My first face to face with this book
I was just strolling the roads of Siliguri when I came across a book store. I already had a book in my bag (‘Patna Blues’ by Abdullah Khan) to make my bus journey back to Patna a beautiful one. Books are never enough for some people and hence bought a new book to try some spiritual aspect. I was lucky to get it at a 50% discounted rate. The book is “Life’s amazing secrets: How to find balance and purpose in your life”.
I have seen few of the YouTube videos of Gaur Gopal Das. Honestly, I didn’t read this book because I was inspired by the videos but because I wanted to understand his perspective. I am glad I did.
Brief about writer
Gaur Gopal Das (Das) is an engineer who left his job with Hewlett Packard to live as a monk. He is now leading a movement to help others achieve happiness and this book is a result of this endeavour.
It is written in a narrative style where Das interact with his one of his follower cum friend Harry. Harry is a successful person in the material perspective but is not content from inside. His family life is not in a good shape either. While going back to Ashram from Harry’s home after having a good dinner, Das realized his pain and enlighten him with life’s amazing secrets. Das mention that our life is running on four wheels (like a car) and these wheels are –
- Personal life
- Work life
- Social contribution
Personal life –
Gratitude is a big role to play in managing our personal life. I have observed that when my day at office is stumbling, I start to think everything is negative in this world. I forget that I have got everything in my life – a good family, set of loyal friends, good health, financial freedom, multiple avenues of learning, etc. I start to a bigger set of positivity in the light of one point of negativity. This single situation can create a huge loss for my well-being and that’s’ why gratitude becomes important. I have started thinking of few situations where I felt grateful to my life every night before going to sleep and it has really helped me a lot.
Das mention that gratitude can offer solace in the time of great difficulty on many different levels.
‘We learned about gratitude and humility – that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean…and we were taught to value everyone’s contribution and treat everyone with respect.’
– Michelle Obama
Second thing is appreciating minor beauty of life. We must press pause and stop to smell the rose.
We should be sensitive while speaking to each other. We should treat our surroundings element with equal respect what we expect from others for us. Imagine a colleague talking to you in a good way, you will be bound to respond in the similar way.
We must try to focus on the good and magnify it. It doesn’t mean to ignore the threat and it only means to utilize our strength to bring something better out of everything. Words and thoughts have immense power and hence positivity must be a part of it.
Relationship is like growing a plant. It urges for utmost attention, love and care. It involves forgiveness as a critical part of it. Das mentioned that forgiveness means to take note of higher purpose. For instance, our parents may fight but they always resolve it to nourish their kids well. Child nourishment here is the higher purpose here and it act as a binding factor in long term in parents.
Das says that human beings are not just another species. They can cooperate and subscribe to higher values such as harmony, loyalty and trust. If we can, we should use it to fullest. I have observed the relevance of harmony and trust when working on assignments. I may be good at something whereas my colleagues may be good at something different. This combo of skill creates a beautiful output.
Do we go every day to office to compare ourselves with our colleagues? No.
Do we go to work to show ourselves superior to other colleagues? No.
Just think for a while and we all will realize that we are living this life to improve ourselves. It feels good when we learn something new or help someone. This way, we make ourselves better than the previous day. Actor Matthew McConaughey in his 2014 Oscar acceptance speech mentioned his hero is ten years older of his own version. In this way, he is never going to be his hero. It is fine as he keeps on chasing his hero in this way and keep on improving himself in return.
We must never compromise with our moral values. It makes us what we are.
Our journey of life is to move from being an ice cream to be a candle. Here, ice cream represents the philosophy of enjoy your life before it melts whereas candle represents to give light to others before it melts.
What I liked about this book?
I would give this book a rating of 6 out of 10 and must be read at least once. For the last 2 days, I am waking up by reading few pages of this book (it is always better to keep a book by your bed side). Believe me but last few days are one of the best days of my life.
- It is a book and every book is good. The smell of pages, the design of its cover and the sound of turning a page will give you immense pleasure.
- It is a very simple read and a moderate reader can finish this book in 2-3 days. Its moral lesson lies in few concepts such as gratitude, service to others, love, self-improvement, etc.
- The short stories are fully relatable from our general life but contains impactful lesson.
Beautiful quotes from the book
- We are spiritual beings having human experience.
- Love is when we have every reason to break but we do not.
- Intimate association is about interactions that go beyond the needful; beginning with sharing things, moving on to sharing food and finally sharing thoughts, values and beliefs.
- In times of great calamity, sometimes the right thing to do is to just be there.
- The most powerful force in the world is love.