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Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik - E22 Avatars of Vishnu

The concept of avatar in Hindu mythology refers to the descent of a deity or a supreme being to Earth. This idea is most often associated with Vishnu. It is said that Vishnu incarnates on Earth from time to time to eradicate evil forces and to restore Dharma on Earth. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik introduces Vishnu's avatars and talks about each one of them in brief. He also discusses 'Dashavatara' and changes in the list based on sects and regions. The human forms of Vishnu - Parashurama, Rama, Krishna - are also discussed in detail.

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    Devdutt Pattanaik uncovers the hidden stories of the greatest epics in Hindu mythology, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Like the Sumerians, Hindus wrote poetic stories which focused on the powers of the gods. Ramayana translates to 'the story of Rama.' It is believed that Valmiki, a Brahmin whose style of writing poetry was carried forward from that point on, wrote the epic. Following it's main hero Rama on his journey to Lanka, Ramayana praises the heroism and virtues of the Aryan warrior princes. Mahabharata meaning 'The Great India', is said to be written by a Brahmin Veda Vyasa. It is divided into verses interspersed with passages of prose. A story incorporated into the Mahabharata came to be known as the Bhagvad Gita.

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    Trimurti translates as three forms. It is an iconographic representation of God in Hinduism which depicts divinity as a three-faced figure. These three faces represent God's roles of creation, preservation and destruction which are associated with Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Sustainer) and Shiva (the Destroyer). Devdutt Pattanaik discusses the three personas and their different modalities in this episode. The trio are assisted in their duties by their consorts, Saraswati, Laxmi and Parvati respectively. The specific gods of the Trimurti each have their own origins in Hindu mythology but the single iconographic representation finds its source in the Vedas. It is only after the arrival of the Puranas that Trimurti becomes a standard doctrine.

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    Colors play an important role in Hindu culture and have a deep significance transcending decorative values. Hindus use colors on their deities and their clothes, signifying their qualities. Devdutt Pattanaik introduces the concept of using a specific color for a deity to create an environment that highlights the persona of the god or goddess. Some of the more prominent colors used in our rituals and festivals are red, green and saffron. While goddesses Saraswati and Parvati are seen in red sarees, goddess Laxmi is seen in white. Similarly, sages are seen in saffron. Devdutt does a comparative study on the use of colors by hermits and householders. The legend of the color filled festival, Holi, is also highlighted.

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    E4 Shiva

    24 Min

    Various stories and legends surround the prominent figure, Shiva. He is one of the most powerful gods of the Hindu pantheon and is one of the godheads in the Trimurti. Known as the Destroyer, Shiva is perhaps the most complex of Hindu deities. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks about Shiva being at the core of the centrifugal force of the universe, because of his responsibility for death and destruction. He is the dissolving force but he dissolves in order to create since death is a mode to rebirth. Thus, life and death, creation and destruction, both reside in Shiva. Devdutt also talks about his various manifestations as Bholenath, Mahadev, Nataraja, Vishwanath and Bhairava.

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    Hindu mythology boasts of numerous stories of supernatural beings, either fighting against one another for supremacy or joining forces to fight some other being. Devdutt Pattanaik introduces the various supernatural beings from Indian mythology, in this episode. The Hindu universe is divided into different Lokas or worlds and in each world, reside different beings. All of these beings are said to be Brahma's children. Devas reside in Dev-Lok, Asuras live in Paa-tal, Nagas in Nag-Lok et al. Devdutt does a comparative study of the characteristics of these beings. While Devas are said to be benevolent and debauched, the Rakshasas are shown as mean and ugly. Yakshas are known to hoard everything they get their hands on and Asuras are said to be obsessed with wealth and power.

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    E6 Indra

    20 Min

    Indra Dev is the God of rain and thunder. He is one of the primary gods of the Vedas who all phenomenons of nature. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik highlights Indra's characteristics of insecurity and jealousy which drive him to sabotage sages' meditations and instigate battles between the devas. He also discusses the shift in Indra's position from the Vedas where he is considered the king of all devas to the puranas but his position fades as the Holy Triad emerges.

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    Hindu narratives offer explanations for any event. Good things happen because of boons; bad things happen because of a curse. Boons and curses served as narrative tools to explain the idea of karma. In this episode, Devdutt provides stories of some interesting boons and curses that resulted in grave consequences. Some stories like that of Kaikeyi and Dasharatha talk about a boon (given to Kaikeyi by Dasharatha) that takes an interesting turn when Dasharatha is forced to send his son Rama on exile. This event is said to be the result of a curse given to Dasharatha by Shravan Kumar's parents when he was a young prince. Watch the episode to understand this phenomenon of boons and curses.

