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The Shiva Trilogy - The Secret of the Nagas

I just finished reading it this morning and... WHOA! What a book! I cannot stop thinking about all the stuff that the story has in it - I'm drowning in a deluge of my own thoughts!

No, Shiva is not the hero of the entire story. He is still the protagonist, but someone almost displaced him as the hero of this particular book in the series - by his valor, ability and courage, as much as the stoicism he displays (for which he is even chided!) No wonder he's the namesake of the most popular God of the Hindu pantheon, who has awesomed his way into the faith systems of other lands and peoples too!

Someone else almost became the villain, but like his dunderhead, "goat headed" fool of a namesake in the Hindu Puranas, he's simply too dumb and incapable to be one and has to be remain the puppet of the actual mastermind. And who that master puppeteer, is still a mystery, in spite of the smug presumption that makes us think that we can hazard a guess.

I know I am just running away without a proper introduction or answering the very valid question of "Where's the review to the first part of the Shiva Trilogy?" I think I will write that review as a sequel to this review! Hey! But wait, this is not a review. I'm just recording my thoughts fresh after reading "The Secret of the Nagas". Bought it yesterday from Landmark, Nungambakkam and finished it this morning.

The actual review comes in another post. I want to run through the first part once more before I post it.

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Sri Ganesha Charanam!

अगजानन पद्मार्कम् गजाननम् अहर्निशम्।
अनेकदन्तम् भक्तानाम् एकदन्तम् उपास्महे॥
agajānana padmārkam gajānanam aharniśam|
anekadantam bhaktānām ekadantam upāsmahe|| What a beautiful verse to behold and listen! I heard it first when this verse was suggested as an invocation for our magazine Yuva Bharati by my brother a couple of years ago. (Yup! I promptly posted it on facebook - even social networks have been permeated by spirituality :-D)

A couple of months back, I had the good fortune to sit at the feet of Swami Dayananda Saraswati and learn this same verse - how to say it and its meaning. Recollecting that experience from memory, I'll try to share the beauty and the brilliance of this verse here.
ānana means face. Gajānana is the Lord who has the face of an elephant or gaja. On seeing the face of Gajānana, the face of Agaja, daughter of the king among mountains (aga), Himavan or Parvata, one who is called Himavati or Parvati, lightens up. This is so natural and open, like how a padma o…