Stories Of India Retold

Indian Mythology Simplified One Story at a Time. A retelling of stories—and the stories behind the stories—from Indian epics like the Mahabharata and Ramayana, puranas, and folklore through the eyes of a book-loving, history buff. Find stories about fantastical creatures; mortals and immortals; or just ordinary men and women achieving extraordinary feats.

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Episodes

Wednesday Dec 06, 2023

The heroes Arjuna and Krishna are involved in the burning of the Khandava forest–a dark episode in the Mahabharata known as the Khandava Daha(burning). Thousands died-particularly the people belonging to the Naga tribe; their leader Takshaka and his son survive and they would never forget or forgive this injustice. This story from the Khandava Daha Parva or episode, tells us the story of:
-Arjuna and Krishna's deal with Agni.
-The reasons for burning the Khandava tract
-Arjuna and Krishna's fight against Indra.
-The few who escaped the fire. 
-New allies and enemies.
 
Podcast website: https://storiesofindiaretold.podbean.com 
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Apple Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/stories-of-india-retold/id1612002041
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References:
Anand, S. (1990). KHĀṆḌAVADĀHA : A LESSON IN ECOLOGY. Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 71(1/4), 25–59. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41693516
Bhargava, P. L. (1982). A FRESH APPRAISAL OF THE HISTORICITY OF INDIAN EPICS. Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 63(1/4), 15–28. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41692964
The Mahabharata 1: Complete and Unabridged; translated by Bibek Debroy. (2015). Penguin Random House India. (Original work published 2010)
 
Music: Les-ly - Mini Vandals; Hopeless - Jimena Contreras 
 
 
#ancientindia #india #indianhistory #bharat #mahabharata #ancientindianhistory #mahabharatainenglish #mythology  #stories #indianstories #indiatravel #newpodcastepisode #podcastrecommendation #arjuna #dharma #realmahabharata #pandavas #indianpodcast #krishna #khandavaforestburning #forestfire #nagas #takshaka

Monday Oct 23, 2023

Arjuna’s actions lead to his exile from Khandavaprastha for 12 years. Arjuna spends the 12-years traveling, building allies and falling in love a few times. Come, follow Arjuna’s adventures!
In order to avoid any chance of breeding resentment amongst themselves, the Pandava brothers decide to set rules regarding their marriage–the rule was simple–if, when a brother was in a room with Draupadi, another brother may not enter that room. Did any brother break that rule? What consequence would they face if they–wittingly or unwittingly–break the rule?
Listen to the stories of:
- Reasons for Arjuna’s exile from Khandavaprastha and brahmacharya.
- Places and tirthas Arjuna visited
- Arjuna’s adventures and valor
- Arjuna and Ulupi
- Arjuna and Chitrangada
- Abduction of Soubhadra
- Meeting Krishna in Dwaraka
Blog: http://storiesofindiaretold.com
Podcast website: https://storiesofindiaretold.podbean.com 
Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold
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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Stories-of-India-Retold-105376315392520
 
Apple Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/stories-of-india-retold/id1612002041
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/2XCH6ZI6H582CIDjY9u35w?si=cd245a77e5e94d3a
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iheart Radio https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-stories-of-india-retold-93474409/
Player fm: https://player.fm/series/3321447
Listen Notes: https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/stories-of-india-retold-storiesofindiaretold-r1EbLGtHzZM/embed/
 
Music: Beyond- Patrick Patrikios
 
#ancientindia #india #indianhistory #bharat #mahabharata #ancientindianhistory #mahabharatainenglish #lovestories #love #mythology #indianmarriage #stories #indianstories #indiatravel #newpodcastepisode #podcastrecommendation #indianromance #polygamy #arjuna #brahmacharya #exile #dharma #realmahabharata #pandavas #indianpodcast

