- The first book in Spanish about the festival, largest in the world.
- The hindu traditions have many followers in the West.
- The author has a blog well-visited and influential.
- With a spread of illustrations to color.
Every twelve years, millions of pilgrims converge peacefully in Prayag (Allahabad), in the north of India, to participate in the religious festival more massive the planet. Come to take a bath purifier in the conjunction of three sacred rivers, all while being in the presence of the thousands of gurus, sadhus and yogis who offer their teachings in a public way.
After plunging almost two weeks in the Kumbha Mela, Naren Herrero recounts his experience with the freshness and the amenity of a story of travel; but with a great respect for the hindu tradition and a flawless base documentary and academic. Its pages detail key issues, such as the origin of the festival, the myths that surround it, the teachings of the masters or useful tips to attend future Kumbhas.
Presentation of KUMBHA MELA, in Barcelona
On the 9th day of April, Naren Herrero will present his book “Kumbha Mela” in Barcelona.
The event will count with the author of the book, Naren Herrero, the director of Editorial Kairós, Agustín Paniker and Swami Satyananda Saraswati, a Monk, a Hindu.
Presentation of Naren Herrero in your blog
Source: My book of Kumbha Mela published by Kairós
Exactly two years ago I was returning from my trip to the Kumbha Mela of Allahabad loaded of emotions, experiences, and with the public commitment to write a book about that event. Through A system of crowdfunding (collective financing), the donations and the support of different patrons of the world gave me the means to go to India and attend the festival spiritual largest in the world in quality of commentator and also as a pilgrim. The result of the blessed days spent in Allahabad, along with the several months pre-and post-research and documentation, is now available in the form of a paper book.
The title is Kumbha Mela: the spiritual celebration the world’s largest, has 240 pages, and has been published by Editorial Kairós, in Barcelona, which is a publisher in the prestigious themes in both eastern and spiritual, and that precisely this year marks 50 years of existence, with which I am very grateful. As far as we know is the first book in the Spanish language on this exciting topic.
If one reads English can find four or five texts on the topic, and if one knows hindi several more, but in Spanish is the first and, in addition, another feature that it has is that it presents a rather complete and rigorous of the celebration, taking and corroborating information from different sources. To understand the Kumbha Mela I had to read several books about diverse (and even contradictory), but reading this, where I separate the wheat from the chaff, one does not need to read another. Only you would be to visit the Kumbha in person, of course.
For those who do not know what it is about the Kumbha Mela, I explain it with words similar to those that appear on the back cover of the book:
“Every twelve years, millions of pilgrims converge peacefully in Prayag (Allahabad), in the north of India, to participate in the religious festival more massive the planet, in an ephemeral city, made of tents. The reason: to take a bath purifier in the conjunction of three sacred rivers; at the same time be in the presence of the thousands of gurus, sadhus and yogis who offer their teachings on the public, which includes the naga babas, ascetic generally held, that are naked with the body covered only ash”.
I spent ten days in the Kumbha Mela, and, from the respect for the hindu tradition alongside a strong evidence base and academic, narrate my experience with the amenity of a story of travel. In the style of ‘the Son of the Neighbor’, I combine technical information and rigorous with anecdotes, experiences and the simple vision of a western traveling and pilgrimage in India.
Beyond my own experiences and the pattern that generates my pilgrimage, the book details essential issues such as the origin of the festival (based on mythological stories and combinations are astronomical); the great myths that surround it (i.e., exaggerations, half-truths and misunderstandings); water pollution (the pollution of the sacred rivers such as crossroads of socio-spiritual in a world with increasingly less natural resources); the teachings of the masters(in the book the words of different personalities, spiritual); the location of the invisible river Sarasvati (because one of the three sacred rivers, it is invisible!); or useful tips to attend future Kumbhas (because after reading the book, it is likely that the reader will want to attend the next edition).
The book also features a glossary of sanskrit words, a section of literature (that includes documentaries, audio-visual) for those who want to deepen and maps and tables explanatory to understand the planetary alignments, the dates are conducive and the order of procession ritual of the festival.
I am not a person who goes around pretending to be self-praise but in this case I am satisfied with my job and I believe that the book has been very good and that is useful, rigorous, entertaining in general and is well written. These qualities, which were considered essential to any book, in addition to large extra details that make it outstanding.
On the one hand, the prologue to the book is by the writer and editor resident in India, Álvaro Enterría, an authority in matters indic and that I will always be indebted to them for their support with this work. The literary style of Alvaro is very direct and clear and, for this reason, I like it very much. In the prologue puts us in the Kumbha and gives us glimpses of his own personal experience in this great festival.
On the other hand, the Kumbha is highly photogenic and, if someone knows it, is in any case through images. Aware of this, we agreed with the book’s editor and director of Kairós, the well-known Agustín Paniker, that the book had two sheets of color photos (i.e., 30 images), to help the reader to position themselves better in an event that does not fit in the normal vision west and that can only happen in India.
As I am a man of letters, delegué the task of photography into a friend that I met at the Kumbha Mela: Alex Bütow is a professor of hatha yoga in Berlin and, in addition, he was a photojournalist in the past, so I’m very grateful for your snapshots of the festival and together we share as pilgrims.
At the level of image also should be noted the evocative front cover photograph, a work of the German photographer Wolfgang Weinhardt, who has a great artistic eye and human, and has been internationally awarded for other great photos of the Kumbha Mela. Many thanks to him for participating in this project.
The book is now available in all parts of Spain, especially in large libraries or in specialist bookshops, for example Altaïr, The Central, or House of the Book. As an option for those who don’t have a good bookstore nearby, the book can be orderedonline at Amazon, and received by mail in a few days. It costs 15 € in general.
For the american readers, it is expected that in three weeks the book will be distributed in Mexico, which will be the first south american country in it. For the rest of countries I have to ask a spiritual quality that is very basic: patience.
Probably Peru, Colombia and Chile are the following countries where to get the book, in two months perhaps. Argentina, where my mother looks forward to a copy, it will be the last country of the list for legislative issues and customs that neither the publisher nor I can handle. I don’t have a date certain yet because it is not dependent on us. As soon as there are new events I will be posting here or in the Facebook of the Child of a Neighbor.
To the united States, especially Miami, will take quite in reach, perhaps only in October 2015. To Venezuela, where I get a lot of love, I am sad to report that for now the book will not arrive due to logistical problems.
The official presentation of the book will be Thursday, April 9 in Barcelona, in the altair travel bookshop, at 19:00h. When you approach the date I’ll give more data.
In the meantime, I invite you to buy the book and read it, and for those who are in doubt or can not stand to have it between their hands, I breakthrough the first chapter. To read it or download it just click here.
I hope you like it, serve, or inspire.
About Naren Herrero
Naren Herrero is a spiritual seeker full-time and, as a consequence, a journalist and writer specializing in the culture and spirituality of India. Offers workshops and talks on yoga, philosophy and hindu mythology, and he writes a weekly column on these topics in your visited blog. In addition, he is a professor of yoga.