Genesis: Whip of the Wild God: A Novel of Tantra in Ancient India: 4/4

WWG-Small-TrilogyAs a child in south India, I saw a man douse himself with kerosene, set himself on fire and walk past the gate of our home. I still don’t know why he did what he did; servants were buzzing about it for weeks afterward, but I could not bear to hear the details. What could be so terrible that a man would set his own body ablaze? That Burning Man never left my consciousness, for he had staggered past our home defiantly and I don’t recall hearing him scream.

Pain comes in a range of gross and subtle flavors. Some are cursed with having to endure physical pain. My own suffering has mostly been emotional; to escape from the sometimes relentless inner torment of my earlier days, I confess I would do almost anything. Unfortunately, no sage manifested to warn me that no one succeeds in escaping suffering; like an ominous shadow, the pain demon haunts you, growing obese as it squeezes all the joy out of existence. The only remedy is to turn around and confront the bully head-on—and keep watching until it slinks away in shame.

Today I have come to accept that all fear is essentially an illusion. In fact, folks in the Twelve Step program have an acronym for fear–False Evidence Appearing Real. And indeed, that is what our fears are—insubstantial and petty tyrants who drain us of the one thing they do not have: prana, or vital energy. While my threshold for pain continues to be abysmally low, I now have a variety of constructive tools to dissolve it—mainly, yoga, meditation and the wisdom of the ancients. The Wild God continues to whip me, because I have set my personal goal high. The difference is that now I know why I, and all beings, must suffer—before gold can shine, it must go through trials by fire.

8c3b451325db273f2b072ce821f5d310Another reason I wrote Whip was to deal with a subject more or less taboo in my community of origin: sex. I grew up with a mother who flushed at the mere mention of the “s” word and talk of bodily functions evoked in her an intense discomfort. Her father had died when she was five, and she’d been brought up by her mother, a young widow who, by our custom, was neither allowed to remarry, nor work outside of home. While my little mother was given the best of material things, she lacked a close bond with her own grieving mother. So she reached out to the nuns at her school who warned her that men in general spelled trouble. Beautiful and melancholy, she was forcibly married off as a teenager and proceeded to bear many children. She did an astounding job of nurturing us, but I could always see the bewildered little girl whose life had drastically changed the day she lost her father.

One result of never being properly mothered herself was that my mother did not know how to deal with her growing daughters; we were forbidden to speak of natural things, and censored in almost every way. One day at school a friend mentioned to me that she’d asked her Oxford-educated mother how babies were made. Her mother had casually picked up a sketch pad, sketched the male and female organs, and explained the nature of conception and birth to her nine-year old daughter. Listening, I had grown rigid with envy; my mother’s prudishness, I felt sure, had installed shame and embarrassment in all her children about this most natural of functions.

I wrote Whip to remedy this great flaw in my own psyche—and hopefully to shed some light on the blocks and neuroses of others. As I continued to research Tantric and eastern philosophy in general, I began to appreciate its exalted teachings on sacred union. How wrong the world has gone in cheapening this most important root energy! However, yogis, shamans and other seekers appear to have redressed the balance, for at least they acknowledge sexual energy as critical to spiritual growth, whether one is celibate or not. And while Tantra is still often regarded as a hedonistic practice, the truth is that many celebrated Tantrics (such as the Dalai Lama) are highly disciplined, ethical, and celibate.

Sadly enough, in India, where energy teachings once flourished—I speak of Kundalini, or the serpent fire, which sages claim lies coiled three-and-a-half times at the base of the human spine—investigating primal energy as a tool for spiritual transformation is still not something one can speak frankly about. Tantra urges man and woman to view each other as divine and equal; by fusing their energies, they experience godhead. Where, I ask you, is the sin in this?

I am not talking about the tawdry manner in which sex is extolled, say, in Bollywood; nor the plethora of dirty jokes “sophisticated” Indian men and women bandy about; nor do I speak of the millions of modern Indians who, forced into unfulfilling arranged marriages, seek external consolation. I address instead the honor and respect one can give to one’s own true nature. In the ancient teachings, it is said that when Shiva set his seal on the world, he cleaved it into male and female; so when male and female re-unite in the most sacred of ways, they re-experience the state of Shiva, which is sat-chit-ananda, absolute existence-consciousness and bliss, or organic cosmic wholeness.