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    At its fundamental level, Hinduism terms heaven and hell as 'swarga' and 'naraka' . Heaven is inhabited by devas and good souls while hell consists of raakshas and pain. However, Hinduism also stresses on the idea of no judgement. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik does a comparative study of heaven and hell between 3 religions- Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Understand the phenomenon as he takes you through different views and concepts.

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    Shakti is described as the cosmic energy that powers the world. According to Hindu mythology, Shakti is regarded as a Goddess (either a consort or queen of a deity) and more importantly God's active and dynamic form. Devdutt Pattanaik discusses the significance of Shakti's creative energies underlying the cosmos. While Lakshmi is the energy of Vishnu; Parvati is the energy of Shiva. As Devi, She takes different forms with respect to her male counterpart and manifests as Kali, Durga, Gauri or Sati. Shakti is revered as the mother Goddess, the universal source of power, vitality and creativity. Understand Her omnipotence through this episode exploration.

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    Ganpati Bappa Morya! The most revered and popular God of Hinduism is Lord Ganesha. Devdutt Pattanaik discusses the significance of the elephant-headed god, the legends that encapsulate the idea of Ganesha being the supreme consciousness that pervades all beings. He also talks about how as the son of Shiva, the Destroyer and Parvati, one of the many incarnations of Shakti, Ganesha becomes the symbol of unification for the followers of Shiva and Shakti

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    Most deities in Hindu mythology possess a weapon or more than one weapon that enables them to tide over a particularly conflicting or tough situation. The users of these weapons are said to have an in-depth knowledge about the use and misuse of the astra (weapon). Apart from their usage in the epic Ramayana and Mahabharata, they are talked about in the Puranas and Vedas as well. Devdutt Pattanaik discusses the variety of astra possessed by various deities, their USPs and the conditions that existed involving their usage. He also talks in depth about some very well-known astra like the Sudarshan Chakra, the Brahmastra, Indra's Vajra et al.

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    The term Vahana translates as 'that which carries, that which pulls'. In Hindu mythology, a vahana is called a deity's mount. Deities are often depicted riding a vahana or sometimes, the vahana is depicted alongside the deity.In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik discusses the various mounts. The positive aspects of the mounts are in tandem with the strengths of the deities. While often the mounts function alongside the deities, on some occasions, they act independently. Devdutt also narrates stories of the birth of various mounts in this episode.

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    The Ganga is the most sacred river to the Hindus. Along its length and breadth, Hindus pay homage to their ancestors, pray to their gods and cleanse their souls by taking a dip in the river and cupping the water in their hands. They even carry a small amount of water, known as Gangajal on their way back to be used in rituals. Devdutt Pattanaik traces the history of the Ganga in Hindu mythology. He discusses the importance of Ganga as a deity, her co-relation with the other deities, especially Shiva, her prominence in different sects and her descent from heaven to earth.

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    E14 Gita

    23 Min

    The Bhagvad Gita, as we all know, is the holy book of the Hindus. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik breaks down this idea with an in-depth analogy based on geography, history and philosophy. Apart from analyzing the dialogue between the Pandava prince, Arjuna and the charioteer, Krishna, Devdutt also discusses the different kinds of Gitas, the ideas of Dharma and Karma and the various translations.

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    Hinduism lays a lot of importance on Yatra or pilgrimage. It is a popular belief that yatra enables people to connect themselves to their spiritual goals. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik touches upon the many famous Hindu pilgrimage centres inclusive of the Dhams, Kshetras, Peetas and the Melas. He also discusses the ideas behind pilgrimage, its birth and growth.

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    The numerous gods in Hindu mythology, although manifestations of one supreme being, are very varied by ways of their personalities. Generally speaking, the devas and devis are benevolent beings who support the physical world. Hindus consider it important to keep their deities happy and content by way of offering them food. Every deity is associated with one of more food items (either raw or cooked). In his episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks about these deities and their favorite foods. He also explores the stories and folk tales behind Krishna's association with maakhan, Ganesha's love for modaks and Shiva's affiliation with the bel leaf.

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    According to Hindu mythology, all mortal beings are destined to pass through four great epochs in every cycle of creation and destruction. These four epochs are Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik explains the different stages of evolution in the Yugas, their significance and the important events that occurred in the different Yugas. He touches upon the Mahabharata and the Ramayana and also talks about the features of the Kali Yuga.

