A book so profound, so full of information, so touching to you at a particular moment in time that it has altered your life for the better forever. A book that gave you hope when you had none, or gave words to feelings you couldn’t express, or made you realize there was a whole unexplored side to you. A Book of Revelations, as it were.
Do You Read Me? contributor Jaya Rai explains why Be As You Are: The Teachings of Sri Raman Maharshi proved to be the turning point in a life-long and still ongoing spiritual search.
I believe books are a way through which the Divine answers your questions, gives you direction, or just gives you matter to mull over and evolve your thinking. And you will get to or receive a book only when you are ready for it no matter if it has been lying around the house for years or you run your eyes over it every time you go to the bookshop.
A life-changing book for me is one which gives you a paradigm shift in your previously held thoughts.
For a long time I have tried to decode the relationship between God and Humans and the basic concept of God itself. From religious fervour, to rebellion and angst during teenage years, to cynicism during college years and other hues represent my thoughts toward the concept of God. At a time when I was at the grave end, ready to bury all questions and give in to blankness, I came across the following book: Be as you are: The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi, edited by David Godman.
I had read writings on spiritual matters from here and there and never had an opportunity to be in the presence of a realised personality (most of them seem to have departed before I came into the world). The most you could know about them was from the literature written by them or on them. Some were too erudite for a layman to understand and some too banal.
After going through this book on the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, the clouds of mist were lifted and I became focused on one thought, that to know the Divine or God, or what have you, we have to know ourselves and go within. God cannot be found in books and through written words, you can only experience the divine through pondering on the soul within you; as the Maharishi said, ask ‘who am I’?
My fundamental belief was founded that God is within me and in every being and only we can expose him through silent meditation on the self. My spiritual quest continues from this principle onwards.
Do You Read Me? would love to hear about the books that made a fundamental difference to you. You can send in a short text, or else make a short film, much like the ones on whyilovethisbook.com, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. In return, we will give you a book voucher for your efforts.
If you have written something about books, or magazines, or anything else we sell, really, you’re welcome to blog more for us, too, for book vouchers. See the original post for all the details.