This is a very nice book- handsomely produced, nicely printed. The lay out and design are so neat and beautiful- unclutterd, serene, flowing so beautifully. Once you take it in hand, you don't feel like putting it down! The selection includes the representative works of the legends of the Bhakti cult from across India. Those who have read and relishshed them in the original are not likely to be satisfied with any translation, but this is a good introduction for others who may not know the original .The notes on the poets are precise and convey the main points. I am happy that the editor has not fought shy of mentioning the legends or miraculous causes of conversion of the saints. After all, real devotion is not produced by cerebral turns. I only wish that the editor had listed the first lines of the originals,so that we could have found them more easily.Under the 'Sources', I noticed one slip: For Manikkavacakar, poems of Nammalvar have been mentioned (p268). I also wish the publishers had gone in for more durable binding (at least half calico) as this book is likely to be read frequently, and treasured for long! Not the least, Amazon made a nice pre-publication offer: a real service in this season of festivals and blessedness.This book is a gem, not to be missed by devotees, lovers of poetry or good literature.
Call me dim-witted, but never in my life I could understand or relate to poetry (except Plath's works), until this year when Bhakti poems engulfed me. And it all began with reading 'Eating God', a collection of poems by mystic poets of India. Bhakti is a 'strange disease' and as Kabir wrote, "Only someone struck by it, knows the pain." As I read, I cried in pain and joy, could relate to the anger, got bewildered, laughed out loud (mostly at Tukaram's poems, "Look! I am a grocer by profession. You can't cheat me at a bargain."), and marvelled at the art that questioned social injustice ranging from caste discrimination (Narasinh Mehta) to untouchability during menstruation (Soyarabai). What is this Bhakti really? In her delightful introductory essay, Arundhati Subramanian writes, "Everyone has known it. Many choose to forget, defer, deny or dilute it." How to find it? By looking within and opening up the box of treasure. Sometimes, it needs poetry. In short, 'Eating God' is absolutely delicious.
This book definitely illuminates one about the flavours of mystical poetry. This book is a compilation of poetry by prominent bhakti saints which gives clarity in understanding various aspects of mysticism.