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We live in times where people have extreme views. On the one hand, there are scholars who describe Shiva's linga literally as a phallus, and see all metaphoric meaning as embarrassed apology of the uneducated. On the other hand, we have puritanical Hindus who want to strip the Shiva linga of all sexual meaning and sanitize Shiva's lore. In both cases, a symbol is being reduced to a sign.
In Shiva to Shankara, Devdutt Pattanaik, India's leading mythologist, seeks to bridge the gap. As he explores the layers of meanings embedded in Shiva's linga, we discover why and how the Goddess transforms Shiva, the hermit, into Shankara, the householder.
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About the Author
Devdutt Pattanaik writes, illustrates and lectures on the relevance of mythology in modern times. He has, since 1996, written over thirty books and 700 columns on how stories, symbols and rituals construct the subjective truth (myths) of ancient and modern cultures around the world. His books include 7 Secrets of Hindu Calendar Art (Westland), Myth=Mithya: A Handbook of Hindu Mythology (Penguin), Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata (Penguin), Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana (Penguin), Olympus: An Indian Retelling of the Greek Myths (Penguin), Business Sutra: A Very Indian Approach to Management (Aleph), My Gita (Rupa) and Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik (Penguin). To know more, visit devdutt.com.