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Hindu Myths: A Sourcebook Translated from the Sanskrit (Penguin Classics) Paperback – September 28, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (September 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140449906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140449907
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Wendy Doniger is the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago, and the translator of numerous Sanskrit texts including the Laws of Manu, and Kamasutra. Wendy Doniger holds doctoral degrees in Indian literature from Harvard and Oxford Universities and is the Mircea Eliade Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago. Her publications include The Rig Veda and The Laws of Manu for the Penguin Classics, and the acclaimed Kama Sutra for OUP.

Customer Reviews

"Your interpretation of my beliefs reflects the way you think, not the way I think."
AF
If you're looking for a devotional aid, this isn't it; if you're looking for modern Hinduism, it's not that either.
Anne Mahoney
At least unsuspecting readers like me would not be discouraged when we look at it before we buy the book.
Poundwise

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Zenman on April 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
I am a Hindu and am not one bit bothered by the author's translation or her perceived 'agenda', if there is one.

The fact is that the religion she writes about has far longer survived the likes of the Greeks, the Romans etc. who also had many religious and cosmolologial myths. Where are those civilizations now? Hinduism which has not only been around far longer and continues to influence people in positive ways, has its own vitality and needs no defense.

Perhaps it is because Hinduism teaches that all spiritual paths are equally valid. "One God, many paths".Ultimately everyone is pursuing happiness in their own way, however mistaken that path may seem to others. Hinduism is but one spark from the divine Mind. Only those people bother to find shortcomings with others' beliefs who sub-consciously doubt or fear their own, and want comfort and justification (validation) by influencing others to come over to their point of view.

Love to all.
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21 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 20, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book gives an excellent overview of Hindu
mythology and it's development. There are sections
for each major diety. Numerous notes and comparisons by the translator make it easy to compare aspects of different Hindu texts, highlighting political, philosophical, mythological, societal and ritualistic outlooks and changes in same as the Hindu religion developed from the Vedas of the ancient Aryans to modern Hinduism.
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25 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 26, 1996
Format: Paperback
The organization of the book makes it a great reference book, but if you desire to read the vedas from beginning to end, this book is not it.
The prose translation captures the facts fairly accurately, though it does lack information on how these Myths manifest itself and how these myths came to be.
As the title suggests, it is really meant to be a source book for research and quick reference. Gods and demons are broken into sections, so if you need to find the samsa veda text regarding visnu, this book will make critical writing a joy and allow you to focus on the essay instead of searching the library for a short paragraph.
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22 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Anne Mahoney on November 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is not a book on Hinduism, but on the traditional stories of the Vedic religion. Doniger O'Flaherty is a competent, respected scholar who knows this material inside out and, of course, knows Sanskrit extremely well. Her translations are readable and her notes are good. She gives readers a path through the luxuriant jungles of ancient Sanskrit literature and scholarship.

If you're looking for a devotional aid, this isn't it; if you're looking for modern Hinduism, it's not that either. But if you're interested in what stands behind the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Rig Veda, this is a good place to start. There are copious references to Sanskrit sources and there is a good bibliography (though as the book is now 35 years old, the bibliography is getting a bit dated).
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By Dulce on February 19, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very hard to follow at times. Came promptly and was in great condition but was disappointed with the actual book. There's probably a better Hindu Myths book that isn't so hard to understand or to follow.
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24 of 38 people found the following review helpful By S.Venkatesan on August 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
The book addresses the diffcult task of giving an overview of hindu myths, with the relevant content. Naturally the book is a part-reference and a part-survey kind of book. The range of the themes are adequate; covers the major aspects- Vedas, Vedic gods, the evolution of purna Gods SIVA, VISHNU, DEVI. The last chapter deals with the objectives of Vedic mythology, Epic myhtology and Puranic mythology. This is an interesting part of the book. No way, such analysis will have acceptance from all.
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful By RUTH on February 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book for a class im taking and was thrilled when i received it. Although i received an older version of the book all the same information was present in the text so i didnt mind. The book was also very well maintained and looked like one of those old library treasures that was hidden on some shelf for many a year until just recently found... nonetheless very happy. Oh and the myths in the book are pretty interesting too; its a fun read that can make you think.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
To be honest, I wish this book was quite a bit longer than it is. It's much too brief and not nearly comprehensive enough, though it does give one a broad overview of Hindu mythology. Wendy Doniger obviously has her own biases, but I find the bullying tactics (e.g. the deluge of negative reviews here on Amazon) of fundamentalist Hindus who disagree with her views rather distasteful. My personal opinion is that this book deserves 3 stars at most (for being too brief and not comprehensive enough) but I'm giving it 5 stars on Amazon to balance out the bullies.
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Hindu Myths: A Sourcebook Translated from the Sanskrit (Penguin Classics)
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