Inner engineering by sadhguru

Namaste. I was planning to read this book from many days, but couldn’t made it. But, i could read within 15 days, hour a day to complete, since the explanation flow is so easy to understand. Book is comprising of very simple english with day today examples of an Indian life.

Sadhguru has divided this book into 2 parts. First part is all about Self, Destiny & Yoga. Second part is about Body, Heart, Energy & Joy. Each chapter has the summary in the end & few highlighted portions to remember. He has narrated few topics with examples which makes us very easy to understand. He always stresses upon the uniqueness of human body’s inner intelligence which plays a vital role both metally & physically in life. He has expressed his own experiences with yoga & spirituality & talks about a new concept, inner engineering. He terms inner engineering as the software for well being.

In first part, he tells that, this is the generation where survival process is better organised, but still we have made our life miserable. He explains how to over come this condition by thinking toward inside, designing our destiny & working on “no boundary & no burden”. In second part, he talks about our intake, it may be food or thinking. He gives tips on our habits of eating, sleeping, physical exercise & meditation, which are very simple to understand.

I suggest reader to highlight or mark key things in the book, since he has explained manythings in a flow everywhere. This book, they claim as New York time bestseller, no doubt may be because of his simple & easy to follow advices in the book. Overall a nice book, not into any complicated thinking, with lot of “can be followed” suggestions. Must read book. Namaste.

IKIGAI by Hector & Francesc

As i was recommended from my colleagues to go through this book, IKIGAI, i could pick it up one. First of all, coming to the meaning of the title; it is coined by the japanese people, meaning of which is “Reason of living & getting into feeling of well being”. Basically, book is all about improving an individual’s mental & physical health through simple japanese practices.

Authors are from Spain who set their mind to write this book since they could understand that the highest population of 100+ aged beings are at Okinawa in Japan. So, they could stay over there for a longer period of time to understand Okinawa centenarians’ lifestyle to know what is that which is supporting them to live for so long time. Authors have interacted with many of them to understand their routine food habits, physical & mental exercises & their societal activities.

Broadly, authors explain in 2 stages. How to come out of the life’s mental trauma & then on how to improve mental & physical being. In first stage, therapies like Logotheraphy & Morita therapy are discussed. Then talk with centenarians to know their secrets. Then about exercises & diet to keep an active body. Interestingly, techniques of yoga, tai chi, Qigong, shiatsu & on breathing techniques are explained.

At the end author explains 10 rules as a summary of the book. Stay active, take it slow, don’t fill your stomach, surround yourself with good people, get in shape, smile, connect with nature, give thanks, live in the moment & follow your Ikigai

Overall, a wonderful book which explains on simple techniques with practical examples from centenarians, must read. Namaste.

Principles of Buddhism by Kulananda

I reached Thailand a few days back. I was very eager to know the thai connection with India, since I could see lot of similarities like folding hands (sawadee), worshipping Hindu gods & sanskrit names. I became more curious to know more about the religion which was born in my country & got nicely moulded into East Asia.

I tried to pick up a book which can give me a bird view of Buddhism. I ended up in finding a book by Kulananda. Author Kulananda has narrated the simple thoughts of Buddha & Buddhism way, which can be easily digested by a layman like me in his book “Principles of Buddhism”. He speaks about Buddha’s life, Dharma, Sangha, Karma, Rebirth, Meditation & Spread of Buddhism.

He narrates on 4 noble truths – Dukkha, Craving, Cessation of craving, Path to cessation of craving; where he briefly explains about the Problems in life & what causes it. In one more context, he explains 8 fold path – Perfect Vision, Perfect emotion, Perfect speech, Perfect Action, Perfect Livelihood, Perfect Effort, Perfect Awareness, Perfect Samadhi. Here, I could see the similarity to Astanga yoga in yoga sutras of Patanjali – Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Prathyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi; which are more in depth about the consciousness & how to deal with lack of it.

Lastly author touches upon Spread of Buddhism across the globe; in particular East Asia. Also he narrates on perishing stage of Buddhism when Islamic rulers attacked India from the West & how it got rebirth & flourished.

Overall a nice book which gives a bird view on Buddhism. Hope interested guys on Buddhism can pick up one. Namaste.

