Hindu Deities - The Boxed Set


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Enlarge Image. If you're not entirely happy, we'll give you your money back. We personally check every order to provide best shipping deals worldwide contact us for a quote. Recommend to a friend. Devdutt Pattanaik is a medical doctor by education, a leadership consultant by profession, and a mythologist by passion.

He writes and lectures extensively on the relevance of stories, symbols and rituals in modern life. Imagine a Western scholar. He, or she, is typically from Europe or America. All his life, he has been exposed to Judaism, Christianity or Islam, religions that frown upon any overt display of sexuality. To him, sexuality is almost always an act of rebellion, an expression of defiance against the establishment. It is seen as being modern. So imagine his surprise when he comes to India and encounters temples embellished with images of men and women in erotic embrace. Imagine his bewilderment when he finds Hindus worshipping an image shaped like a phallus called Shoaling.

This is what his ancestors, a hundred years ago, also encountered, and condemned as pre-modern, licentious and savage. The scholar finds them vicariously liberating. Keen to study and understand these images, he hunts for a suitable academy. He finds none in India. So he enrols in a Western institution, where he is guided Western academicians and is expected to follow methodologies developed and approved in the West. He starts reading texts as he would read the Bible, not realising that texts do not serve the same purpose in Hinduism.

He decodes scriptures and image using his own cultural frameworks as the template.


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His casinos are published in respected academic papers that was accolades from Western academia, but they discomfort, even horrify, the average Hindu devotee. Most Hindus become defensive and, like their 19th- century ancestors go out of their why to strip Hinduism of its sexual heritage. A few, especially these with political leanings, react violently, outraged by the conclusions. Accused of cultural intensity, outraged by the conclusions.

Accused of cultural insensitivity, Western scholars sunken back saying that Hindus do know their own heritage and are still viewing Hinduism throat the archaic Victorian lens. Battle lines are drawn. They are drawn. Who is right, the arrogant academician or the stub devotee? It is in this context that I write this book. I have noticed that the divide between Western academicians and Hindu devotees exists in their relative attention to form and though.

From is tangible and objective, thought is intangible and subjective. Western scalars have been spellbound by the sexual from but pay scant regard to the metaphysical thought. In other words, they prefer the literal to the symbolic. Hindu devotees, in contrast, are so focused on the metaphysical thought that they ignore, or simply deny, the sexual from. The Western preference for from over thought stems from their cultural preference for the objective over the subjective.

Hindus, on the other hand, are very comfortable with the subjective, hence can easily overlook from and focus on thought. This book seeks to bridge this wide gap between academics and practice. It is significant that the stories of Vishnu rose to prominence after the rise of Buddhism. Prior to that Hinduism was the religion of the elite based complex rituals known as yagna and esoteric speculations captured in texts known as the Aranyakas and the Upanishads.

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These seemed very distant to the common man who focused on fertility rituals worship of plants and animals and nature. Buddhism spoke directly to the common man in the language of the people and addressed every day concerns. It naturally became very popular. But the Buddhist worldview leaned towards Monasticism.

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By contrast the Hindu worldview made room for both the hermit and the householder. To fire the imagination of the people moving towards monasticism this had to be communicated using a tool that the masses relished stories. Stories of Vishnu communicate the hindu worldview from the point of view of the householder. This is complemented by stories of Shiva that communicate an equally valid but alternate viewpoint that of the hermit.

Since both Vishnu and shiva were forms of God both worldviews that of the Householder and that of the hermit were held in equal regard. To ensure that these stories were not reduced to entertainment they were deemed sacred and anchored with symbols and rituals. The symbols and rituals of Vishnu are different from the symbols and rituals of Shiva. For example Vishnu is visualized bedecked in gold while Shiva is worshipped smeared in ash Vishnu is offered sprigs of the Tulsi that is grown inside the house while shiva is offered leaves of the bilva that is grown outside the house Vishnu dances with his eyes open while Shiva dances with his eyes shut.

Through these differences different ideas were communicated. Wisdom that was once restricted to a few now reached everyone who chose to hear the stories look at the symbols and perform the rituals. Vishnu represents a key figure in the new story based Hinduism. He is a critical piece of what can be called the grand Hindu Jigsaw Puzzle.


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Dr Devdutt Pattanaik is a medical doctor by training, a business consultant by profession and a mythologist by passion. He writes and lectures extensively on the relevance of sacred stories, symbols and rituals in modern times, and it is in this capacity that he has joined the Future Group as Chief Belief Officer where his role is to help construct the culture of the entire organization because from beliefs come behaviour.

The images in the book have been picked up from the street, from vendors who sit outside temples and sell their wares to pilgrims. In recent times, foreign tourists have been captivated by their supernatural content and gaudy colours. Fashion gurus have used them on the catwalk, incorporating them on apparel and accessories to get the attention of consumers, collectors and the media. But few have stopped to think about them - where does this imagery come from? What are they saying? And, in ignorance, often innocence, sacred art has become fantasy art, used by some in ways that others consider disrespectful.

Hindu Gods and Goddesses

To best appreciate Hindu art, one has to enter a new paradigm, a new way of explaining things. One has to explore new notions of perfection and possibility, quite different from the more familiar and more popular Greek, Biblical or Oriental worldviews. This book is an attempt to introduce the reader to this new paradigm.

Hindu Deities - The Boxed Set Hindu Deities - The Boxed Set
Hindu Deities - The Boxed Set Hindu Deities - The Boxed Set
Hindu Deities - The Boxed Set Hindu Deities - The Boxed Set
Hindu Deities - The Boxed Set Hindu Deities - The Boxed Set
Hindu Deities - The Boxed Set Hindu Deities - The Boxed Set
Hindu Deities - The Boxed Set Hindu Deities - The Boxed Set

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