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Shiva: An Introduction

Devdutt Pattanaik (Author)
Synopsis This work is an attempt to understand the meaning of Shiva worship in our time exploring various pictorial images of Shiva iconography, taking us through Shaivite philosophy, beliefs, history, folklore and myth. It is the first step in an infinite voyage to unveil the whole picture by giving the general reader a clear and substantial account of Shiva and Shaivism. The mythology of Shiva expresses divine predicament in human terms: the gods play and act in the language of man, for man. Myths are not common tales, they are not parables or legends. They are conceived in dreams and expressed through symbols as a reaction to man's inexplicable yet desperate need to validate his presence in the cosmos. They do not teach. They generate experience.  Highlights include lucid explanations and a pictorial key to numerous symbols associated with Shaivite ritual and festival practices, a map of India showing important Shiva temples including the twelve Jyotir-lingas, a list of 108 sacred names of Shiva with their meanings, a bibliography for those interested in learning more, and over 150 illustrations of which many are in color.
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About the author

Devdutt Pattanaik

Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik (b. 1970), MBBS, graduated in medicine from Grant Medical College, Mumbai, and went on to specialize in the field of medical writing and health communication. With a passion for mythology, he topped the Mumbai University course in comparative mythology (PGDCM) and has published three books as part of the introduction series : Shiva : An Introduction; Vishnu : An Introduction; and Devi : An Introduction. His articles have been published in Parabola, journal of myth, tradition and the search for meaning; the Times of India ‘Speaking Tree’; and in guest columns of the New Indian Express. His unorthodox approach has been widely appreciated. As part of Sabrang, a cultural organization that demystifies the arts, Dr. Pattanaik has lectured extensively on the relevance of mythology to modern man. Dr. Pattanaik lives in India.

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Bibliographic information

Title Shiva: An Introduction
Format Softcover
Date published: 09.06.2003
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8187111011
length 126p.