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    In Hindu mythology, the act of the creation of the universe is talked about in more than one manner. Hinduism also defines fourteen worlds (seven higher worlds and seven underworlds) and how they came into existence also has many different versions. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik decodes the various cosmogonic myths surrounding the creation of the world. He explains the various stories accepted by people belonging to different sects i.e: Vaishnavaites believe that Lord Vishnu, in the shape of a boar, plunged into the cosmic waters and brought forth the earth. He offers a neutral viewpoint regarding the roles played by the Hindu pantheon in the creation of the universe.

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    In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik introduces the Guardians of the Directions - the deities who rule the specific directions of space according to Hindu mythology. They are known as Dikpalas.Though frequently mentioned, they are rarely worshiped. The Dikpalas of the cardinal points are Kubera (North), Yama (South), Indra (East) and Varuna (West). He also discusses the Dikapalas of the intermediate points and their significance in Hindu mythology. The images of these Dikapalas are found on the walls and ceilings of temples and tombs.

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    Hindu mythology abounds with stories of gods and their husbands/wives. Most of these stories are interesting narratives that comprise of necessary story-telling elements like drama, intrigue, romance, thriller and heart-break. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik discusses the tales of love and marriage of the gods in the Hindu pantheon. He also talks about introducing the story form to explain the philosophical ideas to the common man. For example: Shiva, the hermit and Shiva, the householder are two, very deep philosophical ideas and these are explained through various stories of Shiva and Sati, Shiva and Parvati et cetera.

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    In mythology, shape shifting refers to the ability of any form to physically transform to another form or being. This is generally achieved through the form's inherent intellectual faculty, divine intervention or the use of boons and curses. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks about the idea of shape shifting and its existence since time immemorial. He introduces us to stories about shape shifting in Hindu mythology. He also talks about some important forms i.e. Mohini (a form of Vishnu) and discusses the theories behind changing forms.

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    The concept of avatar in Hindu mythology refers to the descent of a deity or a supreme being to Earth. This idea is most often associated with Vishnu. It is said that Vishnu incarnates on Earth from time to time to eradicate evil forces and to restore Dharma on Earth. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik introduces Vishnu's avatars and talks about each one of them in brief. He also discusses 'Dashavatara' and changes in the list based on sects and regions. The human forms of Vishnu - Parashurama, Rama, Krishna - are also discussed in detail.

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    One of the most important elements of Hindu mythology are Nakshatras and Grahas. Nakshatras refer to constellations or a cluster of stars and Grahas refer to astrological figures. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks about some of the more famous nakshatras in Hindu mythology and narrates interesting stories about them. He also briefly talks about the idea that the positions of the nakshatras and grahas influence our lives. This belief is deeply ingrained in followers of Hinduism and is a major element in Hindu mythology.

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    Plants and trees are nature's processors of solar energy which is vital for our existence. Plants, trees, flowers and fruits have been worshiped by Hindus since a long time. Hindu sages and seers have eulogized peepal, bel, banyan tree, amla etc. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks about the association of trees and plants with deities in Hindu mythology. He narrates stories from the Vedas and the Puranas that tell us how a particular plant or tree became a favorite with a particular god or sect. Devdutt also discusses the directions for the plantations of sacred trees and how they are worshipped.

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    E25 Puja

    21 Min

    An essential part of Hindu mythology is the connection made between a devotee and a deity. This usually occurs through Puja. Puja is the act of showing reverence to a god, a spirit or another aspect of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs and rituals. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik breaks down the idea of Puja, the different kinds of Puja and how they are performed. He talks briefly about yagna, temple ceremonies like an abhisheka, annual festivals like Durga puja etc. He describes the significance of each of them and explains the core idea of puja serving as a mean of gaining access to the divine.

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    In the first episode of Season 2, Devdutt breaks down two simple yet abstract ideas of Hindu philosophy - Dhyan and Darshan. Providing an analogy between the Hindi and the English disclaimers that open every episode, Devdutt explains that Darshan means to see and Dhyan refers to think about or process what one has seen. With examples ranging from devotees praying at a temple to ascetics giving up on the material world, Devdutt explains how the practice originated in the Vedic era and how it further developed as Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism became diverse. Although the meaning behind the terms remain the same, they are discussed differently in various texts. Devdutt touches upon these contexts and provides a better understanding of Dhyan and Darshan.

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    Devdutt Pattanaik narrates the popular story of Amrit Manthan in a lucid manner explaining how it was the cause for the emergence of various gems, gods and goddesses from the Ocean of Milk. He also explores the essence and the meaning of Dharma, Artha and Kama and how they have become an integral part of Hindu mythology. Devdutt also sheds some light on other stories like Shiva's Neel Kant and the Chaar Dhams in this episode.

