A couple of weeks ago, i was contacted by a PR agency in Wrocław. They were looking for some one from India, who could write a short review of the book ‘Book of dharma’.
Arround 2-3 years ago my grandfather gifted me a book called Ramayanam which was a malayalam translation of the sanskrit book Ramayana. There was a review of the book inside which was published by a famous author. It showed me how to write a review starting from the beginning, to the middle all the way up to the end. I read it a couple of times and i was confident enough to write my own review of Simons book.
Preview of the Book of Dharma – making conscious decisions
Dharma in Hindusim(also Buddhism and Jainism) means behaviours that are in alignment to the law and order of the universe, and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and principles on the right way of living. Once my Polish friend asked me about dharma. I tried for about 5 minutes to find a one word meaning of Dharma, and still couldn’t find the correct word for her in Polish. That is because there is no one word translation for the word Dharma in western languages.
We have to face different kinds of difficulties at many stages of our life. During those times, how should we practice Dharma in our life, that is what Simon Haas has shown through his book Księga Dharmy. When he had to face unbearable sadness at many occasions in his life, lord Rama didn’t let go of his Dharma principles. This book show us how we can live like Lord Rama in our own life.
Simon hass by living in India for more than a decade, and through intensively studying ancient Sanskrit texts and sayings has built a huge array of knowledge on the topic of Dharma. Instead of using complex terminology, he has compiled this book in an easy to understand form for normal readers. By using short stories, and experiences from his personal life, he tries to increase the knowledge, and strengths in the ordinary man through this book.
As an Indian, i was able to learn about Dharma at school, as well as at home. When we were young, out grandmothers and teachers would tell us short stories about Dharma. Normally only people who have some knowledge of Sanskrit language can study about Dharma in detail. For the normal Poles who don’t have adequate knowledge of the ancient Sanskrit language, this book written by Simon haas is a wonderful thing.
This book has been published keeping in mind the readers who don’t have much interest in reading Vedic texts books, or Indian mythological works.
Even though i know polish language, at first i was afraid whether i would be able to understand the book in its full essence. I was positively surprised to know that, this book has been written using very simple language. It has been written in such a way that, people from all walks of life can take something home from its teachings.
An example of how this book has actually helped me in real life? Any concrete example?
Simon haas says that, every single minute of our life we are bombarded by a million thoughts . Some of the voices criticises us, some of them say ‘You are bad person’ or “You shouldn’t have said that. Oh common how could have You done that?’. After hearing these voices over a 100 times, we have a tendency to believe in them. Actually What matters is that we have to let those voices pass us. They are just thoughts. The problem starts when we start to believe in those thoughts. It was then that i realised how much i have allowed my thoughts to define me everyday. Who am i without those negative thoughts? It is then that we start to wonder ‘maybe i should’nt let those thoughts define me?’ Those thoughts are like a radio station. Maybe what we have to do is tune into another station and listen to better thoughts. Which brings me to another topic..
When we think about violence, most often the first thing that comes to our mind is physical violence. Besides physical violence, Dharma speaks about mental violence. Mental violence includes criticising others. How often we have the tendency to criticise others everyday. In our thoughts, how often we have the tendency to criticise everyday? The book says ‘everyday we go around this world, classifying others into categories, assessing them, pointing out their mistakes in our head etc….
In dharma, non violence means when we look at the world through a prism , where there is no good and bad. This prism is completely of assessments and critique. That place is of non violence.
When we are assessing others based on their value, we are treating them like products in a shop. Thus we ourselves become one of the products in that shop. This tendency of assessment, doesn’t support life but infect destroys it. Whenever we are comparing ourselves to others, we are infact also diminishing the value of our own selves in our eyes.
These are just some examples from different examples mentioned by Simone in his book. It gives You a lot to think about. I immediately started looking more deeply into my thinking pattern everyday and adjusting my thoughts in such a way that i started to develop more sympathy to others, rather than just treating them as products in a shop. When I treat them with kindness in my mind, i become less and less harsher to myself. Isn’t that beautiful? I believe its something we all could practice from day 1 of reading this book.
This book landed on my lap, at a time where i was facing many challenges in my personal life. I am glad that i received a copy from the publishers. I would like to sincerely thank Simon Haas, and Manendra publishers for this wonderful book and to have the chance to write a short review of this book.
You can buy the book here –manendra publishers