“The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over: thus the wise say the path to salvation is hard”-Katha Upnishad.
What does a book mean to you? For me it has been those little steps to Nirvana. Nirvana can be defined as a state of complete bliss, delight and peace characterized by the extinction of desire and suffering and individual consciousness. The art of living is not a month’s course but a lifelong process and nothing but books is the means. What makes you rich in the true sense is not the number of shirts in your wardrobe but the count of books on your shelf. If at some part of the world you come across this post you may probably skip it because it talks of books or may be that you are too busy to read a few lines. If you still go on to read it, pause, and think of one thing which is worrying you and the solution will be in a book.
In my experiences with books I have come across a lot of philosophies of living life but no single book is enough for life’s philosophy because it varies with every individual though the essence is the same. We really need to accept this point and appreciate others philosophy too. The sole purpose of religious books was to liberate people by making them compassionate and pragmatic and never was to produce religious fanatics. It is very important to cultivate human values and hold on to ones ideology without doubting and making mockery of the path of others. Reading books is a good passion to follow and like any other passion it helps in making the mind clutter free for that is one time when you are in peace with yourself. Pierre in War and Peace lays down 3 points on a path to follow and is worth mentioning here.
- To conquer anger by calmness and deliberation.
- To vanquish lust by self restraint and repulsion.
- Withdraw from worldliness, but not avoid a) Service of the State b)family duties c)relations with friends and, d)the management of one’s affairs.
We can never test the strength of our minds in conformity. Every day we surrender to hunger, lust, beauty, desire for material things, comfort never ever questioning our feeble minds. There are things which are necessary for survival and one must indulge in these things being aware of their purpose. Many of the books I have read speak of how people have realized the truth in adversity. One of the best ways to live is following self restraint because it makes us aware of things for granted. Just try to fast on fruits for a day or two and probably you will understand the purpose of food.
We live in times when many things are imposed upon us but we also have the right to accept or reject a thing. The best practice could be experiencing a thing and then deciding whether one wants to have it in his life or not. One life is too short to live and one cannot experience all the things which makes one wise so it is very important to delve in to the lives of others and take positives from it and the best way is reading. Next time when you go to a mall buy few books instead of that shirt because desire is an infinite loop.
I have selected 5 books which I would like you to read:
- Into the Wild by Jon krakauer
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
- Motor Cycle diaries by Che Guevara
- Tuesdays with morrie by Mitch Albom
- The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein
Would like to end the post with few lines from Julius Ceaser where Ceaser speaks to Calpurnia,” Cowards die many times before their death. The valiant never taste death but once. Of all the wonders I have heard It seems to me most strange that men should fear, Seeing that death, a necessary end will come when it come.”