Shiva to Shankara/Decoding the phallic symbol
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:1/1/2006 - Indus Source Books/Mumbai/India
By: Dr.Devdutt Pattanaik
Shiva,the fierce,ascetic god,who is the destroyer of the universe,is part of the Holy Trinity of the Hindus.Clad only in animal skin,his body smeared with ash,matted ahir piled on his head and a snake coiled around his neck,Shiva resides in the cold and desolate environs of Mount Kailasa,meditating for eons.Millions of Hindus worship this greatest of ascetics in the form of linga. Many modern scholars insist that Shiva s linga is a phallic symbol.Most devotees disagree.Who is right?To make sense of a mythological image one has to align the language heard (stories) with the language performed (rituals) and the alanguage seen 9symbols).All dissonances need to be removed to decipher the real meaning. This book looks at the sexual metaphors associated with Shiva and uncovers their spiritual connotations.In the process we disover why the Goddess transforms Shiva,the hermit,into Shankara,the householder. Aunthored by Dr.Devdutt pattanik,one of India s most popular mythologists,this book is the first of it s kind to show the uncanny alignment between metaphysics,rituals,symbols and stories of Shiva.