Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book Review #21: 7 Secrets of The Goddess

Name: 7 Secrets of The Goddess
Author: Devdutt Pattanaik
No. of Pages:259
Genre: Mythology
Publisher: Westland Ltd.
Price: Rs. 395/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says:
As nature, she is mother
As culture, she is daughter
Creator of humanity
She is wealth, power, language
Lakshmi, Durga, Saraswati
She is Devi
Answer to that masculine anxiety
Which keeps resisting enquiry

Locked in her stories, symbols and rituals are the secrets of our ancestors. This book attempts to unlock seven.

About the author:
Devdutt Patanaik is a medical doctor by education, a leadership consultant by profession, and a mythologist by passion. He writes and lectures extensively on the relevance of stories, symbols and ritiuls in modern life. He has written over twenty-five books which include 7 Secrets of Hindu Calender Art (Westland), 7 Secrets of Shiva (Westland) and 7 Secrets of Vishnu (Westland).

To know more visit devdutt.com

MY THOUGHTS:
Cover: The cover is an illustration of Balambika, who is said to be the daughter of humanity.

Writing: The writing is crisp and to the point. There is no unnecessary narration. The language is simple and easy to understand.

Story:The author has elaborated and explained the history and symbolic meaning of seven goddesses in mythology.
  1. Gaia -- Male anxiety is outdated
  2. Kali -- Nature is indifferent to human gaze
  3. Gauri -- Culture is dependent on human gaze
  4. Durga -- Everyone lives on the edge of fear
  5. Lakshmi -- Wealth can liberate
  6. Saraswati -- Imagination can expand or contract the mind
  7. Vitthai. -- Affection dissolves boundaries
Every even page contains illustrations and photographs while the odd pages goes on with the written content. Although the author has mainly focused on the hindu goddesses, he has also encompassed the some prominent mythological goddesses from other faiths and other parts of the world.

The book has helped me understand the society as it is today. The various customs, restrictions on women, women code of conduct, societal norms and prejudices. The way women are perceived and treated from time immemorial till today has been a planned and designed concept. Being an advocate of women empowerment and gender equality (sometimes termed as feminist), revelations from the book have added fuel to my thoughts.

I have earlier read Devdutt's Myth=Mithya, which I had immensely enjoyed. Mythology has always attracted my attention and being able to understand the true meaning behind these mythological characters and stories have taken my love for mythology to another level.The author's simple way explaining the hidden meaning and symbolism of mythology is appreciable.

Like the author's earlier works, this book too is engaging and interesting. I have grown up listening to the various hindu mythological gods and goddesses. So getting to know the real significance behind those stories feels liberating.

If you love demystifying symbolism, then this book is another treat for you. This book is the fourth title in the "7 Secrets" series of the author. I am now eager to lay my hands on the others too.

I give "7 Secrets of The Goddess" 5 stars on a scale of 5.

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