Name of Book : Hounds of Shiva

Author : Preetha Rajah Kannan

Publisher : Jaico Books

Price : Rs. 399

Reviewer : Srivatsan V

Srivatsan is a banking and financial services professional. Books, sports and movies are his solace and detox. He is aspiring to be a writer and a knowledge entrepreneur.

~ Review ~

After “Shiva in the City of Nectar”, Preetha Rajah Kannan comes up with “Hounds of Shiva” which is a collection of untold tales of Lord Shiva and the sacrifice, love, devotion and service of the 63 Shaivaite saints called as Nayanmars towards Lord Shiva. The book is a collection of 37 tales in the lives and times of the Nayanmars who stood as a perfect example of true love and devotion.

The stories are set in early South India where the Bhakti movement started in around 7th Century by the Shaivaite Nayanmars and Vaishnavite Alwars which later spread towards all parts of India. The book is penned in a simple language with vivid descriptions of the societal norms prevailing at the time and how the Nayanmars, who hailed from different backgrounds from the mighty King to an ordinary common man, displayed exemplary devotion and service to Lord Shiva amidst all odds. They gained benediction from Lord Shiva who assumed multiple avatars to test his devotees and bless them.

The book is a must read for all those who have an interest in Mythology and Indology, and are fascinated by Lord Shiva. It will fill your heart in devotion for the kind lord who devoured the deadly halahala poison during the churning of ocean, in the Kurma Avatar of Lord Vishnu, to save the earth.

The author’s depth in research and storytelling will make you look with awe and immense respect for the Shaivite saints of the Bhakti movement, who were a part of the great reformation in Indian society. The book is a beautiful merger of history and mythology.

The Sekkizhar’s Periyapuranam, a 12th century book which chronicles the life of Nayanmars in a poetic style, is the bedrock of this book. The author has translated some of the tales from the Sekkizhar’s Periyapuranam in simple language. The writing style makes it easier for a layman with no background in these studies, to grasp the content well.

The cover of the book is an image of Lord Shiva sporting a tiger’s skin and smeared with ashes, carrying his trident in his right hand and snake coiled around his neck, riding the mighty and holy bull, Nandi. He is surrounded by many men and women whose body, mind and souls are frozen in their devotion and love for Lord Shiva. It is said that in Kaliyug, Bhakti is one of the easiest way through which we can reach the immortal Lord and attain salvation. Hounds of Shiva is an epitome to the same.

May Lord Shiva bless us all. Om Namah Shivaya.

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