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    In this episode, Devdutt discusses the numerous vans (forests) in Hindu mythology. Forests form an interesting backdrop to many mythological stories. Several gods and devas are associated with forests, providing a close connection with the Hindu way of life. Devdutt talks in depth about how forests have provided prosperity, life and shelter to different beings throughout mythology and how the forest is a space where Matsya Nyay (Survival of the Fittest) is the norm. With this understanding, he provides an analogy between the workings of forest and those of field.

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    In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik reviews the different Indian philosophical schools. Generally, Astik translates to the one who believes in God and Nastik would translate to mean an atheist. Devdutt explains the different terms by drawing comparisons between different religions like Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. He also explains how some religions like Jainism and Buddhism are Nastik religions owing to the fact that they reject the doctrine of Vedas. He introduces Charvak, another nastik school of thought. Devdutt also explains commonly used terms like Religion and Spirituality against the backdrop of Theism and Atheism.

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    Surya Vansh and Chandra Vansh refer to the two most illustrious mythological dynasties of ancient India. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik describes the famous and the infamous kings of these dynasties. Manu was the progenitor of mankind, who had two children - Ikshvaku and Ila. Devdutt narrates interesting stories about Harishchandra, Aja, Rama, Dasharath reiterating some of the Surya Vansh's strongest traits - honesty, integrity and fearlessness. The Pandavas, Kauravas and the Yadavas to which some illustrious characters from the Mahabharat belong, are Chandra Vanshis. Devdutt shows us the different characteristics of the two vanshas through stories.

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    E6 Aatma

    23 Min

    A Sanskrit word for inner soul or self, Aatma is the first principle in Hindu philosophy, especially in the Vedanta school of Hindusim. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik tells us how the concept of Aatma developed since the Vedas. He briefly narrates the different Hindu schools of thought and describes a major point of difference between Hinduism and Buddhism - Hinduism believes that there is Aatma in every being where as Buddhism does not believe in either soul or self. He also talks about how Aatma is perceived in Jainism, Christianity and Islam.

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    In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks in detail about the various powders/materials used in a Hindu puja thali. He explains the significance of the items and how they are used in different parts of the country. He also decodes their importance in the three paramparas in Hinduism - Shaiv, Shakt and Vaishnav. While followers of the Shiav parampara veer mostly towards bhasm, followers of Shakt parampara give a lot of importance to kumkum and followers of Vaishnav parampara use chandan a lot. Devdutt also tells us about the different festivals around the country where kumkum and haldi play a major role like the Sindoor Khela celebrated in Bengal during Durga Puja and Haldi Kumkum ceremony celebrated in the Western Indian states.

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    In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik regales the audience with interesting stories and anecdotes about one of Rama's ardent devotees, Hanuman. He is one of the key figures in Rama's story about fighting Ravan and rescuing Sita in the Ramayan, and he even has a kand (book) devoted to him. It is called the Sundar Kand. This book depicts the story of Hanuman and his travel to Lanka to rescue Sita. Devdutt narrates stories from the Sundar Kand thereby introducing Hanuman's various traits and attributes. He tells us about the different encounters Hanuman has faced with asuras, mountains and even kings thus highlighting the fact that Hanuman is not just an interesting character from the epic but also a significant one. In fact, Hanuman is one of the few characters that appear in both Ramayan and Mahabharat.

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    In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks extensively about the Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath. The temple located at Puri, on the eastern coast of India attracts many tourists and is especially known for the Puri Rath Yatra. Devdutt narrates various tales of the siblings - Krishna, Balram and Subhadra - the prominent deities at the temple. He explains how the rath yatra is performed and deepens our understanding of the various customs and rituals that precede the rath yatra. He also touches upon the history of the temple, deities and the world-famous kitchen within the temple premises.

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    Elephants play a prominent role in Hindu mythology, both literally and figuratively. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik describes the various elephants in Hindu mythology by beginning with how the elephant came into being. He explains that it was one of the symbols of Dhrama that was churned out of the Ocean of Milk during Samudra Manthan and then goes on to talk about Airavat, the white elephant and the carriage for Lord Indra. He narrates stories of Gajendra Moksha - the liberation of Gajendra by Vishnu and Gajantaka - the death of the elephant demon at the hands of Shiva. Devdutt also explains the importance of elephants in Jainism and Buddhism.

