5 Lesser Known Tales from the Mahabharata

The Mahabharata is often known as the fifth Veda. It has often been said that reading the Mahabharata from start to finish will fill the reader’s mind with such knowledge and enlightenment that he is sure to achieve heaven. Whether or not that is true, the epic is a virtual forest of stories, with new […]

3 Kinds of Marriage in Hindu Mythology – and what they tell us

I think it’s safe to say that marrying for love is a recent phenomenon. Traditionally, marriage has always been a coming together of two individuals with the intention of having children. Love was neither necessary nor sufficient. Things like social standing, material riches, and good genes (read beauty) mattered a lot more – not only for […]

Stories from Mythology: Feeling bad for the bad guy

When I was contemplating the topic of today’s mythology post, a strange thought occurred to me: I sympathize with the ‘bad’ people in many of our myths. I remember that when I was a kid, when my mother first told me the story of Ramayana, I used to feel bad for Ravana, and in the […]

The Death of Krishna, and His Rebirth as God

A friend recently asked me to write about the death of Krishna. I redirected him to a summary of Mausala Parva, which contains an account of how the Yadavas come to ruin by fighting among themselves with clubs made of eraka grass. At the end of this book, a hunter’s stray arrow finds Krishna’s foot and kills […]

Novel Excerpt: The Ladies of Hastinapur

A version of this appeared as a guest post on my friend Soumya’s blog last week. I’m re-posting it here (almost verbatim) since many of you must not have read it. The Hastinapur series (of which Winds is the first book) aims to tell the story of the Mahabharat from the viewpoints of all the prominent women […]

8 Parallels between Hindu and Greek Mythology

Ever since I read The Trojan War in Class 6 and a condensed form of The Odyssey in Class 7, I’ve become life-long lover of Greek and Classical mythology. The one thing that strikes me as I dive deeper and deeper into these stories is how similar they are to Hindu myths. After all, the two […]

Re-imagining Mohini and the Elixir of Youth

In our mythology, one of the most dearly held legends of all is the churning of the Ocean of Milk. The Gods and Demons came together for this task, and with Vasuki as the churning rope and Mount Meru as the churning rod, they turned over the ocean’s depths in the hunt for Amrit, the nectar […]

Heroes of The Mahabharata: A case for Yudhisthir

This is a follow up to the previous post on the same topic. I said I will tell you who my choice is for the hero of the epic, and I will. But before that, there have been many replies and comments to the post and the Facebook update corresponding to it. Predictably, most comments mentioned […]

Who is the hero of the Mahabharata?

First of all, I must voice a disclaimer. The Mahabharata is not a story that conforms to the classic hero’s journey structure. There is no one character with whom we begin and whose adventures we follow right to the end where he surmounts all his hurdles and achieves all his goals through a combination of […]

Heroes of the Mahabharata: The 5 faces of Karna

In response to my previous post about neglected characters in the Mahabharata, many comments referred to Karna, which sort-of propelled me to do this post. Karna is one of the most enigmatic characters in the epic. If you could pick just one person from the story who personifies its ‘grey’ nature, you would do well […]