The centre of love
Come Home to Yourself
Author: Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati
Publisher: Penguin Ananda
The printed word is not only a word. It carries all the feelings and emotions being experienced by the author. That is why we connect so deeply with stories, articles, and books.
The dominant sentiment of the author, whether of despair, sadness, joy, humour, or criticism comes through and becomes one with the reader’s mind. The more honest the writer, the more convincing and impactful their writing.
However, rarely do you get permeated by a deep sense of abiding love on reading a book. Come Home to Yourself by Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan Ashram fills you with a sense of wisdom, love, and security that comes from knowing the Divine intimately.
The book, which is a transcription of answers from the satsangs (holy discourses) Sadhvi has given over the years, is a treasure trove of knowledge, healing, and divine assurance. Sadhvi replies to all questions pertaining to the human condition with grace and fathomless depth. For no matter how much the New Age manifestation gurus would like us to believe, everything is not ours for the asking in this world. There is a larger purpose to our existence, which is to make us find ourselves and know who we are at the core of our being. And this journey often begins when things don’t turn out our way or our cherished dreams shatter.
She quotes Swami Dayanand Saraswatiji, who measured success in terms of how we respond to the inevitable times the Universe does not act the way we think it should. If we can respond with peace, calm, love, and understanding to the disappointments, we have accessed the real treasures of life. Talking about the remedy to getting hurt in life, Sadhvi says that the only way to accomplish it is to stop living, but one does reach a point in one’s spiritual evolution when one stops getting hurt by others. This happens when we have grown in unconditional love for ourselves. When people do not behave with us the way we want them to, we do not feel let down or betrayed as we already have with us what we want in abundance.
In the end, Sadhvi concludes that the best way to shield yourself from the vagaries of life is by developing a deep connection with the Divine. God is the only entity who will never hurt us, abandon us, betray us, or let us down, even if the entire world has. These and other amazing pearls of insight that help the reader reframe their life-situations and lead happier and more fulfilling lives are the hallmark of this book.
– Shivi Verma
The spiritual way
What is Spiritual About Being Punctual?
Author: Ramesh Bijlani
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram-Delhi Ashram
Spirituality is a broad concept. It is not just meditating in a serene ambience or travelling to the Himalayas in search of the purpose of life. Spirituality is much more than this. It is being mindful, grateful, kind, practical, and finding happiness even in the darkest of times, and much more.
Inspired by the work and mission of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, author Ramesh Bijlani, in his book What is Spiritual About Being Punctual?, explains how, by incorporating spirituality in daily life, even mundane tasks can be made meaningful, aiding in one’s growth as a person.
The book presents 36 essays on topics that seem to have no connection with spirituality, but once you read them, you realise that by adding a tinge of spirituality to everyday living, you can lead a purposeful life. Topics like activism, army, entertainment, gambling, photography, politics, business, shopping, and even war have been discussed from a spiritual angle.
Highlighting the area of business, the author states that by being grateful to the unseen hand of the divine, without which we cannot succeed, paying taxes happily, and considering every windfall as an opportunity to share the fruits of success with the less fortunate, spirituality can be brought into any business.
Spirituality in the army is something which is difficult to imagine, but Mr Bijlani explains it beautifully by giving an example. He says, “When a soldier faces a dying enemy who is begging for a sip of water, an ‘enemy’ soldier might offer him a sip from his own precious supply before doing him in.” Adding to it, he also mentions how compassion is the core of the soldiers playing a vital role in disaster relief within the country, which eventually catalyses their spiritual growth.
Ramesh Bijlani is a medical doctor, writer, teacher, and a scientist who is committed to using his unique blend of talents for touching the hearts and lives of his fellow beings. He made me realise that spirituality is not something for which we have to make time but something that we are woven into and express through our every thought, feeling, and action. A lighthearted read.
– Rashmi Rawat
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