Come October, and the Indian festive season begins. The Navratri is observed for nine days with vaGoddess Durga being worshipped in various ways and forms all across the country. Durga Puja is celebrated in the east, Garba or Dandiya Raas in the west, Navaratras in the north and golu in the south. The festivities culminate in Dusshera or Vijaya Dashami or Bijoya.
It was during this festive season that I sat down to read the book ‘Shakti: The Divine Feminine’ by Anuja Chandarmouli which I had received as a review copy from Rupa Publications for which I would like to thank Rizwan Khan. This is my first book by the author and I must say that I was impressed by her work.
Lose yourself in Maya, the divine game of the Goddess!
She is the Mother Goddess, Mahamaya the enchantress, the supreme consciousness, the pure source from which all creation emerges and to whom all must eventually return. As Usas, the enchanting goddess of the dawn, she is loved passionately and hated fiercely, leading to a horrific tragedy. As Durga, the invincible warrior, she defeats the savage Mahishasura, whom none of the male gods could vanquish. As Kali, the fearsome dark goddess, she delights in chaos. Yet she is also Shakti, beloved of all, who, when united with Shiva, restores balance to the universe.
In this captivating narrative, explore the contrasting facets of the sacred feminine; experience her awesome power, forged on the flames of love and hate; and watch her teach the male-dominated pantheon a lesson in compassion. Witty, engaging and thought-provoking, Shakti: The Feminine Divine will force readers to re-evaluate everything they know about the gods and goddesses and inspire all to embrace the Shakti within.
The book has been divided into seventeen chapters, mentioning about various reincarnations of the goddess. The author begins by about the three males who mattered in her life: The Creator, The Preserver and The Destroyer and how and why they are important to her.
She is Usas, the Goddess of Dawn, loved by the men and hated by the womenfolk. Then she becomes Shakti, Mahamaya, Mahamoha, Durga, Divine Mother and Kali.
Even though the goddess has different names in different chapters of the book, some of which can be read in isolation, the connect stays when the entire book is read as a whole. The author has researched deep into her work and as mentioned in her note at the beginning of the book, the reader should not bother too much about what is fiction and which is fact. The language is simple and the story is written in such a way that, initially, it requires some patience to get into the flow of the book but once I got started, it becomes more and more interesting.
Writing the review was a bit difficult because I was at a loss of words as to how I should start.
A must read for all mythology lovers, but with one warning, Do Not bother too much about what is fiction and which is fact.
Book Source: The Publisher