Bhagavan RamanaTo my critical eye, both Indian men and women—from the illiterate poor to the wealthy western-educated lot—have long lost their connection to this sacred wisdom. As a result, the balance between the sexes has gone radically awry and old female stereotypes of the sainted virgin versus the painted whore with nothing in-between persists. In general, there appears to be little room for pure friendship and respect between the sexes, the kind that can grow into a healthy, harmonious, symbiotic relationship. Perhaps this stream of consciousness ramble might explain why I nurtured Whip through many incarnations and personal ups and downs for close to twenty years. In the end, after going through hell and back, my protagonist finally awakens her own indwelling divinity; and that is what we all must do, at some point or the other in our infinite lives—for it is our birthright and our dharma. (To be continued in the next post).

Greetings from Arunachala, Shiva the Destroyer in the form of a hill of fire and light, who vows to help us clear up the wreckage of our relative lives, so we can rest in the peace and bliss of our immortal Self!

If you’ve enjoyed reading my posts, please also check out my BOOKS and LINKS.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 8,174 other followers


Click the buttons below to SHARE if you liked this post.
Note: The REBLOG option is available only when viewing the post in full. Click on the post-title above if don’t see the REBLOG button below.
Advertisements

Genesis: Whip of the Wild God: A Novel of Tantra in Ancient India: 3/4

WWG-Small-TrilogySometime in the mid 90s, I put together a collection of short stories. The protagonist of each tale is an Indian woman who faces a terrible dilemma and solves it with amazing panache. I titled the collection: Sacrifice to the Black Goddess, in honor of the Dark Goddess Kali. My literary agent at the time showed it to Manhattan publishers and the universal verdict was that I had promise, but that I should first write a novel. And so the idea of writing something big and important began to stir within me.

Then, in the winter of 1993, I met James Kelleher, a brilliant vedic astrologer based in Los Gatos, California. He saw a novel looming in my chart and said it was my dharma to bring it into the world. He gave me the exact year I would finish it and ended by warning me that, although I’d have endless problems trying to publish it, I should persevere. Now writing a short story or essay had always been easy for me, but giving birth to a novel is a different kettle of fish. Being cursed with an impatient nature, I had so far never been able to stick to a complex project. While I had excelled all through school and college, my pattern was to get bored and dance away to the next activity. I realized only one thing could sustain me through writing a full-length novel—a topic that consumed me. I found this in the radical philosophy of Tantra, which stunned me with its liberating, profound and authentic teachings.

What is Tantra? Etymologically, it can be traced to the fusion of two Sanskrit words: tanoti and trayati, which roughly transliterate into the explosion of consciousness. The simplest definition I have found for it is “the transmutation of darkness into light.” But what is darkness, and what is light? Darkness pertains to operating on the level of beast: angry, jealous, greedy, lustful, and driven by fear; light refers to the highest point of evolution—as pure being, consciousness and bliss.

Kiri 16GB sd card 6243-1The ascent of consciousness is from muladhara, the root chakra—heavy with the fiery energy of the Kundalini—all the way up the invisible chakras to the sahasrara, or thousand-petaled lotus of higher consciousness, hovering slightly above the crown of the skull—when the individual ego dissolves back into cosmic intelligence. Simply put, when male and female reunite, two become one; this wholeness dissolves the individual ego that causes all our suffering and can lead to a permanent state of bliss. This can be accomplished either singly (for every human possesses both male and female energies) or as a committed couple. It can take decades before one is ready to take on a mate—a fact which flies in the face of contemporary thinking that Tantra encourages sexual license and excess. Without a strong grounding in ethics and yoga, seeking liberation as a couple simply cannot work.

