Religion is an arena of psychedelic influence in human beings. Over the years a lot of interpretations have been made on the the stories of gods and goddesses and their fight with evil. India and Greece are probably the only counties that worship women. It is a matter of shame that a country that worship women is now known for the increasing number of rapes and slut shaming. Nevertheless the blind faith we, Indians keep in the goddesses is beyond doubt the strength of the masses. Mata Vaishnodevi temple is on such world renowned Shrine near Jammu. Author, through the book, brings to the readers the pious experience of eight devotees when goddess gave her Darshan and delivered an enlightening talk to them individually as well as collectively.
The gathering is of a merchant,an aged man, a childless couple, a prostitute, a scientist, an artist, and a seeker. The book starts on a note when Goddess talk to the group about the symbolic representation of Lion, Langurs and Bow & Arrow in the pictures and tales about the Goddess. The tales of Mahishasura and that of Goddess’s encounter with Rama are explained in a different light. So is the story of Bhairon Nath and the reason why Goddess asked her worshipers to visit the Bhairon Nath temple before leaving. How mythology and religious beliefs are contorted to suit the materialistic and egoistic needs of man is explained with finesse in the book. While the learned pandits define the tale as Bhairon Nath being worshiped due to his learned status, Goddess reveals the real reason why she had make such a custom.
While addressing the gathering individually, Goddess time and again reinforces why it is important to approach her without any personal and selfish needs. Author has unequivocally mocked the greedy and inconsiderate double standards of the people who visits her shirne but laying bare the flagrant demanding of getting what they want in return of the prayers and praises one showers on her. While Goddess blesses her children, she reinforces again and again the she would shower her blessing only on those who deserves. It is a pointer to every mother who thinks that giving your children whatever they want is the quintessential ultimate motherhood. Goddess tells that a real mother give her children what they need, and not what they want.
The book is an eye opener to reach a philosophical bliss through a religious path. The representation of spending nine months in the cave before assassinating Bhairon Nath is brilliant. The eight devotees mentioned in the book represents practically every people in an enshrouded manner. While every chapter, sentence and word is brimful of knowledge, lack of proofreading is a major turn off. A round of proofreading would have made the book a nearly perfect one.
One can question the authenticity of the ‘call from Goddess’ since such a call does not go to someone who had not heard of the Goddess but as a believer I, myself, have felt a incomprehensible temptation to visit the shrine but being a resident of Kerala, it seems quite difficult for me to fulfill the desire. Nevertheless the book served as a invitation from the Goddess for me. For the non-believers, the book has given an open call for the intellectual enlightening.
I recommend the book to all the readers who are believers, and non believers for the book is not merely a talk by the Goddess but if has a deep philosophical insight.