(My Rating: 3 / 5)
At less than a hundred pages long, this small, beautifully illustrated hardbound book is a concise introduction to Hinduism and its main gods, thirteen of them to be precise, not counting the ten incarnations of Vishnu that Hemenway also covers. (The book states that by some accounts there are 330 millions gods in the Hindu pantheon!)
Hemenway explains how every aspect of life is represented through the many gods of Hinduism and she gives us examples of this with each of the gods she has written about in this book.
“While serving foremost to transform the lives of those who worship them, the gods of Hinduism also serve simply to instruct and inspire. Their complex relationships and their numerous exploits are the subject of stories that are told over and over to the young, so that a Hindu child grows up learning many of the subtle inferences that lie within the tales.”
What I liked about this handy reference and guide is that it is an unbiased book. At no point did I feel like Hemenway was trying to “sell” the religion. She just tells it like it is, and the fact that she has managed to condense it all into such a small book is quite remarkable.
Hindu Gods – The Spirit of the Divine is an excellent introduction to the religion of Hinduism for anyone who is curious to know what it is about without delving in too deep and having to navigate vast and difficult texts.