By this time, I had also trained as a hatha yoga teacher. My guru blew my mind by teaching me the essence of the Bhagavad Gita. To think I’d grown up in India and never known I’d been parking my lazy bottom on a treasure trove of wisdom! And now an American sadhu was tossing me sparkling jewels from my own ancient culture! I’d wasted my time in south India belting out Janis Joplin, smoking ciggies, and trying to be oh so cool in the western way…oh, dear me, the many ironies of life!

The upshot of buying that little book at Ananda Ashram was that I now I had a title for my book: Whip of the Wild God: A Novel of Tantra in Ancient India. The Wild God was Rudra, who had metamorphosed into Shiva over the centuries. The theme would be the philosophy and practice of both celibate and Red Tantra, which entranced my mercurial mind. This being the pre-internet age, I began to make regular trips to the New York Public Library in order to research this vast subject. As I ploughed through their impressive stash of material, a plot began to coalesce. Ishvari—a teenage girl born in a village situated on the fringes of a city based on the Indus Valley Civilization—became my fiery protagonist. (The Indus Valley is important to me because some scholars say that my ancestors, the Saraswat Brahmins, were its original settlers and had practiced Tantra.)

d234450d3d62a8926e9c9bca1ac39318What becomes of fierce, beautiful and brilliant Ishvari? Guided by the advice of the royal astrologer, the Envoy of the Maharaja of Melukhha whisks her away to be trained for seven years by tantric monks. Despite her simmering anger against her mother, the lecherous priest and greedy landlord of her village, her ability to dazzle causes her to be elected to the role of High Tantrika. And so she is sent to serve as spiritual consort to Takshak, the corrupt and powerful monarch of Melukhha. But the stars in her almond eyes quickly dim when she realizes she is no more than a gorgeous bird trapped in the proverbial golden cage. Unable to deal with her emotions when her royal lover abandons her for an alien sorceress, she rebels in the worst of ways—and so brings down the wrath of the monarch on all who have cherished her. It is then that the teachings she has secretly spurned rise up again within her. The agony she experiences during her flight and the decades that follow awaken within her the great roaring kundalini fire….and she is set firmly again on the path to moksha or liberation. (To be continued in the next post).

Greetings from Arunachala, Shiva the Destroyer in the form of a hill of fire and light, who vows to help us clear up the wreckage of our relative lives, so we can rest in the peace and bliss of our immortal Self!

If you’ve enjoyed reading my posts, please also check out my BOOKS and LINKS.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 8,174 other followers


Click the buttons below to SHARE if you liked this post.
Note: The REBLOG option is available only when viewing the post in full. Click on the post-title above if don’t see the REBLOG button below.

Genesis: Whip of the Wild God: A Novel of Tantra in Ancient India – 2/4

WWG-Small-TrilogySolace came in the form of hatha yoga, meditation and studying Eastern philosophy. Someone gave me Robert Svoboda’s Aghora—crude, intense, richHis chapter on karma made one thing crystal clear—that none of us are victims in the big picture. Our experiences are only the result of our own past karma, eons of thinking, speaking and acting in certain ways. Now I felt sure that the half-a-million dollars or more that I’d lost by leaving my marriage was the result of the karmic pendulum swinging back at me. Had I retaliated, as several feminist friends exhorted me to do, I suspected this pendulum would have swung back and knocked me down for the count.

Back to Ananda Ashram: my companion and I waded towards the bookstore through mounds of sparkling snow. I wanted a memento of our trip, so I bought the thinnest book I could find, hoping it was also the least expensive. When I got back to Manhattan, I devoured The Brilliant Function of Pain by Dr. Milton Ward in one fell swoop. Its premise is simple: that pain can be our best friend, for it warns us when we are in danger and forces us to flower into our full potential. Those who cannot feel pain die quickly; imagine you are burning to death and cannot feel a thing! Yes, that book was more than worth its weight in gold, for it also spoke of a little known myth about Shiva, the mesmerizing god of paradox and the Destroyer in the current Indian pantheon. It claims that Shiva lashes souls who have strayed with a psychic whip that unleashes excruciating pain. Why? Because while humans can tolerate high levels of discomfort, we cannot endure agony; lashed by Shiva’s whip, we are forced to spiritually ascend.

