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49 Reviews
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves 10 stars, not 5!!!
This is a most profound and sensational book I've ever read. It brings to light the "dark side" or the "left hand" and illumines us as to how this "dark side" is as valid a part of God and Creation as the "bright side" is. It describes the journeys of the Tantric adept Aghori Vimalananda through realms of existence far removed from the mundane world, and hidden from most...
Published on October 17, 2002

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the casual reader ( In my opinion)
This book is a bit disturbing , yet I can understand its value of the left handed path. There is no doubt
that vimalananda ( vimala + ananda) was a special sadhu here on this good earth. His experiences
are way beyond the avg. seekers experiences, mind set, or common frame of reference one would
see in the West.
It is my opinion this book should be...
Published 12 months ago by Frank-in-SanDiego


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, February 22, 2007
By 
Sivakumar Patibanda (Pleasanton, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: AGHORA, At the Left Hand of God (Aghora) (v. I) (Paperback)
For those of us who grew up in India during the days prior to influence of western pop culture (60's and 70's), "Aghora" may sound familiar, even plausible! AGHORA, At the Left Hand of God is a book for those who are ready for this kind of spirituality. It can shock and repulse a reader who is unaware. I was disturbed by some of the contents of this book and suspected exaggeration - mainly because I too had put the ideas down to ancient Indian folklore and stuff for movies of the black and white era; but a lot of it finally makes sense if one reads other books on the subject (I admit that I still have many nagging questions). This book explores several aspects of Trantric Hinduism and explodes popular myths. It makes good reading while providing in-depth views of concepts like Rnanubandhana , time etc. Robert E Svoboda has done a great service in narrating this story of his Master.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Honest and Powerful Book I Had Ever Read!!!, April 28, 2004
By 
Sadhvi (Ft.Lauderdale, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: AGHORA, At the Left Hand of God (Aghora) (v. I) (Paperback)
If I were never to read another book, for the rest of my life, I would be content with the knowledge I gathered from this book.
No other publication has aspired me in such height and inspired in me such depth. The inherent message in this book is that all things, no matter how vulgar or offensive, are all worthy of our love and consideration. I am grateful for this Divine Mastery...
OM GURU OM
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange, highly readable and entertaining - food for thought, February 20, 2013
By 
A. Walters (Benton Harbor, MI) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: AGHORA, At the Left Hand of God (Aghora) (v. I) (Paperback)
Written by one of today's Western experts in all things Vedic, Dr. Svoboda is highly respected. He spent eight years with an Aghora yogi and writes about the man's life experiences and thoughts on the Aghora's tantric practices. The Preface and Introduction gives a lot of crucial information about Vedic thought and Dr. Svoboda's reasoning and approach to writing this book, as well as the nature of his relationship with the aghori, Vimalananda.

People who are a little familiar with Vedic philosophy, either Ayurveda, Joyotish or Yoga, will get the most out of this book as familiar terms will be expanded upon in a different light. Dr. Svoboda writes about Vimalanda's experiences as if the reader was experiencing Vimalanda as he did, a student and friend so you get this kind of personal storytelling experience where you have to decide how much to "believe" or not in terms of bending reality. I mean some of the ways Vimalananda lived his life are what I imagine a schizophrenic experiences and yet the man had a firm grip on reality as well. The book gives tremendous insight into a practice Westerners can't really imagine or at least for me (a middle-aged Midwestern woman). The thrust with Tantra is embracing and working with all the ideas and practices most people shun on their journey to enlightenment; the Aghori almost exploits them to reach the same outcome.

I've been learning about Buddhism (which has roots in Tantra) and Ayurveda as well as Yoga and Joyotish. I found this book fascinating and very thought-provoking. On a superficial level, it was entertaining. Vimalananda is at the least, an extraordinary character, colorful and enjoyable but also challenging to his students and mystifying. I'm sure this could be a most encouraging book for many people who are sensitive, who have insights into the spirit world, who may have some psychosis or schizophrenic themselves or someone they know as this book dispels the fear and terror that many Westerners reserve for the supernatural or unexplained, unacceptable tendencies we all have or experience to some degree.

