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•Explores the evolution of goddess worship in India over 4,000 years.
•Stunning color photographs illustrate many stories of goddess lore never before available in one collection.
In India it is said that there is a goddess in every village, a nymph in every lake. Demonesses stand guard on village frontiers, ogresses howl on crossroads, and untamed forests resound with the laughter of celestial virgins. It is a land of mysterious Apsaras and seductive Yakshinis, of terrifying Dakinis and wise Yoginis--each with a story to tell.
In this wide-reaching exploration of ancient Hindu lore and legends, author Devdutt Pattanaik discovers how earth, women and goddesses have been perceived over 4,000 years. Some of the tales recounted are revered classics, others are common and folklorish, often held in disdain by priests. Until now, most have remained hidden, isolated in distant hamlets or languishing in forgotten libraries, overwhelmed by the din of masculine sagas.
As the tales come to light through word and stunning color imagery, the author identifies the five faces given to the eternal feminine as man sought to unlock the mysteries of life: the female half of existence is at first identified with Nature, gradually deified and eventually objectified. She comes to be seen as the primal mother, fountainhead of life and nurturance. The all-giving mother then transforms into the dancing nymph, a seductress offering worldly pleasures that bind man in the cycle of life. As this nymph is domesticated, the dominant image of woman becomes the chaste wife with miraculous powers. Finally the submissive consort redefines herself as the wild and terrifying goddess who does battle, drinks blood, and demands appeasement.
Exploring mysteries of gender and biology, and shedding light on the roots of taboos and traditions practiced in India today, the author shows how the image of the Mother Goddess can be both worshipped and feared when she carries the face of mortal woman.
• Compares and contrasts Indian mythology with the stories of the Bible, ancient Egypt, Greece, Scandinavia, and Mesopotamia
• Looks at the evolution of Indian narratives and their interpretations over the millennia
• Demonstrates how the mythology, rituals, and art of ancient India are still vibrant today and inform the contemporary generation
From the blood-letting Kali to the mysterious Ganesha, the Hindu spiritual landscape is populated by characters that find no parallel in the Western spiritual world. Indian Mythology explores the rich tapestry of these characters within 99 classic myths, showing that the mythological world of India can be best understood when we move away from a Western, monotheistic mindset and into the polytheistic world of Hindu traditions.
Featuring 48 artistic renderings of important mythological figures from across India, the author unlocks the mysteries of the narratives, rituals, and artwork of ancient India to reveal the tension between world-affirming and world-rejecting ideas, between conformism and contradiction, between Shiva and Vishnu, Krishna and Rama, Gauri and Kali. This groundbreaking book opens the door to the unknown and exotic, providing a glimpse into the rich mythic tradition that has empowered millions of human beings for centuries.
But in his hour of victory fighting the Chandravanshis - Meluha's enemy - he discovered they had their own prophecy.
Now he must fight to uncover the treachery within his inner circle, and unmask those who are about to destroy all that he has fought for. Shiva is about to learn that good and evil are two sides of the same coin...
1900 BC in what modern Indians call the Indus Valley Civilization and the inhabitants called the land of Meluha: a near-perfect empire created many centuries earlier by Lord Ram--one of the greatest monarchs that ever lived--faces peril as its primary river, the Saraswati, is slowly drying to exctinction. The Suryavanshi rulers are challenged with devastating terrorist attacks from the east, the land of the Chandravanshis. To make matters worse, the Chandravanshis appear to have allied with the Nagas, an ostracized and sinister race of deformed humans with astonishing martial skills.
The only hope for the Suryavanshis is an ancient legend: When evil reaches epic proportions, when all seems lost, a hero will emerge. Is the unexpected, rough-hewn Tibetan immigrant Shiva that hero? Drawn suddenly to his destiny, duty, and by love, Shiva will attempt to move mountains and lead the Suryavanshi to destroy evil.
Evil forces are growing in strength all around the conflict, and Shiva's own philosopher-guides have betrayed his unquestioning faith by accepting aid from the dark side. Even the idyllic empire of Meluha hides a terrible secret.
Accompanied by his troop of warriors, Shiva travels East to the land of Branga in hopes of discovering clues as to the whereabouts of the Naga people. The journey concludes in the Naga capital of Panchavati, where a surprise awaits him that will change the balance of power...
The dialogue, which takes place on the eve of an historic battle, probes the nature of God and what man should do to reach him. As the Bhagavadgita unfolds, this majestic poem provides a fascinating synopsis of the religious thought and experience of India through the ages. This edition offers the classic English verse translation by Sir Edwin Arnold (1832-1904), long admired for its evocation of the true feeling of the original poetry.