Once in a while you come across a book that has the power to pierce through your heart. A Monster Calls is one such book. Written by Patrick Ness, it is a story about a young boy with an ailing mother at home. It covers a range of somewhat difficult topics ranging from death to guilt.
Book review : Siddhartha - The Boy Who Became The Buddha
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They say that sometimes the journey is more interesting than the destination. This couldn’t have been truer for Buddha. The world today knows him as the spiritual leader who was born as a Shakyan Prince and started his journey as a monk almost abruptly, midway through his life. Leaving the kingdom, his family, wife & even his son Rahul. Eventually Buddha’s ideas and teachings connect the entire world. His invaluable lessons about suffering, kindness, forgiveness finds its relevance even today, thousands of years later.
This book by Advait Kottary covers all the significant incidents from the life of Buddha, before he became one. Even if you know the gist of it, the devil is in the detail. In this book, we get to know the people in Buddha’s life, the circumstances, the belief system and the society of that time. All these things in some way, contributed to the making of Buddha – the knower, the enlightened one that we all know of today.
King Suddhodhana made sure his son Siddhartha received the best training to become the ideal Kshatriya and take charge as the king. After losing his beloved wife in childbirth, he made sure Siddhartha grew up in a bubble far from any sufferings and harsh realities of the outside world. Little did he know that time would come and this very act of keeping Siddhartha away from the real world will ignite the ‘eternal seeker’ in him and his quest to find answers will become inevitable. He decides to give up everything including his dear wife Yashodhara and son Rahul and embarks upon a journey of self-realisation. In this journey he meets several guides, bhikkhus and goes deep in his spiritual practices.
Why should you read this book?
I believe the life of great personalities is equally interesting as their teachings, in fact the teachings seamlessly emerge from their life stories. We all would have faced these moments of challenge, dilemma, self-doubt and have asked bigger questions about life and our existence like Prince Siddhartha. No doubt the seeds of becoming a spiritual leader were already there in him. But the path to his self-realisation is for the world to know and learn from.
I particularly loved the way the different characters were described, and their inner conflicts were presented. It is not easy to capture these moments of spiritual realisation that Buddha experienced. The in-depth research into multiple text and sources is evident in the book. Those of you who are interested and curious about Buddha’s journey from a boy to a prince and finally into the enlightened Buddha, this book is truly enjoyable.
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Nishant Prakash is a strategic advisor by profession and a dreamer by choice. ‘Falling In and Out’ is his first book. Let’s take a peek