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Author: Swami Harshananda
Publisher: Sri Ramakrishna Math
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8171201105
There is a remarkable passage in the Bhadaranyaka Upanishad: 'The gods are fond of the cryptic, as it were, and dislike the evident' (Paroksapriya iva hi devah pratyaksadvisah). Many a scholar has overlooked this esoteric sentence. The meaning is, we are not to take every sentence in an etymological sense. The names of the gods, their raiment, their instruments have got symbolic and psychological significance. For instance, the ornaments and weapons which adorn the body of the Divine figure, symbolically represent the principles of the universe.
A study of the Hindu gods is as fascinating as it is difficult. It is fascinating because of its exciting variety. It is difficult since it is symbolic.
Swami Harshananda has handled this subject with a fair degree of care and skill. His work is a valuable addition to the literature on the Gods of Hinduism.