Men are from Mars, women are from venus

Book is all about male-female relationships, moods & responds, how to react understanding the partner, colleague or friends. Author John Gray has deeply studied the situations of his own family & also about other families, made statements about the situations & suggestions of how it need to be better handled. He has divided the book into 13 chapters. First he speaks about the real different characters of men & women, then about their responses in different situations, then about how to handle the situations in a better way, then lastly about keeping the magic of relationship alive. While reading, in many instances, you may feel of your own real situation you had faced, how you had handled & how you might had handled better. This really make sense to read the book. Surely, it could be teaching you the problem solving techniques while handling your partner, friends or colleagues. I really suggest you to read this book, since it will also be useful to handle your own colleagues or subordinates too. Its all about the feelings or response which arise naturally in response to your actions. Very interesting portion is author speaks about 90/10 principle at the end of the book. When we are upset, about 90 percent of the upset is related to our past & has nothing to do with what we think is upsetting us. Generally about 10 percent of our upset is appropriate to the present experience. Overall good book, makes you open your inner eyes towards your surrounding people.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE by Daniel Goleman

We have heard of IQ, intelligence quotient which is a score designed to assess Human intelligence. Author Daniel Goleman argues that IQ is not the destiny & he thinks human intelligence as we view is far too narrow & that our emotions play a greater role in Thought, Individual success & in Decision making. He states Emotional intelligence includes Self awareness & Impulse control, Persistence, Zeal & motivation, Empathy & Social deftness. These qualities excel people in Family relationships & also in Workplace; he also states. He explains insights into the brain architecture underlying emotion & rationality; & how Emotional intelligence can be nutured & strengthened.

Book comprises the 5 parts. The Emotional brain, The nature of EI, EI applied, Windows of oppurtunity & Emotional Literacy. I could find the key part in 4th part, Windows of opportunity, where Goleman explains basic of all knowledge which comprises with 7 ingredients.

1. Confidence – A sense of control & mastery of one’s body, behavior & the world

2. Curiosity – The sense that finding out about things in positive & leads to pleasure

3. Intentionality – The wish & capacity to have an impact, & to act upon that with persistence

4. Self control – The ability to modulate & control one’s own actions

5. Relatedness – The ability to engage with others based on the sense of being understood by & understanding others.

6. Capacity to communicate – The wish & ability to verbally exchange ideas, feelings & concepts with others

7. Cooperativeness – The ability to balance one’s own needs with others in group activity.

Overall, a thoughtfully written book which i hope will definitely brings good results in family & at work place if its really practised consistently.

Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by BKS Iyengar

At first, sincere apology for misconceptions if any in my blog on this great book by BKS Iyengar. LIGHT ON THE YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI is a great book which comprises the real meaning of Yoga, information on Lord Patanjali & 4 padas (chapters). Its a book of great knowledge which makes us understand the real meaning of life & polishes the attitudes to reach kaivalya (liberation). I personally feel it’s a great book, real understanding of 196 sutras will really bring changes in the attitude which keeps our consciousness better & better to reach final destination of life.

2000 years ago, Patanjali was the reincarnation of Adisesa, the big serpent which rests Lord vishnu on it. On earth, he becomes son of Gonika, a yogini. She gets him praying to Sun lord. She took handful of water and meditated on sun to get a worthy son to impart her knowledge. As she was about to offer water, she opened her eyes & looked her palms. She saw a tiny snake moving in her palms who soon took on human form, who was named as Patanjali. Pata means fallen, anjali means hands folded in prayer; fallen from folded hands. He became celebrated author of Yoga Sutras.

Author describes Yoga as the union of Body, mind & soul which touches the life of human at every level, physical, mental & spiritual.

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Its beautifully compared to honeycomb, where honey is sweet everywhere. Yoga enables to perceive & experience the world within & around himself, to touch the divine joy to share the divine wealth & happiness. It has got 2 pillars of abhyasa & vairagya, which means practice & detachment. Abhyasa is the art of learning through the cultivation of disciplined action with long, zealous, calm & persevering effort. Vairagya is the art of avoiding which should be avoided, which requires a positive & virtuous approach.

Author explains reader to become Sadaka who always aims Dharma (right duty), Artha (right purpose), Kama (right inclination), Moksa (emancipation); for which he need to overcome the 6 disturbances of life like kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, matsarya.

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Sadaka always aims high to reach liberation through 4 padas to avoid disturbances of life. They are:
1. Samadhi pada
2. Sadana pada
3. Vibhuti pada
4. Kaivalya pada

Author explains yogic disciples in these padas viz, yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, prathyahara, dharana, dhyana & samadhi to reach kaivalya.

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This is a great commentary which is to be must known & key matters which are also known as Astanga yoga or kriya yoga.

Overall a great book which makes you read again & again if you are really serious to fine tune your attitude towards divine, body, mind & soul. I suggest reader to note key things to summarise the book whenever you want to refer. Great book, I bow my head sincerely to Lord Patanjali who has teached us such a path to attain peace & harmony with nature.

