|Image Source: gangabooksemporium.com|
SIVA - The Siva Purana Retold: Religious, Non-Fiction
AUTHOR: Ramesh Menon
BEST SELLERS: The Hunt for K and Blue God: A Life of Krishna (1992), Ramesh Menon, born in 1951 at New Delhi, has also rendered modern translations of The Ramayana (2000), The Mahabharata (2004) and The Bhagavata Purana into English prose.
SYNOPSIS (From back cover):
One day of Bramha has 14 Indras; his life has 54,000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Bramha. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Siva.
There are 18 Mahapuranas, great Puranas, and the Siva Purana is one of them. Siva is a vivid retelling of the Siva Purana for today's reader.The book contains all the major legends of Siva, bringing them alive again for a new generation. The characters and events one encounters here are awesome, many are cosmic. Siva himself is the Auspicious One. He is Mahadeva, the greatest God.
SIVA AND SATI
He had sat in tapasya for thousands of interminable, cosmic years; yet his mind grew unsteady with compassion for the world. His eyes fluttered half open and tears fell from them as if at a vow broken. From those precious drops the the rudraksha plants sprouted.
Siva has said to the Goddess, the rudraksha is the holiest bead in this world. Wearing rudraksha, Siva's tears, destroys the most heinous sins.
MSM Speaks: Oh, the humbleness which you feel when you read something like this. I scoff at religious things, wondering at the mere mumjo jumbo of words and thinking, do they even have a meaning? I stand corrected now. Siva was given to me by a friend who knows I was in love with Siva's Nirgun-avatar (Something like a Supreme being with no shape or form). I had never ever thought I'd pick up a religious book to read - a Purana to be precise, and enjoy it. I read it like a lay person, not having true idea of the mythology - and the ideas which I had, I kept them aside. I initially picked it up and left, after reading 12 Chapters. I was kind of losing interest. But few days after, when I was caught up with a lot of other things, I started to read from where I'd left and whoa! It was over before I knew it.
There are many stories - how Bramha, with the help of Kaama Deva (God of love), took vengeance on Siva, by making him fall in love with Sati, how Bramha has only Four heads, when he had five; how daksha got the head of a goat, and other such intriguing narrations and revelations. These stories show, that not even Greatest of Gods, were spared from the wheel of karma. And a lot of things that we believe in these days, you would see, have been given in the Purana. Impressive Stuff. Seriously. After reading the kind of books I've reviewed off late - Ref. to Tea-20 , something like this is a fresh and welcome change. Believe me, you will not regret reading this, considering that this was my first experience of reviewing a religious non-fiction book - the very genre I had thought I will not review.
Mr. Menon adopts literal translation - from Sanskrit to English, and therefore, there are words and references, which were a bit difficult to interpret. He has actually simplified the verses a lot, telling the stories in a beautiful narrative style, which saves this book from getting painfully boring - especially for someone like us, the youth, who, in spite of being readers, do not have much patience with such books, unless we really like the genre. MSM Recommends this.
My Rating: 4.5/5 (I really wanted to give five, but nothing is perfect.)
Siva: The Siva Purana Retold @ Rupa & Co. (2006) Sixth Reprint (2011)
flipkart Price: 365/-INR