“Venkatadri Samasthanam Brahmande Nasti Kinchana
Venkatesa Samo Devo Na Bhuto Na Bhavishyati.”

The above lines from the Puranas are the standing testimony to the fact that there is no place on earth as sacred as Venkatadri- the hills of Tirumala and there is no Lord as benevolent as Lord Venkateswara.”

~ Devi, Precious Gems from Hindu Mythology

My Musings

As a person who is deeply religious, I often wish that I could read more books about Hinduism and its many wonders.

The kind of literature and source material that is available is so vast that a person would need to take multiple births in order to go through them all. But that doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t start now.

I recently had a chance to visit the ISKON temple in Noida and I got some precious gems from their bookstore. Before I could start experiencing the beautiful and wonderful world of the Isopanishad, I had a chance to read yet another precious gem which is very aptly titled Precious Gems from Hindu Mythology.

In this review, I tell you all about my thoughts on this book.

What to expect?

Expect a book that takes you through the length and breadth of India to bring you tales of Bhakti and Shakti from its every corner.

Expect a book that tells you a lot about ancient Indian temples and the legends that surround them.

Expect a book that tells you about many lesser-known tales from our Hindu mythology and about the relevance of worshipping various elements and gods in the Hindu pantheon.

Who can read?

Written in a
simple language, the book can be read by anyone who has a working knowledge of
Hinduism and a basic understanding of the English language.

The book’s relevance in today’s age

As the coming generation is getting increasingly ignorant of our culture and tradition, books like these are the need of the hour.

It is always important to not just be aware of one’s traditions but also be well rooted in them.

Precious Gems from Hindu Mythology is a welcome step in the right direction of Dharma.

An amalgamation and celebration of diversity

I simply loved the way the book takes us on a mini-pilgrimage from the Maharashtrian hinterland to the scenic hills of Tirumala, from the hot landscapes of coastal Gujarat to the spiritual town of Kashi.

In doing so it brings to us many known and unknown tales that redefine the way we look at our cultural identity.

As a religion, Hinduism is vast and diverse and this book is a small step in learning about this diversity.

How good is the author’s writing style?

The book offers an abundance of knowledge to anyone who wishes to read it but what it lacks is a definite structure.

Also, when it comes to nonfiction, I always look forward to the foreword and conclusion from the author’s pen. It is essential for me to know what the author’s aims and objectives are while writing the book.

It also helps to get a glimpse of the author’s mind when it comes to her own understanding and love for the subject. Now, this is visibly missing from Precious Gems from Hindu Mythology and that is my biggest qualm about the book.

What I liked?

I loved the
beautiful pictures that accompany each chapter and the vivid descriptions of
the deities. The overall effect of these two is quite magnificent.

Is the book interesting to read?

Written in a simple language the book makes for an interesting read.

Though there are some issues with the structure and content planning, the subject matter itself is so engrossing that it is difficult not to find the book engrossing.

Pick it if

  • You are interested in the Hindu religion and its many wonders.
  • You are a religious person who is keen to know more.
  • You like the idea of reading about ancient temples and ancient rituals and practices.
  • You enjoy mythology and books on religion.
  • You are looking for a short read on the said subject.

Skip it if

  • You don’t enjoy short reads.
  • You don’t like non-fiction about religion and Hinduism.

Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Precious Gems from Hindu Mythology using the link below.