Monday, September 03, 2012

Book Review: 99 thoughts on Ganesha ~ Devdutt Pattanaik


Introduction

We follow a lot of traditions and rituals when we pray to God but how many of us really know the meaning and significance behind them? A difficult question I suppose. Our parents and grandparents did a wonderful job of carrying on the family tradition from one generation to another but somewhere in the midst the real meaning of all this was lost. 

99 thoughts on Ganesha Published by Jaico Books [ISBN-13: 978-81-8495-152-3], is an attempt by Devdutt Pattanaik to bring forth those hidden meanings behind all those rituals.

Behind the book

This book brings together 99 meditations to better understand the stories, symbols and rituals of that adorable 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.

Source: Google Images
 About the Author


Devdutt Pattanaik is a bestselling author whose works focus on myth and mythology and their relevance in modern times. To know more, do visit www.devdutt.com

Me thinks

I have been an ardent follower of Lord Ganesha since my childhood. Maybe the ease with which I can connect with Him makes it all the more special. I have a personal collection of about some 40+ statues of Him in various forms and my eyes are not tired of still searching for something new to be added to that collection. He is simply adorable in each of His forms and I can very easily give Him the tag of being ‘easily approachable’ at least for Me. I had read once that He is one of those few Gods who has been constantly updated with the changing times and has tried to keep up with the new trends every time. So please don’t be surprised if you see Him in yoga postures or wearing a business suit with a laptop in any of the statues. I am sure by now you must have guessed He is really special for Me and hence this book was an unavoidable read for Me.

I have always been a very curious child and have always asked a lot of questions to my parents. Even today I Google a lot to understand a lot of things in a better manner. Our country India has such a wonderful and diverse culture that its depth cannot be measured. The amount of knowledge you can gather is infinite and probably you can spend your entire life looking for answers.

Surprisingly for Me this book has managed to answer a lot of Whys for Me. Like for e.g. why does every statue of Lord Krishna have Him standing with one leg behind the other? Why does Lord Vishnu always stand on both His legs and Lord Shiva on one? Why is the shoe-flower a favourite of Lord Ganesha? Like the Shaktipithas across our country, the various temples of Lord Ganesha also have a story behind them. Did you know that?  Oh I could go on and on and on about the latest findings that I have managed to lay my hands on.

And I won’t spoil the suspense for you by revealing all those things here. To know each of these answers you need to read the book and believe Me it is a wonderful read. Page after page I could just exclaim Oh! I did not know that. I was pleasantly surprised by each of those stories and rituals that I was following till now.
The author has done a tremendous job in bringing all of them together in one book. The language is also very coherent with a very absorbing narrative. It literally tempts you to turn the page and secretly wish for it to not end at all. The major drawback is after the 50th meditation things somehow get a bit repetitive in nature as the description seems very similar to the previous ones. Otherwise the book does a wonderful job of being a captivating read. This book is a light read with the left side pages have beautiful sketches of Lord Ganesha and the right ones having the meditations. I finished reading it in one ago in about 1 hour 15 mins flat.

Over all a wonderful attempt by the author as a tribute to the Lord – who removes all the hurdles always!

Foodie Verdict 

Source: Google Images
 This book can only be compared to a modak as after reading it that is the only thing that comes to my mind.


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