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    By focusing on the illustrious Surya Vansh, Devdutt Pattanaik talks about Rama and his ancestors in this episode. He begins with Dilip, Raghu and Aja narrating stories about them that establish connections between them and Dharma, Artha and Kama. He talks about Yuvanashva, Harishchandra, Prithu, Mandhata, Bhagirath and Dasharath. All of the stories tell us about a king that is torn between his duties and family who must make a decision that will bear consequences which will show the strength of his character and prove that he is indeed a true Surya Vanshi.

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    In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik describes the significance of mountains in Hindu mythology. He begins by stating the example of Mount Meru, the sacred mountain with five peaks that finds a mention not just in Hindu but also Jain and Buddhist cosmology. This mountain is said to be the center of all physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes. Hindu mythology specifically gives a great deal of importance to mountains. Kailash Parbat, Gandhamadhan, Himavan, Mandar, Chitrakoot, Govardhan Parbat all have roles to play in the various stories about gods, devas and characters from the two epics - Mahabharat and Ramayan. Devdutt narrates stories about these mountains and explains the reason behind mountains being symbols of strength.

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    In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks extensively about one of the most misinterpreted, misrepresented and misunderstood character in Indian mythology - Karna. He takes us through Karna's journey that begins as a boon granted by sage Durvasa to Kunti. The consequences of being an unwed mother scared Kunti so she abandoned her son resulting in Karna growing up as a charioteer's son. Devdutt narrates many interesting anecdotes from Karna's childhood that stress on the significance of some of his names - Daanveer and Daanshoor. While touching upon the obvious narrative of Karna, Devdutt also introduces us to aspects of the warrior's life that force us to do some thinking about caste, creed, goodness of heart and duty.

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    The Pandavas spent 13 years in exile after losing to the Kauravas in a game of dice. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik tells us about the lives of the Pandavas and Draupadi while in the forest. Beginning with Yudhishtir, the oldest of the Pandavas, Devdutt narrates stories that encapsulate the lessons learnt by the Pandavas through the rishis, birds and tapasvis. He brings to our notice the change in the graph of each of the Pandavas from the beginning of their exile to the 13th year, emphasizing on the fact that all the experiences in the forest and those during the Agyatvaas (the 13th year in exile when each of them had to spend their days is disguise) enabled them to become kind, wise and well-informed kings.

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    Devdutt Pattanaik discusses the many nature gods that predate the idea or school of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva in this episode. Besides Indra, Vayu and Agni, Devdutt introduces Som, Usha, Arun, Aranyani, Saraswati, Vagdevi, Varun and Mitra. He narrates stories of these Vedic gods and goddesses, highlighting their origins, characteristics, appearances and functions. He also draws a comparison between the Vedic gods of India and that in the Roman and Greek culture, like Indra and Zeus, Mitra and Jesus. He also focuses on how Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva took precedence over the Vedic gods and goddesses over a period of time.

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    In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks about the origin and significance of Vrata, both psychologically and scientifically. He provides his interpretation on the beginning and the growth of vratas around the country and discusses the various vratas observed by men and women in the different parts of the country - some include abstaining from food, water, walking bare-foot, while others customs like Karva Chauth. Devdutt also touches upon vratas like Santoshi Maa vrata, Vat Savitri vrata and Navaratri vrata.

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    In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik gets to the core of how and when the two epics Ramayan and Mahabharat came into existence. Were they recitals at their nascent stage? Are they original stories? Were they passed on as a written text? He explores the various ideas and puts forth the famous theories. We learn about the mediators that helped pass on the texts as we know it. He also talks about Veda Vyasa and Valmiki and how their ideas and lives were influenced by the circumstances around them requiring them to then note it down.

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    The eternal debate between Lakshmi and Saraswati continues in this episode. Devdutt Pattanaik gives the audience the back stories to both the divine deities, their significance during the Vedas, their transformation during the Puranas and their formidable presence in our lives. Devdutt also provides us with an understanding of how the deities are worshiped and why. We also understand why the age-old saying that the Goddess of Wealth and the Goddess of Knowledge gathered speed over generations.

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    A child gives birth to a mother. This adage is explored in this episode of Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik. Devdutt talks about the various mothers in Hindu mythology. We discuss the good mothers that put the needs of the children before their own and we talk about the not-so-good mothers that acted on their whims and fed their temptations. A brief understanding of Kunti, Gandhari, Parvati, Sita, and others is provided by Devdutt. We also talk about characters in our mythology that have two mothers like Krishna and Karna. A comparison is drawn between the mothers of different generations too, to provide us with an idea of the change in time.

