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Amish Tripathi’s drug addicted Shiva!

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Shiva, the one who is beyond the cause and effect, time and space, good and bad and the dualities of life personifies detachment in actions, truth and highest order of dharma. Shakti which is the field of  the various cause and effects listens only to Shiva, the universal consciousness. This science of Purusha and Prakriti, the highest order of consciousness and three gunas (rajas, satva, tamas) has been presented in various ways i.e through poetry (Vedic and Bhagvad-geet), idols (nataraj) and the seven levels of consciousness elaborated further by Shri Aurobindo.

The Upanishadic riddles, the stories, metaphors and personifications not only beautify but also vivify with creative splendour and artistic touch giving the closest experience of the truth that a language can get. It has been done through a language (Sanskrit) where the words are not bland or require mugging, but evolutionary where the essence can be felt deep within.

But over the years this knowledge has been interpreted only superficially and literally, thus distorting it in many ways. Although many people have distorted the science for their myopic and religious-political reasons or marketing of their own religious organization thinking that the Indian science represent a religion, a few have shown the extraordinary endeavours to distort the science just for fun or writing something new out of it.


The Shiva triology by Amish Tripathi presents one of such works. A few excerpts from the book :

  • Ayurvati asks Shiva “Are you free”. He says “For now, but may have to charge you later”.


  • ‘I have seen the bed, dammit!’ grinned Shiva. ‘Now I want to experience it. Get out!’


In his works, Shiva is depicted as a narrow minded, entertainment seeking chauvinist living a dramatic life where dialogues remind of cheap bollywood movies. Lord Shiva, known as Mahadev (one who is beyond the devas) is portrayed like an aggressive and arrogant teenager who fantasises and ogles at girls from behind trees.  He smirks, uses “Western Slang”, indulges in drug addiction and projected as a womanizer ‘driven by his senses’.

Critic Abhinav Agarwal opines, “Some of the descriptions of Meluhan society (the Suryavanshis, the people inhabiting the Saraswati river basin) are terrifyingly reminiscent more of Soviet-style totalitarian regimes than a caring, humane society. Children are deposited after child-birth at some grand orphanage, called a Gurukul; mothers made to forcibly abandon their children a few weeks after childbirth, and then doled out to wanna-be parents on the basis of a lottery?! Seriously, such hair-brained and frankly inhuman concepts have never been part of Indian society and culture, ever! Why, they have not been part of any society in human history, ever, anywhere, I should think. Yet, this is presented as a stroke of genius that does away with the evils of the caste system. Without an understanding of the caste system, its utility, or lack thereof, in a society at a given point in time, whatever that may have been, the author takes it upon himself to purge society of this evil with another evil; only this time the replacement is infinitely more evil and inhuman than the system it seeks to replace.

The descriptions of the Indus Valley and Saraswati Harappan civilization dwellings are barely beyond what one would conjure up after spending 15 minutes on Wikipedia. Even here there was so much promise that remains exasperatingly unfulfilled.

Siva is yogeswar. His detachment from the physical world is the complement to the material world signified by Vishnu. Yet Siva in this book comes off as some lost, confused soul, in search of a Bollywood movie plot where he can journey to some exotic country and find himself. Which in itself the anti-thesis of Hindu Vedic philosophy, which states that what is within is also without. You are that. Not here, evidently. The other side of the Suryavanshi Meluhans, the Chandravanshis, and their capital Ayodhya, ends up being drawn with a very simple and very crude palette. It is a crude caricature of a ghetto. The author tries to portray the two societies as opposite sides of the same coin, but fails, pretty much as in every other place of the novel.” [1]


Ujjwal Dey states, ” The book not only insults the very concept of Shiva but also goes on to mock Lord Sri Ram and every other God, demi-God or character associated with the mythology of Lord Shiva. This gross misrepresentation of a loved and benevolent God who is still worshiped widely in present day India is a slap on every believer irrespective of their religion or beliefs.

Amish has gone to great lengths to make politically correct statements regarding ancient India. Historians would not only find it ridiculous but also a blatant denial of what constitutes India as an ancient nation. Tradition has been replaced by Western concepts of what is acceptable in 21st century while the whole scandalous odyssey is set thousands of years in the past.” [2]


It is said that one should have a profound knowledge of the shruties (Upanishads, Veda, Gita etc) before reading smrities (Puranas etc) to be able to understand the connect and how the science of consciousness has been presented creatively through stories linking to facts and knowledge. Could the author achieved such popularity had he used a different name than Shiva for writing such a derogatory work distorting the Indian knowledge for his own limited gains? In the so called ‘modern era’ many writers have taken such a freedom and privilege to use the Indian knowledge, filter it through their conditionings and impose their dissected understanding to achieve temporary rewards.

Critic Larry Tang discusses, “Apparently, the author lacks the knowledge of Hindu mythology. He has shown Shiva, Neelkanth, Shankar, Rudra, Bholenath, Nataraj, Ardhanaarinateshwar, Mahadev as all different Gods, not knowing that all these are the names of the same God.  The story is so mundane, the craft and execution so poor, I just don’t have enough derogatory words.  It is a 100 page novella stretched into 400 page novel.” [3]


No doubt we have a progressive culture of openness and freedom of expression in india, yet that freedom comes with a responsibility that most modern authors seem to lack in their degenerate expressions of what they call creativity; which today is nothing more than an extension of their own narrow and insular ways of projecting their beliefs and personalities on a deep-rooted civilizational ethos that has spanned the depths of eternity.


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Filed under: Hinduism, India, Media, Politics, World

3 Responses to "Amish Tripathi’s drug addicted Shiva!"

  1. Girdhar says:

    Amish’s understanding of Hinduism is like a child’s fantasy. He doesn’t even know how to pronounce Sanskrit words properly. He must have paid a lot to the marketing companies to brand his book as a ‘best seller’.

  2. Prasanth Gupta says:

    Huh… Its a fiction rite? D guy just tried out something new… It need not necessarily be accurate with our scriptures. I understand your concern that people reading it might get a wrong idea. But after reading the book as a simpleton with no great knowledge about Hinduism I still find a great respect for the character. I do not see him as a womanizer or an arrogant teenager.

    The book was a good read. Its just a novel. I don’t find a need to research on it. The person who will find faults are people who wishes to find faults. And how much ever corrections you can make those ppl wont stop. So just don’t worry so much about a mere novel.

    And well this is just my opinion.

  3. Girdhar says:

    Try something new with Allah and make a fiction out of it. Lets see if you can do that. All the so called “Modern” people only find the space to speak their minds, twist and abuse Hinduism only!

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