Meditation and shlokas for better life (Book Review)

Title: When All is Not Well; Author: Om Swami; Publisher: Harper Element; Pages: 188; Price: Rs 299.

Title: Ancient Chants for Modern Living; Author: Aatmanika Ram; Publisher: Westland; Pages: 149; Price: Rs 250.

Depression may not be tangible like a heart ailment but it can be just as debilitating. Depression, says author Om Swami, is not just sadness; it is emptiness, misery, pain and nothingness all at once. Depression is also one of the cruellest of all illnesses. “You’ve become so accustomed to feeling miserable that happiness is a foreign feeling.”

With this very depressive but accurate description of depression, Om Swami comes out with some simple solutions to a problem that affects millions around the world. A monk who once ran a software company, Om Swami should know. As a meditation specialist and practitioner of yoga and tantra, he says he has worked with more patients of depression than he can count.

According to Om Swami, depression originates in the casual body and the mind becomes a victim of his own latent tendencies. Long before signs of depression show in the physical body, they have already fully manifested in the subtle body – in your emotional body.

Meditation, he says backing it up with case histories, makes it possible for you to champion your own mind and emotions. And when you apply meditation, proper diet, yoga and prayer over a period of time to cure your depression, you are at once working on your physical, subtle and casual bodies. Regular practice of meditation can help one know a quiet and focused mind. If you suffer from meditation or know a patient, this book may provide valuable answers.

Aatmanika Ram suggests that shlokas or chants are mental tools used in Hindu religion to condition the mind. Chanting, she says, help calm down the mind, focus better on problems at hand and handle situations with emotional strength.

Repeating a sacred chant takes your mind away from the problem at hand temporarily and helps with concentration. It is like giving your mind a short vacation from what is stressful. When you make chanting a way of life, the ability to focus at will becomes one’s second nature.

This book is for those who believe in chanting but don’t know Sanskrit. The author provides chants for improving emotional and mental as well as physical health. It is a short answer to everything you wanted to know about chanting.

–IANS

mr/vd

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