What inspired you to write your book?
Krishna’s Counsel is the second of a trilogy of novels whose theme is moksha(Sanskrit word for ‘liberation from suffering’). (Please see here). My first novel, Whip of the Wild God: A Novel of Tantra in Ancient India, is set in a civilization reminiscent of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, and my third, Copper Moon Over Pataliputra, is set in 300 BCE. I intended to stick with historical/mystical fiction, but way back in 1999, my Manhattan-based literary agent suggested I write a contemporary novel about an Indian woman who had moved from East to West. Nothing happened until many years later when I found myself marooned in a guest house in Rishikesh in northern India: a wild festival raged all around me, keeping me captive in my suite, and so I decided to sink my teeth into something that would engage my monkey mind; in six months, I had written the first draft of Krishna’s Counsel.
Krishna’s Counsel is a patchwork of a thousand tales I heard growing up in India and in the West. The title/theme is inspired by the luminous advice delivered to Prince Arjuna of the Pandavas on the ancient battlefield of the Kurukshetra by his charioteer and kinsman, the Blue God Krishna. Arjuna does not want to fight—his enemies are his own kin who have turned viciously against his family. Prince Arjuna would prefer to offer himself to the enemy as a sacrifice rather than stoop to destroying those who once cherished him. Then Krishna shows him a dazzling vision of the cosmos and convinces the doubt-stricken Prince to fight the good fight: in essence, Krishna’s teaching is that the spiritual warrior must never give up the battle against evil—instead he or she must first decide on the best course of action, and then pursue that action, disregarding the consequences. Continue reading