I had no illusions about myself; even as a rebellious teen, I had always flirted with both darkness and light. I knew I was composed of two equally powerful selves—hedonist and ascetic. Sometimes the dark side completely took over, throwing its black cloak over me and suffocating me until I longed for extinction. But when I had worked out the angst, light would suffuse my world with fresh radiance. So the concept of Shiva’s whip made perfect sense to me.

FB_IMG_1494089545295I have since confirmed that pain does indeed open the petals of the human heart. If we don’t know what it is to suffer—to be alone for long stretches of time; to lose loved ones in tragic accidents; to be frightened out of our wits and broke in an expensive city; to be dangerously ill and friendless—how can we possibly empathize with others who also suffer? To understand all, as the old saying goes, is to forgive all. Why forgive? Because when we investigate the underlying fabric of reasons why people think, speak and act as they do, we begin to realize that in essence we are no different; that insidious sense of separation begins to dissolve and we become One. Indeed it is when we first comprehend the brilliant function of pain that we can finally move forward, with grace and confidence. (To be continued in the next post).

Greetings from Arunachala, Shiva the Destroyer in the form of a hill of fire and light, who vows to help us clear up the wreckage of our relative lives, so we can rest in the peace and bliss of our immortal Self!

If you’ve enjoyed reading my posts, please also check out my BOOKS and LINKS.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 8,174 other followers


Click the buttons below to SHARE if you liked this post.
Note: The REBLOG option is available only when viewing the post in full. Click on the post-title above if don’t see the REBLOG button below.

Genesis: Whip of the Wild God: A Novel of Tantra in Ancient India: 1/4

WWG-Small-TrilogyNeither of us being in the mood for the frenetic end-of-year partying for which Manhattan is famed, a friend and I decided to spend the end of 1993 at Ananda Ashram in upstate New York. It was stunningly beautiful in that snow-blanketed world, and I was immensely grateful for this respite: after years of trying every damn thing to make my marriage work, I had finally left my partner of fourteen years. All I’d carried away with me were my clothes, some furniture, a collection of books and music, and the bitter festering wounds of what felt like a major failure.

Ours had been an old-fashioned marriage: he had played the role of wily businessman, while I had slipped into the role of scatterbrained artiste. Convincing me I was lousy at handling money, he had assumed total control over our joint finances. Dutifully I had handed him my pay checks, and all our assets were in his name. His mother colluded with him. As his extraordinary good looks and charm began to pall, I could no longer hide from the wide swath of deviousness that marred his character. Even as my own horizons spiraled into the mystical, I felt strongly that it was better for me to be alone.

My friend Robin was aware that I had neither a bank account nor a credit card, both of which I would need in order to break free. One Saturday morning, she escorted me to Citibank on Sixth Avenue and hovered over me like a guardian angel as I opened my first checking account. This single act of defiance signaled a fresh start but also opened up a fresh can of worms; as the chorus of that terrific rock song goes, freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.

“I’d rather go to prison than give you one cent,” my husband said grimly, when I asked for a portion of our marital assets. Although New York divorce law was clear—each of a divorcing couple is entitled to fifty percent of marital assets—Big Apple lawyers cost big money. Adding salt to my wounds, the contingency law which allows a divorce lawyer to take a percentage of a settlement had just been rescinded. To keep from jumping out the window, I dwelt on how extraordinarily kind and generous he had been to me in our early years; he was not intrinsically a bad guy, I assured myself, just congenitally unable to investigate his own gaping faults.

f92f7dea9f17b0dbcc31e5be036538d6Instinct warned me I’d gain nothing by fighting him. Still, I consulted a few lawyers, but every one of them asked for thousands of dollars upfront—money I did not have. Finally I talked to a tough lesbian lawyer. “Cut loose,” was her terse advice. “You’ll never pin this rascal down. Fight him in court, and you’ll lose everything, including your sanity.” I took her advice, and began life as a single, staying afloat by freelancing as an administrative temp on Wall Street and in Manhattan’s law firms. (To be continued in the next post).

