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:: Essays: A Book Can Change Life! (Philosophy / Spirituality)
I don’t have a success story to tell. My life has been a pretty ordinary one. Can’t say I always wanted it to be that way, but today, I am glad it is. I have realized the importance of living an ordinary life – It keeps one Happy.

I wasn’t always this way. On the contrary, I was extreme opposite of what I am today. I personally didn’t have any specific goals or ambitions. I often listed down some material things I wanted to possess or some emotional gratification that I would like to experience, but those were just for the sake of assignments or in response to constant probing. I had nothing to ask except that I shared Plato’s Dream, I believed in Utopia – a perfect Life. I often used to wonder how can I make things perfect. Perfection had become an addiction. I could think of no other way, to attain perfection than gaining wisdom. And pearls of wisdom could only be found in the ocean of knowledge. Knowledge again was contained in Books. So the Books became the goal of my Life.

A Book is full of concepts, so is our mind. And our mind is already filled to the brim with concepts that has been made freely available to us since birth. Then why, one might wonder, should we add more concepts to the existing cluster.

The only reason that would make sense is that, these concepts govern our thoughts and actions. These concepts that we nurse within shape our very personality and are the root cause of all the emotions that we experience and are also responsible for everything we do. It would hence surely help, to feed our mind with Concepts that might hopefully guide us in living a better LIFE.

I had this belief and that’s how I started taking interest in books. I believed one book can change an entire life. I started hunting for that one book that was destined to make a difference. That was eleven years ago. And since then I have been hunting, at every opportunity I got, for books that would expand my mind. I knew the more I exercised my mind the more it would develop. I read as many books as my mind could handle at a time, with categories ranging from theosophy, scriptures, self-improvement, philosophy, spiritual, new age etc. At times I got so engrossed in the concepts that it just directly got reflected on my life. I kept changing with each new concept I learned and each concept I followed made a difference to my life in some way or the other. Everything in me changed but the obsession with the books didn’t. There were times when I use to sleep without a pillow but a book was always there beside my bed.

Eleven years later, I finally found that book. A friend had brought it for himself, but he gave it to me. I had seen that book for over a year. It was published by my ex-company. I literally looked at the book almost every day of my work, but never thought buying it. Somehow, I never picked that book even though it was the subject of my interest. And then all of a sudden I saw that book with my friend and out of impulse, I offered to buy it from him. My friend agreed and I got the book.

Before that book, my life was more of a mission. Everything was calculated and planned. Perfection was a huge responsibility. And I didn’t want to fail in any of my responsibilities. So I was extra careful with everything I thought or did. Yes! I even tried to control my thoughts. I did a lot of things – sane & insane, but I just didn’t live enough. Perfection was a distant dream, and I was obsessed with it. Obviously I was never in the present. Future seemed so beautiful and desirable that present got ignored.

And After that book, everything changed. That book literally slapped my ego and woke me out of my dream. I felt my whole personality that I had built for myself, was being stripped off like a skin from a body. In a way, it was a traumatic experience. For months, after I read that book I couldn’t read any thing else. The wisdom that book dictated, was so profound that often my mind would go blank for hours. All that I had believed for all my life was questioned and I was compelled to see the ugly fact that I had ignored all the while -
“There is nothing to be changed. UNIVERSE is perfect, the way it is. And the way it is, is the way it’s going to be till eternity. It is no one’s to hand to change anything.“

After that experience, Life suddenly seemed different. The mission was over though not completed. But today, I don’t carry a burden on my soul. I feel light and free from inside. All that things that mattered before, started loosing their effect on me. I was becoming more and more passive with each passing day. There was no haste to reach anywhere, no goal to accomplish. I suddenly was left with so much time and nothing to do. At first, I was annoyed, then I was puzzled, and now I am just delighted. Now I often find myself laughing crazily, for no apparent reason at all. I often ask myself what am I laughing at. I don’t get any answer from within. I guess I will never get the answer. But I am ok with it. Today I can look at my life and smile and without fail it smiles back at me.

And I owe it all to that one book. For me that book was “Peace & Harmony in Daily Living” by Ramesh Balsekar. It could be something else for you. May be “You’ll see It When You Believe It” by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, “The Alchemist” by Paulo Cohelo, “The Prophet” by Khalil Gibran, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach, “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle or “Exploring Consciousness Through Unconsciousness” by Pradip Mukherji. It could be either of these soul-awakening books or it could be any other book that tempts you pick it up and read its summary from the back page.

I believe that if you have an inclination towards reading, if you love books like I do, then it is quite possible that even you would come across a book that would make a difference to your life. Depending upon your psyche and understanding it could be any other book, but a book it will be that would bring about a change in your Life.

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