Cracking the Interpretation of Indian Mythology

A child in an Indian Hindu household is often exposed to mythology as a set of bedtime stories with a milk of morals extracted from each story. The beauty of Indian mythology is that many small stories and Incidents can be combined to form a bigger picture, a huge EPIC, or ItiHasa (Thus happened). The two main such epics narrated to kids are the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

It is always taught that good wins over evil, that dharma triumphs over Adharma. But recently I had the chance to read a book that opened me up to an alternate perspective. It was written from the perspective of the conventional antagonist. Though there were great qualities even in the conventional antagonists like Duryodhana, Karna, Ravana etc., we often fail to recognize this viewpoint.

The fact is that most of the Indian Epics are written as poems and poems are subjected to various commentaries and viewpoints. So we have always come across commentaries which mostly portray an abridged version of the epic from the winner’s side. We always say ‘Grass is Greener on the other side’, but have we taken it into perspective? Such questions arise when we read new age mythological fiction. There are various writers who bring these divinely people to the world we live. Isn’t it how we should portray the epics. The decision rests on us finally on how to consider them as divine or devil or people with great ideals.

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