeshi

    I am very much impress from your show shtrarth.Can you please inform where i can get your book in Pune (Maharashtra)? does it available in Hindi also?


    Dr. D.Pattanaik , you are a very talented man , I enjoyed reading Mahabharata and love your illustrations . I hope I will be able to get a copy of A Handbook of Hindu mythology here in Malaysia..

  • Aashu Madhan

    Dear Dr.Pattanaik

    Please translate this book into hindi and marathi. It is so unfair that our vernacular population has not yet read it.

    Requesting you to please try and push this agenda upwards in your priority list.

    I am not attempting to be the manu of your bramhand, but simply trying to imagine that you will do it sooner than later.

    Many Many Thanks

    • Devdutt

      No publisher has shown interest yet….but i am hoping they will change their mind….

  • Noor

    Dear Dr Patnaik
    I love your book but I wanted to ask you a question about the symbol used in the book. The Circle of Brahma the Square of Vishnu and the point of Shiva. We can see it here too

    Where did that come from ? Is that part of Hindu geometry or Divine geometry ?

    many thanks

  • Pingback: Just a myth? | Ah.. Randomness!()

  • Raji

    7 secrets of Vishu
    7 Secrets of Shiva

    now iam going to start with

    the only con i see is.. untill i finish reading the book .. not in a mindset to do other things..:-P
    totally obsessed with the book.
    But iam happy doing so.

    thanks to you.. great writing sir.