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Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik - (Tamil) - E4 Forest & Field

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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    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 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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    E9 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 the 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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    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 Dives, the goddess of fertility and Gram Devtas, the protector Gods. To know more about the guardians of human inhabitation, watch Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik.

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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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    In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik discusses extensively about the various women in the great epic, The Ramayan. 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 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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    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 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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    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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    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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    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 et al 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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    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 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 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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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, 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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    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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