Jaya!

“Mahabharata is a story” is as much as an understatement as saying that “Hubble Telescope is a big magnifying glass”. After Veda Vyasa compiled the 4 Vedas , he had this inexplicable urge to write a story it seems, A story which would convey the most abstract of Vedic Truths to the simplest of men. Vyasa called this tale ‘Jaya’,meaning the tale of victory. The story was first about an idea, the idea changed and it came to be known as ‘Vijaya’. Before long it became not about the idea but about the people and got re-titled to ‘Bharata’, The story of the Bharata clan. The expansion continued and detailed conversation on genealogy, history, astrology, geography, economics, philosophy and metaphysics were included. Even the story of Krishna’s early years were added. That is how the Bharata came to be the Mahabharata, the ‘great’ epic of India.

I am pretty sure that everybody knows of the Mahabharata and most people owe this knowledge to DD’s teleserial of the same name. Think this was one of the most viewed serial on TV in those times. I still remember the opening song, Still remember the bed of arrows of Bhishmapitamaha, The cunning smile of Nitish Bharadwaj as Shri Krishna, The fireworks during the arrow duels, these memories etched from childhood.  Now If we know everything about this story then why should one bother picking up this book called ‘Jaya’ -A retelling of Mahabharata.

Before I go on about the contents of this book, Let me just make a mention of the author. My manager mentioned of Devdutt Patnaik few months back. Devdutt Patnaik is the CBO of Future group, A leading retailer which includes Big bazaar and pantaloons. The designation of CBO which stands for, Chief Belief Officer is I believe one of a kind in this world.  I was intrigued as to what would be expected of a guy on this designation. I went through his portal and a lot of blogs and made up my mind that I should read at least one of his book.  To put it in most crude way, He tries to make sense out of mythology. To understand this in more elegant way, you guys need to pick up any of his book. I actually was thinking of reading his books from long time but didn’t find an opportunity, till Anu happened to recommend this book and even lend me her copy! Thanks Anu.

“Jaya” is a must read for any person who is remotely interested in any sort of reading and not necessarily mythology. We are familiar with some of the main stream stories involved but there are so many sub plots and so many flashbacks spanning thousands of years. Within the maze of stories flows the river of wizdom. Mahabharata is shown in a wider perspective of cosmic balance.  The flow is smooth, the language is lucid and it goes much beyond than merely telling a unidimensional story. After every chapter, The author presents to us some notes,thoughts, some folk source and some practical point of view on the story. These Tit-Bits actually get more interesting than the actual story, This is where the book wins over other books. He tries to take out the myth from the mythology and tries to give a practical spin on what would have happened. This results in a more uncensored content too. At every point we are given a back ground story which might go back by hundred of years or previous life or ancestors of the characters. The act that happened then results in something in the life of generations down the family line. We realize that Mahabharata is not a book about Dharma , It’s about the conflict and analysis of the root of conflict. We understand that everything that happens in the world happens for a reason and nobody is single-handedly responsible for anything that happens. It’s a culmination of events that happened over thousands of years and everything that happened has led to this event.

The best part of the book for which it is a must read is the chapter called Song of God. The whole Bhagawat Gita is summarised into 4 pages.  These pages have so much of profound meaning and depth in them. I could read this again and again. I plan to have a Jaya page on this blog page where I would have some stories from this book and the moral as I read them again and again.  I loved this book to the core and would highly recommend this to even the new readers who are yet to pickup a reading habit. I put an end with some words from this book,

“Have faith in the existence of the soul. Accept that nothing happens without a reason. Accept that all experiences have a purpose, Accept that the soul doesnt favour either you or your enemies, that there is a reality greater that what we perceive. Accept that infinite occurrences if the universe cannot be fathomed by the finite human mind. Surrender unconditionally, even in the absence of evidence, to the truth of the cosmos. In humility, there is faith , when there is faith, there is no fear.”

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6 Responses to “Jaya!”

  1. 🙂 glad you liked the book as much. 🙂 loved reading this.

  2. Hey dude! I used to read this- http://www.scribd.com/doc/20621790/Bhimsen

    Mahabharata from Bheema’s perspective. And loved it a lot. Whose perspective does Jaya represent? I mean any of the actors in the Mahabharat?

    • prajwalpai Says:

      This is more os Vyasa’s point of view. After each chapter, the Author tells what idea Vyasa had behind the story/event, what is he trying to convey. Its a must read dude.

  3. vinishahalli Says:

    My next read…as soon as I can lay my hands on your book! 🙂 Waiting for your Jaya pages.

  4. a few weeks ago, was so confused if this was worth buying. but now, i feel like i should.

    first off, i should check if someone’d lend me this 😉

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