‘[Madhu] Tandan’s style has a guarded, unadorned quality…[and she] tells an intensely personal story which, though often full of pain, never succumbs to bitterness or melodrama…What makes the account exceptional is its quiet reflective tone.’—Manjula Padmanabhan, India Today
In her mid-twenties, Madhu Tandan and her husband, Rajeev, left Delhi to live in a remote ashram amidst the Himalayas. Under the tutelage of the charismatic and mysterious Ashishda, the former English aircraft engineer turned Vaishnav guru, they lived a simple life with a ‘soil to soul’ philosophy, where every experience was viewed as an opportunity to grow.
Living as a community in the Ashram came with its own challenges. Other than being physically taxing, there were days when life was too perplexing, and when personal dilemmas would leave them questioning the journey. The couple strove through this with resilience, struggling to transcend suffering and discover what lay beyond it. Believing in simple practices such as growing one’s own food and meditation, and relying on the powerful role that dreams play in one’s life, Madhu and Rajeev navigated their seven years of Ashram life with the conviction that there are no dead ends in life.
First published in 1997, A Way Within—extensively revised and expanded for this edition—is a candid and illuminating account of the inward journey; a quest that is challenging and rewarding in equal measure.