India is a country rich in culture and heritage, and one can see this reflected in Indian mythology. From childhood, every individual who has Indian origin listens to stories from mythology from their previous generations. This is how tradition passes from generation to generation, and we are very much aware of mythology in this century.
Indian mythology principally encompasses two epics, The Ramayana and The Mahabharata. These to are considered the backbone of modern Indian civilization. Though these epics are somehow connected to religious belief still in a more excellent prospect, they have a significant role in shaping the politics of modern India.
Indian epics are universal as well as timeless. If you go through the epics chapter by chapter and understand it well, you can see the events mentioned there are still very much related apart from the politics. Thousands of years ago, Indian people were very much advanced, both scientifically and technologically. As children, we often used to think that the events mentioned in the epic were some sort of magic. But as we grew up and thought more about it, we realized that each event that seemed magical had a proper scientific explanation.
The Ramayana and The Mahabharata were originally written in Sanskrit, an ancient language of India. Later it was translated into various languages, and people got to read it and get the essence of them properly because of the simplified languages used.
The best part is Ramayana and Mahabharata were adapted into popular culture, and writers represented the storyline from separate perspectives. They depict the story differently, which takes the storyline’s philosophy to a different level. These modern writings exemplify the relevance of the epics in modern times by connecting the dots neatly.
Let us talk about some books written based on Indian mythology, but the storyline and characters are discussed differently.
Meghnad Badh Kabya by Michael Madhusudan Dutt
Meghnad Badh Kavya is based on the Ramayana and tells the story of the defeated side. Meghnad was the son of Ravana, and here the storyline is all about his demise and the situation in Lanka after that. This depicts the story of the evil side and the injustice that happened to them.
We have grown up hearing the story from the perspective of Lord Rama, but here we read about the situation of Lanka when the war was going on, and they had already lost a lot of family members. This says that what we see is not the only thing happening; there are many more stories that stay untold.
Asura by Neelakantan
Asura is another one based on Ramayana. This shows the scenario of the war in the eyes of Ravana. Ravana is considered the ‘asur,’ which means evil. Like the previous one, this one also depicts the backstory and heroism of Ravana’s side, and it has the proper justification for every step they took in the war.
When it comes to Indian mythology, Lord Rama is always considered the hero, but if we think clearly, deep down, we will get to know the sides of Ravana too. His means are cruel, undoubtedly, but he never touched Sita. In this book, we know that Ravana was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Through the eyes of the losing side, we can see the grief-stricken scenario of Lanka because they also lost their loved ones in the war.
Trilogy by Amish Tripathi
This trilogy talks about a few events of Ramayana, like the birth of Lord Rama, exile, and triumph in the war in some imaginary aspects. Here, some events initially not mentioned in the epic are added to connect the dots regarding the myths.
The forest of enchantments
This piece of fictional writing tells the readers about the glory of women in Ramayana. The story is represented from a different point of view that mainly revolves around Sita. But characters like Kaikeyi or Surpanakha, who are not in the so-called limelight but have a significant role in Ramayana, have also been rendered here.
Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Mahabharata is depicted here without any alteration but in the eyes of Draupadi. Draupadi is the main woman in Mahabharata, and this says her feelings and state of mind during the war. This novel orates the perspective of women in a patriarchal society. This novel walks you through the story from Draupadi’s birth and reaches the climax when she dies.
Meanwhile, it tells about the experiences she had throughout her life. The sibling-like friendship between Lord Krishna and Panchali is nicely portrayed here. The dormant love that Panchali developed for Karna. The story of the Pandavas’ spouse has been illuminated here, which leaves the readers awestruck. Novels like this encourage plenty of new readers to go through Indian mythology from a different perspective systematically.
Ajaya: the role of dice
This is another rare piece of fictional work based on Mahabharata, which shows the scenario from the perspective of Duryodhana. Readers get a different essence while knowing unknown facts from the losing opposition. This undoubtedly makes the reader see the great war through the eyes of the protagonist of the Kaurava clan and experience a different perspective of the great epic.
The difficulty of being good
This one is philosophical writing by Gurucharan Das that has an immense impact on the revival of the popularity of the great epics by helping the readers explore different perspectives.
This modern civilization still knows the value of their tradition, and the epics are one of the reasons. The politics and advanced technologies from the epics are something very important to keep in mind and are very significant to date. Navaratri, or Durga Puja festival we celebrate every year, was initiated by Lord Rama, and we maintain the tradition.
There are several novels available that talk about the scientific facts about Mahabharata and encourage people to know mythological facts from a different light. In this way, our future generations will also grow up listening to the mythological stories that we grew up listening to.
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