Greetings from Arunachala, Shiva the Destroyer in the form of a hill of fire and light, who vows to help us clear up the wreckage of our relative lives, so we can rest in the peace and bliss of our immortal Self!

If you’ve enjoyed reading my posts, please also check out my BOOKS and LINKS.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 8,174 other followers


Click the buttons below to SHARE if you liked this post.
Note: The REBLOG option is available only when viewing the post in full. Click on the post-title above if don’t see the REBLOG button below.

Shiva’s Spectacular Gender Divide: 2/4

279dbfcf2cba52b1ecbc23c53cf96b95As I moved into my teen years, I sought out friends who equally dreaded being thrust into the marriage market—to be assessed in terms of dowry, fair complexions, domestic skills, and the ability to please husband and in-laws. (While the practice of dowry has been illegal for decades now, women are harassed, even burned to death, if their families are unable to satiate greedy in-laws. In some cases, a man marries, gets a good dowry, kills his bride in collusion with his mother, and gets away with it, either by bribing the cops or by faking a credible accident—whereupon he goes bride-hunting again.)

During summer holiday afternoons while the rest of my family was taking their siesta, I’d creep out to pay impromptu visits to my girlfriends in the hood. Inside their bedrooms, with the fan going full blast, we’d giggle and gossip as we gorged on sweets and savories. One family I befriended were Himachali Brahmins who had settled in Bangalore. The husband spent his time slumbering or seated cross-legged on the living room couch, perusing the papers or some crappy thriller. His wife was a good-looking and industrious woman, a Hindu fanatic and Sanskrit scholar who ran the household with iron efficiency and was tough on everyone but her indolent husband. All he had to do was crook a little finger—demanding chai or that she clean his ears or trim his finger and toenails—and she’d run to obey.

Unfortunately “Uncle” took a weird shine to me. One afternoon I dropped in on the family, unaware that the girls were away visiting relatives. Uncle opened the door, summoned me over to his couch and handed me a paperback novel. He pointed to a paragraph. “Read this out to me, please,” he ordered. Vain as I was, I began to read in a loud voice, showing off my perfect diction. It was a Harold Robbins book, and the section he’d chosen described the heroine being banged silly by the smoldering hero. Innocent as I then was, I still knew an older man asking a thirteen-year old to read soft porn to him was hideously wrong. In seconds, I was red-faced and stuttering. Uncle took a firm grasp of my arm to prevent me from escaping. I was doing so very well, he crooned; he was so enjoying my reading. Just then his wife entered the room. With a rude flick of a hand, he ordered that proud woman out. I wriggled out of his grasp, flung the book on the floor, and hurtled out into the hot afternoon, feeling an ugly mix of guilt and shame and rage.

9e4db9873c00799c674eaa9df76ed47aKnowing I’d be blamed, I was reluctant to confide what had happened to anyone in my family. Who asked you to go there in the first place? I could hear my mother shriek. Weren’t you supposed to be sleeping? WhatYou jumped over the wall again? You are utterly shameless and deserve everything you get! You see? Already I was aware that in the world I inhabited, the female of the species would be the eternal scapegoat. Had I complained, a variation of that old song would have been sung: “Don’t blame meShe was wearing a red dress, and so I raped her.”

On the street parallel to our home lived a Rajput family. Rajputs are a fierce and beautiful race, originators of Sati, the ancient and hideous practice of urging a wife to leap on to her husband’s funeral pyre—for what is a woman worth without a man, anyway? Better to burn baby burn, and get all the endless abuse to which a widow is subjected out of the way once and for all. Never mind that in thousands of cases the dead husband was a doddering old fart, and the wife a young girl led to marital slaughter by virtuous parents. Duty and honor were considered paramount, and a “good” woman was urged to end her life when her man was gone. Those who refused were drugged, thrown onto the funeral pyre, and drums were beaten loud and hard to drown out their shrieks.

