Sunday, May 13, 2012

An Identity Card for Krishna - Devdutt Pattanaik

An Identity Card For Krishna, by Devdutt Pattanaik

Note: since I first wrote this and other reviews of Devdutt Pattanaik's books, I have gained a better understanding of Hindu texts and scriptures. I believe Devdutt Pattanaik's writings are influenced heavily by western frameworks and agendas on the one hand, and introduce subtle and sometimes outright distortions in the interpretation of these texts. A small sample of the kinds of outright errors and distortions that would shame any scholar of Hinduism can be found in this blog post.
I therefore do not recommend any of Devdutt Pattanaik's books that I have reviewed on my blog. - Abhinav, Nov 3, 2017.

Short, fun read for kids on flags and gods in Hinduism

Arjuna's flag (on his chariot) had a monkey (Hanuman) sitting atop. Krishna has a peacock. Duryodhana, Bheeshma, Drona, all had distinctive flags on their chariots. Why? Why do gods need flags, and that too distinctive, and distinct from each others? This short and fun read from Devdutt Pattanaik, mytholigist par-excellence, takes children on a brief journey into this history, set in today's modern times, where the blue-skinned god, Krishna, needs to produce identification to get through security at the airport, and is on his way to Assam to listen to the story of how gods were mandated by sage Chavana (Chyavana), husband of Sukanya, to have this form of identification. The wise sage wasn't too happy, I suppose, with the fact that the celestial twins, the Ashwini brothers, probably had designs on the sage's wife, Sukanya. But that is, another read!

The book is a short and enjoyable read, but perhaps could have been a little longer, and introduced children to some more philosophical concepts.
Image from

Sukanya (759) from
Krishna (501) from
Stories of Krishna (5 in 1 series) from
Bhagawat: The Krishna Avatar from

© 2012, Abhinav Agarwal. All rights reserved.