One of the three Great Gods of Hinduism, Siva is a living god. The most sacred and most ancient book of India, the Rig Veda, evokes his presence in its hymns. Vedic myths, ritual and even astronomy testify to his existence from the dawn of time. In a lively meditation of Siva-based on original Sanskrit texts, many heretofore not translated-Stella Kramrisch ponders the metaphysics, ontology and myths of Siva from the Vedas to the Puranas. Who is Siva? the author asks. Who is this god whose being comprises and transcends everything? None of the pairs of opposites, nor the sum of his uncounted names, defines him. From the down of creation, the Wild God, whose ancient name is Rudra, is Consciousness. He is the Great Yogi, the guardian of the absolute. His actions are the themes of the myths in which his nature unfolds. By retelling and interweaving the many myths that continue to convey Siva’s presence as a living god in India today, Professor Kramrisch unfolds the paradoxes in Siva’s nature and thus in the nature of consciousness itself. The magnificent sculptures at Elephanta, illustrated at the end of the book, capture in another medium the presence of the god.