The book gives heart-warming insights into the some aspects of Bharat’s cultural ethos which has been carried on for centuries
Since time immemorial pilgrimages have been an integral part of Hindu life. One of the most important reasons for undertaking such a voyage is to move away from the life of comforts and to embrace the life austerity and to be in the company of Nature and experience life as it is to align our lives to make spiritual progress.
The impressions gained from the visits to ashrams, temples, taking bath in the rivers, will give us a deeper understanding of how to live a sacred lifestyle. Such journeys can give us an everlasting impression that will inspire us for years to come, maybe even for the rest of our lives. Such an opportunity may not happen often, even after many lifetimes, so if such a possibility does come into our lives, one should seriously take advantage of it.
In the year 1987 an opportunity knocked at the door of Sri KK Venkataraman, former Captain of the Indian Army, who was in charge of the Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalayas of Arunachal Pradesh, to perform the Narmada Parikrama (clockwise circumambulation of the river), involving walking 2600 km barefoot (both the banks) in more than 4 months, he seized it, taking it as a challenge. Not only did he record everything that had taken place during the journey but had also shared his feelings with friends by often writing letters.
At 10 AM on October 26, 1987, Captainji, as he is affectionately called, without keeping money, started his parikrama from Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh, where the Narmada originates. After circumambulating the holy river, which flows through Madha Pradesh (1070 km), Maharashtra (75 km) and Gujarat (205 km), the yatra came to a successful halt on March 4, 1988, at the very same spot. In some stretches, the landscape along the Narmada is thickly forested mountain slopes and he had to cross the 40 major tributaries of the river.
Ananda Marga—Victim of Communist Conspiracy during 1969-77;Dr Susmit Kumar; Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers; Pp 257; Rs 795
In the early 1960s, the Ananda Marga socio-spiritual movement emerged as a powerful force in India, taking on critical issues including corruption and casteism. This book narrates how the Indira Gandhi-led Congress Party government, supported by CPM, persecuted Ananda Marga
Jungle Rabha Masks and Masked Dance; ; Sabita Ranjan Sarkar; Gyan Publishing House; Pp208; Rs 650
The book is based on extensive field work among the forest dwelling Rabhas of North Bengal conducted in 1982 and 1983 during the collection of their traditional cultural artifacts as the museum specimens. Among the collected specimens, masks are considered as one of the significant cultural elements of the forest dwelling Rabhas
In the sacred journey, that allowed him to encounter, see and to live through the Divine in its various manifestations, he had recorded all that happened in a diary. But it was only after 18 years, at the instance of Swami Vimurtanandaji of Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Chennai Sri Venkataraman wrote his musings for the benefit of the public.
Inter-State Conflicts and Contentious Issues in South Asia; Emanual Nahar; Kalpaz Publications; Pp 327; Rs 825
This edited work is an attempt to bring to light the deliberating effect of inter-state conflicts in South Asia on regional cooperation. It also offers some solutions in the form of recommendations, to contribute in the process of regional cooperation in South Asia and gives indepth analytical acount of conflicting issues in the region.
Eve Teasing: A Social Epidemic; Deepa Awasthi; Kalpaz Publications; Pp 323; Rs 690
The edited book titled Eve Teasing: A Social Epidemic is prepared with the intention of providing complete information about the serious crime of Eve teasing against women. Eve teasing has emerged as the most prominent challenge that every woman faces in her day to day life in India. This book includes total 27 chapters written by eminent scholars from all over the country.
Thus born the book, Walking with the immortals, The Narmada Parikrama, detailing the day by day accounts of the travel. The author, by his lucid style of explanation and with his inimitable way of narration, has minutely described all that had happened during the course of the passage and thereby takes the reader along with him in the parikrama.
While going through the author’s narrations, the reader is transported to a different world altogether. The unique practice of man respecting man and rising above all differences to manifest universal brotherhood will touch the hearts of all. Captainji by plainly narrating the happenings during the journey brings out the uniqueness of Hindu culture in treating a guest with care, compassion, love and tolerance.
The book also gives us the message that pilgrimage means living very simply, going toward what is holy and most sacred, and remaining focused on the opportunity of having a life-changing knowledge. It is a way for purification to relieve ourselves of lifetimes of karma. This process will help change our consciousness and our perception of our identity and how we fit into this world, and help us gain access to the divine dimension through enlightenment.
The author brings out that the objective of a holy tour is fulfilled when we realise the purpose of life. Life is meant for becoming free from the wheel of samsara, which means the continuous cycle of birth and death. It is for making pious advancement and to perceive our real identity. If the wisdom one gained is penned, it would definitely of help to others who wants to tread the path.
The events penned by Captainji who was in charge of the Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalayas of Arunachal Pradesh, for a continuous 131 days is captivating to read. It is interesting to note that the author has written the book after a lapse of 18 years from his diary and other notes he had preserved during the parikrama.
Walking with the Immortals – The Narmadha Parikrama gives heart-warming insights into the some aspects of Bharat’s cultural ethos which, has been carried on for centuries. In modern terms, this could be termed a ‘Spiritual-ecological adventure’. The Book is well laid out, lucid and has a very smooth flow. The reader is virtually carried to the banks of the River Narmada and goes through the journey along with the author, as if walking side by side, engaged in a two-way communication. The author’s style of writing is straight and unassuming and brings out the gruelling nature of the practice which was at the same time a rich, rewarding and enjoyable.