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    This episode is an extensive discussion on the various women in Mahabharat. Devdutt begins with Ganga and Satyavati and moves on to Amba, Ambika, Ambalika and Kunti, Madri and Gandhari. He talks about the changing roles of women from the time of the Vedas to the latter stage of Mahabharat. An in-depth comparison is drawn to emphasize on the changing norms, ideals and rules across time. He also gives us a brief introduction not just on Draupadi but also on the other wives of the Pandavas. Devdutt gives examples of various strong, benevolent, wise and honest women that shaped the Mahabharata in their own way.

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    In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks in detail about the two dark avatars of Vishnu, Varaha and Narasimha. Narrating how the two avatars came into being, Devdutt compares them to the other calm avatars of Vishnu. He brings our attention to the different characteristics of Varaha and Narasimha. He also briefly tells us about the temples that house these deities and how they are worshiped. Devdutt gives us an interesting backstory of Jaya and Vijaya, the dwarapalas of Vaikunt and how they were instrumental in the coming to life of Varaha and Narasimha.

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    Devdutt Pattanaik begins the episode with the explanations of the terms like Varna and Jaat. He tells us how these terms became part of our vocabulary and how their meanings changed slightly over time. He also explains the terms Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra and the demarcation started. He discusses the different criteria for classification of people - profession, color and others. These criteria changed from the times of Ramayan and Mahabharat to the times of colonization. He discusses Rama, Karna, Krishna and other characters in Hindu mythology whose life experiences were shaped by their varna.

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    The prominent women of Ramayana and Mahabharata - Sita and Draupadi - are discussed in this episode. Beginning with their unusual births, Devdutt Pattanaik tells us how, in spite of being princesses, Sita and Draupadi were polar opposites in their personalities. He narrates stories from Sita's childhood and explains why Draupadi never had a childhood. He talks about their families, spouses and their roles in shaping the iconic epics. Devdutt explains how even the common motifs like fire have different meanings for the two women. He also talks about how and where Sita and Draupadi are worshiped and why they are considered avatars of Devi.

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    In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik introduces us to the various siblings in Hindu mythology. The most famous ones like Ravan-Surpanakha and Krishna-Subhadra are discussed. But the emphasis is on the many more siblings that appear vaguely in the epics. We are introduced to Yama and Yami, Draupadi and Dhrishtadyumna, the sister of the Pandavas, Duhsala, Kripa and Kripi, Hidimba and Hidimbi, Rukmini and Rukmi. Devdutt narrates interesting stories about these characters, explaining how and what role they played in the larger scheme of things. He also tells us about Santoshi Maa, who was essentially brought to life to provide Ganesha and Karthikeya with a sister.

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    In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks in detail about all the characters that are part of both the epics - Ramayana and Mahabharata. Explaining the idea behind the term, 'chiranjeevi', Devdutt tells us why some characters exist in both the eras. He talks about Hanuman, Narad muni, Parashurama etc. He also explains the idea behind Parashurama and Rama, both avatars of Vishnu, coming face to face at the same time. Devdutt also touches upon the rishis that seem to have attained some level of nirvana and moksha to be able to live for a longer period of time, thus enabling them to exist in different eras at different times.

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    Harishchandra, one of Rama's ancestors, is the topic of discussion in this episode. Known for his honesty, loyalty and for keeping his word, Harishchandra is one of the most talked-about rulers/characters in Hindu mythology. Devdutt Pattanaik begins the discussion with Harishchandra's journey when he decides to sell his wife and son away. Devdutt also narrates another anecdotes related to the great Suryavanshi king.

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    In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik discusses the different elements that are used to decorate the entrance of our houses. Beginning with why the doorway is considered important in Hindu mythology, Devdutt moves on to explain how the definition of Toran changed over the years and civilizations. He also talks about why Aarti is considered a spiritual experience as much as it is a physical one.

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    In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik discusses extensively about the various women in the great epic, The Ramayana. While Sita's story is known to most, there are many others whose stories may not have achieved the popularity it deserved. Devdutt narrates stories of Kaikeyi, Kaushalya, Ahilya, Anusuya, Shabari, Trijata, Surpanakha and Mandodari. While some of these women were known to be pious and embodiment of grace, some others were known for their devotion and deep faith. Devdutt discusses some of the events that made these women popular.

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    In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks extensively about the last chapter in Ramayan. Beginning the discussion by telling the audience that this chapter was not part of the Valmiki Ramayan, Devdutt goes on to tell us the significance of this chapter. He introduces Luva and Kusha to us and narrates stories of Rama's children in Valmiki's ashram. The most crucial part of the Uttar Ramayan is that Valmiki teaches Luva and Kusha the Ramayan, which is the story of their father, and Luva and Kusha sing it to Rama at a gathering.

