Mohan Chaube leads a double life as a Brahmin priest and a radical professor, and comes to repudiate all religions, including his own. After settling down to watch racy videos sent to him in secret, he comes face to face with his own assumptions, and sets out to educate his once-clients and readers by weaving through Hindu mysteries, myths, rituals, rites, and festivals which wallow in sex and violence. He seeks to show how faith leads to irrational actions, and has undermined human rights, gender equality, and ethnic diversity. At the same time, he uses satire and humor to show the dark side of a religion followed by over a billion people, some of whom are amongst the best educated in the world.
"Religion-wise, philologically, and linguistically correct ... [this book is] a rare feat among writers." -- Michael Witzel, the Wales Professor of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University
"The Hindu priest: the scholarly and human experience of such an individual has never previously been recorded in literature.” -- Charles S.J. White, Professor Emeritus and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion, American University
“A piece of writing as dense as the jungle and foliage of the Himalayas and packed with action, learned allusions and philosophies ... forces a reader to finish it at one go. This novel is ambitious, poignant and remarkable.” -- Arup Chakraborty, Hindustan Times
“Best Books Award” Finalist, USA Book News.
"Although the work is subtitled " A Book Of Indian Religious Mysteries ," it reads more like a series of discrete vignettes, each revealing another facet of traditional belief or practice juxtaposed with the realities of modern life. While the author illustrates how rituals serve as the glue of family relationships and social values, he also narrates several messy collisions of religious tradition with contemporary lifestyles. The expansive scope of the work is impressive, covering a wide range of human relationships and life stages. His compass includes life from birth to death, commitment and infidelity, feminism and patriarchy, humor and sorrow. But even more remarkable is how he is able to use these situations to shed light on an equally broad range of Indian religious beliefs and practices, from Vedic cosmology to classical aesthetic theory. While the work stands well on its own, I can imagine that it would also make fine reading in an introductory course on Indian religions." -- David C. Swain, PhD, South Asian Languages and Civilizations
" Refreshing in its exploration of Indian mythology and tradition and also in the social influence these things have on us. The political message in the last part of the book, that "no war is holy," is one that I agree with and feel must be highlighted as one of the greatest wisdoms in the novel. There is so much more to say about this book, but I feel that giving it my highest recommendation will have to be sufficient." -- Heather Froeschl, author.
""The Dharma Videos of Lust is an engaging, educational read, particularly worthwhile for its extensive discussions of the Hindu faith." -- Ann T Simpson, The Reviewer
"With a light touch, a cheeky wit and a huge reservoir of information, Anoop Chandola has launched on a career in fiction, offering his readers a look at the culture, mythology, philosophy, history, religions and rituals of his native India." -- Arizona Daily Star
"...Fascinating, satirical and erudite, Chandola's novel touches on Hinduism, Sikhism, yoga, rationalism, religion, a woman's right to choose, and 9/11, creating a rich and ever-changing tapestry of experience. Each story becomes a thread added to the shining whole, as the past intersects the present with stories of pleasure, betrayal, lust and pain. Generous, humorous and full of linguistic pleasures, Chandola brilliantly melds the myths of ancient religions with the mysteries of modern life, immersing us in an entirely new and hypnotic world." -- Ellen Tanner Marsh, Best Selling Author, New York Times
"...Chandola's characters are routinely charming and endearing, insisting upon the possibilities of community, integrity and dignity over either blind ritual or capitulation to indivdualism. Here is a rare writer who gives us the benefit of wisdom born of careful, benign observation in multiple cultural locations, successfully addressing multiple audiences." -- Vik Bahl, PhD.