Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik is a doctor who has followed his passion for mythology by penning down more than 20 books in the field of mythology and the way they impact our lives in various ways. ‘7 Secrets of the Goddess” is the fourth book in the ‘7 Secrets’ series after ‘7 Secrets of Shiva‘, ‘7 Secrets of Vishnu‘ and ‘7Secrets from Hindu Calendar Art’. Personally for me, this was Devdutt’s first book which I was about to read. Does it work? Let’s check it out.
The blurb goes like this –
As nature, she is mother
As culture, she is daughter
Creator of humanity
Creation of humanity
She is wealth, power, language,
Lakshmi, Durga, Saraswati,
She is Devi
Answer to that masculine anxiety
Which keeps resisting enquiry
Locked in her stories, symbols and rituals are the secrets of our ancestors. This book attempts to unlock seven.
The book has an interesting cover design which aptly reflects what Devdutt wants to talk about. The font is quite bigger than the ones generally found in other novels and there are illustrations on all left hand side pages. Even the width of the book is more than what is the case for general novels. In my opinion, Devdutt seems to have done this so as to give the book a very simplistic feel for any and everyone to read and comprehend.
There are 7 different chapters each of them dealing with the 7 different goddesses of the Hindu mythology – Gaia, Kali, Gauri, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Vitthai. From talking about the origins of each of them to the beliefs and myths associated with them, Devdutt covers various aspects of how people’s views and beliefs with respect to these goddesses evolved and changed over time. He also talks about how various religions have played a role in shaping people’s views and interpretations on the Goddesses.
One of the main things I noticed was the research and the deep understanding of mythology which was reflected in Devdutt’s writing. Whether its the various illustrations and their sources or the different beliefs for each of the Goddesses, Devdutt seems to have a great interest in Hindu mythology.
As I mentioned earlier, the big font and too many illustrations may put off a few people. But that’s just a small point in my opinion.
All in all, a highly informative read for those wanting to know more on Hindu mythology.
Rating – 4/5