A seasoned mythologist, Devdutt Pattanaik never disappoints when it comes to Indian scriptures. His writing comes as a breath of fresh air, giving a new perspective to the ancient texts, at a time when several quarters are hell bent on feeding the Sanatan Dharma down our throats!
Coming from the author of Jaya and Sita, 7 Secrets of the Goddess was a tad bit disappointing (specially the overall look of the book – the font size, presentation and cover – which gave a feel of a school textbook). Although Pattanaik makes his point well, we are left wanting.
The book talks of the ‘secrets’ of seven Godesses – Gaia, Kali, Gauri, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, and Vitthai. Gaia, the Goddess from Greek mythology blends in beautifully in this narrative of the Indian goddesses. Indian customs are explained in an angle never explained before and many traditions are given a logical foundation by the author.
A predominant narrative in the whole book is the equality of male and female forces in the ancient times and how balance tilted towards men as society evolved over time and patriarchy emerged. Pattanaik also champions the cause of gender equality as he talks of the divine feminine.
Like all his books, illustrations form the backbone of the flow of the narrative. In fact, like an excited teenage I almost stop reading the text to explore the images. This time the author chose to share photographs instead of hand-drawn images of the goddesses, though.
Like Shikhandi, Devdutt Pattanaik’s 7 Secrets of the Goddess is an academic read, contrary to his earlier works which narrated stories. Overall, the book added to the pleasure of the Diwali weekend.
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
P.S. – This review is part of the Flipkart Bloggers’ Affiliate Programme
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