The Language of the Narratives: Myth, Ithihāsa and Purāṇa

deadline for submissions: 
February 25, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth


The Language of the Narratives: Myth, Ithihāsa and Purāṇa

“The notion that name and essence bear a necessary and internal relation to each other, that the name does not merely denote but actually is the essence of its object, that the potency of the real thing is contained in the name—that is one of the fundamental assumptions of the mythmaking consciousness itself’’ (Cassirer, 2012: 04).

The origin of languages has been a fascinating subject for long. Different mythologies over the world have different proposals for how languages began. It is equally interesting that these mythologies, Ithihāsas and Purāṇas are analysed using this very language. Be it the historical evidence, the time period, information about the people and the society is understood through the language that fills these texts.

Language is the agency through which myths are constructed and passed on from one generation to another. As the myths and the narratives are constructed, they are altered, negotiated and conditioned through the medium of language. Hence, language plays a significant role in the “mythmaking” consciousness. Probing critically into this process, the anthology tries to answer the question: how does the operations of language govern the creation and workings of the myth and narratives?

Defining language as a sign, Roland Barthes in his collection of essays, Mythologies, explicates about this sign being interpreted and re-represented in different forms to form different myths. Myths are the metaphorical narrations that make emotional connection with its audience. It provides myriad ways to interpret, thereby, rendering different morals and teachings to each individual. The underpinnings of these narratives resonate in the daily discourse right from the naming of a location to the rituals that determine one’s routine. They also modulate the allusions in literature, the symbols in dreams, and even, the religion that serves as the bedrock of culture.

Examining language as a sign and an agency, be it the metaphorical underpinnings or the literal translations, how do they contribute to the meaning making? With this in mind, we call for chapters based on the following sub-themes but not limited to:

  1. The structure of myths and narratives
  2. The semantics of myths and narratives
  3. Language features of myths and narratives
  4. Metaphors and myths and narratives
  5. Translations of myths and narratives
  6. Etymology and Topography in myths and narratives


Abstracts (300 words): 25th February, 2021

Notification of acceptance: 27th February, 2021

Full paper (2000-3000 words): 15th March, 2021


Please send your submissions to the following email ids:, Dr. Vishaka Venkat, Asst. Prof., Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth, Dr. Sandhya Shankar, Asst. Prof., Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth