Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Universal Message of Swami Vivekananda - The Advaitha Ashram (2015)

A world conference on religions was organized to commemorate the 150th Birthday of Swami Vivekananda. The conference was conducted in two parts. The part I focused on Swamiji's messages and teachings. The second part was presentations from doyens of each religions discussing the universal appeal of their religion and how collective spiritual upliftment is presented in each religion. The book is the proceedings of the conference. The interesting takeaway from the book is a quick gist of each religious practices and the tolerance and openness to other faiths in each of the religions with citation and references. One can also get a quick view of Swami Vivekananda's messages in the context of religious harmony. Although, a book from a specific faith, the book can be picked up and understood by anyone not associated with the faith.

Unlimited Memory - Kevin Horsley (2014)

The book has two sides to improving memory.

  1. Improving life style to be able to do the right things - like being focused etc. 
  2. Memory improvement techniques - This is a great takeaway in this book. However, not all techniques are enjoyable or fun to practice. However, a lot in this book can be achieved through practice. You may already have few of similar techniques already in practice. 
Some startling facts, 82% of the knowledge gained preparing for examination is lost at end of a moth or so. Technically, what you studied will not add much value unless you practice. 

Good read. But achieving great unlimited memory is long, arduous journey. 

Friday, October 06, 2017

Economic Thinking of Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore (2013) - Hirendra Nath Roy

Most books published by a specific religious community tend to focus on their religion leader and do not do much justice on the basic premise of the subject. This book seems to completely change that viewpoint. Although it summarizes the closing comments with the thinking of Swami Vivekananda, this book provides a longish introduction of economics and philosophy. Guiding principles of economics thoughts. How philosophy has influenced economics etc. A significant portion of the book is also focused on Gandhiji. Though short a relevant section is also provided on Tagore's viewpoints on economic upliftment of Indian society at large. Although, unified collective economic benefit is the common theme to success the three great men had definitely different approaches to economic upliftment of the society. Gandhiji was focused on local focus and charkha based solution to meeting basic needs of human life. Tagore established the need for agriculture as well as lightweight machinery to enhance human needs. Swami Vivekananda always emphasized the need for social and economic upliftment as one solution and not a diversion in views. Hence, his focus has been on enhancing agriculture output of small land holding as in Japan. There is also focus on environment protection from corruption etc. Overall a good read to realize on how Indian great leaders looked at our economy. Some thoughts are relevant even today with environment, sustainable development and CSR focus in Govt policies worldwide.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Conversation between God and Man - G Venkataraman (2009)

The book presents Bhagawat Gita in a conversation like tone. The style is lucid, the language is very much contemporary without a lot of emphasis on the correctness of content. It's more like reading a gist of Bhagawat Gita meant for the people of 21st century. To some people the presentation may feel very simple and some may find the language very curt at places. However, overall it's a great read. The last chapter in the book is devoted to messages of Bhagwan Satya Sai Baba and similarities of his messages to that of Bhagawat Gita If you are not a disciple of Sai Baba, you may find that chapter a bit rhetoric.

Overall a recommended read.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fearless in Opposition - P. Chidambaram (2017)

The book is a collection of author's articles in Indian Express. There are many views that'll be central to opposition views and many points are specific to author's viewpoint. But still I think his views are coherently put through. There is no interruption while reading the book  unlike your possibility of getting distracted online or social media. With news media blurring points of discussions it's important to understand the other side of the political movement today. The book was written when there are dynamism in the events. The events may have moved on. The outcomes may not match to the predictions. But a good read to understand India's current political and economic battles.

The book is very current topics oriented and will not have a shelf life may be a year down the line.