Devdutt Pattanaik is an Indian mythologist and writer known for his work on ancient Indian scriptures. He has incorporated myth into human resource management. His books include Myth = Mithya: A Handbook of Hindu Mythology; Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata; Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana; Business Sutra: An Indian Approach to Management; Shikhandi: And Other Tales they Don’t Tell You; Shiva to Shankara : Giving Form to the Formless, in which he explores the layers of meanings embedded in Shiva’s linga, we discover why and how the Goddess transforms Shiva, the hermit, into Shankara, the householder; Leader : 50 Insights from Mythology uses myths and legends to arrive at wisdom that is both time-worn and refreshingly new, on what makes a good leader; and Culture : 50 Insights from Mythology a groundbreaking work that contextualizes mythology and proposes that myths are alive, dynamic, shaped by perception and the times one lives in.
He is the former Chief Belief Officer of Future Group, one of India’s largest retailers. He writes columns for Mid-Day, Times of India, Swarajya, Daily O and Scroll.in.
What catalysed your interest in this field?
Ans: It was just my hobby and nothing else. Writing was something that I used to do in my free time.
Which book do you consider as your best your and in what sense?
Ans: The one which I’m writing right now is the best, because I keep improving all the time. (Laughs)
What is your view on how does modern India view Indian mythologies and epics in general?
Ans: I don’t really have any views on this. Different people have different views, some people like it, some don’t like it, some people are glad to progress whereas some pope, are apprehensive about it. Different people have different views. But what is good about it is that we are at least exploring the past. Because at one time we stopped exploring the past, the big shift is that we are now open to explore new things in the past.
What does ‘religion’ mean to you?
Ans: Religion is a set of rules for people who don’t take responsibilities.
Your views on censorship in India.
Ans: Some people need censorship.(Smiles)
A book on mythology that you would like to recommend children.
Ans: My books,so that the children could read my voice of thought. I would like to suggest them – ‘The Girl Who Chose: A New Way of Narrating the Ramayana’.
Message for our readers
Ans: Read my books.(Smiles)