This is not a review of any other spiritual book!Know Thyself, here takes the reader to uncharted spiritual journeys within.This book review blog will hopefully answer some of the deepest philosophical questions, one behalf of the author.
Know Thyself; How easy it is to hold forth on this prescription! Do I know about my motivations, desires, weaknesses, strengths?
I reckon not.But, people who have striven and succeeded in discovering their reason of existence have went on to become Krishna or Buddha.
Know Thyself is an exercise in self discovery and it happens to be packaged and presented in a book.
I say “it happens” because, after a lifetime of self discovery, its author, the very venerable Mr. Gian Kumar, was destined to write about this voyage. Actually, it would be vainglorious on our part to say “I wrote a book”.As per me, it is all pre ordained and our tasks and duties make things happen.
Mr. Kumar’s labour of love-if I am permitted to use this expression- is a much needed tool for self discovery in these days of quick burnouts.In India, as in the rest of the world, we are seeing an explosion of human endeavour in the form of start ups.Young people are fueled with the fire of ambition these days and this fuel quickly burns them out once they achieve success.What next, is the obvious question, once the entrepreneurs have made their billions. Hope, you have got the drift of what I am saying.
Mr. Kumar, in his book, navigates us through concepts like sex, spirituality, love, maya, duality , religion and many other commonly used and discussed ideas.Maya is what we construe as reality, which it is not.Maya is perception.Duality is perceiving me and you as different entities.This perception leads to confusion, greed and ego.
Spiritualism and science
Years ago, I had read a wonderfully written book by Fritjof Kapra, The Tao of Physics. Mr. Kumar’s book reminds me of that tome, actually.It talks about spirituality and quantum physics as well. I am sure a lot of readers will connect with his theory on spiritualism and science.
Sex and Spirituality
Then , we had Rajneesh or Osho, as we all know him by the name.Osho talked about sex and spirituality in the same breath. I was young then, in my teens , probably, and India hadn’t opened up to the idea of sex being debated openly.That is why,Osho left for the sanguine climes of the United States to spread his word. And boy, Osho was a phenomenon there.Mr. Kumar revisits Osho’s thoughts and explains the congruence of sex and spirituality beautifully. I think, India as a country, today is better placed to understand these concepts.
Life and Death?Are they opposites?
For several millennia,philosophers have wondered , “What is life?” Mr. Kumar expostulates on this question and sums it up by saying that life is beyond birth and death.The opposite of life cannot be death.Life goes on. So, and this my personal question, is Moksha the same thing as life?I hope, Mr, Kumar replies to my doubt.
And, what is death?Death is the only constant.But, it is not a full stop in our journey of life, it is just a pause.As, Lord Krishna says, death is just an excuse to cast our worn out clothes and put on the newer ones.
What is Money?
If you asked me about my favourite chapter in Know Thyself, I would lay my finger on the one about money.It takes the genius of Mr. Kumar to so beautifully capture the essence of money- it is just a means to the end, not the end itself.If we realize this fundamental thought, much of our life will be sorted out. Isn’t it?
Something for everyone
Mr. Kumar, in my opinion, has delightfully amalgamated the various strains of thought in the Sanatan Dharma,popularly known as Hinduism, in this concise book.The modern young man and woman, who are always on the go, will find this book a lodestar to their frenetic lives.And, why just, the young people, it is also meant for the above forty somethings like me who have developed fixed ideas on what life means.This book provides clarity to our thoughts and nudges us to leading stress free lives.
Actually, Know Thyself is the first part of a trilogy from Mr. Kumar.The other two works also talk about self-realization but on different levels and from different perspectives.He has distilled his life experiences from a lifetime of struggles.And, only people like him who have observed the vicissitudes of life from close quarters can get such a deep understanding about our journey of life.
Attaining the Brahman
If you were to ask me what is one single message that the book conveys to its readers, I would say unhesitatingly Removing the Ego. And, when we get rid of the ego, we return to our pristine selves happy, pure and uncomplicated , the state of Brahman.Brahman is the state of self-consciousness that we should strive for.
Dear readers, how do you find my review of this spiritual book?I have tried to give an independent assessment of this new release and I hope, my opinions are expressed clearly and without any bias here.
This is also my first attempt at an online book review.
Know Thyself is published by Celestial Books.You can order your copy here; www.leadstartcorp.com.
You can also contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org