Jaya by Devdutt Pattanaik

Jaya Prevailed. 

M Y    R A T I N G :   4  / 5  STARS

Every child in a Hindu family gete his/her share of the Mahabharata. For me, it was my grandma, who started reading me tales from the Mahabharata from when I was 5. I immensely enjoyed all of the a stories in it that my grandma told me when I was a kid and still do. And from there, I’ve had my grandma repeat the tale several times stretching over a vast expanse of months and now I know the epic. But I’ve never looked at the epic and studied all of the details leave alone reading it on my own. Then I eyed Jaya but couldn’t get my hands on it. A few months later, Devdutt’s show ‘Devlok’ premiered on Epic. And I was obsessed with it because it was based on Indian Mythology. Mythology is something I always devour and you can imagine how excited I would’ve been.

One month ago, I picked Jaya. The review on here is coming late. Better late than ever. I’ve realised that this quote seems to have taken its spot in the list of things Anj says. 

Within infinite myths lies the eternal truth
Who sees it all? 
Varuna has but a thousand eyes, 
Indra has a hundred, 
You and I, only two.

The above quote appeared before every Season 1 Devlok episode started. The only difference was the quote was given in Hindi but here and in the book, was in English. 

The above quote can be stated as an apt way to sum up the ideals of Mahabharata since the Mahabharata itself is a vast ocean of truth and the hardships in life. 

The book starts with the snake sacrifice being offered by Janamjeya, son of Parikshit whom the Nagas had killed. The snake sacrifice is deemed a way to take revenge on the Nagas who had killed Parikshit, the son of Arjuna. Somehow, it is stopped by a student of Vyasa who goes on to tell the tale of Janamjeya’s ancestors :the Pandavas, the Kauravas and the Kurukshetra war. And then we start right off from how the Kuru and Yadu clans originated, the first being the clan of the Pandavas and Kauravas; the latter being that of Krishna’s and Balarama’s. 

Right from the first chapter, this book had me captivated. Pattanaik weaves the complex family trees of the Kuru clan intricately and subtly. The book has three major aspects to it: before the war that is the events that led to the war; the war; aftermath. 

While the Ramayana teaches a human about living life righteously and the things he must do, the Mahabharata teaches a human to know the things he shouldn’t do. In simple words, things that can tempt a human being to fall into the path of adharma. Polygamy is one such things that is stated not to be done as the results of Draupadi’s marriage to the Pandavas leads to a massive war.The disrespectful conduct towards a woman (Cheerharan of Draupadi) tells a person to give respect to women. Several instances can be traced in this epic of which these are only two.

bliss comes when love is shared with all.

 Love has been a main aspect of the epic. While too much love spoils children (Kauravas), precise amount of love moulds children into respected citizens (Pandavas). Sister love is also reflected here by Krishna to Draupadi and Subhadra. 

we believe our problems are the greatest and our misfortunes the worst, there is always someone out there who has suffered more.


 In Kurukshetra, before the battle begins, Krishna delivers his sermon to Arjuna encouraging him to fight and saying that there was no kin, and no death:the soul always survives. The GITA is the essence of the Vedas, the GITA is the song of God, the GITA is the book of life. And hence, this 18 chapter book has since become the holy book of the Hindus. The GITA conveys the message that God is everywhere and we are all a tiny part of him. With that being said, I know I’ve talked enough now and probably shouldn’t bore you down. Bringing such a huge epic into a lucid form requires great talent and Devdutt Pattanaik has outdone himself in doing so. Kudos. 

Until next time, Anjxx


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