Monday, February 20, 2017

Book Review: Open-Eyed Meditations by Shubha Vilas

Book Blurb:

Open-eyed Meditations is a beautiful compilation of thoughts wherein each meditation takes you on a journey to the past, bringing a secret herb to heal a problem of the present.
A true distillation of ancient wisdom tips for modern lives, this unique self-help book uses the wisdom of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata to solve your everyday problems.
Beyond the storyline, something deeper is waiting to be discovered from these ancient texts. This book is an attempt to uncover the hidden layer of wealth that is cleverly packaged within the commonly known storylines.

About the Author

Shubha Vilas holds a degree in engineering and law with a specialization in patent law. But in essence, he is an author, a motivational speaker, lifestyle coach, and a storyteller par excellence.
His leadership seminars, wherein he addresses the crucial needs of top-level management through inspiring seminars, are popular in corporate houses.

Shubha Vilas periodically interacts with the youth in premier institutes across the world, inspiring them to live a life based on deeper human values.
Traveling across the globe and meeting people from all walks of life, he teaches the importance of being governed by dharmic principles, meting out spiritual lifestyle tips and contemporary wisdom to deal with modern-day life situations.

My Review:

Stories often help us to introspect. We compare and contrast them with our own life. We empathize with the protagonists when we can relate to their thoughts and actions. You might think,” I would have done the same thing if I faced that situation. Then there are stories which become embedded in our psyches through generations of retelling. The myths, the folklores, and epics. They have innumerable gems of wisdom embedded in them. Most of the times we just treat them as mere tools of literary pleasure. The gems of wisdom thus remain hidden.

Author Shubha Vilas in his book ‘open-eyed meditations’, explores the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana and digs out these gems of wisdom. He then polishes them through cogent analysis, using comparisons with contemporary life and customizes them into tiny capsules of profound secrets which every individual can understand and consume with ease.

There are 64 chapters and each chapter sheds light upon contemporary conundrums. The narration is lucid and addresses the various issues every individual face in their life. It answers some of the most troublesome questions related to personal, professional and societal issues that we confront.

For example, in the chapter titled ‘A formula to rebrand the mind’ which happens to be one of my favorites in the book, he talks about how the human mind, thoughts, beliefs, values and culture operate through symbolism. He explains how for Bharata, Rama’s Paduka was symbolic of his brother’s principles which became his core guidelines to rule. He says how for Vrajavasis the flute represented hope and joy because Krishna’s flute easily made them forget all their sorrows caused by Kamsa’s atrocities.

In order to rebrand the mind, he asks us to choose a symbol that inspires, triggers pleasant memories and makes us embrace a higher value system.

Each chapter ends with a summary of what has been explained in the chapter. The chapters are short with two to three pages addressing one particular topic. Through these open-eyed meditations, Shubha Vilas gives practical tips to handle everyday life.

Highly recommended to all those who seek to become better individuals. This is a self-help book with a difference. It can be enjoyed by the young and the old equally.

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