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Overlook Press, 2002 - Fiction - 251 pages
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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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Psychoanalyst Kakar is the author of several works of nonfiction and an earlier novel (The Ascetic of Desire: A Novel of the Kamasutra) and is a cotranslator, with Wendy Doniger, of Vatsyayana's ... Read full review


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About the author (2002)

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.

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