Devdutt Pattanaik

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Devdutt Pattanaik
Devdutt Pattanaik 01.jpg
Devdutt Pattanaik in 2014
Born 11 December 1970 (1970-12-11) (age 46)
Mumbai, India
Nationality Indian, Odia
Occupation Mythologist, writer, columnist, illustrator
Known for Works on Indian mythology

Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik (Odia:ଦେବଦତ୍ତ ପଟ୍ଟନାୟକ) is an Indian physician turned leadership consultant, mythologist, author and communicator whose works focus largely on the areas of myth,[1] religion,[2] mythology,[3][4][5] and also management. He has written over 600 articles and 30 books on the relevance of sacred stories, symbols and rituals in modern times, including Myth = Mithya: A Handbook of Hindu Mythology, Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata, Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana, Business Sutra: An Indian Approach to Management, Shikhandi: And Other Tales they Don't Tell You.[6]

He is the former chief belief officer of Future Group, one of India's largest retailers,.[7][8] He writes columns for the newspaper MiD DAY.,[9] Swarajya magazine.,[10],[11][12] DailyO [13][14] and Speaking Tree [15][16]

Early life and education[edit]

Devdutt Pattanaik is an Odia, born and brought up in Mumbai, he spent his childhood and student life in Chembur, Mumbai.[9] He graduated in medicine (M.B.B.S.) from Grant Medical College, Mumbai and subsequently did a course in Comparative Mythology from Mumbai University.[17]


Devdutt Pattanaik

He worked in the pharma and healthcare industry (Sanofi Aventis and Apollo Group of Hospitals,[18] respectively) for 14 years and spent his spare time writing articles and books on mythology,[19][20] which eventually became his full-time passion. He has also worked as a consultant at Ernst and Young. His first book Shiva: An Introduction was published in 1997.[21] Devdutt illustrates most of his own books.[22]

He was a speaker at the first TED conference in India held in November 2009.[23][24]

On August 2010, he was invited by the ICCR to Colombia. He presented a paper at a conference on "Subjective World or Mythology of Identity" to an audience of 400 people, including members of the Indian community in Colombia, members of the Association of Friends of India, special guests, and the academic community. The illustrated lecture served to explain the cultural differences between East and West.[citation needed] On 27 August Dr. Pattanaik gave a similar talk at EAFIT university in Medellin.

He has done 2 television shows on CNBC-TV18 and CNBC Awaaz called Business Sutra and "Shastraarth" respectively. These shows drew business lessons from Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata and were presented in English and Hindi respectively.

He is also a story consultant to Indian television network Star TV[25] and Epic channel, where he presents Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik.[26][27] He also serves at the Culture Consultant to Reliance Industries Ltd.[26]



Fiction author Ashwin Sanghi has said that Pattanaik attempts to "explain mythology in simple words".[28] Psychologist Urmi Chanda-Vaz, who calls Pattanaik "India's most beloved mythology explicator", praised his book 'My Gita' as "a book of many firsts" and said that in this book Pattanaik made a transition from mythology to philosophy with deftness and skill.[29][30] Intellectual Shiv Visvanathan has praised Pattanaik by saying that he has made myth-reading "an open, playful, almost domestic game, like Chinese Checkers or Scrabble".[31]


Investment banker and Sanskrit scholar Nityanand Misra has criticized Pattanaik's 'My Gita' as a "marvel of scholarly ineptitude and a travesty of Hindu philosophy", saying that the book is a sloppy work replete with factual, conceptual, philosophical, and linguistic errors. Saying that Pattanaik lacks even basic knowledge of Sanskrit, Misra has questioned Pattanaik's ability to understand Sanskrit and translate from it.[32]



  1. ^
  2. ^ "The rise of religion Hinduism". 
  3. ^ "Author Lounge: Devdutt Pattanaik". Penguin India. 
  4. ^ "Being aware of violence". MiD DAY. 17 October 2010. 
  5. ^ "Mr. & Mrs. Mishra". 
  6. ^ "Epic Venture". Indian Express. 16 October 2010. 
  7. ^ Future Group
  8. ^ "Mythic Past, Resonating in the Present". New York Times. 4 July 2010. 
  9. ^ a b "The mythologist". Mint. 16 September 2010. 
  10. ^ "Answer: Aryans never invaded the Indian subcontinent or South Asia. Nor did anyone impose the caste system here. So the simple answer to the question is no.". 
  11. ^ "From Macaulay to Frawley, from Doniger to Elst: Why do many Indians need White saviours?". 
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ "Was Harappan civilisation Vedic, or Hindu?". 
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ [3]
  16. ^ [4]
  17. ^ "Teaching Old Heads New Tricks". Financial Express. 25 May 2003. 
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Demystifying mythology: A conversation with Devdutt Pattanaik". The Hindu. 24 April 2009. 
  23. ^ "Great response to first TED meet in India". The Hindu. 1 November 2009. 
  24. ^ speaker at TEDIndia 2009.
  25. ^
  26. ^ a b
  27. ^ "Devlok With Devdutt Pattanaik Favourite". The Times of India. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  28. ^ Rao, Namrata (5 February 2017). "'Writing is an art, crime writing is a craft': Ashwin Sanghi". Financial Express. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  29. ^ Chanda-Vaz, Urmi (5 February 2017). "Indian mythology is a new medium of choice for feminist narratives (and it's working)". Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  30. ^ Chanda-Vaz, Urmi (22 November 2015). "Why reading Devdutt Pattanaik's 'My Gita' makes sense but does not mean you're reading the Gita". Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  31. ^ Visvanathan, Shiv (16 December 2016). "Shiv Visvanathan on the importance of being (and thinking like) Devdutt Pattanaik". 
  32. ^ Misra, Nityanand (8 February 2017). "Not Just His Gita, It's Pattanaik's Own Fantasy World". Swarajya. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 

External links[edit]