Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stop Sleep Walking through Life

Author: Devdas Menon
Published: 2004
Publisher: Yogi Impressions Books Pvt. Ltd. 

All of us want to be be happy. But a vast majority of us believe that happiness lies in objects or events external to us and make all efforts to acquire and change them. But it is actually we who make a choice between happiness and unhappiness. It is all in our mind.

The author echoes the message of eminent philosophers and saints of the major religions of the world that self-awareness is the key to happiness , contentment and peace of mind.

In this invaluable little book he questions the way we lead our lives. His questions are rather uncomfortable but serve a great purpose. When we ponder over these questions we get convinced that our constant endeavor to acquire something or to become something, our continuous dissatisfaction with present and dwelling in past or future are the root causes for our unhappiness and discontentment and a restless mind.

Having raised these questions, this book does not provide ready made prescriptive answers like in many of the self-help books available in the market. This I think is the uniqueness of this book. The sole purpose of this book is to shake you awake and make you realize the necessity of developing self-awareness.But each one of us have to find our own way which suits us ,as the protagonist in the Herman Hesse novel Siddhartha does. One hat size will not fit everyone. And I congratulate the author for not trying to impose his views on developing self-awareness on the readers. Rather he has given pointers to different sources which the readers may refer and make their own decision.

The book is written in a very simple and lucid style. It has 9 chapters each one expanding on a theme based on the beautiful thought provoking quotations from Rupert Brooke, Anthony de Mello, Chuang Tzu, Thomas Merton, T.S. Eliot, Brihadarnyaka Upanishad, J. Krishnamurthi, Li Po and William Blake.

I strongly recommend this book for anyone who is feeling restless in life and is sincerely seeking peace of mind, happiness and contentment.

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