Hindu mythology is noted for its intriguing stories that revolve around a variety of philosophical ideas. The core including the trinity — Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh — connects the stories. Surprisingly, each story of the trinity provides just a rudimentary outline of the personalities and the attributes that determine their identities. Sudha Murty delves further into these tiny traits that raise the trinity above normal human creatures in her book The Man From The Egg: Unusual Tales About The Trinity. Do you think God makes mistakes as well? Is it a power struggle between them? This book might be the answer to all such questions.
In terms of both content and weight, The Man from the Egg is a lighthearted children’s novel. It’s a collection of short stories based on legendary events with characters and rituals from Hindu mythology such as Rakshasas, Asuras, Brahmins, Kings, and a variety of tapasyas. The award-winning author draws much of her inspiration from childhood memories, leading to a work that is more focused on retelling epics than fresh ideas. This work never claims to be based on true events; it does offer a unique perspective on classic tales.
The book is divided into three parts. The first part deals with Brahma and says we are all Brahma’s progeny, and he is the everlasting sculptor responsible for all the intricacy of all living forms. The first chapter describes how Brahma formerly had four heads, facing West, East, South, and North. Brahma also possessed the fifth head, which Shiva cursed and chopped off in one swoop with his Trishul. The narrative shows 4-5 characters: Manmatha (now Kamdeva), his wife Rati, Shatarupa (Brahma produced this damsel), and the trinity.
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Upasunda and Sunda (inseparable brothers) were ordered to stand against one other and kill themselves in Chapter 2. This book’s second part ‘SATYAM SHIVAM SUNDARAM’ section depicts ‘Lord Shiva’ and his family. The first part (Chapters 3-6) is about Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati – The Power Couple. Lord Brahma is Lord Shiva’s in-law grandfather. ‘King Daksha,’ Lord Brahma’s son, had multiple daughters. 27 of his daughters married The Moon, while the other, ‘Dakshayani,’ wedded Shiva. Dakshayani went to her father’s house without an invitation to attend a Yagna to which all of her sisters and husband were invited. King Daksha insulted Dakshayani by claiming that he did not extend an invitation to her husband. She couldn’t stand up to her husband, so she called out to Shiva one final time and performed ‘Sati,’ diving into the sacred fire of the Yagna, and Shiva’s first wife died.
Shiva went into profound meditation after this traumatic loss, and in the meantime, Rani Menaka and Raja Parvatraj gave birth to ‘Parvati.’ Parvati was completely dedicated to Shiva from the moment she was born. Dakshayani personified her. The second half (Chapters 7-11) is about various stories that demonstrate the relevance of his wisdom, power, and love for his followers, as well as some essential facts such as The trifoliate form of Bel leaves represents Shiva’s triple eyes as well as the tri spokes of the chariot Trishul. They are presented to the Shivalinga to calm this hot-tempered god as they have a soothing effect.
Lord Shiva had become the highest soul after attaining samadhi, and he lived as a complete ascetic in perpetual meditation to escape the temptations of worldly existence. Hence, he is always meditating. Lord Shiva took on the corporeal form of eleven incarnations and was given eleven brides, Ambika, Dhi, Dikshaa, Niyuta, Sarpis, Ushana, Uma, Ila Iravati, and Sudha, for each of them. Shiva’s forehead is adorned with Chandrama (moon). Chandrama has absorbed the frequencies of Brahma, Vishnu, Prajapat, Minakshi, and Indra’s powers, and conveys them to others. Chandrama implies ‘The one who offers pleasure. It bestows kindness, mercy, and maternal love. The moon’s waxing and waning depict the creative process’s time cycle etc.
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From Chapter 12 to Chapter 24, Lord Vishnu has the longest stretch of 13 chapters. Vishnu is the Hindu triumvirate’s second God (or Trimurti). Vishnu, often regarded as the Preserver, is one of the three ultimate Hindu gods, with Brahma and Shiva. Vishnu’s job is to safeguard people and bring the world back to order. His presence can be detected in every item and force in the universe, and some Hindus believe he is the holy one who created everything. He has ten reincarnations such as Lord Ram, Parashurama (Ram with an ax) ,Vamana (dwarf) , Narisimha (half man and half lion) , Kalki (White Horse) ,Buddha ,Lord Krishna , Kurma (turtle) ,Varaha (wild boar) , Matsya (Fish) , What makes the book remarkable is that it brings the stories to life by displaying current places where the occurrences may have occurred. For example, after smiting off Brahma’s fifth head in combat, Shiva deposited it on Varanasi (thus creating the city). In the battle of Gajasura, Ganga poured out of Shiva’s head, making Kashi renowned.
The Man from the Egg does include numerous jewels for those who are keen to know about the origins behind various locations and rituals. A chapter on Vishnu tells the account of how Hindus began to revere the tulsi plant. Another tells why Shiva is worshipped as Ardhanarishvara, a half-man, a half-woman figure whose sculptures can still be discovered in Karnataka’s Badami caves. The author keeps the heavenly characters’ core, but she strives to give their deeds a human touch. While the Gods do not always cheat, they do have a propensity of manipulating their favors, especially Asura worshipers. Well, they have a greater responsibility to preserve the proper balance on Earth, Heaven, and Hell.
Mythology has never been written this fascinatingly. Sudha Murty, an award-winning novelist, travels beside you, spinning enthralling tales about the ancient world’s three most powerful gods. Each tale transports you to a mystical era where humans could teleport, animals could fly, and reincarnation was a reality.