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15 July, 2009

Wakeup Calls: The Books that Transform your Life


Many people believe that there are wake-up calls in everybody’s life, shaking us from top to bottom, sometimes shattering our whole believe systems, or provoking to rethink where we are leading. These calls, however, vary in forms. For Mahatma Gandhi, a witnessing moments of abuse to the black people during his journey to south Africa, happened to be the call. For Ramakrishna, while wandering in one morning, a hearing of a woman having her son waken from the late morning sleep,” Ram awake! how long will you sleep?”, turn out be the call. For Lao stu, when he was just woke up from a usual siesta under a tree, a wandering leaf detached from the branch, shook  his whole being. For other less sensitive people there are still other ways. They can be of accidents, warning from someone, feeling synchronicity while reading inspiring books and so on. Fortunate are those who could accept the message of change, jump to the journey of transformation, and allow the shift in paradigms likely being taken place.


I found myself bibliophile since the earlier school days. In those days and environment, extracurricular reading materials were hardly available. Neither was I aware of  reading culture nor were there library and bookstall in the vicinity. There was no choice of books, whatever available from the friends and senior were assumed great stuffs and were hidden under the pillow or books, lest parents would know the waste of valuable time of doing homework. In retrospect, only few were suitable books for the teenage psychology. Other simply happened to be cheap novels and the junk stuffs.


The thirst of reading remained same, however, the taste and connoisseur within changed by and by. The post high school and pre university days were the golden days for exploring the type and the quality of books around the world. I voraciously read Russian classics ( like Tolstoy, Gorki, Dostoevsky) western classics (like Russell, Bernard Shaw, Khalil Gibran) Indian classics (like Tagore, Sharadchandra Chattopadhaya, Bandhopadhyaya, Prem Chand, Guru Dutta), Nepalese literatures ( like Devkota, Balkrishna Sam, Danush Chandra Gautam, Daulat Bikram Bista). Those reading moments were very satisfying, fantasying and thrilling, but after the pass out of the   aftereffect, the same void, boring and emptiness would appear, what next? Go for the next book, like a obsession. I could not grasp the gems from them which could prove to practical, wake up or transforming to me.


During my second half of the university days, I encountered with some books or which were ‘waiting’ for me. Then I knew the meaning of some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, & some few to be chewed and digested. I also realized that among the books to be chewed and digested, (i) some are for wake up call, inspiring to rekindle the dream convincing that development is possible and luring that transformation is awaiting (ii) other are for the map of the journey, since the motivation is not sufficient. Once  the dream is fixed, the roadmap is necessary. And (iii) few are like mirror helping to understand where we are. I like to share few books which have influenced me and in some way proved to be wake-up call, guide and mirror.

Wake up Call

  1. Oshodhyan Yog. For me it was the first wake up call describing in simple way what is missing our life and how to achieve. It is encyclopedia of meditation and the meditation techniques being practiced around the world since the time unknown.
  2. The Alchemist: This is a fiction from the Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo who introduces Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids and goes for it. Along the way he meets many spiritual message in mysterious ways. he meets The alchemist who not only could transform the lead into gold but also purify the heart.

    "My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy confides to the alchemist one night as they look up at a moonless night.

    "Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself," the alchemist replies. "And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity.”

  3. The Jonathan Livingstone seagull: It is also a fable in novella from about a seagull learning about life and flight, and finally a journey of self-perfection. This small book of 28 pages remained the New York times bestseller list for 38 weeks (wekipedia).
  4. Conversation with God:  This is also interesting books where a frustrated man sat down one day asking god the tough questions in his heart.  As he wrote his questions to God, he realized that God was answering them... directly... through his pen..where he finds answer of personal life which we dare to ask if we were contact with god.


  1. Seven Habit of Highly effective people: Although these category of books are specific depending upon the type of the goals being met. This book is practical guide among self-help series incorporating personal, professional and inter-personal aspects.
  2. The Book of Secrets: From Osho, also available in audio form, this book is best for to those who are interested in the meditation practice.
  3. Odyssey to Enlightenment: This is biography of a western seeker who continuously felt the emptiness within whatever success he got in professional life. Spurred on by an unquenchable yearning for truth, one day he resigns from his job, sells everything he had and his odyssey takes him to remote parts of India where he met many Enlightened mystics. This book contains the dialogue with these mystics on the way of his journey. Though his teacher declared him enlightened one. his journey continued until there is no more quest.


These books are essence of the sankhya yoga suitable for the those who already entered into the inner journey and help to measure their progress.

  1. Power of Now and The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle are the authentic and clear cut way dealing the complex terms like Ego, Time, living in presence. I suppose must read for seeker.
  2. Mahageeta a commentary by Osho on Ashtabakra (available in audio form also)also falls under the category.

I love to hear from you if you have encountered any such books and love to recommend!

07 July, 2009

Guru Day: Auspicious Day to Tune with Master

What is Guru?

There are three intimate relationships in human civilization; Mother, father and the guru. Link with mother is very gross, existential and graspable. It is like earth. Origin of father is due to civilization. In primitive ages, the society could run without the declaration of ‘father’. For convenience and the channelization of evolving society, the adoption of father is sought to be necessary. Though it is subtler than mother, it can be grasped. It is like water. More the society evolves, more prominent becomes the role of the father.

Third comes the guru. The ‘guru’ is difficult to grasp like wind. It can be felt but not seen. Many times it becomes subjective and inconvincible by the logic. With evolution of consciousness, the role guru becomes more apparent. Mother is necessary for life, ‘Father’ makes the life easy and growing, and the guru gives the meaning of life, the possibility of self-actualization, encouraging the disciple by his own presence as the example.

Why does a person need guru?

With practical and the utilitarian point of view, there is no answer. Ask a gardener why he is sowing flowers instead of vegetables and crops. Ask a poet why he sings, or the musician why he pours his being to the music. Ask the chirping birds why they sings so wildly with no apparent reason.

Why do you need guru and waste time and energy- instead devote yourself in something rewarding like job, business and career and make life comfortable? The role of guru is abstract as such. But if you listen your heart, it vibrates with mere remembrance of him, let alone the presence. Remember those moments when you sit in front of him letting his eye to penetrate and dissolve your being. For a disciple, a single moment of silence with guru, his warm palm on the forehead, and the overflowing emotion pouring out from the eyes in response, are answers why there is guru.

True guru or true disciple-hood

Even if one is convinced with necessity of guru, there is question of true guru. There are thousands and one gurus. Who is the real one and convincing to you? We all are seeking true guru and there is hundred questions about the credibility of guru. Are we cultivating true disciple-hood in us, do we have credibility of our search? A true disciple-hood will attract similar guru. A disciple can never find a guru, instead his burning thirst and disciple-hood will draw guru if needed.

Guru Purnima

As per the Hindu’s calendar, today is guru purnima. It is mentioned that there are many astrological coincidences and metaphorical reasons for choosing this one among the fifty-two others. In the monsoon sky full of heavy cloud, the moon is rarely seen. The cloud represents the state of disciple mind which masks the bright light. Only after the dissolution of cloud into rain makes the sky clear with ever illuminating light.

Happy guru purnima dear friends!

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