The Five Faces of the Eternal FeminineIn India it is said that there is a goddess in every village, a nymph in every lake. Demonesses stand guard on village frontiers, ogresses howl on crossroads, untamed forests resound with the laughter of celestial virgins. It is a land of mysterious apsaras and seductive yakshinis, of terrifying dakinis and wise yoginis – each with a story to tell.In this wide-reaching exploration of ancient Hindu lore and legends, Devdutt Pattanaik investigates the evolving cultural perceptions of earth, women, and goddess over the course of 4,000 years. Some of the tales recounted are revered classics; others are common and folkloric, often held in disdain by priests. Until now most have remained hidden, isolated in distant hamlets or languishing in forgotten libraries, overwhelmed by the din of masculine sagas.Exploring mysteries of gender and biology and shedding light on the roots of taboos and traditions still practiced in India today, Pattanaik shows how mortal woman can be both worshipped and feared as she embodies the image of the Mother Goddess.