31 December, 2015

#BookReview :: Shakti – the Divine Feminine by Anuja Chandramouli

Lose yourself in Maya, the divine game of the Goddess!

She is the Mother Goddess, Mahamaya the enchantress, the supreme consciousness, the pure source from which all creation emerges and to whom all must eventually return. As Usas, the enchanting goddess of the dawn, she is loved passionately and hated fiercely, leading to a horrific tragedy. As Durga, the invincible warrior, she defeats the savage Mahishasura, whom none of the male gods could vanquish. As Kali, the fearsome dark goddess, she delights in chaos. Yet she is also Shakti, beloved of all, who, when united with Shiva, restores balance to the universe.

In this captivating narrative, explore the contrasting facets of the sacred feminine; experience her awesome power, forged on the flames of love and hate; and watch her teach the male-dominated pantheon a lesson in compassion. Witty, engaging and thought-provoking, Shakti: The Feminine Divine will force readers to re-evaluate everything they know about the gods and goddesses and inspire all to embrace the Shakti within.

Shakti – the Divine Feminine is Anuja Chandramouli’s third book. Her first book Arjuna had caught my attention and the second book Kamadeva was wonderful. As such it was a no brainer that I would pick her third book up without second thoughts.

In this installment, the author narrates the story, or rather the stories of Shakti, the mother goddess in all her forms. Starting with the story of Usas, the author goes on to paint the many lives of Shakti in brilliant and vivid colours. Lord Indra and his wife Sachi play the part of the antagonist and while I was a bit surprised with this take at the beginning, it soon started to make sense. There are a lot of shades and hues to each character and the story is one heck of a roller coaster journey. What remains constant is Shakti’s relationship with the Holy Trinity providing some resemblance of stability. 

If I have to point out one thing that I did not like about the book or felt was the only weak link in the book was the author’s focus on Indra & his wife’s life. There are places in the book when it was almost difficult to remember that Shakti is the protagonist and not them. Other than that I enjoyed reading this book immensely. The author, who was quite good to begin with, seems to only grow with each book. Her language is grand and has mesmerizing moments. But the best part about her narration is that it is almost impossible to figure out which part of her book is fictional. It is easy to get lost in the book and forget that it is after all a work of fiction.

Another shining element of the book is the fact how relevant it is in today’s world while talking about Indian mythology. Many aspects of the book really resonated with me and I would recommend this book to not only women but also to men – to read it and to try and understand how relevant it is.

Review Copy received from the Author