Shiva to Shankara- Decoding the Phallic Symbol

Author: Devdutt Pattanaik

  • ISBN: 978-81-88569-04-6
  • Size: 158.00 X 228.00 mm
  • Pages: 167
  1. Overview
  2. Author
  3. Reviews

Disdain for the material world is a dominant theme in philosophical schools that consider Shiva as their patron deity. This disdain manifests in two ways: asceticism and alchemy. In the former, sexual activity is shunned; in the latter sexual activity is merely an occult ritual. And yet, Shiva is represented by a very sexual symbol: the male reproductive organ placed within the female reproductive organ. Why? The easy route is to accept the most common and simplistic explanation: it is a fertility symbol. But to make sense of a mythological image one has to align the language heard (stories) with the language performed (rituals) and the language seen (symbol). All dissonances have to be removed so that the real meaning can be deciphered. The quest for this meaning inspired Dr. Pattanaik to write this book.

  • Devdutt Pattanaik

    Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik has lectured and written extensively on the relevance of mythology to modern man. He has written several books on Hindu mythology. He is a regular in the management seminar lecture circuit. A medical doctor by education and a leadership consultant by profession, he is a mythologist by passion and has written and lectured extensively on the nature of sacred stories, symbols and rituals, and their relevance in modern times. Dr. Pattanaik lives in Mumbai, India.