HarperCollins India to publish IDOLS: Unearthing the Power of Murti Puja

Wednesday, 6 September 2023 (17:56 IST)
New Delhi: 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."

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