Book Review: ‘Daiva’ by K. Hari Kumar

A Journey Into the Mystical World of Spirit Worship

Book Title: Daiva: Discovering the Extraordinary World of Spirit Worship
Author: K. Hari Kumar
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Number of Pages: 272
ISBN: 978-9354899744
Date Published: May 13, 2024
Price: INR 290

Daiva by K. Hari Kumar Book Cover

Book Review

K. Hari Kumar’s book “Daiva: Discovering the Extraordinary World of Spirit Worship” takes readers on an educational journey into the hidden realm of spirit worship. Kumar, well-known for his best-selling books, delves into the fascinating world of powerful immortals and their amazing rituals. This book is renowned for its extensive study, which allows readers who are unfamiliar with the subject to grasp it. Kumar’s innovative storytelling approach brings the secretive ceremonies to life on paper, expertly transforming minute details into intriguing storylines.

The book begins with an account of Tulu Nadu’s well-known Kola dance performances, in which dancers request Daiva, or sacred spirits, to take possession of them. These dynamic, visually appealing performances contribute to dispute resolution, direction, and decision-making. Kumar uses this perspective to investigate other Daiva, such as Panjurli, the beneficent boar spirit, and Bobbarya, the sea guardian. Each spirit’s unique character and story are thoroughly explored, providing readers with a complete understanding of their significance in regional cultures.

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The book is intriguing and is divided into two sections: “In Search of Satyolu,” which recounts Kumar’s path and investigations, and “The Stories of Satyolu,” which eloquently relates the story of these great spirits. Kumar’s remarks and personal experiences give the book a unique flavor that distinguishes it from other nonfiction books. Readers are attracted by his analysis of Tulu language and culture, as well as his detailed descriptions of Kola performances. Readers will have an instructive experience as the significance of each aspect of these performances is meticulously examined, from the materials used to the spirituality represented.

Daiva” is more than just a book; it’s an invitation to accompany the author and partake in the sensations and insights he experiences along the route. Kumar’s ability to combine well-researched facts with personal stories adds credibility and depth to the narrative. This book is an invaluable addition to any library, providing insight into the intriguing world of spirit worship as well as the rich culture of Tulu Nadu. It dispels myths, fosters understanding, and creates a deep relationship between readers and the practices and stories it presents, making it a must-read for everyone interested in folklore and the paranormal.

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