OPINION: Aspects of Hinduism

Prashneel Goundar with his new book. Picture: SUPPLIED

Prashneel Goundar’s Pursuing Divinity in Paradise (2020) is an alluring piece of work, which entails the morals written in simple words from the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata.

As the reviewer of his highly compelling piece I strongly feel that this book deserves an enormous commendation as it touches on the core values of Hinduism for the current generation and beyond. All the chapters that are beautifully penned down with thought provoking questions towards the end is an indication that divine principles are still untouched by many, particularly the younger generations. The book is divided into two parts with each part roughly having 11 chapters.

Chapter one looks into the love of a father for his son, which is simply incomparable with material possessions of the world. We ought to be mindful that everything that exists in this world moving or non-moving is temporary, but the unconditional love. Chapter two defines trust and purity among couple with everything else evolving around dharma and adharma.

Listening deaf eared and seeing blind eye with what close ones tell you to do was the moral discussed in chapter three. While chapter four shed light on the duties of a loyal wife towards her husband, chapter five looked into significance of karma in our daily lives.

Chapter six posits that; it is pointless to greed for those possessions which brings nothing, but rift and segregation within the loved ones. Desiring for what is beyond our reach and achieving it through deception will not do us any good, but harm is the point that has been discussed in chapter seven.

In chapter eight, we are highlighted by the harsher reality of life that people are judged every moment in their lives based on the moves they make. The concept of forgetfulness when lost in material accomplishments is not an awe moment in our lives is the subject being touched in chapter nine.

While chapter ten ponders upon the reasons why we need to let go our emotions even if one must wail loudly, it would certainly make the person light-hearted without any grief.

Additionally, the elucidations and justifications from the second half of the book touch on the daily principles of mankind, which is expected from every individual, but does not eventuate. In chapter eleven, the author talks about service to mankind without any financial gains.

Our karma is the biggest gain if we give in charity without expecting anything in return. Whenever there will be atrocities and pain in the world, the supreme one will take different forms to be born in this material world and take care of his disciples are the morals of chapter 12.

The society should stop condemning to what is unknown to them and mind their own business is what the writer posits in chapter 13, while chapter fourteen dwells upon a deep pondering on the true definition of life and how it should be perceived from different perceptions.

The final few chapters of the book talks about the values from Mahabharata with chapter 15 shedding light on friend or foe. No matter how rich a person becomes in life whether it be through wealth or knowledge, value your loved ones just as the way they are and how you met them. In chapter 16, it is stated that we should leave destiny to take its course no matter what life has in store for us, while chapter seventeen spells out the true value of women in our society.

Pain, pleasure and suffering will come and go and we must not be stuck on these temporary elements, which are the very reason for our distress is what the author has highlighted in chapter 18. In chapter 19, the author pens down the wish of living beings not to die, but the bitter and sad truth is otherwise.

Those who are born in this world have to leave this world. Chapter 20 highlights the destruction of human race through war by placing undue faith in material wealth and personal pleasures; hence mankind has lost the art of tapping the resources of joy within.

Being highly grateful to those who assisted you in whichever way possible and acknowledging their concerted effort should not be ignored once the business is meant is the moral been discussed in chapter 21. In chapter 22, the author speaks about traditional ways on how new generation can be moulded into responsible citizens of a country.

The divine word of God which the world sees as ‘The Bhagavad Gita’ is the epitome epic that precisely defines all the happiness and sorrows with its valid reasoning’s that are experienced by mankind is discussed in chapter 23. In chapter 24, it is told that God can come in any form to us be it a beggar or king.

We should meet and greet all with one eye and without any conditions. Basically, the final chapter 25 is the author’s reflection of the two epics and his three years of herculean journey in writing this masterpiece. Indeed, the book unfolds so many aspects of Hinduism which many are oblivious about, yet pretending that they know all.

Pursuing Divinity in Paradise is now on sale at $20 a copy and can be bought by writing to the author on: prgoundar@gmail.com

 RAVNIL NARAYAN is a lecturer in Language and Communications at the Fiji National University. The views expressed in this article are his and are not necessarily shared by this newspaper. He has published vigorously in the applied linguistics field either in journals or book chapters. For feedback and comments please email him on: ravnil.narayan@fnu.ac.fj

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