From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred Cow
By Sanjay Patel
Reviewed by Abel R. Gomez
“The Little Book of Hindu Deities” by Sanjay Patel is a witty, fun, and refreshing guide to the goddesses and gods of the Hindu tradition. After a traditional opening blessing from the elephant headed god, Ganesha, Patel jumps right in with explanations on the Hindu trinity of gods, forms of the god Shiva, and manifestations of the Goddess.
What makes this book truly unique, however, is Patel’s colorful interpretation of the gods. Each deity discussed has a full color cartoon-like counterpart. Drawing from his work at Pixar, Patel creates playful and whimsical images of the Hindu divinities that are both adorable and full of life.
The writing itself is also quite funny. In his description of Saraswati, for example, he writes “…Saravati enjoys playing her instrument, the veena, as loud as she wants and can sit glued to her favorite books, the Vedas, guilt free for hours…Gods, eat your heart out, because this goddess is not available or interested—that is, unless your have a library card or can play back-up sitar” (page 39).
For anyone interested in Hindu myth, “The Little Book of Hindu Deities” is a must. Patel brings the gods, heros, epics, and demi-gods of Hinduism alive in a way I have yet seen. Where else can you find the
fierce goddess Kali turned into a huggable power-puff girl? Simply too much good stuff!
Rating: 5 out of 5 magick wands!