7 Secrets of Shiva – Book Review

So the latest book on offer for review from Blogadda was the ‘7 Secrets of Shiva’ by Devdutt Pattanaik. And considering that I have been on a sort of a trend out here, reading and reviewing books with a mythological/historical bent, I immediately picked it up. And it took me a week to finish this relatively short book spread over 200 odd pages, in relatively large font, where every alternate page is an illustration.

However, I am in no position to blame this on the book itself. There was a small confusion with regards to the content of the same. You see, turns out, that though I do like my dose of mythology, and history, I need my facts presented to me in the form of fiction. Or rather, a story. Apparently, facts presented to me as themselves, make the whole effort of reading a wee tedious for me. In short, I am not the right audience for this otherwise well written book.

That being said, I did read it. The book deals with the myths and legends related to Shiva, the more well known stories that we are told as kids, the stories that we never heard of, and the various cultures and their representation of the mighty Shiva. The 7 secrets that are explained in the book deal with 5 of the most prominent names with which Lord Shiva is hailed; Lingeshwara, or the Shiva Ling , the form in which we all worship Shiva, Bhairava, Shankara, Bholenath and Nataraja. The remaining two chapters are about his two sons, the much loved Ganesha, and Murugan.

The information that each Chapter gives us is abundant, and well researched. I particularly liked how, though the representation of The Lord differed in each form, and for each culture, it eventually represented the same truth. The illustrations on every second pages, are rare pictures of Paintings and sculptures, which enable us to understand the view points even better. Each illustration is labelled, explaining its significance. For me, these pictures and their explanations were the best bit.

The book also tends to stagger a bit into spirituality, but then, we are dealing with God here. Through the various stories, pictures, forms depicted, the author eventually tries to convey what life is all about. However, while dealing with topics like immortality, soul etc, I did tend to get a bit lost, and once again I would blame it on the genre and the fact that it was I who was reading this. Apart from the pictures, I also liked the stories that made an appearance throughout  the book, making it interesting for a person like me, who like I said, thrives on stories.

I would not go beyond this to give my opinions. The language is easy to read and follow, and hence it possible for anyone to pick it up for a read. However, if you were to ask me if I would venture into this genre again, probably not. But for someone who likes factual books, with a mythological bent, this is a must read, and perhaps even the other books in the same set. For me, I think I have had my dosage of spirituality for now!

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

27 thoughts on “7 Secrets of Shiva – Book Review

    1. Honestly, this is not really a spiritual book too, as in it is all facts and stories, with a little bit of spirituality thrown in! So it shouldn’t be an issue 😀

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  2. Wondering!!!!!!
    If I were to have a girl and the baby was to have a name of Shiva!!! How the heck can I fit in a God’s name without creating a gender confusion.
    So any gyan on naming a girl with reference to God Shiva.
    Shivangi, Shiva Ranjini, Shankari, Parameshwari are some I can think off. Anything out of your brains ?

  3. Hmm. Indian authors are on an overdose of Shiva I think. I picked up the Shiva trilogy after reading your reviews. They were good, bu tI still can’t imagine Shiva saying “Dammit! Leave me alone!” 😀
    I hope this ones better that way?
    Oh and happy new year! 🙂

  4. Hey! This is not fiction 😐 This is like serious mythology and stuff! Try it out and tell me what you think!
    Oh, I think it is too cool when Shiva is all human! 😀

    1. Sheetal

      I Agree, it is totally cool when Shiva is all Human and a leader with no super natural powers but has intelligence and courage !!
      Its awesome to read about such a warrior 🙂

  5. Pingback: 7 Secrets Of Shiva: A Religious Textbook, Not A Myth-Analysis « The Idea-smithy

  6. I felt exactly the same! Especially, after having read & loved Jaya and The Pregnant King, I felt horribly let down by the heavy, preachiness of this book. You seem to have been able to be a lot more objective and indifferent to the shift in tone & quality, though. 🙂

    1. Posted a long comment on the reason behind my objectivity, and ofcourse my opinion on Jaya on your blog! After reading Jaya however I could only nod to each sentence in your review and go ‘ I agree’! 🙂

  7. Hi again!

    Yes, I was afraid I was the only one with this opinion. Having read some of this earlier works, though, gave me the confidence to post that review. 🙂

    Do check out ‘The Pregnant King’. If you liked the style of ‘Jaya’, you’ll definitely enjoy it. Also, while Jaya elaborated on known mythology, TPK is a completely new story and a well-told one at that.

    Thanks for the review and the conversation!


  8. Really well written !!! I just purchased this book and was looking forward to read some reviews on this book.
    Your review is really well written. Keep up the good work 🙂


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