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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Book Review : If Truth be Told – A Monk’s Memoir

I have read the memoirs written by so many saints and sages but Om Swami’s memoirs ‘If Truth be Told – A Monk’s Memoir’ is one of the best. The flow is simple, lucid and interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

I went to HarperCollins office to attend a meeting organised by Indibloggers. At the end of the meeting, one of the staff members asked all the bloggers to pick any book which they liked the most from the HarperCollins office. As I passed through the passage with cabins on both the sides, I saw an ochre colour book on the shelf above the sitting area. I went closed to it and found it was written by ‘Om Swami’. Wow! I am a regular reader of Om Swami’s blog and have watched some of his videos. His talk about ‘What is God?’ inspires me the most. Earlier, I desperately wanted to visit the function of the release of ‘If Truth Be Told – A Monk’s Memoir’ at Delhi. But I couldn’t as I was busy or ill or both, I couldn’t remember correctly now. I picked up that book and announce that I wanted this book. I was the first blogger to choose.

This book tells about the life of Om Swami before and after taking ‘sanyasa’. He was voracious reader from his childhood days. He learnt astrology and tantric practices at young age. His name was Amit Sharma and lived in Patiala along with his parents, sister and brother. At the age of eighteen he went to Australia for higher studies. He worked hard to earn and to learn simultaneously. He made a good amount of money and started his own business which he later on extended to U.S. and Europe. He took sanyasa from a naga sadhu but left him as sadhu had not yet mastered his emotions like anger. He went to Himalayas to do intense meditation in silence and solitude. He succeeded and realised himself. He felt a sense of dispassion and detachment arising from within without any effort. Just like when we churn milk it turn into butter and that butter can never be converted back into milk, his mind experienced an irreversible peace and immense joy.

Some of the wisdom gems from this book are listed below:-
  1.  When you write, I want the writing to be so taut that if anyone is to remove even a comma from your sentence, the entire paragraph will have to be rewritten. When you speak, I want you to struggle, not because you cannot think of words with which to express yourself but because so many rush to your mind that you have to really choose to pick the word that is most apt, that is perfect.
  2. Never lose stocks. Never forget that you buy them to make a profit. Once you have reached a profitable position, exit. If they betray you and you are making a loss, exit. Your goal is to make more profits than losses.
  3. Why do we earn, and why do we learn?
  4. It is wrongly assumed that tantra is about tantric sex, tantric massage, tantric yoga and so on. This is not where tantra starts or ends. Tantra is an inner journey the practitioner undertakes to break the conditioning of the mind and move beyond the conditioned and egoistic self, so that he may see himself as he truly is.
  5. Meditation, worship, praying it’s all useless if we are unable to go beyond what holds us back.
  6. Self-realization is removing yourself from the support structure. You no longer require the pillars; in fact, you become a pillar of divine love and light.
  7. The eternal truth is that you have the right to live your life to the fullest. Every moment.
  8. Find what makes you happy and pursue it.
  9. You are a master of infinite possibilities.

In the end OM Swami said, “I’ve given you my truth. Go, discover yours.”


Dear readers, I think this is my longest post, may be because I am a great admirer of Om Swami. :)

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