Books For Beginners
Nita Berry
SCHOLASTIC BOOK OF HINDU GODS AND GODDESSES by Deepa Agarwal Scholastic India, 2018, 144 pp., 399
November 2018, volume 42, No 11

Indian mythology is a complex maze of stories within stories revolving around the amazing exploits of gods and goddesses, saints and sinners, and creatures dark and bright. Our ancient scriptures are full of these fabulous tales that tell of births and rebirths, boons, blessings and curses. They are veritably a part of the Indian subconscious mind, having been handed down the generations, through our oral tradition of storytelling that goes back thousands of years to the earliest years of Indian civilization.

Suno KahaniListen to My Story! The call of the storyteller or kathavachaka was something everybody eagerly awaited. Come sunset, after the day’s work was done, people young and old, would gather in the village square or under the spreading banyan tree And the storyteller would spin the most spell-binding tales! During festivals and special occasions, he narrated stories which were moral, religious, mythological, didactic and entertaining. Most natural phenomena and the elements were represented by gods and goddesses, major or minor. They represented every aspect of the creator’s qualities and their stories mesmerized generations of listeners and readers, invoking awe and reverence as they were worshipped in homes and temples down the ages.

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