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Calasso acheived great literary success with The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony which examined the genesis of western consciousness through a retelling of classical Greek mythology. Here he applies the same technique to Indian mythology. The ancient stories of Siva and Parvati, of the Devas and of Brhama are told here in a simple, yet deeply sensual way, and on one level can be read as an enjoyable and informative narrative. However, such is the mystical nature of Indian mythology that this narrative becomes an equally fascinating treatise on the development of the Buddhist consciousness. It is not an easy read, especially for those unacquainted with this aspect of Indian culture, but those with even a passing interest in both the modern and the ancient Indian way of life will find much food for thought here. The stories are many, often strange and wondrous, and include the tempestuous love affair between Siva and Parvati, the death of Ganga (and the consequent creation of the Ganges river), and the gradual emergence of Buddha himself. --Claire Allfree [via]