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    In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik talks about the infamous king who traded his old age with his younger son's youth. Yayati precedes Rama and Krishna and is one of their ancestors. Devdutt narrates the sad story of Yayati, his obsession with materialistic pleasures and his downfall in detail. He tells us about his sons, one who disagreed to trade his youth with his father and the other, who traded it but ended up never living or enjoying his youth. Devdutt also tells us the subtle meaning hidden in Yayati's life - the attachment to materialistic things never ceases and always results in a downfall.

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    E1 Yoga

    22 Min

    The first episode of the new season of Devlok with Devdutt Pattnaik explores the ancient Indian tradition of Yoga. Devdutt elaborates on its types, the concept of tantra, mantra and yantra while demonstrating how deep rooted yoga and its philosophies are in the Indian ethos.

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    Fathers play a pivotal role in Hindu mythology and have a deep significance transcending family values. Devdutt Pattanaik introduces Vedic Gods as fathers and explains the sophisticated concept of fatherhood according to Puranas. Brahma, who is credited as the Creator, is also known as the Father and the Grandfather of all living beings. Devdutt also elaborates on the importance of bearing children and the stature of a son and a daughter in one's family.

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    Our ancient texts abound with stories of kings and kingship, some courageous, some cowardly, some just and some unjust. This episode of Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik shines the spotlight on Ram Rajya and why it is deemed most successful. He also elaborates the stark difference between Ram and Ravana as rulers and their ideologies on how Ravana only ambitioned to be the King, while Ram desired the onus of a King. Know about Lord Krishna as a guardian and the symbols of kingship including lion throne, gold royal footwear, stool, chhatri and chakra.

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    There is more about the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Khajuraho Temples than meets the eye. In this episode of Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik Season 3, the mythologist speaks of a culture and its scriptures that celebrate love and their association with Indian temples in general and Khajuraho in particular. He elaborates on the temples' architecture and the relevance of sexual desires that have emerged from chronicles, epics and lore.

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    E5 Radha

    23 Min

    The names Radha-Krishna are always spoken in the same breath, yet their relationship is unlike any other mentioned in Hindu mythology. While we are enchanted by their immortal love story, most might not completely understand the essence of their divine love. Several questions still arise about their relationship. How did Lord Krishna and the mortal Radha get together? Why didn't they get married? Why is Radha a prominent link for Lord Krishna's devotion? In the fifth episode of Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik Season 3, the adept mythologist shares a point of view on these questions and elaborates on the various beliefs, schools of thought and evidences from the Hindu Puranas.

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    Have you ever wondered how and why popular Indian cities like Mumbai and Calcutta got their names? Yes, the names have an ancestral history linked to them, which has dwindled over the centuries and almost been forgotten. In the sixth episode of Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik Season 3, the mythologist rekindles the relevance of Grama Devis, the goddess of fertility and Gram Devtas, the protector Gods. To know more about the guardians of human inhabitation, watch Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik on EPIC Channel.

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    One of Krishna's most popular names is Dwarkadheesh, which has been derived from his life in Dwarka. It’s relatively an unknown fact that the term Dwarakadheesh often misunderstood as king of Dwarka actually means ‘Protector of Dwarka’. But why did the Mathura-born Lord Krishna migrate to Dwarka? In the seventh episode of Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik, the mythologist unravels the facts behind some of these untold stories of the Dwaradheesh Krishna and the holy land of Dwarka.

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    In this episode of Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik, the adept mythologist elaborates on the importance of the woman and man in maintaining a balanced society. Marriage is the taming of the man and the woman as well as feeling a sense of responsibility. He also talks about the 8 types of marriages written in the religious texts and their relevance in modern times

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    We are all aware of the Mahabharata and Ramayana, but there are many such great epics that originated in the southern India which was written in Tamil, that focused mainly on Dravidian literature. In comparison with the northern literature which talks about the Gods and their greatness, the southern literature also talks about women playing an important role along with description of the lifestyles of the merchant class and manner of living of the ordinary people. Devdutt Pattanaik immerses deeper into this fascinating world and explains their significance. He also further converses about how these great epics were passed from north to south and vice versa.

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    Of the many different devotees of Ram, Shabri's dedication and service towards him is legendary. In this episode of Devlok, Devdutt Pattanaik elucidates the various stories related to Ram and Shabri and clears the confusion of 'shabri ke ber' with its multiple versions in Ramayanas- be it the Valmiki Ramayana (2000 years ago), Kamba Ramayana (1000 years ago), Ranganatha Ramayana (1000 years ago), Dandi Ramayana (500 years ago) or Hindi literature (300 years ago).

