New Delhi [India], September 6: HarperCollins is delighted to announce the upcoming publication of the keenly anticipated companion volume to DHARMA, which has been a bestseller since its release. IDOLS, by Amish Tripathi and Bhavna Roy, is an insightful and thought-provoking exploration of the practice of murti puja - or idol worshipping, as some call it - and its deep relevance in the spiritual lives of religious people in India and around the globe. In ancient times, much of the world practised idol-worshipping, such as the Greco-Romans, Pharaonic Egyptians, Celts, Vikings, etc. but murti puja has faced severe intellectual and violent attacks over the last centuries, with the result that it has been wiped out from most parts of the world. Idol-worshipping cultures had their temples destroyed, their universities burnt to the ground, their people scattered. India is among the last surviving cultures that still practices murti puja, a spiritual path that is deeply philosophical and intuitively liberal.
Scheduled for release on 16 October, IDOLS weaves together well-loved stories from ancient traditions and simple explanations of religious philosophy from across the world in the form of a spirited conversation between a group of family and friends with a range of perspectives. It makes for an illuminating read for fans of spirituality and mythology, and anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of religion and its history on a global level.
Author Amish says, "I had the privilege of being brought up in a deeply traditional family. But one that was also deeply liberal. If you understand the principles of murti puja, you will know that this is not a contradiction, for with this path of spirituality you can be both traditional and liberal at the same time. Through this book, Bhavna didi and I are sharing what we learnt from our family, and through our reading, about why we are such proud murti pujaks."
Author Bhavna Roy says, "We live in a time when breakdown of traditions and communities, constant noise caused by technology, and environmental instability with climate change, are all combining to create a perfect storm. We have all kinds of material comforts, but the minds are full of chaos, stress and even depression. Harking back to an ancient spiritual way of life can offer solace, hope and the possibility of respectful harmony. With this book, Amish and I want to share some of our learnings about symbolism and loving devotion. We hope it finds resonance with you."
Poulomi Chatterjee, Publisher at HarperCollins India, says, "The practice of idol worship has incited controversy, invited intrigue and fascinated people over millennia. In IDOLS, Amish and Bhavna give readers clear-eyed perspectives on the topic while also regaling them with wonderful stories from mythologies across the world's ancient cultures, narrated with tremendous flair. We're delighted to be publishing a book that will be an enduring and invaluable resource for understanding more deeply the significance of different faiths and religious practices, as well as our individual inner spiritual lives."
Why do people worship idols?
Why does idol worship stubbornly persist despite many centuries of prejudice, bigotry and violence against it?
Can such worship help us find our true purpose in life and ultimately attain peace and prosperity?
In IDOLS, a companion volume to the bestselling Dharma, your favourite fictional characters are back, along with some new ones, to explore the essence and true meaning of murti puja.
In this insightful and thought-provoking book, Amish and Bhavna tackle burning questions about idol worship through simple, varied and astute interpretations of myths and religious texts. They unearth the symbolic essence of Ishta Devata, dive into the benefits of bhakti and tackle the importance of religion for people and society. In the process, they reveal the expansive philosophy behind the practice and how it can lead us to experience-intellectually, ideologically and, most importantly, in our hearts-the Oneness of God, through transformation, acceptance and love.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Amish is a 1974-born, IIM (Kolkata)-educated banker-turned-author. The success of his debut book, The Immortals of Meluha (Book 1 of the Shiva Trilogy), encouraged him to give up his career in financial services to focus on writing. Besides being an author, he is also an Indian-government diplomat, a host for TV documentaries, and a film producer. Amish is passionate about history, mythology and philosophy, finding beauty and meaning in all world religions. His books have sold more than 7 million copies and have been translated into over 20 languages. His Shiva Trilogy is the fastest-selling and his Ram Chandra Series the second-fastest-selling book series in Indian publishing history. You can connect with Amish here:
Bhavna Roy was educated in Mussoorie, Pune and Mumbai. After graduating in psychology from Mumbai University, she qualified for the Indian Administrative Services. Having trained partly at the LBSNAA, she quit and then worked first as a volunteer in a school for special children in Malegaon, and then in an NGO in Nashik called SOS. She is the wife of the late Himanshu Roy IPS. She lives in Mumbai.
ABOUT HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS INDIA
HarperCollins is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, having begun publishing in India in 1992. HarperCollins India publishes some of the finest writers from the Indian Subcontinent and around the world, publishing approximately 200 new books every year, with a print and digital catalogue of more than 2,000 titles across 10 imprints. Its authors have won almost every major literary award including the Man Booker Prize, JCB Prize, DSC Prize, New India Foundation Award, Atta Galatta Prize, Shakti Bhatt Prize, Gourmand Cookbook Award, Publishing Next Award, Tata Literature Live! Award, Gaja Capital Business Book Prize, BICW Award, Sushila Devi Award, Sahitya Akademi Award and Crossword Book Award. HarperCollins India also represents some of the finest publishers in the world including Harvard University Press, Gallup Press, Oneworld, Bonnier Zaffre, Usborne, Dover and Lonely Planet. HarperCollins India has won the Publisher of the Year Award four times at Tata Literature Live! in 2022, 2021, 2018 and 2016, and at Publishing Next in 2021 & 2015. HarperCollins India is a subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers.
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