Darshan Desale is the author of book Manu. The book is based on Indian Mythology Mahabharata. Manu is recently published by Leadstart publishing.
TBE: What was it that first attracted you to Mahabharata, and what is it that held your fascination as you authored this story based on Mahabharata?
Darshan Desale: “Everything that is in this world is present in this book, and what is not present in this book that is also not in this world.” I had read this sentence somewhere about the Mahabharata, and this sentence attracted me very much towards Mahabharata. Also, as a child, I used to watch Mahabharat on television. And since then, I have been interested in the Mahabharata.
Another reason is, I found some great divine things, gods and demons, universe, the parallel universe, spaceship, space traveling and many more like this and it was shocking for me. I realized that Mahabharata and mythology are not as simple as we look at it. And with a new perspective, I looked at mythology and I found it like a hidden treasure. And since then, my outlook on life has changed. I started to enjoy mythology. And my curiosity is also the reason for it.
And Manu is not just a book on the Mahabharata. It has some characters from Mahabharata, some characters from Ramayana, some characters from history, some characters from the future, some from other culture. So, this story does not revolve around the Mahabharata. It’s not only a mythological story, it’s also science fictional, fantasy, folklore and fairy tales. It’s the perfect blend of many genres and aspects.
TBE: What was your writing process for the book Manu?
Darshan Desale: I did some research before writing. If you want to write something meaningful, want to write mythology, want to write science fiction, then you need research. Or if you want to connect fiction with reality, then also you need research. (As I have done in my book Manu.) Because people invest their valuable time in your book, and I don’t want to disappoint them. First, I read. Read a lot. I tried to understand some things from the mythology. Looked to see if they had any other meaning. Because in mythology some things are written in a very simple way but there is a great meaning hidden behind it and it has to be found.
My writing process is simple. I write inflow. Writing must have done inflow. When you are writing in flow, when you are in perfect alignment with the universe, then ideas flow automatically from inside. You don’t have to force yourself to write. To give an example of me, in the book Manu, I have shown that heroes have a lot of dreams. That dreams are not imaginary but real. As I had a dream while writing the book Manu, I wrote those in the book.
So, I didn’t have to do proper research for my dreams. This thing happened automatically, inflow. And surprisingly, whenever I had a dream, I write it. And it perfectly blends with the story. So, I will say, if you have to write something, write it for yourself. Don’t write for others. Just Enjoy your writing process. And write inflow. Don’t force for it. Its must come naturally from inside.
TBE: According to you What Is Mythology? And why it is important in shaping the society of the world today or in the future?
Darshan Desale: Mythology is not only a collection of myths and stories. And it’s not belonging to a particular religious or culture. Mythology is a way of living life.
Of course, the people from the mythological period were much smarter and advanced than us. If they were receiving extraterrestrial help or not is a different matter. But they were definitely advance than us. And they knew some mysteries. And they must have thought that they should pass this mysterious knowledge to the people. Then they created some stories and folklore. They hid the mystery in folklore and stories. And they spread all over the world.
Now those who saw these things as simple folklore, they only know ordinary things. But those who looked deeper, found a lot in it. There is so much hidden in mythology. Just have to find them. And I would say that some of the latest discoveries have been made by studying these old mythological things.
And yes, mythology is important in shaping the society of the world. Because as mentioned earlier, there is a great meaning hidden in these things. And it’s a way of living. You will learn a lot from mythological characters. They have said that if you do this, the result will be like this. It also tells you consequences of your various actions. Lord Krishna has said a lot about karma. Even if we put that karma law in practice, society will change a lot. The Geeta does not belong to any particular religion. It is a way of life. Even if you only understand this verse from Geeta, there will be a lot of change in the society. That verse is,
“कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन। मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि॥ (२.४७)” (karmaṇyevādhikāraste mā phaleṣu kadācana। mā karmaphalaheturbhūrmā te saṅgo’stvakarmaṇi॥)
You just have to know the law of karma. Along with mythology, spirituality is also very much needed. You can learn many things from the mythological stories, from the mythological characters (like shri Krishna, Bhishma, Karna, Ram, Ravana, Duryodhana). They can make a difference in your life. You don’t even need self-help books. If you take the right meaning from this. And spirituality means self-improvement. Spirituality means the development of your own mind. Develop your mind to a higher dimension. Means Awaking yourself. If we combine mythology and spirituality with science, a tremendous change will take place.
