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Indian Mythology

  • The Forest and the Field

    The Forest and the Field

    Increasingly, we find laws that protect forests being cut down, giving way for industries. This brings tribal communities into conflict with the state. …

  • The Celestial Stories of Plants in India

    The Celestial Stories of Plants in India

    We have come a long way from the days when there were sacred groves across India, where no one was allowed to graze cattle, plant crops or forage for fruit or firewood…

  • Diwali for Ram, Krishna, Lakshmi, Yama, Asuras and Ancestors

    Diwali for Ram, Krishna, Lakshmi, Yama, Asuras and Ancestors

    Diwali celebrations vary across India: In north India, it commemorates the return of Ram, while south India celebrates the defeat of Narakasura. Western Diwali involves a business-related renewal and in eastern India, the focus shifts to ancestor worship and paying off karmic debts. These varying traditions underscore the diversity of Hinduism across the different regions…

  • The Cattle Army of Kotrabaina

    The Cattle Army of Kotrabaina

    You have probably never heard this saga as you do not belong to the Gaur community of cattle-herders in Western Odisha…

  • So Many Bharatas

    So Many Bharatas

    So, who is the Bharat after whom India is named Bharat-varsha?…

  • Greek Gods, English Words

    Greek Gods, English Words

    In the Devanagari script, there is no upper and lowercase. So, the name of God can become a proper noun and a common noun…

  • Flood Myths

    Flood Myths

    Many mythologies around the world have a flood myth. But not all flood myths are the same…

  • Decoding Ganesha’s Parenthood

    Decoding Ganesha’s Parenthood

    Ganesha’s arrival, in the latter half of the monsoon, marks the transformation of Shiva, the hermit, into Shankara, the householder. …

  • Hill Fairies Who Abduct Men

    Hill Fairies Who Abduct Men

    The idea of enchanting magical women abducting men is a recurring idea around the world. …

  • Why Stories of Floating Idols Crashing Ships Continues to Endure

    Why Stories of Floating Idols Crashing Ships Continues to Endure

    The idea of a temple or a deity attracting ships, forcing them to move off course and causing shipwrecks by their magnetic power is also found on the western coast of India…

  • The Goddess Came Later

    The Goddess Came Later

    We can argue that goddesses have been integral to Hinduism since Vedic times. But of the 1,000 hymns of the Rig Veda only the maximum number of hymns dedicated to a goddess as the 21 hymns for Usha, the dawn-goddess…

  • Origins of the Rice Goddess

    Origins of the Rice Goddess

    The oldest Indian mythology of rice can be found among the Bonda tribal people, who live in Odisha, who are linked to the Munda and Austroasiatic communities who entered India from the Southeast, and brought rice growing technology with them over 4,000 years ago…

  • Surpanakha’s Shambuk

    Surpanakha’s Shambuk

    It’s great fun to read Ramayan by politicians and activists. Right-wing Hindutva folks will go …

  • Tales From the Land of Jagannatha

    Tales From the Land of Jagannatha

    There are 30 short essays in this book. They were written by renowned mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik over a ten-year period and published in various publications…

  • Shaped By the Rains

    Shaped By the Rains

    Aryans came from lands north of the Himalayas where there was no monsoon rains. They focused on four quarters of the year, based on the solstices, and equinoxes. Balgangadhar Tilak pointed out how Vedic hymns refer to long days without sun. He pointed out how great importance was given to dawn, Ushas, who appeared in…

  • Krishna’s Sister and the Varying Interpretations Of Her Image

    Krishna’s Sister and the Varying Interpretations Of Her Image

    One of the oldest caves (number 27) in Ellora in Maharashtra, has the image of a goddess holding a lotus flower, flanked by two gods…

  • Who are the power-broking landlord monks of Tamil Nadu?

    Who are the power-broking landlord monks of Tamil Nadu?

    Sengol is a staff of royal authority. We can call the symbol of justice in the spirit of wordplay, when a symbol of monarchy is made the symbol of democracy. …

  • How Hinduism Reached Manipur and Remains Entrenched

    How Hinduism Reached Manipur and Remains Entrenched

    Published on 22nd May, 2023, in Times of India. Manipuri dance is a popular classical …