New Delhi (PTI): In his quest to demystify the Sanatan Dharma, author Devdutt Pattanaik has chosen the “Hanuman Chalisa” as the subject of his new book.
Titled “My Hanuman Chalisa”, he has dedicated the book to trolls.
Oxford dictionary defines a troll, in folklore, as an ugly creature depicted as either a giant or a dwarf, while in present times it is a reference made to individuals making offensive comments online deliberately.
“We don’t realise how wisdom spreads in our country. A common man sings ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ and in it lies all the wisdom of the Vedas locked in words and phrases. A little attention to them opens up the mind like anything. I am trying to make the modern world aware of this,” he told PTI.
“I explain in the book what was written 400 years ago and contains knowledge of 4,000 years. We are not taught all of this in schools and colleges. Even our parents really don’t know about it. Even the seers are not technical. Now, the educated class raises questions, so I write for them,” he added.
The cover of the book too depicts a picture of Hanuman carrying mountain with the Sanjeevani herb in one hand and ‘gada’ in the other, while crushing under his feet the ‘Bhutgan’, symbolic of the modern day troll.
“The internet has given us a lot of freedom. But what do we do with this freedom? Do we let our positive energies come out or our negative energies? Many people indulge with their negative energies.
“Trolls are within all of us. I recognised this and became a ‘warrior in this battlefield’, but I realised that Hanuman was the greatest of all warriors but he wasn’t a troll. He was happy and joyful. He was in rangbhoomi, not ranbhoomi. So this (book) is the best dedication,” Pattnaik said.
The author insisted it was important to change the negative energies into positive ones.
“You need to learn to manage trolls. They are here to stay.”
But, does he find it “risky” to write on Hindu epics at a volatile time like this?
“I’ve been writing for 20 years. This is what I know.
People will take offence in anything, what can I do?”
He said those who attacked people for “religious reasons”, did it because of their “ego”.
“I’m in the business of knowledge and nobody likes knowledge, we all resist it. I have seen that every person who gets outraged lacks knowledge. Those with knowledge don’t get outraged. They may get curious. And, I love such people,” he said.
Pattanaik, who has over 30 books to his credit, said the idea for the book had been there for the past two years, but it only took him three months to pen it down.
The 165-page book by Rupa publications is priced at Rs 295 and is available both in stores and online.