TBE: What bodies of myths from other ancient cultures would be important for people (both young and old) to become familiar with?
Darshan Desale: I found similarities in all the myths. At the same time, I also found similarities in mythological character of different religions. All mythological characters are the same. Only their name varies from region to region, and stories have changed a bit. But their origin is the same. So, you study any mythology. Your other mythology studies will happen automatically. Because everything is the same. Oneness. They connect all to each other. So, I don’t think anyone should be familiar with the myth or character of a particular religion.
TBE: Do you think, for both children and adults, understanding the mythology associated with one’s culture is important? Why?
Darshan Desale: Yeah, definitely. But not related-associated with one’s culture or religion. As I mentioned before, everything is the same. Oneness. They connect all to each other. So, it’s not important to understand myths from specific religion.
But yes, it’s important to understand mythology. It’s important to learn from mythology. Because, as I said, there is a great meaning hidden in these things. I think mythology related to spirituality. And spirituality is very much important for positive growth. And without positive growth, we will never become wonderful human being. Because spirituality has many dimensions and we must explore it to make this earth better place. Even modern science also understand power of our mind and power spirituality. It’s made you a very much better person, it gives new perspective toward life.
Spirituality help to awake you. And for this mythology is important. Because mythology completely related to spirituality. Mythology introduce you to spirituality. I can’t explain spirituality in exact words because it’s not something you read and understand it. You must experience it. Then you understand everything. And Mythology also explains about spirituality practices and benefits. Plus, also explain advantage and disadvantage of our actions. There are many hidden gems in mythology and mythological stories. If we found it, we become very advance and clever begins. Maybe we will find answers of some unknown questions.
So, I think it’s important for everyone to understand mythology to make the world better, peaceful and joyful place. It will help to create an ideal society.
TBE: What are the main tenets where myths overlap modern scientific findings?
Darshan Desale: It is my opinion that all modern inventions existed before. We just rediscovered it.
TBE: Manu is a very human story about a clever boy attempting to discover the meaning of life and existence within the wider world. How would you describe his personality?
Darshan Desale: Honestly, I did not do any special research for Manu’s personality. I have put myself in Manu’s place and have given my thoughts to Manu. I have given my personality to Manu. In short, I am Manu. I have represented Manu as I am. He is very curious and wants an answer to everything that happens in the universe. He is also willing to take risks for that. But you can see in the book that he is so naive and trusts anyone quickly. So, no special personality of MANU. He is a simple youth.
TBE: What compelled you to narrate Manu’s interactions with these various mythological figures? Did you have a favorite among these figures that you explored in writing vis-à-vis Manu?
Darshan Desale: Its demand of storyline. See, there are many characters from the mythology that are missing. No one’s know about them much. No one knows what happened next to them. Like Ashwatthama, Hanuman, Parshuram, etc. because of Manu, I had the opportunity to present that, what happened to them? And I didn’t miss that opportunity. And while writing about all these mythological figures, I became very close to them. While writing about him, I understood their thoughts and personality. I formed a unique bond about them. What will be their thinking? How was their life, personality? All of this I experienced from closely.
And about favourite figure, all mythological characters are my favourite. I also like some mythological character that we call rakshasa. Because I get to learn something from everyone. I never tag mythological character that he is good, and he is bad. Everyone has a dark side and a bright side. Everyone is right in their place. The only thing was wrong is time. So, I can’t tell a particular mythological character that I like.
TBE: What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
Darshan Desale: Readers must develop a new way toward life and life meaning. New perspective towards mythology, New perspective towards universe and life. This novel gives you an additional dimension of thinking. They must understand an importance of mythology and spirituality.
TBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?
Darshan Desale: Yes, currently I’m working on a new concept. I always try to write something new. Concept like MANU that they will read such a concept for a first time. So, currently I’m working on a brand-new concept. But I don’t want to spoil anything about it. So, for this stay tune will inform you soon.