Shikhandi - Devdutt Pattanaik - Ebook download as ePub .epub), Text File .txt) or read book online. HH. Shikhandi- And Other Tales They Don t Tell You - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text BOOKS SHIKHANDI Photo credit: Puneet Reddy Devdutt Pattanaik is the . Author: Devdutt Pattanaik Title: Shikhandi and other tales they don't tell you. Publisher: Zubaan Books Publication Date: 8/15/ ISBN:
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BY DEVDUTT PATTANAIK PDF. It will certainly have no question when you are visiting choose this book. This inspiring Shikhandi: And. Other Tales They Don't. Shikhandi: And Other Tales They Don't Tell You By Devdutt Pattanaik Online. Book Details: Language: English Published, Release Date. Shikhandi and Other Tales They Don't Tell You by Devdutt. Pattanaik (review). Jane Orton. Marvels & Tales, Volume 30, Number 2, , pp. (Review).
Trained in medicine MBBS from Grant Medical College, Mumbai University , he worked in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries for 15 years before devoting all his time to his passion for decoding beliefs of all cultures, modern and ancient, located beneath the veneer of ration- ality. To know more, visit devdutt. I accept this body. I offer it to everyone. I have a womans body.
Shelves: pages It was my forth book by Devdutt Pattnaik. Giving insights of what and how Gods and mythology worked and played a significant role in making what it is today, was great to know through many stories described in it. Feb 28, Arun Divakar rated it really liked it If memory serves me right, this incident happened around 13 years ago. It was my first trip to Goa and having not traveled much out of Kerala, it surely was filled of excitement for me.
I was on a train coming To Goa from Delhi with a whole bunch of raucous teenagers of my own class for company. There had been the odd murmur of "hijras" all through the trip. A classmate who had taken a train journey through this route earlier opined like a wise old man that you better be careful with them.
Needl If memory serves me right, this incident happened around 13 years ago. Needless to say, there was a bit of apprehension building up inside me. I do not remember exactly as to where it happened but slowly the tones of clapping and singing reaches me and suddenly in comes a group of six hijras.
To the uninitiated, the first sight would be a jolt from normalcy and it was more so for me coming from a rigidly orthodox society like Kerala. In quite simple English, hijra is the Indian name for a transgender individual As luck would have it, I was seated at a corner seat and slightly away from my other friends while all around me were a group of soldiers on their way to a training assignment. As the group came into the compartment, they were met with silent and impassive stares from the soldiers and me trying my best to behave as normal as possible in the corner.
With giggles and gestures they moved on to other seats to my immense relief. Some of the others in my group were not so fortunate when they refused to give money to them for 'blessings'. The results of such a refusal from my friends elicited responses from them which were downright comic and gave us a lot of stuff to laugh about later. If a leader cannot sense fear in people around him, if a leader feels good when people around him are frightened into pretending, there is a problem.
Power flows towards the leader or, rather, boss rather than towards the organization. Conversely, when institutional beliefs and individual beliefs are congruent, harmony is the resultant corporate climate. It is when people are seen as mere resources meant to be managed [read manipulated] through compensation and so-called motivation; it is when they are treated like switches in a circuit board; it is then that disharmony descends causing disruption.
He notes that mythological fiction is very popular as it is fantasy rooted in familiar traditional tales. Mythology itself is about figuring out world views of cultures, essentially how people think in a particular cultural ethos. He speaks of how, over the years, the general gaze of looking at dance and dancers has changed. He states, "Calling someone naachnewali or naachnewala has become a way of putting them down. It reveals an indifference to things queer so long as the stability of society is not threatened by them.
Hence the proverb, Beware a good looking male who can distract the em- peror from the wisdom of old intellects.
In ancient Mesopotamian mythology, we find the tale of a god called Enki who strives to give a role to creatures the other gods feel are less than perfect. He gives the blind man the role of a musi- cian, the barren woman the role of a concubine and the sexless man the role of keeper of the kings harem. Thus everyone is given a place. The bromance between Gilgamesh and Enkidu has been described in Mesopotamian clay tablets. In the ancient Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, there is a story of the great kings intense relationship with the savage warrior, Enkidu.
On the latters death, he weeps like a lover weeps for the beloved. Similar sentiments are seen in the words uttered by David at the death of Jonathan in the Bible and in the reaction of Achilles to the death of Patroclus, described in Homers Greek epic Iliad. Zeus, king of Greek gods, who takes the form of a swan to rape a princess called Leda, takes the form of an eagle to abduct a prince called Ganymede. Zephyr, the god of the West Wind, and Apollo fight over the beautiful youth, Hyacinth.