“Bhagavad-gita as it is” by His Divine grace Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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At first, am a very very small person to comment or express my personal view on the holy book, bhagavad-gita. I sincerely request readers to apologize me if there are any minor drifts in my personal view with the real meaning.

“Bhagavad-gita as it is” by His Divine grace Bhaktivedanta swami prabhupada comprises the unadulterated 18 chapters; 700 slokas (claimed by ISKCON) in it with translation & purport, as told by Lord Krishna to Arjuna in the battle field of kurukshetra. Its instructs Arjuna the science of self realization, teaching him how to live as a devotee of the lord & reaching the spiritual world while continuing to perform his earthly duties. It took me nearly 6 months to just go through the complete book; which I has to agree that I haven’t really digested the true meaning of this great spiritual book; ocean of spiritual knowledge. It is advised in this book that we should be taught by a bona fide spiritual master, which we could if we really reserve time with a master.

In my personal view point, bhagavad-gita(BG) narrates the rules for an human being how to be. I think BG has 2 pillars in-common in all its chapters i.e., self realization & devotional service to lord. God is ultimate, our thinking or deeds should only to be to please lord, who get pleased only if we indulge in devotional service; eat less & eat only the type of food which are eligible for Lord krishna’s offerings; being purified by intelligence & controlling mind with determination; giving up the objects of sense gratification; being freed from attachment & hatred; controlling body & tongue; giving up ego-lust-anger-pride. These are the things which we can easily make out in BG. But its a ocean of spiritual knowledge narrated by lord himself. The word sacrifice has been explained to such an extent, that it asks human to not to expect anything in return for anything, which I think definitely moulds human beings not to be greedy, which in turn keeps humans away from being selfish & violent.

Review blog on THE COMPLETE BOOK OF YOGA by Swami Vivekananda

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Many people think that Yoga is just a physical exercise with twists and turns which makes body flexible. But its not. Yoga is the union of body, mind and soul. We will truly understand the real meaning and depth of yoga if we go through this book. I could learn from related articles that swami Vivekananda was a key person to introduce Hinduism and yoga practice to west. I could understand this phenomenon a bit when I went through this where he narrates some instances with respect to american society. But its really a pride that a such vast subject got introduced by him at west.
Coming back to the core subject, swami vivekananda narrates the 4 types of yoga; Bhakti yoga, Karma yoga, Jnana Yoga and Raja yoga. These are all hand picked from Bhagavad gita,  where Lord krishna narrates to Arjuna. Advantage of this book is, while explaining each topic, author narrates with very simple examples and makes reader understand much easier. Author explains and make reader understand, what is God, Brahman, Samskara and the universe. Even he narrates what other religious holy book says. Mainly it touches upon the self attitude and behaviour towards others. Certainly a great book, must read.

Review blog on THE SEVEN SPIRITUAL LAWS OF YOGA by Deepak chopra

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Good book, interesting one for the people who are keenly seeking the meditation techniques, in which author asks readers to concentrate on 7 chakras one by one while meditating. Chakras are the neural networks or hormonal system which are key in keeping our mind and body in active state. They are at head, thyroid, heart, pancreas and at reproductive glands. Concentrating on each chakra, i personally felt very mind blowing which really freshens up our body and mind. Author Mr. Deepak chopra, briefly explains the 8 branches of yoga too, which is very interesting like Yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana & samadhi. Each one states a good character which are very vital to move towards spiritual good human being. Indulging in each one honestly will definitely bring good habits. Deepak also illustrates some of the yoga poses at the end of the book which are helpful. Overall good book.

Review blog on The Seven Spiritual laws of success by Deepak Chopra

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The Seven spiritual laws of success by Deepak chopra is one of the great book which combines the ancient philosophy of vedanta and findings of present. Jist of the book; guidelines to our thinking process which is definitely useful in making decisions and act. There are some classical laws he states which really supports us to think and take decision even in small instances. He is bit aligning to Mr. Echkart Tolle`s The power of now. But advantage of this book is that it assists some alpha how we should be, how we need to take decision, how to follow 7 laws in life. It is overlapping with bhagavad gita, where krishna says what are our duties and how we should be. Deepak says, how we need to think and behave. Definitely it will trigger our mind, if we really start aligning our thinking to these 7 laws.
His 7 laws are Law of Pure potentiality, Giving & Receiving, Karma, Least effort, Intention & Desire, Detachment, Dharma. While explaining each law, author describes whats the law, how we should experience.
Great book, really useful, must read.