23 May 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

The Golden Temple by Raj Kiran Atagaraha (Book Review: 3.5*/5) !!!

1930th BLOG POST

18th Book of 2021


As all of you must have noticed in my reviews and posts since the lockdown has begun that most of them are religion or spirituality-oriented stuffs. I suddenly realized the power in the message that the religious texts provide us when I started reading them. Only through that, I was able to get into spirituality deeper and understand the meaning behind it. It was always an aspiration to know everything I can about my religion i.e. Sanatan Dharma or Hinduism and then gradually move towards other religions too and know about the messaging in them.


Sikhism is one such religion I have always wanted to read and know about. This happened after I saw an interview of Taapsee Pannu in which she mentioned that this is one of the most modern religion to be found which incorporates the good philosophy taken from other religions too. Knowing about the open-mindedness in the foundation of Sikhism, I got little intrigued about it and who knew that rather than I going towards it, a book on Sikhism will itself come to me by chance. I am talking about the book named “The Golden Temple” written by Raj Kiran Atagaraha. The cover page has a very beautiful picture of the very famous- The Golden Temple from Amritsar. The book is of around 130-odd pages which has been published by Bigfoot Publications and can be completed within a half day itself.


Talking about the writing style of the author, I must say that he has ensured that everyone who has even begun reading even if they are in school can find reading this one easy. On Amazon, you will find the reading group of this book as 12 years old + and it is written exactly like that. It is a very light read and meant for beginners as well as people who would like to know about Sikhism and the philosophies behind it. I am glad that author didn’t focus only on the love story of Raj and Geet but very intelligently, embeds the religion and its multiple references into the story. I can say that the love story isn’t very unique but the way author brings his emotions towards a sacred place and how it can change someone’s outlook towards life and future plays a big role in making this book find a special place in your large bookshelf.


The main focus of the book is solely on the two main protagonists who are going through a phase of getting closer to each other but get separated suddenly only to bring them back together for a bigger purpose. The characterization of both of them is fine where you are able to understand their personalities. The conversations between them derive the pleasure they experience when they are able to communicate with each other and also the excitement of how it will take their relationship ahead in the future. The teenagers will love reading this part. I remembered the chic-lit books I enjoyed reading when I got into reading a decade back through this love story – as even I was in college then and had crushes over beautiful girls in my campus. Haha!


I liked how author inserted the information and details about Golden Temple in the book as it didn’t sound like a Wikipedia page but exactly as to how a person would tell about this beautiful religious place to another person. The innocence and devotion of the author towards the temple is evident in each and every sentence which speaks about the temple. Later, in the 2nd half of the book, I liked the detailing mentioned by the author about all the Gurus who kept making effort in making Sikhism a religion which ends up teaching only love, forgiveness, goodwill, truth, compassion, contentment, humility and other good qualities to the human beings. Raj also elaborates on the lifestyle changes a person who calls himself a Sikh should follow which can lead the person towards attaining salvation and unite with God.


Author discusses many terms of Sikhism such as langar, Ardas, Sevak, Ik-Onkar, Mool-mantra, Khalsa-Panth, Parikarma, Gurbani, Anand Karaj etc. This really helped me understand the basic concepts of Sikhism very well and it has made me enough confident of entering any Gurudwara in future and communicating with all my Sikh brothers. I have generally read books on religion either in non-fiction format or in fictional format which enhances one of the major characters of the religion. This is the first time when I have read a book that talks about a religion embedded into a love story. So, kudos to the author for taking this approach to talk about his love and devotion towards Sikhism. I also liked how author covered the controversial aspects related to the Golden Temple in the story which is very necessary to understand the angst some people in Sikh community has towards other religion.


Now, talking about the drawbacks, I must say that there are certain grammatical errors in the book which I believe can be corrected in the next editions. Secondly, the Sikh terms used in the book are marked in italic- author could have also mentioned all of them in a glossary either in the beginning or the end of the book along with its meaning for the readers to go through it at any time. Thirdly, the blooming love between both the characters is written in quite a plain manner whereas author could have done a lot of things with it considering the inter-caste/religion marriage angle in the story. Lastly, I believe – author couldn’t bond both the plots – love and religion strongly with each other. He either talks about religion or the love angle at one point of time. This could have been handled in such a way that both the thing could have sounded like a single story itself and not two separate plots.


Overall, this is a light read which will satisfy even the romance lovers and the people like me who loves to read about religion, spirituality and philosophy. I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5.






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