There’s no denying the entertainment factor of popular YouTube educational channel Crash Course’s tutorial on Hinduism. Drawing on the book World Mythology: The Illustrated Guide, and on the work of John Brockington, a Sanskrit professor who has authored numerous works on Indian mythology, the 12-minute episode refers only to texts in Sanskrit.
The explanations are consistently entertaining. “Today, we are going to tackle the most difficult and fascinating of pantheons in all of mythology,” begins presenter Mike Rugnetta. “It’s got dancing dwarves, buffalo demons and some many-armed folks.”
Rugnetta goes on to explain conflicting origin stories as presented in Hindu mythology, illustrating the pantheon with family trees, and the story of Kali, “a millennial figure that will establish a new era, not a millennial-millenial though, Kali isn’t on Snapchat.”
The episode ends with a story featuring Durga, who “rides a lion, so nobody is cool enough to date her”. The goddess is shown taking on the demon Mahishasura in a battle inspired by video game fights.