Monday, April 24, 2017

99 Thoughts on Ganesha by Devdutt Pattanaik

All books of Devdutt Pattanaik are on my wishlist. I consider myself lucky when I won a copy of "99 Thoughts on Ganesha" in Giveaway. A short review of the book would be

"You can read it for facts. You can read it for understanding. You can read it for symbolism."

Book Blurb
In the game of cricket, having scored 99 runs, when a batsman stands poised on the threshold of that much coveted century, he experiences the moment that is best associated with Ganesha. Fear and uncertainty envelope him, between him and his achievement stand hurdles, both real and imaginary, a possible spin from the bowler can overwhelm him, his own anxiety can paralyze him, cheering fans can distract him. He needs divine intervention then. He needs to focus, get rid of all hurdles, perform, get the final run and achieve what he so longs for. In other words, he needs to think of Ganapati. This book brings together 99 meditations to better understand the stories, symbols and rituals of that ador-able elephant-headed Hindu god who removes hurdles and brings prosperity and peace. Known variously as Ganapati, Gajanana, Vinayaka or Pillayar, he can help all of us score a century in the game called life.
As expected from Devdutt's book, "99 Thoughts on Ganesha" is the collection of short stories or narration about Ganesha. Devdutt has divided each narration into different sections mainly like stories, symbolism, Ganesha's significance in other countries' religion. Being Hindu, I knew half of these stories or narration, but Devdutt has made sure that every reader group will get learn something new about Ganesha. In recent times, after three principal male God and three principal female Goddess, Ganesha is considered mail stream God. Devdutt has brought out facts and stories how Ganesha got his stature of mainstream God.

Each element or symbol associated with Ganesha has a meaning, Devdutt has pointed out both physical and ascetic (psychological) meaning of those symbols. Facts like Ganesha was not considered as the part elephant - part human before 1st or 2nd BC, and how current form of Ganesha being introduced in Indian culture was really amazing. Ganesha's character was also spread across Asia as far as Japanese Buddhism. Devdutt has tried to point out what role Ganesha play in various countries' religious culture. 

I would say it again, a good informative book on Ganesha. Talking about ratings:
  1. Cover: 4.5 / 5 (Latest cover is better than previous one)
  2. Content: 4.5 / 5 
  3. Concept: 4 / 5
  4. Overall: 4.25 / 5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at Goodreads


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