BOOK REVIEW / Paperbacks: OM: An India Pilgrimage by Geoffrey Moorhouse, Sceptre pounds 6.99

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In search of the eternal, Moorhouse travels through the deeply spiritual southern tip of India, the heartland of Hinduism, visiting a string of ashrams - wise, wicked, woolly and plain daft. At one he witnesses a miracle (or was it a trick?) at the hands of a guru said to be the reincarnated Lord Vishnu. At another he confers with an English Benedictine monk-cum-Swami. But Moorhouse is not all wide-eyes and no judgement; he is an old India hand whose credulity is undermined by the contradictory signals he's getting. But Hindus, he says, 'live by paradox, as do no other people of earth'. Is this the big attraction?