SHIVA – an Introduction

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This 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. Written in a simple narrative style, and interspersed with familiar and unfamiliar tales retold, the book reaches out to young and old alike.

Highlights include lucid explanations and a pictorial key to numerous symbols associated with Shaivite ritual and festival practices, a map 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.

“Let me meditate on the supreme god who wears the crescent moon as a crown, whose dazzling form is adorned by the five elements of the universe, who holds in his four hands the weapon of the axe, the deer, who is fulfillment and forgiveness, as his worshipper desires, who sits on the world lotus in perpetual repose, who is of wisdom, desire and action, who is the source and the goal of life and who will embrace all creatures at the end removing their fear of death.”

To order call/sms 09650-457-457 or email: talk@dialabook.in

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  • About six years ago I ordered a Vigram of Lord Shiva Bahirava from Exotic India .com and was quite surprised and delighted to receive a copy of “Shiva An Introduction” as a complimentary gift. I feel I owe the Author at least ,this complementary review,albeit late in coming. To have an Indian Author, with a comand of contemporary English, write about the complexities of social relationships among the Gods, with a direct simplicity and economy of language that conveys the reverence and joy of Shiviaism, is extrodinary. He has produced a slender volume that is like water from Lord Shiva’s bucket, for the thirsty traveller, sometimes lost amid volumes of Sandskrit to English translations, of Vedas ,Upanishads, and Puranas. His understanding ,and interpretation of the symbolic language of Sanatana Dharma, is like an offering bowl of Daddoo’s tumbling out as Prassad to the reader. Each illustration keyed to the text brings everyday clarity, to the seemingly complex character of the only major living polytheistic religon left on earth. Western theologians and philosophers have always had a difficult time when confronted with lifes verigated , and ambiguous dillemas. This is because monotheism ,demands and commands ,such strict adherence to, uniformity and conformity ,within the social structures it has created ;that they have no idea how a polytheistic religon could possibly work! Ultimately the western monotheist woships Bhrama, to the exclusion of the rest of the Gods. With subtlety and artistry the author explains the perils of such a belief system without having to resort to comparisons. “Comparitive Religon” enthusiasts will have to curb their own humanist dogma,when confronted with this unique journey of discovery,of the self within the context of humanity as it is, not how anyone would contrive it to be. It is a volume to experience with the author, as he explores the motivations of the Gods, as a reciprocal reflection of the motivating force in all human behavior, sexual attraction. The whole gambit of human emotions ,from joy to rage, can be accounted for in Sanatana Dharma, so sit back and read this book,and perhaps you too will thank ” the Gods and the demons,who dance in Devdutt’s dreams”.

  • Emil Koller – Swiss-Baba

    Dear Dr. Pattanaik

    I heared about that book. So I wanted to buy it. But I could not find any bookshop where it is possible to buy or order it.
    So please can you tell me where I can get it.

    Mike – Swiss-Baba

    PS I am living since more than 3 years in India…

  • GuruM

    You can try ordering the book from the publishers directly.
    I tried to order via flipkart, amazon, bookadda, dial-a-book, but all had ‘Lakshmi’ and ‘Devi’ titles as ‘out-of-stock’. amazon/bookadda made me wait for a week or so before refunding.

    Finally tried the publisher website (vakils). I was able to order online via netbanking. They post by normal post so max. 15 days delivery time. With 10% discount.
    There are many options for payment credit/debit card, netbanking etc via CCAvenues.