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7 Secrets of Shiva Paperback – 10 Oct 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Westland Books (10 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 938065863X
  • ISBN-13: 978-9380658636
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 1.5 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 332,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Dr Devdutt Pattanaik is a medical doctor by training, a marketing manager by profession and a mythologist by passion. He lectures extensively on the relevance of sacred stories, symbols and rituals in modern times. His books include 7 Secrets of Hindu Calendar Art, Shiva: An Introduction, Vishnu: An Introduction, Devi: An Introduction, Hanuman: An Introduction, Lakshmi: An Introduction, Krishna: An Introduction, Shiva to Shankara: Decoding the Phallic Symbol, Goddesses in India, Man Who Was a Woman and Other Queer Tales from Hindu Lore and Indian Mythology: Stories, Symbols and Rituals from the Heart of the Subcontinent.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By readable on 29 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm sure there's more detailed books with a better understanding, not for the mature reader. I strongly recommend this book for under 18's only. Not all written here I believe to be true in this day and age, possible Mis-conceptions along the way.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 34 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
The Greatest God made accessible 12 Nov 2011
By Ujjwal Dey - Published on
Format: Paperback
Shiva is a God that has truly transcended time and space. He is Mahadeva - greatest of Gods. His legends exist and have survived since eons ago. This book is a treat for all who find mythologies and ancient legends fascinating. In the must-read introduction, the author Devdutt explains his approach. A reconcilliation between East and West. He mentions how Western scholars look at Hindu mythology through the lens of western thought and philosophy, often referring to Western stream of understanding and analysis. And Indians are shy of the explicit exploits of their Gods, a result of Victorian colonial propriety. In this book Devdutt explores the myth through research of Vedas, Puranas, legends and temples. He goes to the basic philosophy of Hinduism to explain and interpret the mythology in its more accurate meaning.

For example, there are many Gods in Hindu mythology and many demons and a heaven and hell, but there is no equivalent of Satan. Lord Shiva is an ascetic and he also is a householder. He is worshiped in these 2 forms as well as a host of other forms - angry Rudra, united Ardhanareshwara, simpleton Bholenath, vengeful Kaal Bhairava, etc. So not only do we have more than one God, the God's themselves have myriad versions and avatars.

Shiva is eternal with no beginning and no end, he is infinite, no before no after, he grants boons and blessings to all who worship him. So even demons pray to him for benefiting from his benevolence. This is a unique thought process of a God who differentiates between no one and nothing. He has angry form, he has a compassionate form, he is a lover and husband, he is a father too, and he is formless divine. He can revive the dead, he can take away all fear of death. He provides for all his devotees and protects them from predation.

This book is insightful and at the same time simplified text of the vast pantheon and rich ancient culture of India. I was hooked from page one and read it withing 2 days. It pulls you in with indepth interpretation of symbols, stories and rituals. It is a must have for any beginner or professional who wishes to unravel the mysteries of Shiva and understand Hindu thought process. Apart from all this there are many images from paintings and temples and excavations and sculptures that illustrate the book along with the image's descriptions.

Other books by Devdutt I look forward to reading are "7 Secrets of Vishnu" and "Myth = Mithya". Hope these books entertain and educate you all and brings understanding and order out of chaos.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
interesting read 29 Sep 2013
By Preetitakle - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A book that makes you think and also understand quite a bit of the symbolism involved with Hindu deities and rituals
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
First class mythology, adequate philosophy 31 May 2014
By @souvikstweets - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a collection of stories on Shiv, this book does very well. Pattnaik succeeds in chronologically (I never though that was possible with Hindu mythology) ordering the various manifestations of the Unmanifest through some good & simple stories revealing a character whose simplicity sits rather uncomfortably with his powers & philosophy. Through these tales, Pattnaik also expounds many aspects of the Hindu thought around rebirth, maya, Purusha & Prakriti et al.

The philosophy is really not that catchy - I never thought it was meant to be. It is an accompaniment to the stories of Shiv, a pregnant pause to explain a beheading there & a drunken-college-dude thing there that Shiv does from time to time. But Shiv is well beyond all our classifications which he neither understands nor cares about. To really dig your heel into philosophy/.Hindu thought, I suggest look elsewhere. This is good but fleeting series of introductions to a many tentacled complex web of Hindu thought.

It is really the stories then & the character that emerges from it. Ultimately, all the complex doctrines fuse into this simpleton & manifest awkwardly in this world of ours making him both accessible, inspiring & a lot of fun.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great insight. 25 Aug 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A must read if you are interested in Hindu mythology and spirituality. The philosophical insight is fantastic. Some other works of the author are also very good.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A great read! 16 Aug 2013
By Nikhil Lodha - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent book! There could not be a better book covering both the interesting story and all-important root philosophy through mythology. The language is easy and flowing and the subject is dealt with superbly -- eye opener in many ways.
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