Now Lakshmi, youngest of three daughters born to this family, committed the mortal sin of falling in love with the attractive son of a local Muslim building contractor. Traditionally speaking, the Rajputs and the Muslims are arch enemies; so, when some spiteful gossip leaked the information to Lakshmi’s parents, her father, an important man in the community, went bonkers: Lakshmi was pulled out of college, given a whipping, and placed under house arrest. Shocked, a bunch of us neighborhood kids held a pow-pow to which we invited Shaukat, her grieving lover. Since I was considered the bravest, it was decided that I would find out what was going on. Next morning we waited until her father’s car drove out of their house. Armed with a letter from her swain hidden in my bag, I walked in through her gate and rang the house bell. Her mother, a darkly pretty woman from a village near Jaipur who spoke no English, opened the door, probably thinking I was a salesman. I pushed past her and raced up the stairs to find Lakshmi, who had spied me entering the gate through her window, standing at the door to her bedroom. Quickly I slipped her the love letter and tried valiantly to control my tears—for in the space of days, her eyes were swollen with crying and her lovely face was covered with pimples. In a low dramatic voice I delivered Shaukat’s romantic oath—that he would rescue her and make her his bride. The light that shone through her stark misery made me want to cry even more.

e5a9d684e0fb9c4db5f10eaa9cae51c9Like Rajput heroines of yore, Lakshmi was amazingly resilient. She managed to convince her father—in truth, a kind man who simply could not break free of the old ways—that she had “reformed”. Then, three years later, exactly a day past her twenty-first birthday, she simply disappeared from the house, leaving behind all the expensive gifts her parents had given her. A note sat on her bed: “You gave me everything material,” it read in true Bollywood style, “but not my heart’s desire.” Her father drove frantically over to Shaukat’s house. “Where’s that bastard?” he screamed in Hindi at the servant woman who stood by their gate. The old thing spat a stream of red betel juice over the wall. “Gone,” she announced with a shrug. “Nobody here. All gone Shaukat marriage.” More than a decade later, on my annual vacation from Manhattan, I bumped into Lakshmi’s brother on Commercial Street. “How are things with Lakshmi? I asked anxiously. “Fine,” he replied with a grin. “They have three kids—two boys and a girl. Dad relented and invited them home after their third baby. Now both our families are friends.” A fairy-tale ending? Yes, but then Lakshmi was patient and cunning and Shaukat never gave up—and perhaps the Muslims wanted to teach the proud Rajputs a lesson. Most such situations would have ended in depression, murder or suicide. (To be continued in the next post).

Greetings from Arunachala, Shiva the Destroyer in the form of a hill of fire and light, who destroys all that blocks us from knowing we are the immortal and blissful Self!

If you’ve enjoyed reading my posts, please also check out my BOOKS and LINKS.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 8,174 other followers


Click the buttons below to SHARE if you liked this post.
Note: The REBLOG option is available only when viewing the post in full. Click on the post-title above if don’t see the REBLOG button below.

Shiva’s Spectacular Gender Divide: 1/4

WWG-Small-TrilogyIn the Manhattan winter of 1992, I dreamed about writing an epic set in a mythical civilization ruled by Rudra-Siva, the great god of paradox, and infused with the beauty of Tantra. Somehow, I intuited that the Wild God himself would spark my dream into roaring life; believe it or not, this is what happened twenty years later, under the shadow of Arunachala, the hill considered by millions to be the form taken by Shiva in order to help seekers dissolve back into the immortal and blissful Self.

While researching this novel, I came upon an ancient saying in the Tantras that goes something like this: When Shiva set his seal upon this world, he cleaved it into male and female; when male and female come together in sacred union, Shiva blesses them with the bliss of Oneness. Whether depicted as Ardhaniswara (half-man, half-woman), or in his contrasting roles of ascetic and hedonist, I knew this union referred to more than the conventional man-woman nexus. Shiva’s point is clear: in order to be whole, male and female must unite, and this can take place either in a celibate who seeks to unite these polarities in his or her own being, or in the matrix created by a spiritual couple.

