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|Number of Pages||234 Pages|
In 7 Secrets of Shiva, Pattanaik begins his analysis of Hindu mythology by looking at the conflict between western methodology and Hindu devotees. He states that when western scholars and academicians examine Hindu mythological symbols such as the Shiva Linga, they are more concerned about the objective representation. Objectively it is a phallus, but subjectively it represents a mind that is unstirred and happy. Hindu devotees are more concerned with the latter explanation and therefore ignore the former during their worship.
In a similar style of analysis, Pattanaik goes on to decipher the seven forms of Lord Shiva. In the first chapter titled Lingeshwara, the author goes beyond the meaning of a phallic symbol. Instead, the Lingeshwara represents mental stimulation, happiness and a focused mind. In the second chapter titled Bhairava, Lord Shivas form rids fear and predation. With the banishment of fear, the mind is able to continue on the path to inner happiness. In the third and fourth chapters titled Shankara and Bholenath, Shiva is portrayed as a householder and as the counterpart of the goddess Shakti.
Their union symbolizes the propagation of the species. It also explains how the goddess attempts to get Shiva to participate in the material world. The fifth and sixth chapters are concerned with Shivas sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya. It explains how Ganesha removes scarcity and promotes a good life, prosperity and knowledge. Kartikeya wards off evil doers and predation. The final chapter is titled Nataraja and it represents the universes movement. When Lord Shiva performed the Tandava, he was destroying the Universe. Apart from deciphering the symbolism behind Hindu mythology, Pattanaik has included illustrations, photographs, poster art and blurbs to give readers a visual dimension to the explanation.
About the Author
Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik is an author, entrepreneur and chief belief officer at the Future Group. He has authored over twenty books dealing with Hindu mythology. Some of these titles are 99 thoughts of Ganesha, Hanuman - An introduction, The pregnant king, Indra finds Happiness, Kama Vs Yama, The Goddess of India, Jaya, The book of Kali and Myth = Mithya.
Apart from writing, he has over fifteen years of experience as a medical doctor, working for companies such as Sanofi Aventis and Apollo health street. He has also worked with Ernst and Young as a business adviser. Pattanaik is currently an inspirational speaker and leadership coach at many organizations. Business Sutra and Shastrarth are TV shows that were hosted by him on CNBC TV - 18 and CNBC awaaz respectively. Pattanaik has written more than 25 books.