Sunday Sep 17, 2023

Pandavas are finally returning home! Their very advantageous marriage to Draupadi proves to be a brilliant strategy as the Kauravas are taking notice and are calling them back home. This absolutely does not mean that all the Kauravas are glad to see them. Still, the pressure on the Kauravas to do the right thing is intense. The Pandavas are coming home, and there is nothing they can do about it.
Listen to the stories of:
-How things changed for the Pandavas after their marriage to Draupadi.
-Kauravas react to news that Pandavas were alive
-Pandavas return to Hastinapura
-How things were settled between the cousins
-The city of Khandavaprashta and why it is also called Indraprastha.
Podcast website: https://storiesofindiaretold.podbean.com 
Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold
Threads: https://www.threads.net/@storiesofindiaretold
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Stories-of-India-Retold-105376315392520
Blog: http://storiesofindiaretold.com
Music: At Depth- Lish Grooves
Gupta, K. (1939). THE NĀGAS AND THE NAGA CULT IN ANCIENT INDIAN HISTORY. Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, 3, 214–229. http://www.jstor.org/stable/44252377
 
MATE, M. S. (2012). RIDDLE OF THE “NAGAS.” Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute, 72/73, 331–335. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43610709
 
The Mahabharata 1: Complete and Unabridged; translated by Bibek Debroy. (2015). Penguin Random House India. (Original work published 2010)
 
#mythology #indianmyth #indianmythology #history #indianhistory #draupadi #swayamvara #polyandry #newpodcastalert #podcast #culture #indianculture #desiweddings #indianweddings #indianmarriage #polygamy #feminism #podcastrecommendation #mahabharata #mahabharat #indianhistory
 

Tuesday Aug 29, 2023

How acceptable was a marriage like that of Draupadi and Pandavas in their time? How did society evolve with respect to attitudes about different types of relationships and marriages? Dig deeper into the stories of why Draupadi was destined to have five husbands and look into the concept of polyandry and its practice in ancient India.
Polygamy: marriage in which a spouse of either sex may have more than one mate at the same time
Polygyny: the state or practice of having more than one wife or female mate at a time
Polyandry: the state or practice of having more than one husband or male mate at one time
Fraternal Polyandry: polyandry in which several brothers share one wife
Source: Merriam-Webster
 
Listen to:
-attitudes regarding relationship and marriages in vedic society and its evolution
-stories supporting or justifying the decision for Draupadi’s marriage to five brothers
 
Blog: http://storiesofindiaretold.com
Podcast website: https://storiesofindiaretold.podbean.com 
Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold
Threads: https://www.threads.net/@storiesofindiaretold
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Stories-of-India-Retold-105376315392520
 
References:
  Darshini, P. (2014). FEMINISM A HISTORICAL INTERFACE BETWEEN LITERATURE AND HISTORY DURING GUPTA PERIOD. Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, 75, 107–115. http://www.jstor.org/stable/44158368
 
  Sahgal, S. (2005). Indian History Congress Prize Essay: POLYANDRY WITHIN PATRIARCHY; REITERATION OF MALE HEGEMONY IN THE SOCIO-SEXUAL CONTEXTS OF EARLY INDIA. Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, 66, 199–214. http://www.jstor.org/stable/44145838
 
  The Mahabharata 1: Complete and Unabridged; translated by Bibek Debroy. (2015). Penguin Random House India. (Original work published 2010)
 
#mythology #indianmyth #indianmythology #history #indianhistory #draupadi #swayamvara #polyandry #newpodcastalert #podcast #culture #indianculture #desiweddings #indianweddings #indianmarriage #polygamy #feminism #podcastrecommendation #mahabharata #mahabharat #indianhistory
 
 

Thursday May 25, 2023

Draupadi was a catch. She was the princess of Panchala, a kingdom which was both wealthy and influential. The young Pandavas needed a powerful ally and Panchala fit the bill perfectly. When they heard that Drupada had arranged for a swayamvara for his daughter Draupadi, the Pandavas joined numerous other kings and princes to try and win her hand. Things get a little complicated because they attended the swayamvara disguised as brahmanas. 
 
