This is part of my series of posts to aid in the reading of Devdutt Pattanaik’s book: Jaya: An illustrated retelling of the Mahabharata. See my Mahabharata index for more.
I will use this page to keep links to information on Devdutt Pattanaik. But first, some quick information I have learned:
Devdutt was born in 1970 in Oriya India and brought up in Mumbai. He was a physician who did pharma and healthcare industry work for 14 years with an avocation on researching and writing on mythology which has now become his full-time profession. He is a fun illustrator and speaker also.
Meaning of the author’s name
Since Indian names are, well, foreign to Westerners, I thought I’d have some fun and research the meaning of Devdutt Pattanaik’s name.
Devdutt (also, Devadatta) means “God given” and is the name of the conch (shankha) of Arjuna. In Hinduism, the conch shell is used as a war trumpet in the past and is a symbol for the god Vishnu. Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu and is here shown as Arjuna’s chariot driver and both of them blowing the war conch. Krishna’s conch is called “Panchjanya“.
Pattanaik (also Patnaik) is an Indian Kayastha caste surname. Kayasthas are considered to be members of the literate scribe caste, and have traditionally acted as keepers of records and public accounts, writers, and administrators of the state. Interestingly, Pattanaik is a writer!