Back of the Book
Once feared as the capricious and terrifying Rudra, Shiva, the most ‘un-Brahmanic’ of gods, has traditionally been shunned by orthodox Vedic religion. Although the Shiva we recognize today retains much of his original contrarian nature, he is firmly ensconced in popular imagination as the awe-inspiring Mahadeva, supreme lord of the universe.
In a unique attempt to explore the varied planes of thought and belief that Shiva has represented over millennia, Nilima Chitgopeakar imaginatively recreates the defining movements of the great god’s lie through the yes of his most intimate mythological companions. Vishnu, Sati, Daksha, Parvati and Ganesha take turns to praise, criticize, explain, complain, sermonize and rationalize-and through the prism of what they choose to reveal of the Shiva they know, there emerges the vision of a god who assimilates in his person the most extreme contradictions. For Shiva is as reclusive as he is accessible, as loved as he is feared, and as fallible as he is divine.
As the author traces the diverse threads of history, philosophy, anthropology and faith that have coalesced to create this intriguing deity, she uncovers the deeper truth about Shiva’s unmatched appeal-a credo of simple devotion to a unified godhead, one that reflects the eclecticism and humanity that form the very core of Hindu thought.
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