No Title
Ruchi S
DEMONS AND DEMONESSES OF HINDU MYTHOLOGY by Priya Narayanan Rupa, 2021, 130 pp., 295.00
November 2022, volume 46, No 11

This book is a collection of stories of 17 mythical beings—Asuras, Rakshasas/Rakshasis from Hindu mythology, centered around whom stories are rarely written or discussed.

In Hindu mythology, devas or gods are often shown to be virtuous (even their cunningness portrayed as diplomacy and ingenuity) and thus victorious; always celebrated and glorified. Asuras and Rakshasa/rakshasis on the other hand are shown as evil, demonic figures, whose defeat at the hands of devas are symbolized as victory of good over evil.

In this background arrives this collection that narrates ‘their’ stories, that treats them as ‘central characters’. As the author shares in an interview with Frontlist, one of her readers wrote back to her saying that she had heard of these demons but did not know their origin stories and it was this ‘not knowing’ that was a key reason why she thought of writing the book.

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