Everybody starts it from the beginning. Let us start this time from the end. The end impression that I have after finishing the book ’Maya-in search of her Tantric father’ by Vipin Behari Goyal!
After finishing the book, some lines from the Waste Land of T.S Eliot’s Wasteland had suddenly crossed my mind
“Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves
waited for rain, while the black clouds
gathered far distant, over Himavant.
The jungle crouched, humped in silence.
Then spoke the thunder
Datta: what have we given?”
The meaning of life has been taken a new perspective through this novel-the journey of Maya-the protagonist of our story. It is not only a journey to find her biological father, but also a quest to find the inner light of the life- so that it is a journey which has been described in the Upanishad as
“From ignorance, lead me to truth;
From darkness, lead me to light;
From death, lead me to immortality”
We will see where this journey of soul searching leads Martha or Maya-whatever be the name as per western or eastern tradition and also leads us us, who are going be the witness of the fascinating journey.
here goes the story of Martha!
Her mother left her a diary which contained her confession –not the confession of guilt, but rather a confession of love! When she had come to India –she had sought the blessings of her Guru-and ultimately got attracted to him. The result is the birth of Martha. This revealing of stunning facts made Martha determined to start her quest in pursuit of her biological father-and she does!
With Martha we also get privileged to have a rare glimpse of Indian culture, spirituality and the destinations that attracted pilgrims from around the globe from the times abode…..
From Delhi, she had gone to Jaipur-the picturesque pink city of India-where her quest begun at Puskar Lake –the site of the single temple of lord Brahma-the god of creation. Let us give our readers an opportunity to get familiar with the surroundings of Puskar
“On the hill was the Agast Muni cave, where a mythological sage Agast did hard penance for many years. Different sadhus have occupied the cave from time to time. Twenty two years back, when my mother came to this place, swami Atmanand was living here. He was a yogi and a Guru. His disciples assembled at Panch kund on Guru Purnima, A full moon day of the lunar calendar to pay homage to the Guru.”
Indian rituals made our young charming protagonist inquisitive and she had the wish of watching rituals depicted in Tnatras. The first person account of witnessing such rituals in the eyes of a Western lady may prove to be interesting
“The Kapalika signalled and all of them started reciting mantras in unison. The vibration of the mantras was transcendental. The Kapalika was now holding a black human skull in his hand and was pouring deep red thick wine from a bottle, held in the other hand. He touched the bowl to the lips of Bhairav’s statue and soon his bowl was empty. Kapalika laughed vigorously and his disciples gathered around him with a bowl of skull; in their hands to take Prasad.”
Destiny takes her to difficult journeys through parts of India and with growing moments her insight into the deeper realities of life enhances –her mind getting informed
“it does not matter what we call them-Yin-Yang or Shiva Shakti the two forms masculine and feminine are complimentary to each other, physically, mentally .economically and spiritually I have no doubt about it. God divides bread into two and throws in this world, search your other half is the biggest search of life. if you find that matching half, then your life is fulfilled, you become soul mates….”
Rare insights of the Indian philosophy has been revealed to the readers through the wonderful journey-take for example this explanation of rising of internal power through music
“This basic notes vibrates the Muladhara, which is the basic chakra located between genital and anal area. All chakras are also rested with endocrine glands. The serpentine power of Kulakundalini is at the tip of backbone, lying dormant in two and half coil. I remember the snake ring, which the followers of the sect wear, that is symbolic of awakened serpentine power.”
Her quest takes her to Kamakhya, Tripura, and Himalayan tirthas-to name a few. The reader will not only get to know her fascinating journey but will get a flavour of these places in a wonder that is India. Take for example this description of Tipura
“Tripura-Sundari is another name of Kali. It means most it means most beautiful in three universes. She was blessed by Lord Shiva to remain sixteen years old. This Goddess is ‘shodshi’,she is a symbol of perfection and beauty.”
And where does the destiny ultimately take her? Will she find her search? or like her mother she is also able to find her soul mate in India?
The book is written entirely in the account of Maya-written in epistolary format. The language and the narration (as you have already discovered, I presume) is so vibrant that you are bound to get a feeling of her emotions and the beautiful places around. The English is simple and the fluid style of writing makes it entirely easy read, in spite of the fact that gems of Indian philosophical thoughts are in full bloom throughout the pages of the entire book.
“East is east, west is west and thou shall never meet.”
Is it true or the proud uttering of an imperialist poet?
Read the book and you shall know it!
Read more of the book at
See the review of ‘Tall man,small shadow’ by the same author at