Review of Barefoot on the Earth by Folco Terzani

September 15, 2015

nakedfeetontheearhcoverThis time, I wanted to start this new review, by translating into English, the title of an Italian book. This book is, indeed, titled” A piedi nudi sulla terra”. That is a poignant memoir about the life of an Indian Sadhu, a sort of spiritual master who lives his life out of the ordinary existence. Folco Terzani told us about the biography of an Italian, namely Baba Cesare, an apparently normal man who during the 1970s decided to change his life forever.

At the beginning of this story, Baba Cesare was a student in Turin, later, for a mistake, he was arrested, due this fact, Cesare was forced to go from a prison to another, until he was dazzled by the idea to go to India, going through Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey. The journey of Baba Cesare has been a deep and intense spiritual travel toward a path that none has never undertaken. In Italy, Cesare had a wife and children, but this normal life made him unhappy. In this book, writer Folco Terzani explains the deep dissatisfaction of Cesare during his life in Italy.

Cesare felt he was not suitable to have a normal family or a normal job, he wanted something different, another life, always on this Earth, but different, not interested in material issues and needs, but made only of spiritual fulfillment. And so, Cesare leaves Italy to go to India dressed only with rags and begging along the streets. Step by step, people start to trust him, step by step Cesare also learns to speak the Indian language and this makes him more reliable as an Indian guru, or rather, Sadhu. A Sadhu is a person who lives with no possessions, such as a home or money.

A Sadhu always enjoys the greatest respect of his fellows and common people who help him to have food, clothes and a place where he can sleep. Cesare attends other Indian gurus to learn the secrets of a spiritual life, showing that an alternative way to live is always possible. Until when, thanks to his knowledge, Cesare is really regarded as an Indian guru and he can live a wonderful life with no goods or other possessions. This story can be read like an educational or spiritual journey, the reflections about the meaning of life are amazing and gripping, the style is sharp, but always true.

Cesare’s life is fully different from the Western life where people are accustomed to seek saints and angels inside the beatification procedures of the Church. Humbleness and patience are the unique ingredients in Cesare’s life, but thanks to them, his life is totally fulfilled. Maybe for us it will be impossible to live like Baba Cesare, but this book reveals that nothing is impossible when accomplished with the true essence of our soul. Nothing is impossible, even with no money, no home, no jobs. This book shakes our sensitivity, screams, make us cry, and shapes a unique book, an adventure novel, but, above all, a spiritual journey inside the real meaning of life on the Earth.

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