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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: 7.8 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,312 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 in the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, where she is also a professor of South Asian languages and civilizations. Her other translations for Penguin Classics include The Laws of Manu and Hindu Myths.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 44 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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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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20 of 28 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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18 of 27 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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kinshumann on July 6, 2014
Format: Paperback
A REALLY REALLY HORRID BOOK, FULL OF FALSITIES AND A PENCHANT FOR DENIGRATING THE HINDU CULTURE. SAVE YOUR MONEY AND DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK!!!!
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23 of 37 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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7 of 12 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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9 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Vivek Anand on September 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
But then again, you have your own free will and you chose to create your own Karma.

So Wendy Doniger and her ilks sitting in Christianity oriented 'divinity schools' in west writing 'scholarly research papers & books' critiquing, passing judgments and psychoanalyzing on sacred subject matters of Vedic traditions.

It is like a Russian writing a patronizing critique on American values and ethos.

An introduction on the British Broadcasting Corporation BBC website had once described her as follows: "Professor Wendy Doniger is known for being rude, crude and very lewd in the hallowed portals of Sanskrit Academics. All her special works have revolved around the subject of sex in Sanskrit texts..."

The Bhagavad Gita is not as nice a book as some Americans think," she said, in a lecture titled "The Complicity of God in the Destruction of the Human Race." Throughout the Mahabharata, the enormous Hindu epic of which the Gita is a small part, Krishna goads human beings into all sorts of murderous and self-destructive behaviors such as war in order to relieve "mother Earth" of its burdensome human population and the many demons disguised as humans. "The Gita is a dishonest book; it justifies war," Doniger told the audience of about 150, and later acknowledged: "I'm a pacifist. I don't believe in 'good' wars." Several in the audience objected to her reading of the Gita, but she made no apologies and "begged" her listeners to plunge deeper into the Upanishads and other great literature of Hinduism."

Dr.
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