Why is Shiva dressed like an uncouth tramp? Why does he smear ashes from the cemetery, on his body and dress with a tiger skin? Why did he arm Ravana and Basmasura with boons that finally led to trouble? Who is this God who acts like a hermit devoid of family, commitments and emotion and yet has a huge following of ganas, wives and sons?
One will find all the answers for these questions in this book. With impeccable research, Devdutt Patnaik steers us through Sati’s marriage to Shiva, the impact of her death on him and his resultant withdrawal from the world.
I liked the way, the author explains the role of Parvathi in Shiva’s world. It is she who facilitates Shiva’s engagement back in the world. It is she who teaches esoteric nuances of sex and love to him. And author’s assertion that Shiva was innocent to the world’s prejudices and cultural perception makes a lot of sense.
As with any other mythology book, the author has delved deep into both north and south indian fables, folk tales, myths and legends and has presented Shiva to the common man to understand, venerate and learn the primitive wisdom that would help us escape the trapping of the world.
Devdutt’s language is simple to understand yet he manages to explain complex arguments about Shiva in very understandable terms.
Plus Points: Thorough research of all legends, stories and myths related to Shiva.
Minus Points: Felt that the first chapter dragged a bit with a lot esoteric explanations.
Verdict: A must-read if you love all things mythological