book cover

16 July, 2022

Book Review

by Arpit

Book:Aghora 1, At the left hand of God
Author:Robert E. Svoboda
Publisher:Rupa Publications

Call it destiny or luck. But believe me, it is one of the best books I found. A book that changed my viewpoint towards seeing this world. I learnt about the power of devotion towards God, karmas, love and much more.


"Aghora I, At the Left Hand of God" is a book about Aghori Vimalananda, the guru of Author Robert E. Svoboda. The book starts with an explanation of tantra in the preface section. There is a reason why accumulating power without eliminating ego is the dangerous path in the tantric practice. The author explains it simply and clearly.

Motherly love is another beautiful phase of this book. Vimalananda encounters different sadhus and Aghories throughout his life, and there is a fantastic explanation of the working of Maa Shamshan Tara.

“If Nature wants you to succeed at something a situation will be created whereby you will request the right thing, knowingly or not.” ― Robert E. Svoboda, AGHORA, At the Left Hand of God

The best thing about the book is its narration and straightforward writing style. I never felt bored while reading the book. It also contains some ancient short stories to explain specific processes discussed in the book.


The book begins with the introduction of the Aghora community. Description of Maa Shamshan Tara is the most beautiful part of the book. There are two separate chapters on Shiva and Shakti, respectively. A karmic debt is named rnanubandhana in the book. The Law of karma is linked with Newton's law of motion, where each action causes an equal but opposite reaction. There is a detailed description of the relationship between a guru and sishya and the value of devotion in life.

“Never be like a prostitute, going from guru to guru, deity to deity, never select¬ ing one as a true lover. Be like the Cataka bird, that drinks water only when the Swati asterism is in the sky. Never be happy anywhere but where your beloved is, whatever you may choose to love. Then you can get Siddhi—not otherwise.” ― Robert E. Svoboda, Aghora: At the Left Hand of God

The author also discusses the use of intoxicants by Aghories. There is a beautiful description of why Aghora is called a left-hand path. A fascinating and mysterious chapter on spirits is mind-blowing. The author also describes the story of Tulsidas finding Ramachandran with the help of a spirit.

The technique to witness God in non-living objects through devotion is Avishkara. It is explained with a beautiful story about Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Telang Baba.


The people influenced by western culture might not believe in the things mentioned in the book. But there is a tremendous gap between our culture and western culture.

“the moment of death is fixed at the moment of birth.” ― Robert E. Svoboda, AGHORA, At the Left Hand of God

It is a book filled with a lot of spiritual knowledge. You should definitely give it a try. Have a nice day.


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