7 Secrets of the Goddess by Devdutt Pattanaik #bookreview


7-secrets-of-the-goddess

Publisher Westland
ISBN-10 9384030589
Edition 1st Edition
Book Type Non Fiction Book
Number of Pages 270 Pages
Publication Year 2014 October
Language English
ISBN-13 9789384030582
Binding Paperback

Once again the master mythologist, comes up with a great story telling with facts and illustrations that support every word that he writes on.

The third in the series of 7 secrets – of Vishnu, Siva and now the Goddess, the author takes us through the historical evidence that suggests how the society had turned itself from matriarchy to patriarchy.

Add to that the influence of islam and Christianity the need to be seen as a patriarchal in the context of subservient women characters and other factors when the invasion happened.

Perhaps it’s the keen eye to detail and the ardous task of seeking our definitive evidences which make Devdutt Pattanaik the man he is as he revels in his unravelling the myths and making meaning out of them.

The structure of the book and the layout should make it easy for the reader to assimilate each idea and also appreciate the way how things have turned around and the interpretations have started happening.

Quite a few times it is the story lost in translation and quite a few times its interpretation that mattered according to the context and the times they were in.

The way how the once fierce and independent womanhood has now given way to a submissive and more enslavend being is very well captured and the best part is all how they got into these submissive overtones simply because its in the nature of human beings to be seen as controlling rather than be the likes of animals which have just their wants and need fulfilled to the extent they are required not a penny more or a penny less in financial terms.

The journey into the grama devi concept is worth remembering since they give a nice understanding of folk way of celebrating womanhood and they are going strong day by day.

I think this was a long overdue in the way that he has put things in perspective the ideal situation of stories being a mirror to the context and how it has to be interpreted and how it has long lost it to chanting tradition and more so people just chanting them even without knowing their meaning.

Apart from that he also has taken on the Western philosophers for their very minimalistic view of the Hinduism that they talk of and never having tried to read the real meaning of the rituals and festivals.

A lot of specifics on the southern traditions being discussed is welcome addition and the Mahabharata character of Draupadi being accorded an Amman Devi status is an interesting one.

A must read for everyone interested to know the significance of Goddesses in the Hindu tradition. The many stories of Brahma not being accorded the temple status is a revealing one. The relationships with the trinity and the devis are a great read.

My only addition if I could suggest would have been the pointers  to look at the picture with a subscript when they are discussed in the opposite pages would have had a nice way to add to the flow, otherwise they pictures are read at my convenience and paragraph breaks.

As in all his works this will be read again and again for the insights that his subject revels on, and a one time reading of a topic is like the tip of an iceberg.

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