Quest for Shambala: Charu Singh releases The Golden Dakini in The Maitreya Chronicles
The Golden Dakini, the second book in the mesmerising series The Maitreya Chronicles by bestselling author Charu Singh was launched today at the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival by Andrew Quintman, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, specialising in the Buddhist traditions of Tibet and the Himalayas, in the Department of Religious Studies at Yale. This was followed by a conversation with Charu on her book, with a reading by the writer.
In this spellbinding sequel to Path of the Swan, Charu deftly draws on the rich heritage of Tibetan-Buddhist mythology to immerse the reader in a story that is as magical and reminiscent as its precursor.
Speaking at the book launch, Charu Singh said, “I got fascinated by the concept of Shambala, it triggered a search... could there be such a place, and this search led me to undergo a lot of Buddhist teaching.”
Published by Hachette India, the concept behind The Maitreya Chronicles series is that of the prophesised saviour or the Maitreya Buddha that is to be born.
The Path of the Swan unfolds as a book with this concept at the heart of it, all the action around the first book is necessarily a build up for the prophesised birth of the Messiah.
In The Golden Dakini, a series of adventures lead to the birth of the Maitreya Buddha. She plans to do a third book centred on the Maitreya Buddha, his rather eventful youth, and his innate spirituality.
Charu’s debut novel Path of the Swan, part one of The Maitreya Chronicles, draws from the rich Mahayana culture of Buddhists and the chronicles are a surreal account of the same.
She used elements of Tibetan Buddhism especially myths centered around the vajrayana system of Buddhism which is a part of the larger Mahayana body of Buddhism.
She especially used the myth centered on the legendry kingdom of Shambala, which is particular to Vajrayana Buddhism and is the subject of much debate and thought among monks and lay practitioners of this arm of Buddhism.
The Golden Dakini, the book revolves around action building upto the birth of the divine child - the Maitreya Buddha. The divine kingdom of Shambala prophesised the birth of a new age and its saviour – the Maitreya.
Destined to be the mother of the Maitreya, Yeshe Nam Lha, the golden dakini, has descended to Earth in the guise of a mortal. Accompanied by her celestial guardians Prince A-Karo and Prince Narasimha, she is to journey to the hidden Mount Meru to fulfil the prophecy. But first Yeshe must choose a suitor, a man fated to become the father of the savior$.
Her quest takes her through the sleepy towns of Sikkim and Assam to the snowy mountains of Jammu and Leh, encountering along the way a host of magical creatures: the tsen deities who reside in the caves under the Himalayas, the fey warriors of the celestial city of Ney, and the Yakshas, gatekeepers of the hidden tunnels on the way to Mount Meru.
But not everyone they meet is benevolent. Prince Arden, leader of the dark Asur forces, is on Yeshe’s trail, hoping to bewitch her once again with his magnetic charm, and Yeshe has to do everything in her power to overcome her earthly mortality and make the right choice.
The Golden Dakini is available online on and leading bookstores around the country.