High above the sky stands Swarga, paradise, abode of the gods. Still above is Vaikuntha, heaven, abode of God. The doorkeepers of Vaikuntha are the twins, Jaya and Vijaya, both whose names mean 'victory'. One keeps you in Swarga; the other raises you into Vaikuntha. In Vaikuntha there is bliss forever, in Swarga there is pleasure for only as long as you deserve.
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Being brought up in a family strongly bound by Hindu values and morals, my affair with the Mahabharata is a lengthy one. Right from childhood, my curiosity about this epic has made me read multiple versions of it — from the simple yet colorful illustrations of Amar Chitra Katha to the heavy and verbose retelling by C.
I have always felt that no matter how many versions you read, there is always something new that you learn with every version and Jaya confirms that belief. Jaya is a retelling of the Mahabharata , but with a few new ingredients that make it an appetizing dish for the mind. The story is narrated by Astika, the nephew of Vasuki, the king of Nagas to Janamejaya, a descendant of the Pandavas, who has ordered the killing of all snakes in his land. The book also includes a short summary of the Bhagavad Gita , which abridges this complex book for the common man.
The side notes after every chapter that make comparisons among local folklore from different Indian states as well as versions of the Mahabharata from Indonesia give the reader a much deeper perspective on stories which would otherwise have been have overlooked. The author intervenes after each story to analyze the situation, activities and scenario to make the readers understand the reason behind the telling of each story. He articulates the evolution of Hindu rituals and beliefs from the Vedic times to recent history in an eloquent manner.
This is what distinguishes the book from the other versions of the Mahabharata that I have read. It is also an indicator of the amount of research effort the author undertook to give out such splendid details. Even though the epic is a complex one with a lot of links connecting the characters, the author manages to seamlessly intertwine the characters and plots so that the reader does not have a hard time remembering the earlier mentioned related events; truly a feat when it comes to retelling an epic as detailed as the Mahabharata.
The illustrations are yet another notable feature of this book- be it Sarathi advising Arjuna on his chariot or the baby parrots who heard the war happen in Kurukshetra or the battle between Shikandi and Bhishma or Krishna after the Kurukshetra war, resting under a tree, the artwork is simple yet detailed.
Their beauty lies in their simplicity; these images speak for themselves and summarize the stories beautifully. The beauty of a book lies in how far it reaches out to its readers, and Jaya accomplishes that very easily.
This is one of the best re-tellings of a timeless epic, through which Devdutt Pattanaik makes his mark as a master storyteller. Review : The Pregnant King - Bookish. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
The author has put in considerable effort into the creation of this work, making it one of the best retellings so far. About Latest Posts. Love to read and have been reading since 5. Amatuer photographer and experimental cook! One of the best things in the world, according to me, is the smell of the pages in a book!
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Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata
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Review: Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata by Devdutt Pattanaik
Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? High above the sky stands Swarga, paradise, abode of the gods. Still above is Vaikuntha, heaven, abode of God. The doorkeepers of Vaikuntha are the twins, Jaya and Yijaya, both whose names mean 'victory'.
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