A diplomat examines Indian spirituality (Book Review)

Title: Timeless Wisdom from Ancient India; Author: Basant K. Gupta; Publisher: Laksmi di Asya Om (Italy); Pages: 235; Price: Not listed.

It is not another book on spirituality. A key reason being the author, when the book came out, was a serving diplomat, India’s ambassador to Italy and San Marino. Basant K. Gupta admits he has not written anything original. But he feels it is vital to repeat and sharpen the message in our scriptures in new forms and plain language. And Gupta has succeeded in doing that.

The scriptures say that spirituality is nothing but an extension of morality or Dharma and remains relevant to everyone regardless of age and profession. It is also an integral part of our daily lives. But the pursuit of spirituality will require harmony between the body, mind and the soul. In simple language, Gupta, a versatile exponent of both the Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana, writes how one can accomplish it.

The first part of the book covers the genesis of the Vedas and the six schools of Indian philosophy that emerged from them. It also discusses the basic tenets of Vedanta. The second part introduces the history of the Mahabharata and the message of the Bhagavad Gita and extensively brings out the teachings of its 18 chapters.

Gupta says that people can resolve their inner problems and calm their restless mind only by integrating Dharma into daily life. “Without inner peace, outer peace is impossible. We may change our home or job countless times, but until we calm our restless, disconnected mind, we shall never find true happiness. In order to establish peace within our minds, we need to relentlessly pursue spiritual paths.”

It is no new message. But Gupta – with his diplomatic skills – conveys the idea beautifully.

(M R Narayan Swamy can be contacted at narayan.swamy@ians.in <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,’cvml’,’narayan.swamy@ians.in’);>)

–IANS

mr/vd/ky

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