Dr Devdutt Pattanaik is a medical doctor by training, a business consultant by profession and a mythologist by passion. He writes and lectures
extensively on the relevance of sacred stories, symbols and rituals in modern times, and it is in this capacity that he has joined the Future Group
as Chief Belief Officer where his role is to help construct the culture of the entire organization because from beliefs come behaviour.
Dr Pattanaik regularly writes in the Economic Times, Times of India, Hindustan Times, First City magazine and Sunday Midday. His
many books include Myth-Mithya, Book of Ram, and Pregnant King.
The images in the book have been picked up from the street, from vendors who sit outside temples and sell their wares to pilgrims. Art historians
have explained the origin of these images - how artists like Raja Ravi Varma and the printing technology of the nineteenth century ensured that
these illustrations reached almost every Hindu household across India, and how they came to dominate the visualization of the common man’s
faith. In recent times, foreign tourists have been captivated by their supernatural content and gaudy colours. Fashion gurus have used them on the
catwalk, incorporating them on apparel and accessories to get the attention of consumers, collectors and the media. But few have stopped to
think about them - where does this imagery come from? What are they saying? And, in ignorance, often innocence, sacred art has become
fantasy art, used by some in ways that others consider disrespectful.
Attempts to explain the ‘fantastic’ imagery are usually either defensive, apologetic or chauvinistic, as one tries to legitimize the
content using logic or comparisons with other religions. Faith can never be scientific and words like ‘sin’ and ‘prophet’ do not help in
understanding the worldview of the Hindus.
To best appreciate Hindu art, one has to enter a new paradigm, a new way of explaining things. One has to explore new notions of
perfection and possibility, quite different from the more familiar and more popular Greek, Biblical or Oriental worldviews. This book is an
attempt to introduce the reader to this new paradigm.
The book consciously uses black and white renditions of the art so that the colors do not distract the reader from the content. Great
attention as not been paid to the quality of the images as the point of the book is not the aesthetics of the image but the translation of this unique
visual vocabulary created by our ancestors. I would have loved to list down and acknowledge each and every artist and printer; however, tracing
them is virtually impossible since the images are not only mass-produced, but also constantly reproduced with minor changes by different
artists; often, the same image is brought out by different printers.
Finally, like all things Hindu, the explanations is this book are just one of the many ways in which this art can be looked at Read this
book, keeping in mind:
Back of the Book
‘The book has little gems scattered all over within its narrative… (a) truly amazing book…7 Secrets from Hindu Calendar Art is arguably the
most well-researched book of (Devdutt Pattanaik).’
Hindu mythology abounds with fascinating gods, goddesses and characters whose visual representations - through calendar art - are
equally colourful. Hindu calendar art may seem fantastic and kitsch, but it is in fact the most democratic expression of a mythic imagery that was
once restricted to temple walls and palm leaf manuscripts. These portraits of the Hindu pantheon of gods and the stories that surround them can
be found on the walls and puja rooms of almost every Hindu household in India. Rich in symbols, each image is a piece of an ancient
metaphysical jigsaw puzzle. In this book, Dr. Devdutta Pattanaik, India’s renowned mythologist, decodes these symbols to reveal a wisdom that
has nourished India for thousands of years.
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