As an Indian woman born into a multi-tiered society, I began to mull over why all male-dominated cultures had turned into raging gender battlefields. Since each of us is bound to have a unique take on the often subterranean gender wars that have ruined the fabric of our existence, I can speak only for myself and the way I learned to “see.” My home was dysfunctional, as most homes over the planet are, whether on the surface or deep in the bowels of core relationships; the tacit understanding that men ruled the roost permeated our domestic atmosphere. A brilliant and charismatic man who enthralled our guests with his easy raconteuring, his rage could incinerate, while his scathing tongue could eviscerate. Despite his liberal attitude towards educating all his children, my father was the undisputed patriarch and none of us, least of all my dutiful mother, dared challenge him.

Kiri 16GB sd card 4418Our society was studded with double-standards that applied to every aspect of our lives, and yet most women seemed to have accepted their lot. Some were born docile and did not rebel against playing second, third or nth fiddle; others were born under a lucky star—their men were sympathetic and pliable and life was good; still others toed the line because they had no option: since they were not encouraged to fend for themselves, existence could be pure hell if they incurred male ire.

The Indian patriarchy, like all virulent cancers, has a gazillion ways of perpetuating itself. One major trap: every married woman is urged to have children as soon as possible. The pressure is so enormous that many sink into depression when this does not happen. (Read: May You Be The Mother Of A Hundred Sons, by Elisabeth Bumiller). And once children come, so does slavery; burdened by hungry mouths to feed, at the mercy of menfolk who hold firmly on to the family purse-strings, women have even less time to challenge the patriarchy. And God forbid a wife should dare to complain about an abusive husband! If you are one such, you risk being called a “shrew”, a bitch, or even a “ghodi” (horse, a fast and therefore bad woman) or even ostracized.

Featured Image -- 9585While my father wanted his children to become doctors and diplomats, he firmly believed in the institution of arranged marriage. This was ahated prospect that hung over my mutinous head like a sword of Damocles, and I’d grumble to my mother that there was little point in educating us if we were going to be shoved into marriage and forced to have one kid after another. “How can you decide who I should live with, sleep with, cook for the rest of my life?” “Be a good girl,” she’d warn. “If you’re lucky, your husband will let you do what you want. Love comes after, not before marriage.” The word “good” was thrown at us so often that I cringed to hear it. What about being an original, excellent, humane, exciting, creative, and liberal human being? As for bad girls, they were warned that the entire family would suffer on their account—after all, which decent family would permit their children to marry into a family that harbored a single bad seed? And so emotional blackmail was thrown into the simmering witches’ cauldron of double standards. (To be continued in the next post).

Greetings from Arunachala, Shiva the Destroyer in the form of a hill of fire and light, who destroys all that blocks us from knowing we are the immortal and blissful Self!

If you’ve enjoyed reading my posts, please also check out my BOOKS and LINKS.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 8,174 other followers


Click the buttons below to SHARE if you liked this post.
Note: The REBLOG option is available only when viewing the post in full. Click on the post-title above if don’t see the REBLOG button below.

ESPECIALLY FOR MY READERS IN INDIA!

a0154d1588c1b8135252fc3d01e0e9faSeveral friends living in India have written to me saying they would so appreciate being able to buy my novels (Whip of the Wild God: A Novel of tantra in Ancient India and Krishna’s Counsel, the first two books in The Moksha Trilogy) in India. Well, it gives me great pleasure to announce that this is now possible!

Recently we had an unsettling experience with Amazon.in (Amazon’s affiliate in India) concerning print quality. This has not yet been cleared up. As a result, we warned readers not to purchase print books via that link. However please note that their e-versions are fine. Subsequently my friend did some research and came up with a self-publishing site based in India: Pothi.com, which delivers great print quality at a great price.