I plan on re-reading this book for its depth of wisdom and to grasp more of what Vimalananda is trying to teach. I hope this was a helpful review.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book(Series) on Indian Spirituality in English, October 29, 2012
By 
This review is from: AGHORA, At the Left Hand of God (Aghora) (v. I) (Paperback)
This is one of the best books about Indian Spirituality written in English. It is packed with so many insights which is difficult to find in any other book on Spirituality. Dr. Svoboda has done a marvelous job, and a great service to mankind, by explaining all this knowledge in such simple language. Familiarity with any Indian language will help to understand the concepts better. Normally in India Aghora is looked upon as a wicked science. Thanks for shattering that myth. Though one may not agree with all what is written here, that happens with all books on spirituality, given the difficulty in grasping concepts. But still the best book. This also holds true for the other books in this series. In fact this book/series, can be said to be a great compilation of all Indian Spirituality. And I hope people will stop using the word Hindu :-) very well explained.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An adventure in the Mindfields, March 10, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: AGHORA, At the Left Hand of God (Aghora) (v. I) (Paperback)
A very blunt & bitter book. Shook the very foundations of my world. A scary & haunting book and should not be read if you are not open minded & tolerant because the contents of this book will make you a lunatic. It has made me mad. I live in the same city as Vimalananda i.e. Bombay & quite near Malabar Hill. The area where his childhood mansion was. The contents of the book are authentic & it is the esoteric knowledge which is so zealously guarded by the yogis of India. After reading the book even I want to be an Aghori but I am still waiting for my teacher.....I hope he comes soon. I am 21.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sex magick, karma, necromancy, the transmutation of feces..., June 14, 2002
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This review is from: AGHORA, At the Left Hand of God (Aghora) (v. I) (Paperback)
Wow! A first-person account of the life of an aghora, a hindu mystic who has made it his life's mission to rise above fear and disgust and embrace reality as a seamless, non-dualist whole, paradoxes'n'all. Included here are many amusing and entertaining discussions of sex magick, karma, necromancy, the transmutation of feces into roast chicken, and a host of other off-beat topics. This book would worth the price of purchase for this insight alone: ...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Un Answered Questions, March 5, 2000
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This review is from: AGHORA, At the Left Hand of God (Aghora) (v. I) (Paperback)
Having read all the three volumes of Aghora by Dr Svaboda, there is no doubt in my mind about the authenticity of contents. However, Dr Svaboda being in touch with his etheral freinds is in much better position to address the unanswered questions, like what was the origin of Cycle of Karma, why are we all here, where are we ultimately destined for and similar other questions.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and full of wisdom, December 31, 1997
By 
mrkevkc@rt66.com (Albuquerque, New Mexico) - See all my reviews
This review is from: AGHORA, At the Left Hand of God (Aghora) (v. I) (Paperback)
This book is beautifully written and full of wit, wisdom, and humor. I found the tales and lessons written in the words of the Aghori Yogi Vimalananda to be inspiring and life changing.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, as accurate a presentation of tantra as anyone can portray., January 21, 2005
This review is from: AGHORA, At the Left Hand of God (Aghora) (v. I) (Paperback)
This book cuts through all of the west's fraudulent,romanticized notions about what is Tantra, & what is not. A lovingly executed offering to Ma Tara & Vimalananda ( Robert Svoboda's guru).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anecdotes and Memoirs from an Alternate World, August 12, 2013
This review is from: AGHORA, At the Left Hand of God (Aghora) (v. I) (Paperback)
Anecdotes and Memoirs from an Alternate World

This is a fun, fast read. Even though it is categorised under "Religion" genre. I loved this one and read it in just 2 days since I got hold of it. The only comparison to the mystic tales of miracles and the miraculous mentioned in this book is another great titled "Autobiography of a Yogi" by the genius Sri Paramahansa Yogananda who was a disciple of Benares Saint Sri Lahiri Mahasaya.

The anecdotes are fantastical and larger than any life you can imagine. The introduction and preface warn us against offensive content. But I think that is Dr. Svoboda talking like a typical Westerner assuming that these things will offend the reader. Maybe it will offend the politically correct prudent Western audience. As a common man in India, I found nothing in it - not a single incident, event nor character as offensive.

This book is praiseworthy for its honest evaluation and discussion and merits in recollecting historical or mythological knowledge. I hope the retarded idiot named "Amish Tripathi" who wrote the useless and sacrilegious Shiva Trilogy reads this and dies in shame at his infidel behaviour towards a living God.

Aghora: At the left hand of God is a lively narration. It is written by disciple of Vimalananda which is Dr. Svoboda. But the chapters are written in confessional first person perspective.

So it is like hearing the anecdotes and life story of Vimalananda directly from him.

Those who think this book defames Hinduism are conditioned by the colonialism of Muslim Mughals parda system and Victorian British prudence. Amish with his Shiva Trilogy is the defamer of all Hindu Gods and sects and religion itself.

When you read this - one thing is crystal clear to any reader: "Everything mentioned here is either 100% true or Everything mentioned here is 100% false".

There is no in-between, no grey area, no selective belief systems. You have to accept everything in it as true or everything as false.

The real identity of the Aghori Vimalananda is hidden as his disciple Dr. Svoboda was ordered by his Guru and mentor to do so. If he betrays his teacher to reveal names and locations then Karmic consequences would influence Dr.Svoboda. It is okay that the skeptics think Dr.Svoboda is not revealing the identity for fear of exposing fiction. Skeptics should avoid reading books classified under "Religion" and instead blindly follow and quote their Christ and Bible called "Dawkins".

As a student of Bhakti Yoga, Pranayama, Kriya Yoga and Tantra - I definitely found the book rewarding and enlightening. If you think you can pigeon-hole Hindus and Hinduism the way other religions can be pin-pointed, then it is your sad ignorance of facts. Hinduism is just a way of life. Hindus differ in every State and region in India (and elsewhere). The Gods and demi-gods are many. The ways of worshipping are many. Even the same God is worshipped differently in different regions. There is no one prayer, no one mantra. Many devotional songs and many mantras and shlokas.

Plus Hinduism does not have a single religious manual. There are 4 Vedas, a dozen or more Upanishads, many Puranas, many verse-books such as Mahabharata, Ramayana and Bhagvad Gita. In fact the Vedas mention that all these books are for beginners only. The student or devotee or Hindu needs to go beyond them to lean about God and Supreme Soul and Cosmic forces, etc. No other religious books ask their readers to go beyond their basic outline into self-realisation.

So in effect Hinduism is not really a religion. It is different ways of living of people living on this side of Indus River. Indus name of Indus Civilisation was converted to the word Hindus by Westerners. So we don't even have a name for Hindus except as claimed by Westerners and invaders of India.

The descriptions of occult practice in this book is mesmerising. Fascinating anecdotes and memoirs here in this factual recollection.
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AGHORA, At the Left Hand of God (Aghora) (v. I)
AGHORA, At the Left Hand of God (Aghora) (v. I) by Robert Svoboda (Paperback - November 15, 1986)
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