Wednesday, February 13

Aru Shah & Indian Mythology

**Shout out to our 15yo son for putting together the Modern Mythology units!**

Aru Shah centers around the stories of the Pandava. These tales are written down mostly in the Mahabharata, which was a Sanskrit epic and one of the two major epics in India. (The other is the Ramayana.) 

The Pandavas were the sons of Pandu, the king of Hastinapur. For a strange reason, instead of taking multiple wives (as was the custom of the day), they all married the same woman. Her name was Draupadi, and she was the daughter of the king of Panchala. 


The Mahabharata mostly tells of the war with their cousin, the Kauravas. There are three main Hindu gods in what is called the Trimurti. There is Brahma, the creator, Vishnu, the preserver, and Shiva, the destroyer. 

Brahma was the first god -- this is why he was known as the Svayambhu, or the self-born. The second god is Vishnu. He is known as the preserver, a protector god. He is usually shown with blue skin. 

The last god in the Trimurti is Shiva, the destroyer. Interestingly, the god of destruction is also the god of meditation and yoga. He is known as the supreme destroyer and Lord of the Devas. There are over 33 million Hindu gods!

Read
  • Aru Shah books
    • Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she'll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur? One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru's doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don't believe her claim that the museum's Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again. But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it's up to Aru to save them. The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?
  • The Serpent's Secret (Kiranmala & the Kingdom Beyond)
Make / Do
  • Vishnu
  • Indra
  • Yama
  • Pandava
  • Arjuna
  • Sahadeva
  • Yudhishthira
  • Bhima
  • Nakula
Think
  • Why do you think the some of the gods have multiple arms?  What might this represent?
  • Since this religion is still around today, should it be considered a mythology?

4 comments:

  1. Looks like a lot of fun. I used to watch a lot of Bollywood movies (early 2000s). So much fun.

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    1. I haven't seen any Bollywood, but did try (to everyone's humor!) Indian dancing in high school. :)

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  2. I bet you have learned a lot of fascinating information going through these activities and books. Hindu is a very different belief system that we are used to here in the US.

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    1. He's learned a LOT from doing the research for the posts, and I've learned quite a bit, too, proofing them. :) Especially for these that aren't taught as often in US schools.

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