Voila, here are the direct links:

Krishna’s Counsel – https://pothi.com/pothi/node/189597

Whip Of The Wild God – https://pothi.com/pothi/node/189598

So, if you live in India and love Eastern spiritual fiction, do check out these books and spread the word…the following link contains all links (print & ebook) specifically for Indian readers – https://miraprabhu.wordpress.com/mira-prabhu-all-links/#indian

Greetings from Arunachala, Shiva the Destroyer in the form of a mountain of fire that burns all that blocks us from knowing that we are the immortal and blissful Self!
2fbe52e3f0ca63e98c2e390f9906a6e8

7 Micro Windows into Krishna’s Counsel

51yxbpvna9lKRISHNA’S COUNSEL goes alive internationally today, September 3rd 2016!!! Here are the links, not just for this second novel in the Moksha Trilogy, but for the first, WHIP OF THE WILD GOD: A NOVEL OF TANTRA IN ANCIENT INDIA, which I recently took it into my head to burnish to a shimmering gold: 

Krishna’s Counsel on Amazon – getbook.at/KcOnAmzn
Krishna’s Counsel on all eBook stores – books2read.com/mpKC
Whip of the Wild God on Amazon – getbook.at/WwgOnAmzn
Whip of the Wild God on all eBook stores – books2read.com/mpWWG

Note: Please do not order a print copy from Amazon.in (Indian site) as there have been some print issues reported.

These memes below were designed by my dear friend, Atul Mehta, using quotes I selected from Krishna’s Counsel. The strikingly beautiful cover is the work of Mishi Bellamy, artiste extraordinaire (see here). Continue reading

I am no coward, O Krishna,” Arjuna muttered in despair…

14138969_521298861409469_33203630_oAlmost twenty years ago, my Manhattan-based literary agent planted in my consciousness the seed of a contemporary novel—and so began to flower the saga of a brilliant and rebellious Indian girl who grows up in 60s south India, and, against all odds, metamorphoses into a Spiritual Warrior when she is forced to go into mortal combat against a ruthless serial killer.

I wrote Krishna’s Counsel in bits and pieces as I traversed the globe, seeking the perfect womb within which to complete my creative and spiritual work. I put the seal on this second novel in the shadow of the sacred hill Arunachala, symbol of the pure consciousness which is the substratum of our true nature.

Thanks to our impulsive foray into Kindle Scout, you have all heard way too much about this “Mystical Novel of Obsession & Illumination”; if I had the sorcery to turn back the clock, I might have done things differently—and yet, as Lord Krishna himself might inform us with a twinkle in his divine eye, nothing is an accident and all events have far deeper purpose than we can conceive of at the time they happen.

Anyway, Krishna’s Counsel is finally making her international debut…and except for the print edition (POD) which will become available on Amazon.com on SEPTEMBER 3, 2016, all the e-book versions are ready for pre-order. Oh, and for those of you who enjoyed my first novel, Whip of the Wild God: A Novel of Tantra in Ancient India, or would like to read it now, please know that I decided to give her a final polish…and now Whip too is frolicking out in this mad, mad world, garbed in resplendent attire. Continue reading

THE DIRTY LITTLE SECRET

‘The Secret’—a ‘spiritual’ self-help documentary launched in Australia in 2006—hit the Western world with incredible impact, generating millions for its producers. I wrote the following article a year or so later but never published it. Today, although a thousand other scams have rushed in to take its place, the reasons why I reacted so negatively to it are still pertinent. The plethora of gross misinformation spreading across our planet has inspired me to write spiritual fiction, and all three of my novels in the MOKSHA TRILOGY (Whip of the Wild God, Krishna’s Counsel and Copper Moon Over Pataliputra—Whip is out and the other two novels are soon to be published) deal with the great eastern truths that helped me come to grips with reality.) So here goes….

9159ab7fd715aa61603466cadef10395In the summer of 2008, I lived in a delightful suburb located a twenty-minute drive from the White House in Washington D.C. A string of disappointments had driven me into a chasm of despair. Despite the spiritual tools I’d acquired over the decades, my state of consciousness had sunk into such a quicksand of self-doubt that I expected the bathroom mirror to crack every time I peered cautiously into it. At night, as breezes ruffled the branches of the majestic old trees surrounding that beautiful home, I would hear the fat lady screech, and know I was trapped within another dark night of the soul.

I called my friend Meredith who had moved to Taos, New Mexico. “I’ve got the perfect remedy for you, hon!” she cried when I mumbled the shameful details of my depression. “Watch The Secret! It will change everything for you!” Continue reading