Why turn to a hero, not a god? Joseph Campbell has said a hero scores over a god when it comes to resolving the problems of the here and now because "a hero's sphere of action is not the transcendent"
In many cultures, medicine men were among the most important gods and spirits.
In the Indonesian island of Sulawesi (Celebes), the outbreak of misfortune or an epidemic was blamed on unseen devils
In epic literature, the chief aide is painted in many shades of grey too
The most tyrannical among rulers is considered to be Roman emperor Caligula. A historical figure, he fits the mythical archetype of arrogant and cruel rulers whose end is foretold by their actions
Invoking the past to justify the present is the last resort of the rogue, but to do it with narrow sectarian lenses is worse
Pride and arrogance are the fatal fault lines that destroy power, flaws that mortals must watch out for
In India, almost every tree has a story running through it. The banyan, the fig tree, the eucalyptus - all trees are sacred because of their association with a divinity.
To believe that one language unifies all would mean that many languages divide the people. However, to cast language in this role seems antithetical to its original intent
The road to survival in the ancient world was often paved with bluff and deceit. The cons pulled were largely harmless and the subtext was: to survive, man had to trick the gods
The fascination for the skies and what lies beyond has fathered an expansive stockpile of astronomical myths and legends and in India, also an elaborate astrological system
Water was among the prime deities in an animistic universe. Its influence permeated the world of myths and folklore and impacted the rituals that helped perpetuate a chosen way of life
The many versions of the Ramayana within the country are well known, but the text has also travelled into the rest of Asia, taking on forms that would be unrecognisable to many among its followers
'One of the overriding themes of the political campaigning so far has been fear', says the author
From the Indian epics we have stories of brotherly love, of obedience and subservience