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    In India, the rites of passage for individuals are sacrosanct. But what are these rites of passages or sanskaar? Is it a religious concept or is it the way we experience our culture? Is it something we are born with or something we learn from others? In this episode of Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik, we explore the rites of passages and its forms.

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    In this episode of Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik, Devdutt illustrates the life of Siddhartha and his journey towards enlightenment. Siddhartha was restrained from the world outside his opulent palace because it was prophesied that Siddhartha would either become a great king or he would be a great spiritual leader. Siddhartha's father raised him up in opulence and sheltered him from the knowledge of religion and human hardships. One day he ventured out of the palace and witnesses four types of sorrows and had many skeptical questions which none could answer. He set off leaving his palace, his wife, his children and everything behind to find the source of the sorrows he witnessed. He attained the knowledge of living and the source of sorrows through meditation and came to be called as the Buddha. Buddha travelled around many places and built religious organized institutions to spread his teachings. He was first among the monks who shared his ideas and concepts with the locals which created a big revolution. Just like every religion is not static even Buddhism transformed over time which leads us to the three types of Buddhism known as the 'Theravada', 'Mahayana' and 'Vajrayana'.

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    In this episode of Devlok, Devdutt Pattanaik brings to life the 'Ravana' of mythology. Ravana is considered as an antagonist according to Ramayana, but the people in Sri Lanka consider him as King of Lanka. Was Ravana a Brahmin or a Rakshas, or both? Was he an Asur or Raskshas, or both? Devdutt elaborates on these points of views leaving the decision upon the human sense of perception.

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    In this episode of Devlok, Devdutt Pattanaik talks about Surya Dev - the Sun God. The first appearance of Surya Dev in India was during the Vedas. Eastern direction is considered the direction of good fortune because of the Sun. They say that when the sun rises he wipes away the darkness and his arrival is known to be favourable. Surya Dev is usually depicted sitting on a chariot and he has 7 horses which symbolizes seven days of the week and his chariot has twelve wheels which symbolizes the months of the year. Devdutt also converses about his wives and his children and the folklore about his lovers and the broken hearted. Devutt also talks about how Surya Dev makes his way in Mahabharata and Ramayana and how Vali and Sugreev were born.

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    In this episode of Devlok , Devdutt Pattanaik talks about Jainism. Though lesser known than Buddhism, the two are closely related as they both follow the sharaman parampara.Jainism believes in Anekantvada which means ‘plural or diverse thoughts’. Jain dharm believes in the concept of soul which includes two elements jeev and ajeev, where Jeev is soul and ajeev is matter. Our soul (Jeev) is polluted through matter (Ajeev) around us, hence it is trapped in the material world. In every generation, there are 24 teerthankars who liberate themselves from this material world and attain complete purity i.e. Moksh. These teerthankars then become the guru or the teacher who come to show the correct path to their disciples in order to liberate their souls as well. There are 24 statues of the teerthankars in Jain mandirs and they all look similar. The reason for their statues to look similar is that their souls have been purified of all the negativity. Devdutt further immerses in to the set of Mahapurusha which are the 24 teerthankars, 12 chakravarti and 27 heroes.

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    Hindu mythology is a vast collection of narratives found in a multitude of Hindu texts. In this episode of Devlok, Devdutt Pattanaik converses about different versions of the Indian epic poem, the Ramayana, and the associations of various places of the country to the epic. The oldest version is generally recognized to be the Sanskrit version attributed to the sage Valmiki however there are several regional versions as well as versions of it in other countries! Devdutt tells interesting snippets from it's various versions.

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    Greek myths were part of an oral tradition that began in the Bronze Age, and their plots and themes unfolded gradually in the written literature of the archaic and classical periods. It was around 2300 BC, when a man named Alexander had stepped foot in India leading to a cultural exchange evident even today. The existence of Alexander is seen in Shraman parampara and stories about him are found in the form of folklore, especially in the Jain tradition. Devdutt elaborates on some popular Greek mythological stories and explores the difference between Indian mythology and Greek Mythology

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    Devdutt highlights the emergence of Christianity in India and the genesis of the belief. He discusses how Christianity was introduced in India around 2000 years ago when Jesus Christ’s disciple – St. Thomas set foot in Kerala. Thomas began by preaching the word of God which slowly transformed into a religious belief leading to the formation of churches in India. Portuguese and British colonisation paved the way for many different Christian sects in India like the Roman Catholic, Protestants, Anglican, etc. Devdutt stresses that though other countries have one Christian belief, India is a country where one will find diversity in the Christian beliefs too.

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