New Book Review-Know Thyself

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.

New Book Review-Know Thyself
                      Know Thyself by Gian Kumar

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 giankumar@ymail.com


 

 

 

 

Great Destinations-Amazing Chhattisgarh

Places to see in IndiaTravelling to India?Put on your bucket list the amazing destination of Chhattisgarh,that promises you stories of love, music, history and unsurpassed beauty.

Put on your sneakers, roll up your backpacks dear travellers as I take you to the magical land of Turturiya.This curiously sounding place is located deep inside the Indian state of Chhattisgarh.Geologists tell us that this state is one of the oldest places in the entire world.The rock formations here are billions of years old, they have discovered.

But, before I take you through Turturiya, why don’t you enjoy some breathtaking shots of clouds that adorn the skies here?

Places to see in IndiaI took this photograph with my iPhone.

Places to see in IndiaSo, after I have managed to get hold of your attention, let me take you to Turturiya.

Legends say that Queen Sita, wife of Lord Rama spent her banishment here.Sita and Rama are one of the most important figures of Indian history. The epic of  Ramayana is centered around Lord Rama and Queen Sita. It is said that in order to be seen impartial to his subjects, Lord Rama, the king of Ayodhya, banished his wife, the virtuous Sita, to exile.She spent her difficult times in this place and later gave birth to Luv and Kush. Lord Rama and Sita lived their lives several thousands of years ago, so you can imagine the ancientness of this place.

The ashrama or the cottage where she lived is still around though the construction seems to be relatively modern.

The cottage is located near a stream called Sursuri Ganga. Numerous artefacts dating back to thousands of years can be found here and my fear is about their safety.

Places to see in India

Places to see in IndiaThis place is of great archaeological importance.Numerous sculptures belonging to Buddhist period can be found such as stupas etcetera.You can also find remains of bathing ghats and there is a figure of a man hunting a lion with sword in his hand! It is estimated that these artefacts must be more than 1000 years old.

But, what is bewitching is the stream that lends its its name to this place.Have a look at these pictures.

Places to see in IndiaPlaces to see in IndiaAs you can see , there is a lot of greenery in the background.

Places to see in DelhiCan you tell me who is this god?He or she has a child at the feet.The words in red in the background are from Ramcharitmanas , a later version of Ramayana.

The temple here at Turturiya has idols of Lord Hanuman and Lord Vishnu.The celestial carrier of Vishnu is Garuda. Here is him.

Places to see in IndiaAs you can make out, this image is pretty recent.The paint is quite fresh.

And, yes, you also have Lord Shiva and his carrier, Nandi here.

Places to see in IndiaWhile Lord Shiva’s image is pretty recent, Nandi is quite ancient.

And, if you are in a holy place, can you avoid the devotees?This group of men and women was quite enthusiastic when we joined them in raising slogans of Lord Hanuman.



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How to reach Turturiya?

It is just 108 kilometres from the state capital, Raipur.You will have to take a taxi to reach here.

Raipur is well connected to the Delhi and Mumbai airports .And, if you are a train lover, then, there are lots of them that will take you to Raipur from Delhi and Mumbai.

Accommodation; World class amenities at Raipur and Sirpur, which is just 24 kilometers from Turturiya.

That is it friends.I hope you liked my travel blog.Please write to me if you want to know more about travelling in India.

Thank you.