Book Review: 7 Secrets of Shiva, by Devdutt Pattanaik

Mythology is a very interesting genre, and when narrated with that interest, makes for wonderful reading. Many authors try to write in this genre; some succeed, others do not. I quite enjoyed a few of Devdutt’s earlier books, so picking this book wasn’t that difficult a choice.

The mythology behind a God or a Goddess varies quite often. The story of the same God could be different in the North region as compared to the South, but there would exist some common denominator. I think what Devdut Pattanaik attempts to do through this book 7 Secrets of Shiva is to unfurl some of the beliefs and mythical stories that exist when it comes to Lord Shiva, and also look at possible logic behind these mythical stories. The book is divided into seven parts viz. Bhairava’s Secret, Lingeshwara’s Secret, Shankara’s Secret, Bholenath’s Secret, Ganesha’s Secret, Murugan’s Secret and Nataraja’s Secret. Though I have read a part of the book earlier, it was interesting to read it completely with the flow of this book.

As I read the book, a quote stood out. I loved how the author describes imagination. It is so beautiful.

“From imagination comes our vision of the world, our vision of our future, and most importantly our vision of ourselves, who we are and what we want to be.”

I couldn’t help but agree with the thought, especially with the last part of it. Going ahead in the book, the author’s explanation of Brahmanda was another thing I quite liked. However, one aspect I couldn’t agree with was the notion of why games and recreational activities are something the human mind is obsessed with. Even the phallic interpretations of some aspects of mythology didn’t feel quite believable.

The author sometimes discusses the other two Gods of the trinity too – Brahma and Vishnu; explaning the differences between Shiva and them. I liked reading that, and also the role of Shakti or Parvati in Shiva’s life.

Are these secrets really “secrets”? Perhaps not, if you look at the mythology aspect. Most are tales many of us would have heard before. The logic behind these tales, as expressed by the author, “might” be secrets. The book also has some photographs that go along with the tale being narrated.

I liked the parts pertaining to Ganesha and Murugan the best, and I’d definitely re-read some parts of the book again. I can see it appealing to many readers though, especially those who have an interest in the genre.


A Score Of 7 Out Of 10
Book Details
Title: 7 Secrets of Shiva Series: Hindu Trinity #3
Author(s): Devdutt Pattanaik Genre: Mythology
ISBN/ASIN: 9789386224040 Publisher: Westland Books

No payment was taken for this review. The views expressed here are mine, and they remain uninfluenced and unbiased.


(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
11th January 2018)

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