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Candles on The Ganges - Mr Peter E Upton

This is a well-written, absorbing book. It tells of the shocking, sudden death of the author’s beloved young son, Michael, and his search to ascertain that Michael is thriving in the after-life.


This search triggered the author to train as a medium in order to contact Michael himself, and it also took him to India.


Here Peter encounters many con men, but also a yogi who tells him “a lot of love comes to you on April 21st”, which is Michael’s birthday.


He is advised to contact  a man called Pushpa Raj, an Ayurvedic practitioner who runs an ashram in Delhi and who would be able to recommend good meditation courses. At first, Peter doesn’t manage to meet up with this man but has other good experiences.


As regards the various con men, Peter provides us with an apt statement: “They all speak perfect English, but not one of them understands the word ‘No’”.


Interspersed with the account of the India trip, Peter tells us about Michael and visits to mediums who provide him with information about him. Particularly one medium, Joan, makes a big impression in Peter, and it is she who encourages him to join her medium training group.


We learn about Peter’s successes in his demonstrations of tuning into people who have passed on to the after-life.


He used to be a London taxi-driver and had numerous opportunities to try out his mediumistic gifts with his customers.


He explains that he tunes into the dead by altering his brainwaves, but does not explain how he does so.


Peter’s descriptions of deceased persons whom he contacts via his taxi passengers are exceedingly accurate, and he really seems to have a strong, natural talent for making these contacts, though he has insisted to me in a personal communication that he has not. Methinks he is too modest.


We are given an absorbing description of the Ganga (Ganges), and are told how a Swami Brahmanaga shows him how best to meditate, which he did on the banks of the magnificent Ganges.


He meets with some disabled children and realizes that “the way to heal myself was through helping to heal others”.


His descriptions of India and the Indians he meets are enchanting and illuminating.


As regards yogic sitting-positions, he is taught by one of those he gets to know:


“Always remember being comfortable is more important than appearing correct. Be kind to yourself. If the God you are reaching out to is a loving God  do you think you can reach him while you are being so harsh to your own body?”


Here are some insightful quotes from the book:


“I knew without doubt, that everything is alive and God is in everything.”


“We come from the lake, we live as individual droplets and then we return to the lake.”


We are told that it is an accepted part of Indian tradition that married men keep to a material lifestyle until their children have grown up, after which they are free to renounce all worldly goods and become sadhus; the idea is that the third part of life should be one of spiritual preparation for your own eventual death. (What about women?)


“You do not have to lock yourself away in a monastery or live like a hermit --- to grow in godliness. When you are out there in everyday life, wanting to help others”, due to your compassion, “that is when you are truly progressing spiritually even if you are not an angel”.


Peter is also expert at doing tarot readings and is continually asked to do so by his new Indian friends.


Eventually, he does get the chance to meet with Pushpa Raj, the one he had come to India to consult, and receives from him an accurate astrology reading together with an “amazing” palmistry reading. Then Peter is asked to give the guru a tarot reading, which causes him some consternation. However, his reading is successful, and he receives much praise for his accuracy.


Peter’s book is filled with spiritual information both by way of the various highly developed persons he encounters in India and his own spiritual insights.


A final quote:


“I have also come to believe that through the way we live our lives, the decisions we make, the love we give or withhold, we travel up and down this energy spiral gradually building a spiritual vibration level that is the true us, survives death with us and carries us to the place in the next world where our vibration is in harmony. The higher our spiritual wisdom the further up the spiral we naturally gravitate and the nearer to the Godhead.”


We are also given accounts of Peter’s various spiritual experiences, including an out-of-body experience.


Peter’s final message to us is “Be kind”, which is also what the Dalai Lama tells us is most important.


I firmly recommend that you read this enlightening book, which is also a wonderful memorial to the author’s son, Michael.