India has long been regarded as the home of Hinduism, its mythology constituting the backbone of Indian culture. Hindu myths have been adapted over the centuries to incorporate new or revised characters, and they continue to play a central role in modern Indian life. Retold here in their colorful and dramatic splendor, the Hindu myths touch on the key narrative themes of creation, preservation, destruction, delusion, and the bestowal of grace. They also portray the main deities of the Hindu pantheon—Shiva, Vishnu, and Devi—and their relationships with antigods, nymphs, and ascetics. Drawn from a variety of sources, most notably the encyclopedic Puranas, the myths range from the early centuries A.D. to the sixteenth century, conveying their enduring appeal and the religious teachings derived from them.
About the Author
ANNA L. DALLAPICCOLA is Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and Visiting Professor at De Montfort University, Leicester, U.K. Her most recent publication is a Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend.
Table of Contents
- The ever-new beginning
- Veiling and unveiling: the divine power of delusion
- Anugraha, the bestowal of grace
- Living legacy
- Suggestions for further reading
- Picture credits