Goodreads rating: 4.22
Rrkreadsbooks rating: 3.5
This book has intrigued me since the time I saw it’s title in Goodreads. I knew this book would be quite unconventional and probably controversial. I wasn’t disappointed. Most of the events mentioned in the book seem straight out of a fantasy book, albeit a scary one. At times I would wonder if I am reading a book about a parallel universe or the one we are currently in.
This book is loaded with symbolism and explains many concepts of Hinduism differently. As a practicing Hindu, I have grown up with a decent understanding of Karma, Bhakti, Tantra, and about the various ethereal beings mentioned in this book. But the concepts of Karma honestly scared me. I guess this was the Author’s intention specifically to discourage anybody and everybody from trying the Aghora way, but, honestly, I never got around to understanding the point of this book.
If this book was meant to be informational, then, it did a good job of it. You do get a clear picture of the Aghora way of life. A life that just doesn’t involve rituals in a smashana (cremation ground) but also one that carries a deeply symbolic meaning of living. i.e. living like a dead body unaffected by the vagaries of life. If there’s one book that I couldn’t connect with at all, it was this one. The rituals, the symbolism, everything is a direct contrast to the way I wish to / lead my life. That doesn’t mean I didn’t understand the book, I did understand that there are vastly different paths to the same goal and that not all paths are suitable for everybody.
If this book was instructional or inspirational, then I think it might have fallen short by leaps and bounds as I am not sure who could be inspired by this book to choose the Aghora path. If this is supposed to inspire Aghoris, well, I don’t think they need this book anyway.
Generally, non-fiction books such as self-help books are written for a typical audience. This book made me wonder who exactly was this written for.
That said, this book has some interesting aspects, it gives us a glimpse into the world of Yoginis, Yakshinis, Rishis, Siddhas, and many other ethereal beings. Beings that are rarely mentioned in contemporary books. This book forces you to remove the clinical scientific blinders and shows you the unassuming wonders of this earth. Whether we can see it, despite removing the blinders is another question, but the author does attempt to show the world as Aghoras see it.
I enjoyed the short stories where people learn their lessons almost instantaneously for the choices they make. Karma is rarely served as fast food.
The only thing that irked me a lot was the proofreading mistakes that I found in the book. After a point, I couldn’t ignore them and it was distracting. I am not sure if it was a case of proofreading or printing gone wrong. But the editor in me was dying a little each time I spotted an error. For example: For nearly half of the book, the author mentions his daughter as his foster daughter and suddenly from a certain page he mentions a girl named Roshni, It’s only in later pages that the reader knows from a sentence that his foster daughter is Roshni. An attentive reader might probably guess it, but, in a book with a multitude of characters, such errors are entirely avoidable. And I can’t even begin to comment on the typos or the lack of clarity as proved by the usage of an abbreviation ESP. What on earth is that? of course, google did tell me that it is Extrasensory perception. But, the point is, I shouldn’t be checking it up with Google in the first place.
Now that I am done with the rant, I will get to the point and rate this book.
Shock factor: 5
Content value and reach: 3
Font and aesthetics: 4
Readability and accuracy: 3
I don’t think I’ll ever re-read this book, but I liked it and am intrigued enough to read the next one in the series: Kundalini. This book is a good starter for the series and I am glad I read it. Pick it up as a challenge to test yourself, to test your open-mindedness. To test the limits of your imagination and the truthfulness behind your perception of what reality is. This book messes with your mind and sometimes your heart. I won’t put it in the disturbing category, but it does shake something up inside. Read it with an open mind and judge it for yourself.
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