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Book Review – 99 Thoughts on Ganesha

99 Thoughts on Ganesha by Devdutt Pattanaik explores the stories, rituals and symbols associated with Hindu God Ganesha. There is no dearth of books on Ganesh. Perhaps he is the most widely written Hindu deity. So what new has Devdutt Pattanaik got to offer in ‘99 Thoughts on Ganesha.’ A lot.

This one book covers almost all the important symbols associated with Ganesha. Some rituals and many of the important stories are narrated with their source and historic details.

The 99 thoughts have unique titles which give a general idea of the topic. Simple language and to the point narration makes the book readable.
One of the 99 Thoughts on Ganesha
Ravan (Divine v/s nature's call)
Shiva once allowed the demon king Ravana to carry him to the city of Lanka in the form of a linga, on condition that the sacred stone should never be placed on the ground before reaching its destination. The gods feared that no sooner did the linga reach Lanka than Ravana would become invincible. So they sought the help of Ganesha who made Ravana experience an uncontrollable urge to answer a call of nature. Desperate to relieve himself, Ravana requested a cowherd to hold the linga until he returned. The cowherd was none other than Ganesha himself. As soon as he was given the linga, he placed it on the ground where it took permanent root and became renowned as Mahabaleshwara. This story comes from the 15th century text, Gurucharitra, by Saraswati Gangadhara.
99 Thoughts on Ganesha
Devdutt Pattanaik
Price – Rupees 195
Published by Jaico Publications