Read of the Week - Shaligram Pilgrimage in the Nepal Himalayas by Holly Walters
Ten reasons why you should read Shaligram Pilgrimage in the Nepal Himalayas by Holly Walters
The perfect blend of science and spirituality covers the origin of the rituals and traditions that have come to be associated with the sacred Shaligram rock
The whole book is written like a journey where the author takes the reader through the origin and evolution of spiritual practices surrounding the sacred rock
The metaphors that Holly Walters uses in connecting the reader with some of those unique practices. For instance, she compares the transformation of ammonite fossils into Shaligram rocks with rebirth
The sheer volume of research that has gone into unearthing how three branches of spiritual thought or even religions came to invest in according a spiritual position to these scared rocks is breathtaking, to say the least
If you are into ammonite rocks, fascinated with Shaligram rocks, or wish to understand how nature is closely integrated with religion (at least in South Asia), then this book is for you
This is the only book of this kind that is easily available to read. Though the author does reference some more books, I couldn’t find those easily
Beyond the journey, symbolism, and spiritual aspects, Holly Walters also makes it a point to talk about the practical aspects of owning one of these sacred rocks
The eighth chapter is one of the best chapters in the book. When you read the book, you will know why
Shaligram in many ways reveals a form of mobility of thoughts, practices, and belief systems across space, time, and generations. This is something that will stay with you once you put the book down
The narrative is flawless, rendered in a semi-story format
What to watch out for
Fossil ammonites died away almost 66 million years ago but continue to be alive as spiritual totems and way more
Holly’s narrative takes sudden turns so unless you are paying attention, you might end up with a new section in a chapter suddenly without warning
The way Holly Waters has balanced the spiritual and scientific aspects of Shaligram, rendered with clockwork precision
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Book Review by Prayukth K V, Co-Founder MyBookWorks
A published author and speaker, Prayukth is passionate about books and their potential to transform minds.
He is a niche tech marketer by profession and lives to read and travel among other things.