Saturday, November 29, 2008

Book review: Spirituality Bytes – A guide to understanding and managing the journey called life

Spirituality Bytes – A guide to understanding and managing the journey called life.

Dr. PV Vaidyanathan. Readworthy, New Delhi 2009 pp170. Price: Rs 195.00

Available from the publisher at: 4662/21 Ansari Road, Daryagunj, New Delhi 110002

Phone: 011-43549197

(Book Review by


Spirituality is a device that helps you understand and accept life as it exists. This easy to read book comprises of ten chapters of varying lengths (Just one page to forty five  pages), the longest one on "Life" and the shortest one on  "Spirituality in a nutshell".


While dealing with Life the author touches upon a series of apparently unconnected issues such as: Search for Identity, choosing the middle path, Letting go, quitting the comfort zone, Essence of NOW, Awareness, Freewill, Desire or Deserve, Money and its role etc.


The book is purposely designed to be a collection of different topics such as GOD, fear, greed, anger, present moment awareness, the art of listening, how not to take anything or anybody for granted, mind, meditation etc. The very structure of loosely connected topics makes it easy for anyone to start at any chapter and read the sub sections that are only a few pages. The author spells out his views clearly and asks readers to accept or reject them freely. The selection of topics mostly justifies the subtitle.


However, one teaching that stares in your face all thorough the book is "to take the middle path". Don't be a control freak and don't let yourself be totally laid back – follow the middle path, he says. While taking decisions, 'balance is the key' – again the middle path approach. While talking about Stress handling ( a subject on which he has written another book) he opines: Don't take much more than you can chew; avoid multi tasking and have a balanced view of life. Allocate your time suitably among family and work


Love is all about freedom – allowing the person you love to be free. It is more of giving than of taking.  One of the observations of the author which made me gasp aloud: "How true!" was on 'boredom': "children say they are bored when all that they need is parents' attention".  Who, other than a pediatrician, can know better?!


He advises you to celebrate Death everyday. Live today as if there is no tomorrow. Life gives you a second chance but death gives you none. These seemingly simple utterances have a profound meaning for senior citizens in their twilight years. He even says you should cry. Tears cleanse your system of accumulated toxins. Only if you can experience extreme sorrow, you can experience extreme happiness, he says. I too agree that extremes of happiness and sorrow are at the end of a circular spectrum and if you look at it in another way they are close to each other!


I will recommend this book to anyone who would like to take his life easy rather than to the one who would like to make it easy going. If you accept life as it is, there is nothing else you need to do specially. Read the book and be your own judge.

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