Divinity in Hinduism is the human potential to rise above our animal nature. It is that which enables us to live a life without hunger or anxiety. – Ramayana versus Mahabharata by Devdutt Pattanaik.


Devdutt Pattanaik is a magician when it comes to mythology. I would rather say that he is a yogi gifted to the literary world. When he starts to explain you just don’t want to stop reading! And exact same magic is this book Ramayana versus Mahabharata published by Rupa Publications.

The book is only 192 pages long but the content and the presentation makes it a breezy read. You zap through this book and you never realize that you are about to finish this playful comparison.

Devdutt touches every aspect, minutest details possible. He also makes it a point to include how queer was a much discussed topic in our epics, the topic we, the people of 21st century, shy away from talking about. So this book to me is a complete package. It satisfied the curiosity in me about the similarities between the two epics. The chapters are short and crisp. It is knowledge heavy, yes, but it feels like a light read.

This comprehensive study makes our epics come across as an absolute and best literary fiction crafted by Indians. There is wit, logic, there is adhyatma and drama. You can look at it from any perspective and you are sure to take back something from it, retellings included. Talking of retellings, the author also includes the teachings of Buddhism and Jainism to show us how very similar some of it’s principles are to our epics.

Ramayana versus Mahabharata, this playful comparison is done basis 8 aspects namely narration, family, rupture, exile, war, aftermath, retelling and wisdom. Using these key aspects the author delves deeper into the epics. The language is simple. Moreover it is intelligent and interactive. It is as if the author is talking on his famous show, Devlok, or giving a lecture in a lit fest!

Overall, this book is epic! It is intelligent, involving, logical, concise and fascinating. Pick it up.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.🌠 (4.5)
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Available: Amazon, Flipkart, In-store

#HappyReading