Ganymede was abducted by Zeus, the king of Olympian gods in Greek mythology, to serve as his cup-bearer. One school of thought qualifies such man-man or man-boy relationships as transcendental platonic friendships, with no sex involved, with the two admiring and inspiring each other.
Another school dismisses these liaisons as indulgences of bored aristocratic men, for whom women were for bearing children and boys were for pleasure. In both cases queerness is invented to distance oneself from the limitations of both nature sex and culture marriage either for a higher emotion or for base pleas- ures.
That these queer tales are restricted to men can be attributed to the overarching framework of patriarchy. But there are exceptions, most notably the Greek poems of love and passion of a woman for anoth- er woman, written by Sappho on the island of Lesbos, which gave rise to the word lesbian. The Greeks had a goddess called Artemis, who loved to hunt stags and who preferred the company of wo- men to men. When a man tried to seduce her, she turned him into a stag who was ripped to pieces by his own hunting hounds.
To appease an angry Artemis and calm the seas, the Greek warlord Agamemnon had to offer a sacrifice of his virgin daughter, Ipigeniah. Zeus, father of Artemis, once took the form of Artemis in order to seduce one of her many female companions named Callisto, an- gering Artemis so much that she turned Callisto into a female bear.
Artemis inspired the legend of the Amazons, a tribe of women who cut off one of their breasts to make them better archers, women who prefer the company of men only for reproductive reasons and who abandon their male children as their kingdom has room only for women.
Diana of the Romans, or Artemis of the Greeks, was the goddess of the chase, much loved by the female warriors known as Amazons.
Persian mythology introduces us to the Devil, Ahirman, the evil-one, who has anal sex with himself thus producing a host of demons. This idea had a major influence on biblical mythology that emerged in the Near East and was also influenced by neighbouring mythologies of Mesopotamia the idea of the flood and edicts , and Egypt the idea of circumcision.
Biblical mythology forms the foundation of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and is unambiguous in its condemnation of all things queer from cross-dressing to homosexuality. Biblical mythology makes room for only one God and one way of life.
It speaks of the Chosen People. Here, God is presented as a punitive patriarch, one who lays down the commandments for ap- propriate conduct, but is ever willing to forgive disobedient children who return to the fold. He des- troys the city of Sodom and Gomorrah whose sexual behaviour he does not approve of after the prophet named Lut Islamic name for the biblical Lot fails in his mission to reform them. In the New Testament of Christians, the demanding biblical God transforms into a loving and caring father, but more often than not the queer was excluded from this love.
This was not the case always, claim queer activists, who point to the early Christian Church that was not uncomfortable with intense and perhaps even intimate relations between men such as Sergius and Bacchus, Roman soldiers who were martyred in the third century on account of their faith, and eventually declared saints. They also point to the curious case of an aging martyr, St. Sebastian, who was re-imagined on medieval oil canvases as a young beautiful man riddled with arrows, which led to his becoming a gay icon in the twentieth century.
Executed for choosing God over the Roman Emperor, Sebastian was declared a martyr by the early Christian Church, but his youthful suffering image made him a Euro-American gay icon in the twentieth century. To be fair, discomfort with sexual conduct in general, and homosexuality in particular, can also be traced to the valorisation of celibacy and the rise of monastic orders in all cultures. From the monastic ideal stems the rejection of the womans flesh, the demand to restrict her move- ments, and her isolation behind the veil and in inner quarters.
She becomes the daughter of Mara, de- mon of desire, in Buddhism, whose founder Gautama of the Sakya clan, abandoned his wife and child in his quest to find the answer to lifes suffering.
In the Vinaya Pataka, a regulatory framework, attributed to the Buddha himself, men can be ordained as monks, and women too, though after initial hesitation, but not hermaphrodites ubhatovyanjanaka, in Pali and passive effeminate homosexuals pandaka, in Pali for fear that their excessive craving for sex would cause monks to deviate from the path of dhamma and bring disrepute to the monastery or sangha.
From the Jain traditions, another shramana or ascetic path from India that predates Buddhism, comes the story of how merit of the previous life transforms a king into a sage in his next life, but de- merit compels him to be reborn with a female body, making Malli-nath the only female Tirthankara.
The more austere Digambar school rejects this story of the Shvetambar school and prefers visualising Malli-nath as male. The only allowance to his female nature is made by acknowledging the pot universal symbol of the womb as his symbol.
