Saturday, 24 November 2012

The Man Who Created the Taj Mahal

The Man Who Created the Taj Mahal

One evening, I was walking along Ganges River, following the stone steps of the ghats in Benaras, India, the oldest still living city in the world. There, I met a person who told me the story of the man who created the Taj Mahal.

It is a story taken out of the oral tradition of India. As far as I know, it has never been written down before.

I loved his tale with its characters, twists, turns and dilemmas of how this beautiful edifice came to be constructed. His story wove the magic of the Far East with its rich consideration of fate and the 'mystical' arts such as hand reading and astrology, into the every day simple necessity to be aware of what is going on around us, to feel what others are feeling and what happens if one does not. 

This story demonstrates the 'fantastic' abilities that one can witness especially here in India, are not complete in their wisdom. Rather, they are more like a rare view of a hidden garden from a window that looks out of a house. While wonderful, that hidden garden is not the whole world, and to know only that garden, or any particular thing, is not sufficient.

This consideration is woven into this delightful story and presents a taste of the emotional state and drama that gave rise to the Taj Mahal, when the architect who designed it, was forced to look at a bigger, more complete world

This is my third book. 
You can purchase it here or view it below:

The Man Who Created the Taj Mahal

The Man Who Created the Taj Mahal by Peter Malakoff | Make Your Own Book

Peter Malakoff
Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India
Old Manali, Himachal Pradesh
e-mail: petermalakoff@gmail.com

The Cure of the Mustard Seed

The Cure of the Mustard Seed

A Little Book on Death, Dying and the Loss of All and Everything

Medicine Buddha

I have been living in India for several years and one of the things that stands out is the overt nature of death and dying . . .  death is out in the open and seen publicly by all. It is not hidden like in the West.

Body on Buring pyre - Manikarnika Ghat Benaras

This does not mean that death is welcomed; people still fear. mourn and grieve over the loss of those they love. But still, there is something subtle and different:  death is a part of life that is observed by everyone. Young and old, rich and poor, all witness a dead body; they see the corpse brought to the cremation ground, exposed to the vision of the public, they see the fire consume the corpse, separating out the elements of which the body was composed. They see the ashes of what remains of a body, poured into a river or pool of water. Every few days I hear the drums announcing death in the small city in which I live in South India. It was only very rarely that I saw death in the West.

In my experience, the ability to view the death of other human beings, is healing to the soul and our feeling body. It completes the reality of the life we live. It gives us a sense of where we are and what our fate will be. It presents us not with a picture of Disneyland or heaven, but confronts us with a great mystery. Everyone needs a complete picture of life and death and the inclusion of 'death' in our consideration of life is what this story is all about.

I wanted to present a consideration of death and dying that could be read by children as well as adults and I found it in a true story from the life and teachings of the Buddha. The story goes like this:

A young Mother, Kisagotami, approached the Buddha  carrying her dead child in her arms. Her child was not sick, but dead and she is distraught and weeping. Coming before the Buddha, she asks him to bring her baby back to life.

Here is the true story of what happened . . .