Music: Venkatesananda-Jesse Gallagher; At Depth-Lish Grooves; Yoga Style-Chris Haugen
Blog: http://storiesofindiaretold.com
Podcast website: https://storiesofindiaretold.podbean.com 
Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold
Resources:
Sahgal, S. (2005). Indian History Congress Prize Essay: POLYANDRY WITHIN PATRIARCHY; REITERATION OF MALE HEGEMONY IN THE SOCIO-SEXUAL CONTEXTS OF EARLY INDIA. Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, 66, 199–214. http://www.jstor.org/stable/44145838
The Mahabharata 1: Complete and Unabridged; translated by Bibek Debroy. (2015). Penguin Random House India. (Original work published 2010)
 
#mythology #indianmyth #indianmythology #history #indianhistory #draupadi #swayamvara #polyandry 

Friday May 12, 2023

The #Kauravas and #Pandavas come from line of rulers belonging to illustrious Chandravamsha (Chandra-Moon)or the #Lunar Dynasty. The #Bharata, #Puru, #Kuru and #Yadu #clans came from this #legendary #Kshatriya (warrior class) house. They ruled the northern Indian #subcontinent in the #Vedic age (late Bronze-early Iron Age) and left an indelible mark on the religious, social and cultural identity of present-day India and beyond.
Listen to the #podcast:
The founders of the different clans which emerged from the #dynasty
The #love #stories and marriages of some of the more famous rulers of the Chandravamsha
The stories of the birth of the rulers, how and why they succeeded in leading their clan.
Issues of #infertility, miscarriage–how it affected the succession line; how it was handled.
Music: At Depth-Lish Grooves
Blog: http://storiesofindiaretold.com
Podcast website: https://storiesofindiaretold.podbean.com 
Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold
 
References:
Mishra, V. B. (1977). THE PRACTICE OF NIYOGA IN ANCIENT LITERATURE OF INDIA : A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY. Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 58/59, 773–776. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41691747
Sahgal, S. (2011). GENDERED INQUIRY INTO NIYOGA: APPRAISING THE INSTITUTION FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF FEMALE ACTORS. Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, 72, 179–192. http://www.jstor.org/stable/44146710
The Mahabharata 1: Complete and Unabridged; translated by Bibek Debroy. (2015). Penguin Random House India. (Original work published 2010)
The Illustrated Mahabharata: The Definitive Guide to India’s Greatest Epic. (2017). Dorling Kindersley India.
Witzel, Michael (1995). “Early Sanskritization. Origins and Development of the Kuru State”. Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies. 1-4: 1-26
#mythology #indianmyth #indianmythology #history #indianhistory #chandravamsha

Friday Apr 28, 2023

On their way to #Panchala, the #Pandavas met with the #Gandharva King, #Angaaraparna. Things were tense between them initially; they did not start out as friends. After a #fight, in which #Arjuna easily defeated Angaaraparna, the #demigod Gandharva was immensely impressed with Arjuna’s talents and character, and they struck up a mutually beneficial #friendship.
 
Listen to the story of:
-The reasons the Pandavas decided to travel to Panchala
-Pandavas’ first meeting with Angaaraparna
-The fight between Angaaraparna and Arjuna
-The deal between Angaaraparna and Arjuna
-Arjuna obtains the #knowledge of #Chakshushi from Angaaraparna
-The reasons the Pandavas decided to avail the services of a #priest.
 
Music: Venkatesananda-Jesse Gallagher; At Depth-Lish Grooves
Blog: http://storiesofindiaretold.com
Podcast website: https://storiesofindiaretold.podbean.com 
Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold
References:
The Mahabharata 1: Complete and Unabridged; translated by Bibek Debroy. (2015). Penguin Random House India. (Original work published 2010)
#mahabharata #mahabharat #indianepic #epic #ancientindia #india

Friday Apr 21, 2023

Drupada and Drona’s rivalry is legendary. #Drupada wanted revenge for the humiliating defeat handed down to him by his former friend, #Drona. Because he had no suitable heir, Drupada arranged for a #sacrifice which would provide him with an heir who would have the power to defeat Drona. The sacrifice produced not one, but two children–a son named #Dhrishtadyumna, and a daughter named #Krishnaa. They were both destined to help Drupada obtain his revenge against Drona.
Listen to the story of:
Drupada’s reasons to want revenge against Drona
The sacrifice which would produce Drupada’s heir
Yaja and Upayaja
How Dhrishtadyumna and #Draupadi came from the sacrificial fire
Draupadi’s role in the story of the #Mahabharata.
Email your questions to: storiesofindiaretold@gmail.com
Blog: http://storiesofindiaretold.com
Podcast website: https://storiesofindiaretold.podbean.com 
Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold
Music: Jesse Gallagher
Image: See page for author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
References:
The Mahabharata 1: Complete and Unabridged; translated by Bibek Debroy. (2015). Penguin Random House India. (Original work published 2010)
 #newpodcast #newpodcastalert #ancientindia #indianmythology#indian #epic #podcastrecommendations

