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Book Review : Pashu by Devdutt Pattanaik

Writers | 9-12 yrs | Interactive, Reading Pod

Pick up any story from Hindu Mythology. Maybe the Ramayana or the stories your grandmother told you about Ganesha, Krishna or Vishnu.

Can you see a link in all these stories of mythology?

Ok, let us give you the answer. The golden deer, Jatayu in Ramayana, the naag whom Krishna fought; all Hindu mythological stories are filled with animals or ‘Pashu’ who play important roles.

Pashu- Animal Tales from Hindu mythology, written by Devdutt Pattanaik, unveils the secrets of the animal world, which is so important in Hindu mythology.

When we worship any Hindu God, He or She is supported by an animal figure. Why does Shiva have a snake coiled around his neck? Why is Lakshmi represented by an owl? Why is Garuda Vishnu’s vahana? You get to know these small secrets of the animal world by reading interesting stories about them in this book. These stories are found in various ancient Hindu texts and it is Devdutt who simplifies them in this kids book..

Did you know that Gandhari crushed the 100 children of a mother bug? Heartbroken, the mother bug cursed her, “You too will watch your hundred children die before your eyes.” Snippets like these will make the epics come alive for you.

It is a Hindu belief that we all have been animals in our past life and in our future life also, we can be reborn as animals. Whether we swim or fly or crawl or creep or with paws or hooves- the animal kingdom and humans are part of the same circle.

“Man must aspire to create heaven on earth, a place where tigers and goats can be friends.”

The stories in this book come alive with beautiful illustrations by the author himself. Best selling books are usually not on mythology, but this one deserves a place on any good books to read list.

Excerpted from Pashu, by Devdutt Pattanaik. Published by Puffin Books, Rs.299.