21 October, 2020

Depth Charge To Shambala

Maitreya Buddha’s birth leads to a fantasy-laden dive into the world of Buddhist myth, populated by yakshas and asurs

Depth Charge To Shambala

Fantasy has become the chosen medium of escape from the mundanity of the quotidian world. Tolkien began it and then C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling tra­nsported it to the world of children, where it seemed to be an easier fit with its wizardry and surreal experiences. Charu Singh takes fantasy to the sphere of Buddhist mythology with her two volumes on the Maitreya, Path of the Swan and The Golden Dak­ini. The two books tell the story of the birth of the Maitreya Buddha, who comes to bring divine love and salvation to the world of mortals in the ‘Fourth Age’.

Singh begins with two characters, Lama Ozier and his disciple Tashi, who gets very worried when the aged lama disappears. From the disappearance comes a vision of the future, which starts the lama off on a quest accompanied by Tashi. Into the idyllic world of what seems to be Sikkim, with its hills and shady trees, come a rush of black shamans, as mantras begin to battle  mantras. Jeeps swivel off the road with no explanation and an American called Hammersmith makes an appearance...



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