Kamandalu: The Seven Sacred Rivers of Hinduism
Hindu theology views rivers as goddesses who confer blessings and spiritual purification and their release from the grip of the demon of drought is a recurring theme in the mythology. India is a country blessed with many rivers, but of these, seven are considered to be particularly important. Known collectively as Saptaganga, Sapta Sindhu or Saptapunyanadi, the Ganges, Yamuna, Sindhu, Sarasvati, Godavari, Narmada and Kaveri rivers are invoked at the start of every ritual. They weave through sacred narratives about gods, sages and heroes and define the physical, spiritual and cultural landscape of Bharatavarsha.
The book draws extensively on the Vedas, Puranas and Hindu epics to present the mythological stories relating to the seven sacred rivers, the towns and cities along their course that are designated as tirthas, and the practices connected to river goddess worship. The shared concerns of sacred and secular ecology in modern India are also discussed.
Presented in hardback with 20 colour illustrations, it provides a comprehensive reference list, explanatory notes and a detailed glossary, which should make it a useful resource for research scholars and academics. Written in a lucid, engaging style, the book should also appeal to a wider readership interested in Hinduism and Comparative Religion.