Tuesday 8 December 2015

Book Review: 99 Thoughts on GANESHA

Upon reading the title, one may assume initially that it is perhaps a compilation of hymns or folklore on Ganesha. Well, not truly. Its far more than that.

The author- Devdutt Patnaik is a mythologist. He has written several other books on Hindu mythology focusing on the rational part of it, with a consolidation of all the relevant information.

Ganesha is who is one of the most celebrated and beloved gods pan India. About him, not much is known to people, except for stories revolving around how he came into existence, and that he is worshiped before doing anything afresh.

In this book, Devdutt Patnaik has penned down an account comprising Ganesha's creation, the rituals associated with him, the literature, symbols, festivals, history, stories, etc.- most of which was not unveiled in so simple manner yet (best to my knowledge). It contains a brief of each of them, leaving the rest to the reader's zeal of exploration.

Even after including such vast fountain on information, this book is a precise, concise and quick read. In general, the chapters not inter-related, can be read from anywhere. Every chapter has wonderful illustrations to provide a better insight into the respective section. Regarding the text- it contains simple vocabulary, meticulously articulated, suited to the contemporary generation who escape from reading huge epics or upanishads.

The best part is that it doesn't aim at cultivating superstition, but seems to based on the available documentation and author's interpretation.

My only apprehension is that, unlike fiction based novels, the reader might not be able to retain and recall all this by reading only once. I rate it 4 on 5 stars. For those who are looking for enlightenment on mythology and are curious about Ganesha, must read this book.

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing the reviews.)

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