Most would shy away at the very title comforted in thinking that books on mythology are always pushing, assertive and over-ambitious. They are the shadows of something that is becoming increasingly obsolete. But trust me, this man changed me in ways I did not expect.
Change, yes. You might like the word, or you might hate it. But the fact remains that it is the most inevitable thing in life. And honestly, discovering the writings of this man has definitely made me think about things I wouldn’t normally think about.
Let me paint you a picture first.
I was one of those kids who was convinced that anything even remotely nigh to pooja and Hinduism is “uncool”. I was jovial seeking the validation of the people around me who felt the very same. Anyone who was religious was meant to be shunned. I picked up this book hoping to cram up facts for a quiz I had to participate in, with the central theme of Indian Mythology. Little did I know, there was a world waiting for me in those pages I had not expected.
No, I can feel the burning question as you read this, I didn’t become a religious nut and ran off to pray right the minute I read it. This is not a book that preaches you the ways of Hinduism. It tells you the ways of Hinduism and Indian history with a rather fresh perspective. A scientist’s perspective, If I may be so bold. We see Hinduism the way a skeptic might, or in a way a storyteller might. He tells why these stories are the way they are, why does it have the kind of variations it does. The whole why of it all. The book is in a question and answer form and takes us on a journey from level 1 of understanding Indian mythology, even for those who have never been introduced to it.
He explains the simple and complex philosophies behind these stories in very rudimentary language. It’s surprising how such a simple book has such a deep-seated impact on you.
“What the person, who knows the truth, will speak, will not be understood by the person who does not know the truth.”
The more you read it, the more interested you will be in the subject. I highly recommend this book and the subsequent ones written by the author to everyone. You can also watch his brilliant TED talk here.