21 September, 2020

The Immortal Sekander, Son Of Helios, Brother Of Revanta

Devdutt Pattanaik’s eminently readable book compares the Indian and Greek myth systems to find convergences and divergences, all through an Indic prism

Gods Of Water
Poseidon, or Neptune, above; facing page, Varuna
Photograph by Getty Images
The Immortal Sekander, Son Of Helios, Brother Of Revanta
outlookindia.com
2016-11-28T14:23:49+05:30

Myths form an integral part, the core, of any culture, religion or civilisation and play a foundational role in their imagined lives. They are traditional tales, heroic, sometimes epic in proportion; and they endeavour to explain the mysteries and secrets of the created world. Their inherent cosmic subject matter means it is offered up for various interpretations, ranging from the literal to the symbolic. Pankaj K. Singh in her book Re-presenting Women writes, “Fluid in time and space, the mythical narrative brings together the world of mortals and gods over a span of time incomprehensible by rational causality, even as it encompasses the miraculous and the improbable.”

No wonder, this fluidity and the ele­ments of miracle and improbability thread myths with layer upon layer of meaning that permeates down into human consciousness over the ages and that have fascinated scholars for ages, challenging them to unravel a novel under­standing of what they convey. The universality of human experience also provides many myths from cultures far...

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