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.
Study and research finds expression in my writing : Narendra Murty
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After working in the life insurance industry for decades, Narendra Murty started gathering his studies, research and knowledge about life, in general, and wrote a few books based on extensive research. His latest is a compilation of twenty essays, ‘An Odyssey of the Mind.’
I mostly lead the life of a hermit..
Although I pursued a career in Finance for a living, the deep, driving passion of my life has been the study of various religions and philosophies. I started this study at the age of 25 when my life turned turtle due to a sudden misfortune. I became a sincere seeker of knowledge. In the course of my study in these 35 years, I have explored all the major philosophies of the East and West and delved into every religion and mystical tradition of this world. If I have to describe myself as a person, then I would say that I mostly lead the life of a hermit – withdrawn from the world most of the time, immersed in my study, contemplating and writing.
Writing is my passion; I am not a writer by profession
Since I had a job to perform as an Insurance professional, whatever time I got for myself, I used it for my study and research. I believe that it is possible to balance writing with another day job if you are very clear about your priorities. A whole lot of low priority activities (for instance, television) take away a lot of our time without us being aware of it. Since I had this clarity, even during a normal working day, I could set aside 4/5 hours of study each day for my study and writing. And on holidays it went up to 10 hours. Anyone who goes through my works can see the kind of research it requires. I believe that the study of a book should be an enriching experience and that is what I try to give to my readers. I am the kind of writer who intently studies the great authorities on the subject and contemplates deeply about what has been read to perfect my own understanding. And that finds expression in my writing. If you want a book that is the result of deep study and contemplation and created in a state of silence and withdrawal – away from the digital noise, then my writing is for you.
Since last year, I have been devoted full time to my study and writing. I am also working as a volunteer for Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry and contributing every month to their e-magazine called Renaissance. The subject matter of these write ups is mostly philosophy, religion and yoga.
I mainly write because writing is my passion. I don’t take writing as a profession or even as a means for earning money. Also, the kind of knowledge that I have gathered with painstaking effort for more than 35 years, is beyond the reach of the average lay reader. Because it requires deep study and a love for that kind of study. But nevertheless, the wisdom that I have come across in the course of my study is invaluable to give clarity and direction to our lives. So, I write to convey that subtle and deep knowledge to the average lay reader in an accessible and interesting format.
Let’s get to know more about the book – An Odyssey of the Mind
An Odyssey of the Mind – Journeys in the Modern Mindscape is a collection of twenty deeply thought-provoking essays written over a period of ten years. The subjects include psychology, philosophy, history, sociology, the impact of technology, ecology, political philosophy and even a couple of humorous and satirical jibes on our politics, society and culture. In the course of observing the state of our society and civilization, I have felt that there is a great lack of clarity on important issues that relate to our own lives. There is a lot of whitewashing and obfuscation in the media about these issues due to various ideological positions. In this book I wanted to clear some of that haze and also wanted to provide perspective and a holistic view which is seriously missing in public discourse.
What the readers are going to like about this book is the depth of research but at the same time not being burdened by statistical data. The viewpoints have been argued backed by the ideas of the great luminaries of the intellectual world which have been strung together in a coherent narrative.
Writers and books that inspired me
I am passionate about philosophy, religion, spirituality and all the mystical traditions. However, the greatest influence of my life has been Sri Aurobindo and all his writings which is a monumental body of work. Right now, I am writing a book on Savitri, his spiritual epic poetry. And also serving him as a volunteer in Pondicherry. I have a Youtube channel of my own where I present small videos on religious and spiritual themes.
So far, I have not faced the Writer’s block..
Right now, I am devoted full time to my study and writing. So far, I have not faced the Writer’s block. In my opinion, a writer whose mental horizons are broad and who lives most of the time in the world of thoughts and ideas, would never face a Writer’s block. If sufficient inputs have gone in, then the output should not be so difficult. Because inputs + our own creativity = Writing. Deficiency in any of the two requirements would result in Writer’s block. And also, it is my opinion that too much of an extrovert life is detrimental to writing. Quality writing requires some amount of introversion and withdrawal. And contemplation.
My advice to aspiring writers
My advice to aspiring authors is only this:
Tell your own story. The reader should hear your authentic voice. Don’t bother about what sells or what doesn’t. Do not have publishing in mind while writing.
Just express what you have inside you and make efforts to learn the art of expression. If your work has substance, it’s going to produce a resonance in the hearts of the readers. Sooner or later. But that is not in your hands. So just keep writing. Let the unpublished manuscripts keep on piling. But give the very best shot you are capable of.
Also read : My life, my journey, my writing – Deepti Menon
More of my works..
My first book Eating His Money – The Antics of a Metaphysical Clown (also available on Amazon) contains my commentaries on twenty-five stories of Mulla Nasrudin, the enigmatic clown. Nasrudin is actually a teaching method devised by the Sufi Masters to impart wisdom and the stories have multiple layers of meaning. The book is an expression of my understanding of Sufi philosophy and I illustrate with concepts derived from all the wisdom traditions of the world making this subtle knowledge easily accessible to the general lay readers.
My next book which is going to be published by Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry, is titled The Religion of Wonder. It is an attempt to define religion outside the context and framework of the organized religions where Man develops a feeling of awe and reverence for the nature of Existence itself; a sense of wonder which in every sense is spiritual and religious.
My subsequent offering would be a book titled An Oak Tree in the Garden which explores the world of Zen. Therein I have provided my commentaries on 30 enigmatic but highly fascinating Zen stories. My literary agent is trying to place it with the publishers right now. Apart from these 4 books, I am working on 3 more manuscripts which are in the final stages of completion.
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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