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Siva: The Erotic Ascetic (Galaxy Books) Paperback – May 28, 1981

ISBN-13: 978-0195202502 ISBN-10: 0195202503 Edition: Reprint
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Siva: The Erotic Ascetic (Galaxy Books) + The Hindus: An Alternative History + Hindu Myths: A Sourcebook Translated from the Sanskrit (Penguin Classics)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Extremely useful as an entree into an otherwise practically incomprehensible collection of original texts."--Brannon M. Wheeler, Macalester College

"A cause for celebration....A book that can be read for enjoyment, as well as enlightenment, by Indologists and laymen alike....One of the half-dozen most important studies of Indian religion and culture in modern times."--Journal of Asian Studies

About the Author

Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty is at The Divinity School of the University of Chicago.
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Product Details

  • Series: Galaxy Books (Book 650)
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (May 28, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195202503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195202502
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #588,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 52 people found the following review helpful By R. Apte on November 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
This wonderful review of the literature of Siva, by far one of the most interesting and misunderstood of the Indic gods, is already a classic. The contrasts between asceticism and eroticism are carefully and precisely laid out, without the quackery of popular psychological babble. The stories are well translated, with full notes, in such a way as to leave the ambiguities of the original intact. Absolutely lovely.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Lorincz on July 1, 2014
Format: Paperback
Shiva is a deity with many contradictions. He is a yogi (celibate) and a householder. He is a world-renouncer and a lover. How can we reconcile these contradictions? If we dig deep, we find that they are not contradictions at all. They are expressions of the same thing, in opposite ways. There are very few books on Shiva, however I find this is a good explanation of a complex deity.
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25 of 38 people found the following review helpful By V. Ravindran on December 27, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent source for those interested in all the variant mythologies surrounding Siva. The information is well organized and told with an even objective viewpoint, which is perfect since Siva is fascinating in his own right, so there is no need to flower things up. The multple tellings of the same core myth really drives home the core points and character traits of Siva. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Siva or Hindu Mysticism.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book. The author is not only highly respected, but obviously knows what she is talking about. I would not put any faith in the reviews that are so disparaging of Ms. O'Flaherty's character - those reviewers seem to have religious objections.
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Format: Paperback
Erotic interpretation of Shiva is like interpreting Catholics worshiping the practice of cannibalism by enacting the eating of the flesh and drinking the blood of a corpse.

Alternate history of the Jews written by none other than the protestant founder Martin Luther in his "Jews and their Iies" which every German was influenced by and their hatred for their upper caste Jews for the Jews had a monopoly of the Arts, the sciences and their financial institutions and everything else of importance in Germany during the 30s. The "poor ordinary Germans" were the backward castes who needed to be saved from the alleged eviI upper caste Jews. The only way that could be done was to take the Jewish history and Jewish culture and rewrite them for the benefit of the "underdogs" of Germany. Lets show these upper castes that we the populists can do to them ..We the backward caste ordinary Germans have a number on these elites. So Martin Luther and Hitler and others went about rewriting Jewish history and culture and had their own interpretations which they embellished to their satisfaction. Thus was born the alternate Jewish history of "Jews and their Iies" and Mein Kamph.

Wendy's quixotic hatred for the upper castes Hindus and Brahmins is not very different from the German's hatred of the Jews. So this arrogant creature had decided to rewrite the Hindu religion, Hindu culture and reinterpret Hinduism in a way to get her pound of flesh from the upper caste Brhamins in her siding with the backward castes of India.

Although the caste thing and social Endogamy practiced by the Brahmins is nothing to crowe about, it is no different than the elitism and social endogamy practiced by the Jews of the world.
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