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Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

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Monday, September 3, 2018

The Reign of the Vedic Gods

The Reign of the Vedic Gods: The Galaxy of Hindu Gods Book 1, Swami Achuthananda, 2018, Relianz Communications Pty Ltd.

This book attempts to introduce the reader to the world of Hindu gods. There are a million of them (gods, that is).

Ganesha is the one with the head of an elephant. He was created, according to one folk tale, because Shiva (his father) had been intruding too often on Parvati's (his mother) bath. Using the dead skin and dandruff from her body, she created a son and gatekeeper. After Shiva is driven away by Ganesha, Shiva gets furious and chops off his head, not realizing that it was his own son. Parvati is very upset, but Shiva tries to console her by putting the head of an elephant on Ganesha's body. Shiva is known as the god of destruction; he does not do so well at creation.

Indra, the greatest of the Vedic gods, was hidden as a baby for a long time. Prithvi, his mother, did it to keep him away from a jealous Dyaus Pita, his father. At the time of his birth, humans were in the midst of a major famine, because the demon Vritra had stolen the clouds. There was a major battle between Indra and Vritra, which was won by Indra, and the rains returned. Indra also defends people and animals from other demons, leading to his becoming ruler of the universe.

Most Hindu and Aryan holy books talk about there being thirty-three gods (a reasonable number). So where did the number of 330 million gods come from? The book also talks about India's caste system, still entrenched in Indian society, despite attempts to change it.

First of a series, this book does a very good job at painlessly introducing the reader to Hindu gods. As a suggestion, for anyone who wants to learn more than the basics, read about one god at a time, instead of trying to understand all of them. This book is the place to start.

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