By T A Balasubramiam
Book Review of Tattva Gyan, by Gurushree Vidushii, Rudra Universe, Paperback, INR 250; 135 pages
Do we really understand the Hindu symbols of spiritual significance – such as the trident, the conch or the lotus – that we encounter right from childhood?
“Treat the symbols in this book as ideas; or as seeds of action for the path ahead; or better still, take them as cues for meditation and awakening of the inner voice. To understand these symbols, do not use the intellect, but feel their roots within you.”
That’s the perceptive advice which helps us navigate this assortment of 63 short insights (each a page) in Gurushree Vidushii’s booklet. Gurushree, the founder of Rudra Universe, is a mystic and a guru, and what she presents here is a clarification of the meaning of the symbols of Hinduism, with an invitation to dive in and use them to accelerate your path to spiritual awakening. She connects the explanations of significance to the rich heritage of myths, folklore and yogic traditions that we are all familiar with.
There are many interesting insights here that I found quite fascinating. For example, I learned that the swastika (which is reviled in history because of its connection with Nazi atrocities) is actually a Hindu cultural symbol of good fortune, luck, growth and well-being, and that its clockwise spinning vortex symbolizes cosmic energy. “Spread your wings in all four directions and become a chakravartin who balances the four parts of the mind: manas, chitta, ahamkara and buddhi,” says the author. These are streams of associative ideas that take us from intellectual curiosity into a more contemplative state.
Symbols are like shorthand notes that enable a spiritual seeker to focus on energy or to move in a particular direction when stranded. If you are looking to deepen your meditative practices, this interesting guide should help trigger many more states of awareness – and not merely as titbits of knowledge. If you are just curious to learn more about spiritual symbols, this should be a good primer that opens up many fresh insights.
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