Of all the gods in Hinduism, Shiva is the most fascinating and intriguing. He is an outsider who lives on the fringes of tradition and is yet not only a prominent third of the great Hindu Trinity but also Mahadev-the greatest of them all-baffling and transcending human presuppositions of the Divine. In his supremacy, Shiva stands outside, even contradicts, human categories and conventions. He appears to be the embodiment of paradoxes but in fact transcends them-the epitome of rage and horror as Bhairava and Rudra and yet also the zenith of auspiciousness and gentleness as Pashupati and Ashutosh. He is the misfit who challenges distinctions between sacred and profane, rich and poor, right and wrong. He is at once the great yogi, the ascetic-turned-householder and the vagabond. He is, finally, Lord of the Cosmic Dance-the timeless dance of dissolution, creation and regeneration.
This anthology is an attempt to explore and understand the diverse and enigmatic forms of this many-faceted god, through the thought and meditations of some of the finest poets, academics, scholars and devotees, across time and place-including Lal Ded, Mahadeviyakka, Swami Vivekananda, Aldous Huxley, Kalidasa, Sri Aurobindo, Basavanna, Adi Shankaracharya, Acharya Abhinavagupta, Allama Prabhu, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Namita Gokhale, Devdutt Pattanaik, Stella Kramrisch, Wendy Doniger and Nilima Chitgopekar.
Whether you are a believer, an agnostic or on the fence, this engrossing collection, edited by Karan Singh-one of the most respected authorities on India’s varied traditions and philosophies-will certainly pique your curiosity about the great concept and conundrum that is Shiva.
Karan Singh, born in 1931 to Maharaja Hari Singh and Maharani Tara Devi, was Head of State of Jammu and Kashmir for eighteen years. He received his PhD from the University of Delhi on the political thought of Sri Aurobindo and joined the Union Cabinet of Indira Gandhi in 1967 at the age of 36, thereby becoming the youngest cabinet minister.
Singh was appointed Ambassador to the United States in 1989, in addition to being India's Member on the UNESCO Governing Board. He also chaired the Auroville Foundation for twenty years and was a four-time Member of the Rajya Sabha. He is recognized as an outstanding thinker in India and abroad and has written twenty books on a range of subjects.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Children’s Books (39)
Brahma Sutras (85)
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