India has long been regarded as the home of Hinduism, its mythology constituting the backbone of Indian culture. The myths have been adapted over the centuries to incorporate new or revised characters and continue to play a central role in modern Indian life. Retold here in their colourful and dramatic splendour, they touch on the key narrative themes of creation, preservation, destruction, delusion and the bestowal of grace. They also portray the main deities of the Hindu pantheon—Shiva, Vishnu and Devi—and their relationships with anti-gods, nymphs and ascetics. Drawn from a variety of sources, most notably the encyclopaedic texts the Puranas, the myths range from the early centuries ad to the sixteenth century, conveying their enduring appeal and the religious teachings derived from them. This books contains 37 illustrations.
A. L. Dallapiccola is Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh and makes research visits to India. She is the author of Hindu Visions of the Sacred and Indian Love Poetry as well as a Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend.