Salma's Reviews > Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition

Hindu Goddesses by David R. Kinsley
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's review
Jan 31, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: favorites, mythology-religion

As a Hindu, I'm always on the lookout for books explaining the complexities of the world's oldest religion. Usually, I've been disappointed, as most of the material I find consist either of children's picture books or essays dry enough to cure insomnia.

But Kinsley's book was a delight, even more a surprise as the first edition was written when most Westerners regarded Hindus as monkey-brain devouring, animal/human sacrificing weirdos. (Thanks Indiana Jones).

Kinsley, however, really tries to understand the culture. He presents detailed, lively stories about the goddesses and the way their symbolism permeates the lives of average Indians. It is evident, of course, that Kinsley has his favorites- Saraswati, the Goddess of Art and Communication, gets better treatment in her description than Kali, the Goddess of Destruction. Possibly this is because the concept of a primal, destructive feminine force has always been intimidating to Westerners. I should clear things up once and for all. Kali represents the destruction of ego and all that is evil in the world. It's not the average Hindu's fault that Hollywood has exploited her appearance to evoke worldwide terror. Anyway, I digress.

But this book is otherwise very thoughtful and a must-read for anyone who wants a better understanding of the divine feminine in Hinduism.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Olga (new) - added it

Olga That's great! I'd love to read this book.

Salma hope you like it!

message 3: by Olga (new) - added it

Olga thanks! I'll need to look it up.

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