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The Myth and Culture Podcast


Ancient myths in contemporary culture.

Ancient myths in contemporary culture.
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Ancient myths in contemporary culture.




#10: Is Money a Myth?

Talk of money is in the air, what with demonetisation affecting us all in our daily lives. Devdutt and Jerry use this opportunity to talk about the philosophical, mythical and cultural meaning and significance of money. Money, says Devdutt, is also a myth in which both the giver and receiver have to believe in the value of what is being transacted. But myth is not fiction; it is a reality lived by the people who believe in it.

Duration: 00:15:46

#9: Is Liberty a Western Notion?

Is Liberty is primarily a western notion? No, says Devdutt, as he reminds us of the deeply libertarian nature of the Shramanic Parampara or the hermit tradition in Indian philosophy, from which Buddhism and Jainism also originate. But unlike the western notion of absolute liberty, the Indian notion of liberty is counterbalanced by the shravaka or the householder traditions, which emphasize the importance of duties and responsibilities.

Duration: 00:18:33

#8: What Is More Important—Equality or Justice?

What is more important—equality or justice? In this episode, Devdutt tells us that this question itself is a western one. Greek mythology and enlightenment philosophy values justice while Abrahamic mythology and socialism value equality. In India, both equality and justice are important at different times and in different places. While the west has a fixed worldview where everyone must agree to one final truth, India because of its polytheistic beliefs allows for different perspectives and...

Duration: 00:17:33

#7: Pride - Supreme Virtue or Original Sin?

“Be proud of who you are” is flashed across ads, motivational posters and self-help books. We have all heard of people who claim to be proud of their nation, their gender, their sexuality, their caste, etc. While some of these ideas such as gay pride and dalit pride have led to progressive movements and empowerment, other ideas of identity based pride boost regressive social formations. In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik and Jerry Johnson explore the different contexts in which the concept...

Duration: 00:21:57

#3: What We Lose When We Lose the Feminine Instinct

The feminine and a masculine instinct, the aggressive nature and the nurturing nature have always co-existed and a balance of these two forces is essential for harmony in society. But are masculine instincts becoming more desirable and is femininity seen as a sign of weakness? In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik and Jerry Johnson talk about the conflicting instincts and the consequent fall-out of male dominance.

Duration: 00:21:08

#2: Democracy, Is It About Equality or Authority?

Do societies really believe in equality as they preach or are there undercurrents of authoritarianism (and inequality) underlying the democratic facade? In this episode, Devdutt Pattanaik and Jerry Johnson talk about the history of democratic society and how the world has seen a shift in ideologies over the years. The duo also discusses how the right and left both use authoritarianism to subdue individualism.

Duration: 00:23:35