Friday Mar 31, 2023

Rakshasa Baka was a bully who terrorized the people of Ekachakra. The people of #Ekachakra were ruled by an incompetent King who did nothing to keep them safe. #Baka volunteered to provide the people with protection from invaders and enemies; however, in exchange he demanded that the people of Ekachakra take turns to provide him with payment, which, unfortunately included eating the person who delivered it to him. The #Pandavas made Ekachakra their temporary home while in hiding. When the truth about Baka became known to them, they decided that it was their duty to protect innocent people and #Bhima was tasked with slaying the rakshasa Baka.
 
Listen to the story of:
 
Pandavas’ journey to Ekachakra.
Baka’s demands in exchange for protection for the people of Ekachakra
The conundrum of the brahmana who hosted the Pandavas
Kunti’s offer to help the kind brahmana and his family
The slaying of Baka by Bhima
 
#mahabharata #ancientindia #heroes #podcastrecommendation #newpodcastalert
 
Email your questions to: storiesofindiaretold@gmail.com
Blog: http://storiesofindiaretold.com
Podcast website: https://storiesofindiaretold.podbean.com 
Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold

Sunday Mar 26, 2023


The Rakshasa (female:Rakshasi) is a race of beings who were big and fierce looking. They were powerful warriors and were mostly portrayed as the bad guys in ancient Indian scriptures. #Hidimba was one of the better-known Rakshasas in #Indian #mythology–an entire parva is named after the story of his death in the #Mahabharata. After killing Hidimba, the #Pandavas forged an alliance with the #Rakshasas through Bhima’s marriage with Hidimba’s sister. #Bhima and Hidimba had a son named #Gatodkacha, who was extremely loyal to the Pandavas and played an important role in the Pandavas’ victory in the Kurukshetra war.
 
Listen to the story of:
-The brother (Rakshasa) and sister (Rakshasi) named Hidimba.
-Rakshasi Hidimba’s wish to protect Bhima from her brother.
-Bhima’s fight with Hidimba and the latter’s subsequent death.
-Bhima’s marriage to Hidimba and the birth of their son Gatotkacha.
 
Email your questions to: storiesofindiaretold@gmail.com
Blog: http://storiesofindiaretold.com
Podcast website: https://storiesofindiaretold.podbean.com 
Instagram: @storiesofindiaretold
 
#podcastrecommendation #newpodcastalert #india #indianmythology
References:
The Mahabharata 1: Complete and Unabridged; translated by Bibek Debroy. (2015). Penguin Random House India. (Original work published 2010)
Patil, S. (1976). Myth and Reality of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Social Scientist, 4(8), 68–72. https://doi.org/10.2307/3516381

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About

“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.”

Sue Monk Kidd, author.

  

For the people of India, stories from ancient Indian literature is a window into who we are as a people. These stories may be thousands of years old, but they have survived in the hearts and minds of millions of people over generations.

   The Epics (Mahabharata, Ramayana), Vedas, Puranas and the folklore of India are not only entertaining, but also tell us about the history of our people and their values. The stories are often times highly exaggerated and layered with fantastical elements—but that is what makes it for a fun reading, and is probably the reason why they have survived, and are beloved still after all these years.

   I have been a lifelong lover and reader of books and stories. I am also a parent to two young kids and I wish to share with them the same stories I grew up listening to; the same stories our ancestors, going back thousands of years, grew up listening to. And that is how I started reading books, collecting the stories, and—most important of all—sharing the stories with my two kids, who love to hear all about the superheroes of ancient India.

   The stories I publish in this blog is my humble effort at retelling these beautiful stories. The goal is to remain true to the original story (that we know of) as much as possible, but presenting it in a way that is more relatable to children (and adults) today.I read books and research papers and whatever materials I can get my hands on to give you the most authentic stories.

   Please join me to explore the world of men, women and gods; mortals and immortals; flying chariots; otherworldly, shapeshifting dragon-like serpents; or just ordinary people achieving extraordinary feats.

   Peace and Love.

 

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