In the ancient parable, ‘six blind men and an elephant’, each man tries to comprehend the creature by feeling a different part of its body. They all incorrectly conclude what the creature is, based on each partial, individual human experience. Padma and the Elephant Sutra invites readers to imagine the elephant’s perspective in the parable. It reveals a world far older and more mysterious than humans have ever comprehended.
It is 1830 somewhere in Ceylon…
Yoked to a microscopic, double-stranded serpent, humans sing an alien song. They are an unmelodious breed, rampaging through paradise. While elephant clans gather to discuss an uncertain future, a mysterious young elephant is discovered in the river of gems, raised from the roots of the trees. Perhaps she can fulfil the ancient covenant and cure the humans of their curse. Padma, nature’s unlikely champion of hope is tasked to find and help a stranded alien return home.
Lost and alone, she meets George, an old coffee planter, and one-time drummer in the service of an empire. Half-dead, haunted and damned, he seeks the wellspring of knowledge, in search of the Otherworld and for a death he has long desired.
Together they travel across the island, to the seas of the moon, and back through time, to ancient cities and ruined temples. They meet with remarkable elephants and listen to tall tales of the deeds of their forebears. But is a dangerous place for elephant and human alike as they encounter superstition and faith, jealousy and greed. The forests burn and empires clash, as Padma and George discover their fate.
Follow them on a surreal trip across the island, to uncover the secrets of a long-forgotten lore, to a destiny never imagined.