Monday, February 24, 2020

Week 6 Story: Mahabharata

There was once a god who’s favorite pastime was to watch over the human mortals who lived their simple lives down below. He would often play games with the mortals without them knowing and use his powers to influence events down below simply for his own entertainment. Today he was watching over a fisherman and quickly became bored with the simple and slow day of the simple fisherman. The god decided to spice things up in this fisherman’s life and sent down his spawn into a fish below. The fish produced 2 human children much to the fisherman’s surprise. The fisherman scooped up the children in his net finding one boy and one girl. He carefully dried them off before placing them in a basket with some towels to keep them warm. He quickly went to the king of his land and told him what he had seen and then presented the children to him. Amazed with the tale, the king and his advisors were enamored with the children and knew that they were a gift from a god up above. The king took the boy as his own; however, he gifted the fisherman with the girl as gratitude for bringing such amazing spectacles to him. 
The fisherman had no wife and no other family. He now had his only daughter, the girl born from the fish and he named her Satyavati. She quickly became the most important thing in his life and as she grew she became one of the most beautiful women of the land. This should have brought her many suitors but there was a problem. Satyavati was born with a fishy smell that repelled almost everyone except for her father the fisherman who loved her dearly and had become used to the smell of fish due to his profession. This caused Satyavati to live a lonely life as she almost always stayed at home and helped her father with the fishing. 
                  One day while she was traveling the river, Satyavati saw a being on the side of the river and she was compelled to bring the boat up to the bank and speak to him. This being was the rishi Parashara. The rishi was amazed with the girls beauty and was immediately attracted to her. He asked the girl to join him in embrace but the girl quickly declined as she believed him to be a random being on the side of the river. Satyavati was about to get back into her boat and leave when the rishi offered her a deal. If she embraced him, she would still keep her innocence and remain a virgin and she would also lose her fishy smell. Satyavati believed that this would change her life at no cost to her so she quickly accepted. After this event, Satyavati no longer had the fishy smell. She instead gave off the most amazing fragrance in the land and could be smelled for 7 miles. A child was also born on this island after their embrace. Because he was born on an island he was called Dwaipayana or island-born.
Painting of Satyavati, standing with her back turned to King Shantanu
Authors Note: This story was inspired by the tale of how Vyasa was born from the Mahabharata. Vyasa was the author of the Mahabharata and was born from the woman who was born from a fish. I was intrigued by this story due to its very unique births and characters. The fishy smelling woman was slightly funny to me and the god from above who caused these two children to be born from the fish was interesting. The original story that I read was very short so for my story I decided to expand on it and add much more detail and events to give the reader a way to go more in depth with this story. I enjoyed giving the girl more difficulties with the fish smell and adding more about the fisherman allowing him to be a loving and dedicated father. In the original story the fisherman had a wife but I wanted to make him more of a lone wolf so that this gift of a daughter would have even more of an impact on his previously simple and lonely life. I also liked giving the god more of a purposeful impact in this story instead of accidental insemination from the original. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Reading Notes: Mahabharata Part A

One of the first stories in the Mahabharata dealt with King Shantanu and Ganga. Ganga wed the king under the condition that if he every treated her poorly or got upset with her she could leave of her own will.  When their first child was born, Ganga cast him to the river due to her agreement with Vasus. This upset the king but in order to keep his wife he held his tongue. This occurred 7 times and when Ganga went to do this for the 8th time the king exploded on her and she left. She later returned to him with a son named Devavrata who became powerful.

Source: Indian Myth and Legend by Donald A. Mackenzie 

Monday, February 17, 2020

Week 5 Reading Overview

The version of the Ramayana that I have chosen to read is the PDE online version. The main reason that I have chosen this one is because it is free to read online. I like to read from my laptop so since it is easy to get and free online this is the best option for me.

For the comics, I am interested in the Stories of Courage comic. This one intrigued me as I like the title because courage is a great quality to have and I liked the cover art with the tiger. The next comic that I am interested in is Tales of Durga. Again, the cover art on this comic brought me in as it is exciting and has a lot going on. Also the story of a powerful woman who even the gods pray to sounds interesting and I would like to learn more about it.

The first video that I am interested in is the Ancient Technology - Atlantis and India because I like technology and always find it fascinating to look back at what technology was used in the pasta and I am often amazed and how advanced people really were. The next video that I am interested in is Harry Potter Meets Hindu Mythology because I love Harry Potter and want to see how it connects to Hindu Mythology.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Reading Notes: The Voyages of Sindbad Part B

In Sindbad's fifth voyage there are several similar elements of this story as there are in his first voyage as he once again finds a Roc egg and finds himself clinging to drift wood in the water until he is able to scale the side of an island to safety.  Personally, my favorite voyage of these three is his seventh and final voyage as Sindbad's interaction with the elephants is intriguing to me as he is told that no other slave has survived hunting the elephants; however, they decide to spare him and show him where to get more elephant tusks as this will protect them. Is this because they know they will continue to be hunted if they kill him or is Sindbad truly protected by the Heavens as his master says? Sindbad's continual call to adventure is exciting to me and is one of my favorite parts of these tales as even though he often finds himself in impossible scenarios, he is always looking to explore and see more of the world.

Source: The Arabian Nights' Entertainments by Andrew Lang

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Reading Notes: The Voyages of Sindbad, Part A

I originally thought that Sindbad was a pirate that sailed the seas raiding other ships. I have never done much research on this topic so to learn that he was a merchant with high morals and who often shared with others surprised me. These stories like to talk about animals and the animals are often the mythical parts about these stories. I like in the second story how we see the creativity and smarts of Sindbad to find his way back to safety after being left behind. The first and second voyage both have similar feels as Sindbad is left on his own in both of them; however, he finds different ways to save himself both times.

Source: The Seven Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor by Andrew Lang

Friday, February 7, 2020

Story Laboratory: TED Talks About Stories

In "The Danger of a Single Story," the TED Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Chimamanda discusses how people can easily have a narrow sited view on another culture or different types of people due to only being shown one point of view. People often only see one news source or one type of narrative about people of different countries and can have an opinion on what these people are like without ever actually observing them and seeing how life really is. To me this is very similar to the saying "don't judge a book by it's cover" as people often judge others by the first story or impression they have of them and this can lead to warped opinions and thoughts about people from different places and different cultures. To me this is a major problem today due to the mass use of social media. Too often people jump to opinions of others based off of one tweet that could be fake news, a joke, or just taken out of context. How can we truly know what someone means from one tweet?

Jennifer Barnes discusses how we can become connected to fictional characters or celebrities in her talk "Imaginary Friends and Real-World Consequences: Parasocial Relationships." She starts by informing us just how much fiction is consumed by people. The astounding number shows how much people care about stories that we know aren't true but want to know more about anyways. Then, in her study, we come to find out that people would often be impacted more by the death of a fictional character than a random acquaintance. This also proves true for celebrities that we get to know through twitter and interviews. We believe that we actually know the character or celebrity even though they don't know us. The danger in this is that we are thinking in a way that is illogical. I think this can also go back to my previous point that twitter can lead us to get into arguments on behalf of the people we "stan" which is ridiculous and shows the combative and abusive nature that twitter has right now.

Image result for twitter

Week 6 Story: Mahabharata

There was once a god who’s favorite pastime was to watch over the human mortals who lived their simple lives down below. He would often pla...