Thursday, October 29, 2015

I Met Prabuddha

Blessings of Virgin Mary, Mystique Rose, Mother of God.

Today, I met Prabuddha.

Yes, if you have read the book, Prabuddha: The Clear-sighted, you may know who I am taking about. I told you in the beginning of the book that you will learn who Prabuddha is. You learned, right? Yes, you did.

I met someone like you.

He said, one of the stories that appear in Prabuddha, “The Dew Collectors,” which also appears in Wall of Colours, resembles a real life experience he had. He said he enjoyed Prabuddha so much that he is eager to read my next book, Mount Sermon.  

He said that once, he went to attend an interview, just like the protagonist of “The Dew Collectors”. As the events unfolded in the story, this young man also came across a ‘mysterious’ old house, a friend’s in the real life story. The old mother of the friend serves the two young men lunch. During lunch, the man who told me this fascinating story of real life experience drank a mug of water that was on the table. In a sudden fit, the old woman, his friend’s mother was infuriated.

The young man was baffled for a moment. He did not know the cause of the woman’s unexpected rage. She shouted at him, telling him he did the wrong thing.

As the truth became clear, the young man realized that the water was kept there for the woman’s elder son. He had died at an early age. She keeps food and water on the table for her dead son, ever day.

After listening to this story, I told this individual, who is perhaps my age, that I never really thought this story could be real. While I was working on “The Dew Collectors”, I doubted if readers would believe what I had written. Apparently, the story was never told before in Indian literary scene, although these events and the belief systems that form the basis of such events are real and in existence here in Kerala for many thousands of years. So when I was writing this story, my only concern was its believability. Today, when I heard what my reader had undergone in his personal life, I felt a mysterious, yet firm hand guiding me. I believe that this hand is of the Blessed Virgin Mary, because the previous day, I had urged her for guidance.

When in self-doubt, one is in darkness as to which way is the way. It is not as much taking one road among many others as taking any road at all. I needed a guiding light so my future would not go directionless.

Another individual sat next to us while we were having this conversation. These two men work at the University where I do my Doctoral Research. They work at the administrative section. The person who listened to the two of us talk was a senior offical. He intervened and asked me, if I had read the Gita. “You have quoted from the Bhagavat Gita in Prabuddha,” he said.

The younger person had suggested Prabuddha: The Clear-sighted to the senior officer. The book was with him and he had already flipped through the pages.

“I haven’t read the Gita yet,” I said. “But I am convinced that the Gita has come to me in various ways.”

“Yes, I understand. The Gita will come to us in ways we may not foresee,” he said. “It’s the essence of Indian spiritual tradition. And this consciousness that the Gita could come to us even without us knowing is the clear-sightedness one requires.”

I said, I agree. Our conversation took off from there. We talked about spiritual traditions of various denominations. He told me about the sages in the Himalayas. We suggested books back and forth on spirituality, life after death, and reincarnation.

At the end of our conversation, the senior person stood up. “You must continue on your path of enlightening people. This is what people must to read, books like Prabuddha,” he said. “Before working on your next book, I recommend you to read the Gita. You may find in the Gita what you may never find elsewhere.”

“I do not have a copy,” I responded.

“I have one here,” he said.

“No, thank you sir. But I prefer to purchase a personal copy, because I may need to refer to it frequently,” I said.

“I am not asking you to return it,” the senior official said. “You can keep it.”

And he handed over a thick volume of the Complete Bhagavat Gita to me, as a gift.

***

True story: occurred on 29-10-2015  








            Thank you. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

UNVEILING THE SECRETS OF MOUNT SERMON: What's Behind the Title?

Author Khushwant Singh allegedly said in an interview that “there is no point in writing if you are not honest” (56). I took this advice and carried forward my spiritual act, my conscious affair with coming to term with who I truly am. The ‘I AM’ presence in me is joyous with what I write and when I write. It does not matter what I write, I have discovered over the years. Although I began with a strange fear that I must confine myself within a genre like poetry or fiction. But I kept coming across one answer to this dilemma.

Whatever I write, the only thing I need to do is to open myself to the Source of all being. And I will be given what I am to write. I need not worry about the format or form. That suits me well. But that does not suit the market. It requires you to confine yourself within a certain form. Market as such does not have a say in what you do. It is the people or rather simply put it, it is what you think people are going to like about you that makes you confine yourself within the limitations of a format. It is not a bad move either. Sometimes, confinement can bring art to flourishing heights.

My newest book is Mount Sermon. I would like to share some personal information about the book with you. Just like a human being every book has its own personal story to tell, other than the story that it offers you within its soul. There is another realm that you must explore, the realm a book shares exclusively with its author. Mount Sermon keeps such an exclusive space with me.

I will not prolong this post further. I would like to share some information about the title Mount Sermon. Mount Sermon may mean a mountain named sermon. What is a sermon? Any ideas? The word Sermon means “a talk on a moral or religious subject, usually given by a religious leader during a service,” according to Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries. A Mountain names sermon may mean a challenge posed in front of an individual like a mountain to be conquered or to be understood completely. The sermon that you require to cross or to mount to be understood completely is mount ‘sermon’. It’s not just a usual affair. It is a special and peculiar part of existence that one needs to look into in order to decipher its complete meaning.

Here is an old man, bringing his enemy’s son to throw him over the edge of a cliff to a waterfall.

The old man, Kathik- the storyteller, deserves your ears. He must be listened to. Then only one can understand his true agonies and existential dilemmas.

Mount Sermon also means the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus of Nazareth that one may read in the Gospel of Matthew. I would like to quote what author Kushwant Singh says about the sermon. “The strength of the sermon...lies in its simplicity and directness” (162).  

One may wonder why it takes us generations to work through all the varied levels of meaning in the Sermon on the Mount. One cannot criticize those who wonder why the Sermon has been interpreted in as many ways as there are people who read the Gospel. The Sermon on the Mount literally appears to be mount ‘sermon’ with its majesty, weight, purpose, and level of achievement.

“The sermon...is an assurance that those who suffer will, by God’s grace, be comforted” (Khushwant 162) adds India’s great son. So is my book Mount Sermon too. Hope you will enjoy reading it. Order your copy here. Happy reading.

I will get back to you soon with another personal story about Mount Sermon in my next post. Until then, Take care, good bye.   


Books I quoted from:
Absolute Khushwant by Humra Quraishi (an interview with Khushwant Singh). published by Penguin Books. Get a copy here: Absolute Khushwant

Mount Sermon: A Novella (Book-2 Hope, Vengeance and History Trilogy edition-1) by Anu Lal. Published by BW Publishing
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