All Jain Tirthankaras are male except perhaps Malli-nath, who, according to some stories, was reborn with a female body as a result of demerits earned in the previous life. In Europe, the monastic approach to life that in all probably had its roots in the East India? That force continues to impact our lives today. Most faiths of the East, which never saw themselves as religions or institutions, are now ob- liged to force- fit themselves into the book, commandments and church template to meet modern demands.
We see this trend in neo-Buddhism, global Sikhism and political Hinduism. Nation states, secular or otherwise, place great value on a constitution and the law, which serve as commandments.
God here is replaced by the people who make their wishes known through the democratic process. The judiciary serves as the biblical prophet keeping a watchful eye on political leaders who often err like biblical kings.
Like all believers who do not doubt the myth they inhabit, everyone is convinced that this one-rule-for-all approach to organising society is the most rational thing to do. Biblical mythology overwhelmed Greek mythology in Europe roughly years ago, when the Roman Emperor converted to Christianity. The many powerful Greek gods were rejected in favour of one biblical God spelt with capitalisation to emphasise its singularity.
But years ago, Greek mythology made a comeback during the Renaissance, not the Greek gods so much as Greek heroes, individuals who refused to be oppressed by those in power.
This led to the questioning of the idea of God and eventually even the people. It inspired Marx to write about class hierarchy, where people who managed to corner more wealth grant themselves more privileges than the rest and declare them- selves gods, aristocrats or members of the senate. He spoke of a world of equality without class. This sparked off other ideas. Women questioned the privileged position of men; thus was patri- archy challenged and feminism born.
The untouchables of India questioned the privileged position of the brahmins. Minorities everywhere challenged the privileges of the majority. Queer people, an umbrella term for gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgendered and intersexed people, cross-dressers, hijras etc. The world changed forever. This is the world we now live in.
The celebration of queer ideas in Hindu stories, symbols and rituals is in stark contrast to the ignor- ance and rigidity that we see in Indian society. Some blame the British for making Indians defensive about being so feminine and for criminalising, amongst many others, queer communities like the hijras and everyone else who indulges in sodomy a biblical word for sexual deviation that was practised in the ancient city of Sodom.
Others blame Muslims for it, especially those particular tradi- tions that frown upon all forms of sensual arts. Still others blame the Buddhist vihara and the Hindu matha traditions, which favoured yoga restraint over bhoga indulgence.
When political freedom was finally achieved in the twentieth century, the founding fathers of the Indian republic, mostly lawyers, who also valued yoga over bhoga, gave rights to all men and wo- men, irrespective of caste, creed or language.
But not to queer people. The courts of India have al- ways upheld secularism and human rights.
But this courtesy was not extended to queer people. Hara-Hari, the fused image of Hara Shiva and Hari Vishnu can be seen simultaneously as a union of two male deities who created a child together called Hara-Hari-suta, or as a union of two rival sects of the Shaivas and the Vaishnavas, or as a union of the hermits way yoga and the householders way bhoga.
Many Hindus shrug their shoulders and blame it on Kali yuga, the age of darkness, when wisdom wanes.
We cannot expect better from civic institutions and political ideologies based on biblical mythology. But activism refuses to take things lying down; as with the Greek and biblical traditions of yore, authority is challenged and martyrdom embraced. Hindu mythology subscribes neither to the biblical framework where law is the solution to human- itys woes nor to the Greek framework of oppressor and oppressed.
Life is not a problem to be solved. It is a sight to be seen, and contemplated upon, so that we see ourselves truly and eventually open ourselves to joy without seeking change in the world. Hence, the great value given in India to darshan, the act of seeing. Darshan reveals that fear of death pervades nature. Fear makes us shun potential predators. Fear makes us want to dominate and discriminate.
Humans alone have the power to outgrow this fear, dis- cover love and include the stranger. To enable this is dharma. But human imagination often amplifies fear. Fear crumples our mind and narrows our view of the world as we invent predators, and create structures and hierarchies to exclude them rationally. This is adharma. Acts of adharma must not in- cur outrage, but compassion, for adharma is rooted in imagined fear.
Anger only amplifies this fear; love alone can dissolve it. Rather than focussing on oppressor and oppressed, and advocating revolutions to change the world, Hindu mythology focuses on how we see the world: what is seen and unseen and why some things are seen and others unseen. Nobody is forced to widen their gaze using laws or propaganda for that simply sparks resentment that festers underground.
But everyone is warned of the karmic conse- quence of refusing to see other peoples truth - entrapment that denies bliss. For every choice, even the self-righteous ones, has karmic consequences. The West ridicules this approach as passive for it has always valued changes in the external world society , ignoring all impact on the internal world mind.