Thursday, 3 November 2016

Open Eyed Meditations by Shubha Vilas: a review

Shubha Vilas has always been, to me, an inspiration. I have been reading him for a long time now and his Ramayana series always acts as a breath of fresh air for me every year; especially since it comes with a beautiful message handwritten by the author. This time, when I heard about his latest offering, Open Eyed Meditations, how could I have missed it? With this book, the author has attempted to give us a fresh perspective of things that we face in everyday life and that too with the examples taken up from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The first thing attracted me towards the book (apart from the title) was the blurb.

According to the back cover- Open eyed Meditations is a beautiful compilation of thoughts wherein each meditation takes you on a journey to the past, bringing a secret herb to heal a problem of the present. A true distillation of ancient wisdom tips for modern lives, this unique self-help book uses the wisdom of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata to solve your everyday problems. Beyond the storyline, something deeper is waiting to be discovered from these ancient texts. This book is an attempt to uncover the hidden layer of wealth that is cleverly packaged within the commonly known storylines.

I usually don’t do this but I would like to tell you that the day I received the book, I was very down and I felt like giving up, crying. I received the book and a smile lit my face as I saw the handwritten message written inside the book. It read, “Dear Sharanya, hoping that every page of this book adds new meaning and depth to your life making it a beautiful meditation. With gratitude and love, yours truly.” And I knew then and there that this book is going to be special. The cover of the book is simple and yet very deep. You would surely get a glimpse of what the book is all about with a look at the cover and then there are 64 chapters in the book which would give you practical wisdom for everyday life.

When I completed the book, I knew that this book would become my new go-to book whenever I am down. It has situations pertaining to every part of our life like friendship, work relations, love affairs etc. The strong voice of the author, who is also a lifestyle coach, with his simplistic writing style makes this book a must read for every person. It is wonderful the way the author has written so much in depth and analysed so much about our everyday life and also our epics- Ramayana and Mahabharata.

At no point of the book would you feel bored. It might not be told as a concrete story but the way the references are given, at no point would you feel that this is not a story that is being told in the book. 64 chapters might have freaked you out? Do not be, because these 64 chapters give you teachings of a lifetime. Everyday questions like, quality or quantity? Can the embarrassment be embraced? What is jealousy? Etc is answered in the book with utmost sincerity and you would feel inspired and enlightened by the end of it. I am sure that whenever you are feeling low in your life, you can come back to the book.

It is always difficult for me to find faults with Shubha Vilas’s books and this book is no different. I would also like to commend the author on the point that he has wonderfully maintained his style of writing in this book. Doesn’t it go without saying that I am looking forward to his next book. For me, this self-help book is a 5 on 5. Highly recommended.

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