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The Goddess and the Guru
The Goddess and the Guru

The Goddess and the Guru

A Spiritual Biography of Sri Amritananda Natha Saraswati



416 Pages, 8.25 x 8.25

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB, Mobipocket, PDF

Trade Paper, $34.95 (US $34.95) (CA $44.95)

Publication Date: May 2017

ISBN 9780997946604

Rights: US & CA

45th Parallel Press (May 2017)


eBook Editions Available

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Price: $34.95


Nearly four decades ago, an intense series of spiritual visions led one of India's top nuclear physicists, until then a religious skeptic and man of science, to walk away from his prestigious post at the heart of the country's missile-defense complex. Retreating into the remote jungles of eastern India, he discovered the remains of a centuries-old Tantric Mother Goddess shrine and embarked on a life-altering quest to revive and expand it – eventually attracting tens of thousands of followers from across India and around the globe. Part biography and part spiritual guidebook, this book chronicles the astonishing, inspiring – and yet deeply human – life of Dr. Nishtala Prahlada Sastry (later best known as Sri Amritananda Natha Saraswati, or simply "Guruji"); his triumphs and disappointments, public successes, and personal crises. In addition to Amritananda's life story, the book also offers a generous selection from his writings, lectures, ritual guides and poetry – a treasure trove for those who wish to significantly deepen their spiritual practice while remaining fully engaged with the world.


"The Goddess tradition lives and breathes in Michael Bowden's riveting account of Dr. Prahlada Sastry (Sri Amritananda Natha Saraswati, or Guruji), a pioneering physicist who passionately engaged the provocative goddess of India's Sri Vidya tradition. A must-read for explorers of Tantra, mysticism, and the feminine divine."  —Linda Johnsen, author, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism

"Any serious seeker after truth will find in Amritananda's story a wonderful example of just how vivid life can become when you enter into a real relationship with the Divine."  —Dr. Robert Svoboda, author, Prakriti: Your Ayurvedic Constiution

"Riveting storytelling and revolutionary teachings . . . on the miraculous possibilities that open up when we bring our spiritual and worldly lives together."  —Sarah Tomlinson, author, Nine Designs for Inner Peace

"An important book if you're interested in authentic Tantra, especially ´Srividya Sakta Tantra." —Christopher Hareesh Wallis, author, Tantra Illuminated

"Pay close attention: The Goddess and the Guru has the potential to realign your world."  —Roxanne Kamayani Gupta, Ph.D., author, A Yoga of Indian Classical Dance

 "Here we find the life and legacy of a spiritual innovator—and nuclear scientist, no less—whose existence was as Goddess-filled as it was insistently human, a case study in sacred wonder carved by the challenges of everyday life. A page-turning gem of a book!"  —Corinne Dempsey, author, The Goddess Lives in Upstate New York

 "Just as an ocean cannot be held in one's palm, a life cannot be fully contained in a book. But what readers of The Goddess and the Guru will glean is an experience — even if only for a short while—of what this particular ocean truly felt like. And that glimpse can become the prod, the catalyst, by which they might carry their individual sadhana forward."  —Anantalakshmi Pisipati, eldest daughter of Sri Amritananda Natha Saraswati

Author Biography

Michael Bowden is an attorney and the director of communications for Roger Williams University School of Law. He is a former reporter for The New York Times and has written for newspapers and magazines ranging from the ABA Journal to India Today. He is also the recipient of the Ross Award for his legal journalism. He lives in Warwick, Rhode Island. Sri Chaitanayananda is the founder of the Sri Rajarajeswari Temple and has dedicated his life to preserving and spreading the knowledge of Devi worship. He lives in Rush, New York.