Book Reviews - Singing the guru electric
by Satish Purohit
I am a big fan of Arundhathi Subramaniam’s poetry, which is all metaphor, music and rapier light. There is magic in the way she sees the ordinary and in the way she conveys it. Having read most of her published work, I was a little surprised when this biography of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev landed on my desk. I did remember reading her interview of the guru a few months ago and had wondered then if she had crossed the ‘line’. She is not the ‘guru type’ at all. ‘I thought gurus happened to other people’ she writes in the very first line of her introduction to the book.
My point, exactly.
The book held my attention to the last page. The narrative communicates a certain sense of adventure, a feeling of being on the brink of a big leap. The book documents the life of a much-born master – Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. He, the book says, has returned yet again to fulfil a mission – the creation of a dhyanalinga. The lingam, which is Lord Shiva himself, will remain alive for eternity to teach and illuminate all those who call upon it. The book has a lot that keeps you gripped – disembodied souls waiting for liberation, a love story that spills over lifetimes and a much-born master who enjoys fast bikes and racy jokes. Not stuff you expect in the autobiography of a guru. Comparisons with the Autobiography of a Yogi are inevitable but this book touches me even more because it discusses times closer to our own and also because its story continues to unfold even as we breathe.
“I did not want the blind certainty of the believer. But neither did I want the comfortable uncertainty of the committed agnostic. I wanted the clarity of one who knew,” Subramaniam writes.
After having sampled kriya yoga, vipassana and attending talks by a well-known Vedantin in Mumbai, she continued to look for a living master who would be for her the genuine article. It was in May 2004 that she finally met her guru at a talk but she continued to harbour doubts. “A picture of him on a motorcycle in a Sunday newspaper supplement convinced me that he was also far too macho. My kind of spiritual teacher, I told myself, would have something unmistakably feminine about him (even if he’d committed the unfortunate oversight of being born male).”
Subramaniam is a disciple but she has clearly not given up doubting. She is in awe of the Sadhguru but does not appear to have gone on the unquestioning horizontal mode.
A delicious read. Not a book to be missed.
|HOME | SUBSCRIBE | WALLPAPERS | ADVERTISING | POLICY | PRACTITIONERS | WRITERS | PEOPLE | ABOUT | CONTACT|