Pilgrimage on the Path of Love is the story of a woman on the spiritual path who travels alone to India. Arriving in New Delhi, expecting to be her publisher's guest, she finds herself instead in a Buddhist guest house with lamas from Ladakh. There she is introduced to Tibetan Buddhism and befriends a lama. Traveling to a Himalayan hill station to write, and living very simply, she meets people from all over the world who share their wisdom of life. While living in a Buddhist monastery, she experiences a deepening of faith in the eternal harmony of creation. Finally, she embarks on a momentous journey to Ladakh, The Last Shangri-La, to await the lama she loves. There, her faith is severely tested, but in the end, she emerges as a fuller human being with a more mature understanding of the true nature of life and love.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
Pilgrimage on the Path of Love, a spiritual odyssey, delivers the richness and complexity of life in India, and brims over with convincing, memorable characters, not the least of which is her narrator/protagonist Shantila, a seeker after something we too seldom see in literary fiction - spiritual awakening and liberation. Through many suspenseful twists and turns of fortune, a reader follows Shantila's journey with the certainty that the outcome of her story will enrich his or her own meditations on the timeless question of why we are here, and how we can follow a spiritual path in a world so stained by suffering. This is a book I would recommend for everyone who loves wisdom and wishes to live an examined life. ~ Dr Charles Johnson, Ph.D. , Professor Emeritus, University of Washington, author of Middle Passage
Reading through Pilgrimage on the Path of Love by Barbara Ann Briggs gave me the feeling of moving gently on a canoe in a beautiful lake on a bright sunny evening when the approaching twilight leaves you nostalgic to see the day coming to an end. Making lucid use of the confessional mode of expression, her debut novel remarkably captures the spirit of the times. The quest that Shantila, the chief protagonist, undertakes on the path of love unveils to her not only the agony of pain and suffering implicit in meetings and partings but also the ecstasy of understanding and appreciating the intrinsic beauty of the landscape of the soul, the true nature of life as we live it. Her rumination at the end of the journey: "The pilgrimage I sought to complete has been completed, not to the temples of Rishikesh, Haridwar, Badrinath or Gangotri, but to the omnipresent God, to the temple hidden within every human heart" - comes as a potent antidote to growing intolerance bordering on clash of cultures and civilizations that characterizes a world in individual as well as collective distress. The charm of the novel lies in its ability to capture the attention of the reader from beginning to the end as it takes us over picturesque rivers, dales and hills to experience a kind of peace that defies understanding. I wish her maiden venture all success! ~ Dr Nibir K. Ghosh, D.Litt., UGC Emeritus Professor, Dept of English Studies & Research, Agra college
Pilgrimage on the Path of Love by Barbara Ann Briggs is a loving account of a woman's quest for spiritual fulfillment. At heart is a palpable undeniable love for the country of her adoption, its multitudinous life, its minor duplicities and wider generosities are so fondly captured with a liveliness, both authentic and amusing, that I felt fresh love gushing for this crazy country of mine. In the book, we travel from Dubai to Delhi to Manali and Leh with its far flung monasteries and brooding temples, and with each ascent, the protagonist is symbolically nearing that state which neither gains nor wanes, where plenitude and beatitude are suffused. These visitations are presented with gossamer delicacy, the author's luminous prose spreading its lacy veil over creation till creation becomes a salutation and a benediction. The inherent discipline encourages emulation. The devotion which the author brings to her enterprise and the serenity that follows are an inspiration. ~ Dr Shernavaz Buhariwalla, Ph.D., Retired Professor of English Literature, Nagpur University, Nagpur, Maharashtra (India)
Reminiscent of Irina Tweedie's Daughter of Fire, Herman Hesse's Siddhartha, and Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, Pilgrimage on the Path of Love is a tale of human love transformed into divine love, of desperation into exaltation, of darkness into enlightenment. Barbara Briggs writes with a poignant, transcendent grace that enables us to experience the story, not merely read it. And this is an experience to treasure. ~ William T. Hathaway, author of Wellsprings: A Fable of Consciousness