Sadhus: India's Mystic Holy Men

Excerpts & Samples

By Dolf Hartsuiker

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Dolf Hartsuiker

Dolf Hartsuiker
Psychologist, artist, and traveler, Dolf Hartsuiker holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of Utrecht. He divides his time between Utrecht, Holland, and India.



Liberated from earthly concerns and living beyond the limits of space and time, these mystics form a vital and unbroken link between the birth of yoga millenia ago and its present-day expression. Spectacular color photos and evocative text trace the historical roots of the Sādhus and illuminate their beliefs and behaviors.
"This is an arresting portrait of an unusual group of people."
MGNapra Trade Journal

"An important and positive contribution toward revealing India's rich, vast and mysterious religious diversity."
Hinduism Today

"At first, the reader might feel a sense of superiority, the kind of spiritual pride that C.S. Lewis describes where you are amazed that the whole world does not do things the way they do it in your church. Relentlessly, the calm prose, with its descriptions of the different Hindu sects and the intentions of the practitioners, wears away at your prejudice. You notice the twinkle in the eye of one elderly man, the peace on the face of another. The word "holy" takes on new meanings. An amazing book in every sense of the word."
The Bloomsbury Review

" . . . will give you a far better, more informed (and more colorful!) picture than several months of traveling.  I've found no comparable work on the subject."
KK, Whole Earth, Winter 2000

"Hartsuiker, a psychologist and world traveler, presents the lifestyle and beliefs of the sadhus, or Hindu holy men, in a format that is beautiful, thorough, and up-to-date. Over 100 clear and dramatic color photos of these holy men add depth and visual power to a text that itself is a masterful presentation of a complex but fascinating subject. Hartsuiker has done a marvelous job of explaining the Hindu concepts forming the foundational beliefs of these holy men, as well as explaining how the various sects developed. Separate chapters are given to those sadhus who are devotees of Shiva and Vishnu. The symbolism of the holy men's physical appearance, unfamiliar to Westerners, is lucidly explained; the color photos are strikingly captivating. An excellent bibliography is also included. Hartsuiker has given us what is sure to become a classic text on this subject. Highly recommended."
Library Journal (Monday , November 01, 1993) David Bourquin, California State Univ., San Bernardino