Sunday, July 5, 2009

How to Live in Old Age. Book review

Swami Shankaranandaji: How to live in old age
This text book in CCMT courses on Gerontology is a good read for anyone interested in Hindu way of aging gracefully. And those who believe in Hinduism as the way of life for them will find the guidance offered very meaningful..
HOW TO live in old age. By Swami Sankarananadaji. Translated from Hindi into English by Sajjan Singh, Central Chinmaya Mission Trust (CCMT), Mumbai. 2004. pp254. Price: Rs 70/- This book on Indian gerontology throws light on how one can age gracefully without being a burden to family members, without feeling desolate and derelict like an abandoned building. Books with a blend of spirituality and graceful ageing are very few, especially written by noteworthy authors. Those who believe in Hinduism as the way of life for them will find the guidance offered very meaningful.

It is used as a text book for the session on gerontology during CCMT's Orientation Camps for Senior citizens offered throughout India. Some forty tips from five Slokas from "Sadhana Panchakam" form the basis for the major portion of this book.
Chapter headings include:

1) The Glory of Spiritual Knowledge (This chapter like a summary of the famous title: "Am I a Hindu")
2) Religious life
3) The yoga of selfless action
4) Preparation for The Thrid Ashrama
5) Entering Vanaprashtha Ashrama
6) Preparation for the Fourth Ashrama
7) Entering Sanyas Ashrama
8) Sanyasis -- Their types
It is worthwhile noting that it is not necessary to give up worldly connections if you become a Sanyasi. The Book provides, as expected, a number of Sanskrit slokas and extracts from spiritual texts. Translations and explanations are offered. The language and rendering are simple and easy flowing. Any Senior Citizen can benefit by reading this book. Going by the size of the book the price is a pittance and highly affordable even to pensioners.

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