Lotus In The Stone – Sacred Journeys In Eternal India by Anuradha Goyal.
Press Release Excerpts
At the Kumbh Mela… On an early morning boat ride to the ‘Sangam’, there were just two women on the boat – me, and Kiran from Bihar.
That day, I had not really planned to take a dip in it. Kiran would listen to none of it and insisted that I must take a dip now that I had come to the Sangam.
When I told her that I was not carrying clothes to change into, she pulled out a sari from her bag and handed it over to me. I did take a dip in her sari, and she simply took back the wet sari and said she would dry it along with the rest of their clothes. This is not a social behavior we see very often.
I too would have found this difficult to believe, if I had not experienced it myself.
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How we look at our ancient temples and sacred spaces is a question we have seldom bothered to ask. Are they just ruin? Are they an assortment of measures and dimensions? Is stone, cold, and harsh? Or, is there something more to it than meets the eye? The fact is, these sacred spaces carry the essence of civilizational India, of which we are seldom reminded in ‘modern’ times.
Garuda Prakashan happily presents a lilting memoir of ANURADHA GOYAL’s journeys to various temples and sacred spaces in India. Wherein she weaves the stories behind them, around them, the rituals, the beliefs, and the people, in their myriad manifestations, though united at the core with the same essence.
Younger Explorers and Seekers
The book not only connects today’s younger generation, full of explorers and seekers, to their past but also, the explorers and seekers of all hues to these ancient testimonies of our great and enduring civilization will benefit from this. It provides them with insights, which can’t be written in any tourism department brochure.
These recollections, revelations come from a multitude of travels undertaken by the author across the length and breadth, literally, through the years. If it is Mathura, Ayodhya, and Kumbh in Uttar Pradesh, then it is Mahabalipuram and many others in South India. From the North-East to the West, the author, a popular travel blogger, enjoins the seemingly separate journeys into one single whole.
Price: INR 399/-
Page Extent: 200+
Order here: grpr.in/lits
Writing about Kumbh, GOYAL says: “This was utopia right in front of my eyes. I could trust anyone within the Mela grounds even though I knew that the same person could behave differently just outside the grounds. Remember, no one was forcing us to behave, we behaved well on our own.” For Goyal, this book is for the younger generation, besides others, who could connect with India ‘that is ours’.
SANKRANT SANU, FOUNDER, GARUDA PRAKASHAN, says: “As a publisher, many manuscripts pass through me. But this is a book where I learned a lot while editing it. The book literally takes you to places mentioned in it. The author manages to bring to us that consciousness and awareness that all these things are there right in front of us, yet hidden.”
Vedic scholar and author Dr. David Frawley says: “Anuradha Goyal’s book Lotus in the Stone is a sacred journey through the inner time and space of these extraordinary temples”.
ABOUT THE BOOK
It is not a book of facts; and yet, it is. It is not a book of fiction; and yet it is full of stories. It is not a book on temple architecture; and yet it is. It is not a book of the personal monologue; and yet, it is. It is a book of travels undertaken solo, with complete strangers, with friends and family. Yet the reader will find it intensely private – as this book is about the whole, which is always bigger than the sum of its parts. More importantly, the essence of what it means to be Indian wafts through the entire book. Readers will relate to many of their own experiences as they read.
The book is not an account of the Indian civilization from an outsider’s perspective. It is a book where an Indian becomes aware of the fact of being an Indian in the course of many journeys to the sacred spaces. It is a book that details how Indians need to look at their own heritage and connect with it. Something that is lying in plain sight. But they are not able to see, because they do not have the ‘Drishti’.
This book Lotus In The Stone – – Sacred Journeys In Eternal India arms the travelers with that ‘Drishti’. It nudges and encourages the visitors to pause and begin looking at these sacred places for what they were meant to be. Places of a personal meeting with the divine in a completely public setting.