Review: Tepid Blue by Dev Bhattacharyya

★★★★ Tepid Blue: Philosophy and Yoga by Dev Bhattacharyya

To many, the practice of yoga is purely a physical exercise; something to enhance the body, not the mind. However, make no mistake – yoga is a deep, spiritual exercise intended to work the mind, body, and soul in tandem, as Tepid Blue by Dev Bhattacharyya makes clear.

Dev Bhattacharyya is an author dedicated to helping bring out the true potential of a person in his writing through thought exercises, examination of scriptures from across the world, and ruminations on the essentials of spiritualism. He has previously written on subjects such as Vedic thought, the philosophy of Krishna, and wider themes of existentialism and personal development, culminating in his latest book, Tepid Blue – an exploration of yoga and spiritualism.

Bhattacharyya’s mission is simple and respectable in both intent and execution. His writing is humble and reflective, and his desire to “nurture awakening” as with scripture of old is evident as he uses a mixture of observation and poetry to attempt to stir the reader and provoke gentle, positive thought.

General subjects include simple matters such as the beauty of nature, extending to some fairly dense references and light examinations of established scripture. It’s a strange, yet enlightening experience that demands an open mind and an open heart to truly process. The poetry and prose are dotted with the author’s own photography, which also has a focus on natural beauty, visually altered in various ways without detracting from the majesty of the original subject.

It’s not easy to put the book into simple terms or to place it in any specific box. The book focuses on the self-inquisitive, explorative nature of yoga and nothing really based in the physical or factual dimensions of the practice. For anyone looking for something in the realm of a definitive guide to yoga, Tepid Blue is unlikely to answer your questions in an empirical manner. So the book would best be suited with another book about yoga poses and the like, or those who are quite familiar with yoga and looking to take the practice to another level.

A sore point is the writing and editing quality of the book vary a fair bit with a few errors here and there and a lack of clarity throughout many verses; Bhattacharyya himself states his opinion that “complex language and grammar constructs are but a modern day addition” to spiritual writing and does not feel that it factors into the quality of the writing he studies and emulates, focusing instead on meaning and message. The book generally succeeds at this, however many readers are likely to find it unusually demanding without previous, thorough experience of spiritual writing.

Whether this kind of writing works for you is a very personal matter and it’s difficult to recommend the book to every kind of reader as it is so unconcerned with typical convention and its meaning is so open to interpretation. That said, Tepid Blue is a very deep book with much to give to a dedicated reader, full of beautiful images both visual and written, and a great piece of material to simply ruminate on, so the book itself unfolds like a yogic exercise.

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Tepid Blue

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