Devi: The Devi Bhagavatam Retold
The Devi Bhagavatam, also known as the Devi Bhagavata Purana, ‘the old book of the goddess’, is an integral part of ancient Indian mythology. It is important for the Shakta sect of Hinduism, which describes the Devi as the foundation of the world and equivalent in stature to Brahman, the supreme being.
The original text was written in Bengali and consists of 318 chapters and 18,000 verses, all praising the Devi as supreme and describing instructions for her worship, including temples and rituals such as the annual ritual of Durga Puja which is celebrated all over India, especially in Bengal. The Devi, the mother of the Universe, is worshipped in India in her many forms as Goddess Durga, Kali, Shakti and Saraswati, to name a few.
Menon’s Devi : The Devi Bhagavatam Retold, is a condensed version of The Devi Bhagavatam and describes the legends of the Goddess in all her forms and interpretations. The books opens with the birth of Ved Vyasa, who is also regarded as the author of the Mahabharata and narrates poignant instances from his relationship with his son Suka, such as the dialogue between them over the decision to enter Grihastashrama. Also described is the incarnation of the Devi as Goddess Durga and the epic tale of her destruction of the evil demons Rakthabija and Mahishasura. The tale depicting the origin of the holy Indian rivers, Ganga, Padma and Saraswati, is one of the many rich stories connected to our ancient origins, woven into the tapestry of this literary piece on Indian mythology.