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on April 27, 2010
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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on November 8, 2010
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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on July 20, 1997
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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on November 26, 1996
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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on August 24, 2000
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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on February 19, 2015
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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on March 16, 2014
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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on February 11, 2013
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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on September 20, 2015
What a way to sell a book! Without understanding Hindu culture and literature, without having been immersed in it the way a Hindu can only know, this woman gives a scurrilous and morbid idea of the Hindu faith without understanding the meaning of it then causes ripples in the Hindu community knowing it is largely a faith built on the precepts of peace. It is a Hindu that will step to make way for peace when the time calls for it. I once saw a European man reciting Sanskrit in my temple and he became part of the everyday prayers held at the temple that you have to wonder what made him choose the faith so much this way because he went beyond what a Hindu would do and chose to sit and recite Sanskrit mantras to show his love for the faith. As someone who has been touched by the miracles of the Hindu and Christian faith and is able to produce images to prove the existence of Shiva, Parvathi and Krishna as well as Shanmuga, I know that Hinduism is real. If people want to continue denigrating a faith, go on. The test for Hinduism stays. For centuries, Hindus have been persecuted by the Moslems and Christians, deeply wronged by two faiths which wanted complete control over a land that developed its own course of history and destiny. History shows that the Moslems even waged war to make it a point to kill 6,000 Hindus a day and we still live. A distinguished Syrian Christian I know once confided in my family that he is where he is because his Brahmin family was forced into conversion to embrace the Christian faith because the British forced conversions threatening Indian lives. I guess he feels very much on the crossroads now knowing where his roots take him.
I am sorry this woman calls herself an authority on the Hindu faith but she forgets one thing. When she walks into the temple to pray, not a Hindu would stone her but if she dares denigrate another's faith, only hostility would surmount her. And therein lies the integrity and greatness of a faith. You will not be able to change Hinduism with thousands of books created by Wendy Doniger. If it suits your purpose to read worthless publications to harness some amusement, go on. It would do nothing to change the Hindu man or woman.
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on January 12, 2009
Despite what many small-minded reviewers have said, this book is an excellent compendium of analysis and translation. Dr. Doniger possesses an unbelieveable command of Sanskrit, something which I doubt any of her detractors can even approach.
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