“A beautifully rendered epic journey . . . . The novel works on many levels and excels at them all.” —New York Journal of Books
In this captivating and surprising novel of spiritual discovery—a No. 1 bestseller in India—a young American travels to India and finds himself tested physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Max Pzoras is the poster child for the American Dream. The child of Greek immigrants who grew up in a dangerous New York housing project, he triumphed over his upbringing and became a successful Wall Street analyst. Yet on the frigid December night he’s involved in a violent street scuffle, Max begins to confront questions about suffering and mortality that have dogged him since his mother’s death.
His search takes him to the farthest reaches of India, where he encounters a mysterious night market, almost freezes to death on a hike up the Himalayas, and finds himself in an ashram in a drought-stricken village in South India. As Max seeks answers to questions that have bedeviled him—can yogis walk on water and live for 200 years without aging? Can a flesh-and-blood man ever achieve nirvana?—he struggles to overcome his skepticism and the pull of family tugging him home. In an ultimate bid for answers, he embarks on a dangerous solitary meditation in a freezing Himalayan cave, where his physical and spiritual endurance is put to its most extreme test.
By turns a gripping adventure story and a journey of tremendous inner transformation, The Yoga of Max's Discontent is a contemporary take on man's classic quest for transcendence.
A man renounces a comfortable life in the West to pursue spiritual enlightenment in India in Bajaj's engrossing novel. In the wake of his mother's death, a chance encounter with a sage falafel cook inspires Max Pzoras to quit his Wall Street job, leave his friends and family, and embark on a quest of self-discovery that carries him from the snows of the Himalayas to the droughts of southern India. As varied as the subcontinent's locations are its characters, including freewheeling young bikers and ageless yogis whose silences last for decades. Bajaj paints his colorful cast in bright albeit broad strokes. A yoga instructor raised in the Himalayas, Bajaj is best at balancing the tensions of place and practice: India's privilege and poverty, Max's mind and body, yoga's mix of the spiritual and the terrestrial. Though its style fails to match the profundity of its ideas, the novel pays equal mind to the personal and the universal, guiding the reader along a pleasurable journey.
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Exactly what I needed
This book was recommended by a friend. I started reading it on a camping trip in a period of personal change. It was exactly what I needed during this journey. I am glad I listened to my friend!