–Read India Initiative—
This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.
LIFE’S AMAZING SECRETS
How to find balance and purpose in your life
By Gaur Gopal Das
Publisher: Penguin Ananda
Price Rs 250
GGD (Gaur Gopal Das) is one of the most popular and widely followed monks of present times. Especially, when it comes to the young corporate crowd, who incessantly indulge in social media. GGD is an Electrical Engineer by qualification. After a brief stint with Hewlett Packard, he decided to live as a monk in an ashram, in downtown, Mumbai. And he has now remained there for twenty two years. Where, he has learnt the antiquity of ancient philosophy, and the modernity of contemporary psychology, to become a life coach to thousands in the city.
He has been travelling all around the world since 2005, to share his wisdom with corporate executives, universities and even charities. In 2016, his global popularity exploded, when he took to online discourses. The purpose of this publication is, to make the readers find a right balance in their lives. The book is inundated with quotes and thoughts from various important and renowned personalities just as most motivational books.
The book is a little over 200 pages. Largely written in easy and lucid language. There is no piercing story line in this. But the narration takes you through both the visible and the non-visible merry-go-round of life quite royally. To be true. It impacts you positively by the time you complete it. In other words it delights you intrinsically.
The narration begins with the monk first having a meal with one of his wealthy bhakt, or you could say devotee, Hariprasad, in short Harry and his wife at their posh residence in South Mumbai. Thereafter harry offers to drop GGD to his place of stay and that is how this interesting conversation starts between Harry and the monk in Harry’s luxurious car.
In such motivational books, one normally comes across, interesting life-lessons that carry the essence of life. The idea of course is to present the amrit post the manthan (churning) that one can straightaway drink, and in that manner this book is no different. And without being a spoiler, since the book, has only, recently been published, let me in a jiffy take you through the book.
It has some twenty chapters. With blessings of ISKCON and his divine grace A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI SRILA PRABHUPADA whose teachings have been the foundation of this book, coupled with the monks own experiences.
The book starts with an interesting content list that deals with a gamut of virtues relevant for life, such as, moral, divine, spiritual and behavioural niches that cut across religions. Broadly speaking it is not a Hindu book, as one might make out from the picture of GGD, clad in his saffron robe. On the contrary it is a friendly present to human beings.
In the journey of life any human being, and that includes even the toughest, will surely come across monotony, clutter, dread, fear, wrath, happiness, dislocation and even temper. The narration has answers for all situations.
The book is rich with many potent thoughts that will help one take on this tough world. There are interesting chapters that deal with; seeing beyond the obvious; life’s journey; growing through gratitude; why worry; spiritual practice; how to talk sensitively; a virtuous vision; correcting cautiously; forgiveness; fruitful associations; competitive crossroads; self-discovery; decoding spirituality at work; integrity and character; selfless service; family first; the nation narrative and the holy aspect of service that brings joy in life.
Although GGD is a Hindu monk. Yet he has not propagated, the spirituality route of Hinduism so blatantly. That shows he wants to connect, basically with human beings, and not Hindus alone. A kind of global talent on spiritualism.
He cites some very beautiful examples such as that of, Joshua Bell, the internationally renowned, violinist, in tag with the experiment of Washington Post. The author also goes on to say he gets up at 4 a.m. for his morning meditation and talks about his strong morning ritual that gives him incessant focus for the day.
He dwells on thoughts and ideas and how they can change a man’s life where he gives his own example. He says, we are not human beings having spiritual experiences; we are spiritual beings having human experiences—nicely plays with words.
Most human beings have three things in common—we are all stuck, we all have a journey to complete and we all have a destination. He also goes on to describe God—there is one God. But is identified differently across different cultures.
After every chapter the author has given a chapter summary which is very interesting as it comes in bullet points. The author raises an interesting question. Does spirituality kill ambition? Well, I’m not going to divulge the answer to the questions raised by the author in this book and the readers will only have to find their own answers by reading the book. The book is available both in print and e-book format. The book also has a few worksheets at the end. A kind of recall test.
If I need to describe the book, keeping my life in mind. I would say the book touches my soul several times during the day. Say from the time I open my eyes in the morning, till the time I close my eyes in the night.
The book has been appreciated by, film star and M.P. Hema Malini and also by Central Minister in the BJP Government, Nitin Gatkari.
I would give the book seven out of ten. It is a worthwhile read. Especially, for corporate executives who face a lot of ups and downs in terms of their career and even their future. It is not a literary masterpiece but yes it conveys some very valuable lessons.
Synopsis by Kamlesh Tripathi
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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:
NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION
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GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE
(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)
ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY
(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)
AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES
(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)
REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD
(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)
TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN
(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)
RHYTHM … in poems
(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)
(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)