Friday, 14 June 2013

Old Path White Clouds by Thich Nhat Hanh

Title: Old Path White Clouds
Author: Thich Nhat Hanh
Number of Pages: 599
Cover Price: Rs. 395
Rating: 5/5

Get this from (298)


Thich Nhat Hanh (born in 1926) is a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk. His life long efforts to generate peace and reconciliation moved Martin Luther King Jr. to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967.
He is the founder of Van Hanh Buddhist University in Saigon, and taught at Columbia University. He is the author of Being Peace, Under the Banyan Tree and other 85 books.

About this book:

Old Path White Clouds presents the life and teachings of Gautama Buddha. Drawn directly from 24 Pali, Sanskrit and Chinese sources, and retold by Thich Nhat Hanh in his inimitably beautiful style, this book traces the Buddha's life slowly and gently over the course of 80 years, partly through the eyes of Svasti, the buffalo boy, and partly through the eyes of the Buddha himself.

Old Path White Clouds is a classic of religious literature.

Below are some lines from the book:
Learn from the Earth. Whether people spread pure and fragrant flowers, perfume, or fresh milk on it, or discard filthy and foul smelling feces, urine, blood, mucus and spit on it, the Earth receives it all equally without clinging or aversion. When pleasant or unpleasant thoughts arise, don't let them entangle or enslave you.
Learn from water. When people wash dirty things in it, the water is not sad or disdainful. Learn from fire. Fire burns all things without discrimination  It is not ashamed to burn impure substances. Learn from air. The air carries all fragrances whether sweet or foul.
The teaching is like a raft that carries you to the other shore. The raft is needed but raft is not the other shore. An intelligent person would not carry the raft around on his head after making across to the other shore. Do not become caught in the teaching. You must be able to let it go.
This is a beautiful book having poetic description. The book gives excellent introduction to the Buddha. It may seems to be voluminous but still you want more of it.
A must read for every person.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Chanakya's Chant by Ashwin Sanghi

Title: Chanakya's Chant
Author: Ashwin Sanghi
Number of Pages: 256
Cover Price: Rs. 250
Rating: 4/5

Get this from (160)


Ashwin Sanghi was born in 1969 in Mumbai. He graduated from St. Xavier’s College in 1985 and later completed an MBA in Yale School of Management in 1993. He is an entrepreneur by profession and writes on history, religion and politics in his spare time. This is his second book after 'The Rozabal Line'.

About this book:

In Chanakya’s Chant Ashwin Sanghi has narrated two stories - one on the life of the real Acharya Chanakya around 340BC and the other, that of a political activist, Gangasagar living in the town of Kanapur in present day India.

The author kept these two stories in parallel where on one side, showing the effort of Chanakya in making Chandragupta making the emperor of India and on the other side, pandit Gangasagar Mishra's effort in making Chandini the prime minister of India. The present day story illustrates how Chanakya's tricks and principles can be used in today's politics.

Below are some lines from the book:
It never pays to let others perceive what one's true feelings are. Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.
It is impossible to know when a fish swimming in water drinks some of it. Thus it's quite impossible to find out government servants in charge of undertaking misappropriate money. 
One does not need to pluck fruit from a tree that is about to be chopped down. The fruit will fall by themselves. Focus on the bigger purpose and the rest of your manifesto will follow as a matter of course.
The book is fast paced having mixture of suspense, history and thrill. It shows the depth of politics and shows it is not only about pulling each other's legs. I would recommend this book should be in one's reading book list.