Book : The Tantric Curse
Author: Anupama Garg
Publishers: Rupa Publication
Blame it on television serials and movies, the word ‘Tantric’ invokes more often an image of a man with evil look in his eyes and unkempt long white hair dressed in red toga performing black magic with bones of dead around him…
I remember many years ago travelling through Orchha, we stopped at a place opposite a temple complex which was unusually dark for a temple. My fellow traveller just hinted that it was frequented by ‘tantrics’ and not very safe place to be around. We naturally did not stop for much longer at the spot.
When the team of the Tantric Curse contacted me for the review, I was at first sceptical as I hardly knew anything about ‘tantra vidya’. I thought the book would be like some religious handbook describing the guiding principles.
I was surprised however to read the blurb. The story is about an eight year old Rhea whose parents are killed in an unfortunate event and the little girl lands at the doorstep of a tantric’s house of worship in a state of trance. The tantric Satya, a learned man and devotee of Goddess Kamakhya takes the girl under his fold realising her intrinsic unusual faculties. The girl is blessed with a vision and can foretell events that might happen in future. The tantric’s own lineage is weighed down by a curse.
As Rhea grows up and is trained in principles of the ancient order of religion, it depends on her whether the curse would break or she too would succumb to the curse. Her journey to master the knowledge and discipline of ‘Tantra’ takes her through difficult times. Overcoming all challenges and hurdles she achieves success and masters the knowledge of Tantra.
The story keeps the reader intrigued as the mystery of what the curse is revealed much later. The subtle love story in the background adds a flavour to the story of learning and discipline. The story is sprinkled with information on Tantric knowledge and practices without forcing its beliefs on the reader. Most times tantric vidya because of lack of information is considered akin to black magic. As the ancient practice of transferring the knowledge to a chosen and deserving disciple is followed hence the awareness about this order of religion is surrounded by mystery and rumours.
The book tries to dispel common man’s fears associated with the practices of tantra with simple subtle suggestions. I found the book quite interesting though I am not sure whether real tantrics with genuine knowledge exist in today’s world. And if they do I would like to meet and understand the practice properly.
A good read with easy pace.