From the author of the acclaimed first novel, The Ascetic of Desire, comes a book that is "subtle yet deeply tantalizing" (Asian Age). Sudhir Kakar, a renowned psychoanalyst, brings a penetrating understanding of the human psyche to his new novel while exploring the nuances of philosophy and religion.
Gopal-or Ram Das Baba, as his devotees refer to him-is the son of a devout Brahmin family who has spent a lifetime seeking the ultimate truth of spiritual knowledge. His journey as a mystic is filled with illuminating visions, severe tribulations, and an unwavering faith, and he fulfills his destiny as a highly evolved Sadhu through ordeals of monastic bliss, tantric awakening, madness, and transexuality. As his life nears its end he meets a young man who belongs to a very different India. A profound relationship develops.
In an age that dismisses divine vision as hallucination, and the desire for a union with God as a symptom of mental illness, Sudhir Kakar's richly detailed novel explores the mind-bending issues that plague the life of the modern thinker. Here are the struggles between emotion and reason; faith and logic-the fundamental questions that carry one from agony to ecstasy and back again.
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Sudhir Kakar is a distinguished writer and noted psychoanalyst. His books have been translated into many languages and sold throughout the world. The recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, he has taught at several leading universities in India, Europe, and the United States. His many honors include the Goethe Medal and the Boyer Prize of the American Anthropologic Association.From Publishers Weekly:
Set in 20th-century India, yet based on the historical narratives of 19th-century mystics, this intriguing bildungsroman is a free-floating excursion into the psychological paradoxes of the pursuit of nirvana. As Gopal, a young Brahmin and aspiring sadhu (monk), grows up in a 1930s village, his feminine appearance and strong attachment to his mother indicate his ambiguous sexuality. Signs of his saintliness are evident from the beginning as well, and his ascension to the position of Paramahamsa Ram Das Baba is heavily foreshadowed. Jumping ahead several decades, we meet Vivek, a worldly, well-educated student wrestler who visits Ram Das Baba on a whim and is shocked by the warmth and intensity of his welcome. After making it clear that Vivek, too, shows signs of a spiritual calling¢including a keen disinterest in women¢the narrative returns to Gopal's youth and recalls his captivating ascent to sainthood. Central to this transformation are talking bronze idols, tantalizing visions of the sex act, possession by female goddesses and six-week meditation fasts. As in The Ascetic of Desire, Kakar's fascinating novel that doubled as an essay on sex, the author's greatest strengths lie in his ability to portray the emotional conflicts resulting from physical experiences. Simple daily events and godly revelations are narrated in the same gentle, vivid prose. Although Kakar's sympathies and well-honed talent are generously devoted to the exploration of his characters' mystic experiences, his clear awareness of their interpretation in Western culture can border on irony. At times, his half-grounded, half-fantastic narration causes his characters to seem naOve and misguided. Whether this is part of the tangled web Kakar weaves or simply an unfortunate consequence of his attempt to combine story and philosophy remains open to interpretation, like much of this lusciously imagined novel.
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Descrizione libro Penguin Books Australia, 2001. Condizione libro: Very Good. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Codice libro della libreria GRP72340953
Descrizione libro Penguin Books Australia, 2001. Condizione libro: Good. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Codice libro della libreria GRP72636360
Descrizione libro Condizione libro: Good. Book Condition: Good. Codice libro della libreria 97806709115854.0
Descrizione libro Condizione libro: Very Good. Book Condition: Very Good. Codice libro della libreria 97806709115853.0
Descrizione libro Viking. Condizione libro: As New. "Dying, Gopal, Ram Das Baba to his devotees, leaves his disciple and closest companion with the essence of his spiritual knowledge. It is the ultimate truth that a lifetime of seeking has revealed to him, made him a Paramahamsa, the most highly evolved of all sadhus. "Ecstasy is a story about the making of a mystic and his astonishing experiences on the spiritual path in an age that dismisses divine visions as hallucinations, and the desire for a union with God as a symptom of mental illness. It is also the story of the rare relationship between two very different men brought together by a fateful meeting. The older man, steeped in the mystical mood of complete surrender and devotion, becomes the unlikely guru of the younger, who has grown up on a diet of western rationalism and the belief that man is the master of his own fate. The guru opens for his disciple a window to the soul, and in the process triggers a difficult private battle-between emotion and reason; faith and logic; the spirit of submission that is the hallmark of bhakti and he militancy of religious pride. "Sudhir Kakar, the best-selling author of The Ascetic of Desire, a novel about sex and sexuality, has written a richly layered and revelatory book about the other great theme of humankind: religion." (jacket)No. 23134 251 pp. Codice libro della libreria 38766
Descrizione libro Penguin Books Australia, 2001. Condizione libro: As New. Ships from the UK. Book in almost Brand New condition. Codice libro della libreria GRP96667190