Book Reviews - Capsules of wisdom
by Sharukh Vazifdar
A Dewdrop in the Ocean – Wisdom Stories for Turbulent Times, Francis Padinjarekara, Published By: Zen Publications, Pages: 306 pages, Price: Rs 200
This fragrant book is redolent with the essence of wisdom emanating from each of its pithy aphorism-like passages. Francis Padinjarekara, director of Sadhana Institute, is a follower of the late Anthony De Mello. He has adopted the master’s technique of infusing wisdom through dialogues between a sage and a disciple, all dealing with everyday issues and problems. He says, “The foundation and the basic test of any spirituality is not just how beautiful and uplifting it appears but how practical it is and how it enables us to live our lives and find our happiness in the world.”
The wisdom in this book is subtle and yields only to sustained inquiry. The expanse of topics and the utter simplicity with which profound truths are conveyed, reveal a master’s touch.
Here are some gems: “Suffering transforms human beings,” commented the sage…“Ultimately it is not what happens to us but what happens in us that counts.”
“Judgements are most inefficient,” the sage stated. “And a major waste of energy.”… Intelligence involves appropriate response to situations – like calling attention to being unduly delayed or a decision to let something be… Or you can be judgemental, get angry, create distance or start a fight.”
"Among the sage’s friends and acquaintances were celebrities, business tycoons and other wealthy people. However, his life was very simple and none of the glitter has entered his home or life. When someone asked why his lifestyle remained unaffected, a disciple spoke: “When a rose is set beside a diamond necklace, the rose doesn’t shine, but the necklace may receive some of the perfume.”
The insights offered are meditational, and even transformational if we put in the necessary inner work. Reading this book made me happy and gave me the expansive sense of wonder you experience when life’s truths are revealed to you. Each message is different from the other yet so beautifully linked because of its deep comprehension into the nature of life and man. Here is a book whose wisdom will repay you richly for any effort you may put in reading it.