By Nidhi Mathur
Science and Art of Happy Living: Suraj Narain Sharma and Anita Sharma, Parimal Publications, Pp 168, Rs 150
In ancient India, philosophy was considered as the rational, critical and illuminating neurosis of the contents of theology, economics, politics and also as the right instrument for formation of all action and duty to help achieve intellectual balance and insight as well as linguistic clarity and behavioural competence. The Gita serves as the most appropriate starting point as it presents the suffering soul of Arjun seeking guidance from Lord Krishna to get rid of his suffering. So Krishna treats the subject in a comprehensive manner on spiritual and practical aspects of life during the concerned period.
The book meant for children and adolescents, gives a brief background of the battle of Mahabharata. As many as 168 shlokas have been selected from the Gita by the authors to explain the way to happy life and their relevance to the present conditions. The most important among them is the performance of one’s duties, unmindful of their consequences due to such a performance. Such performance of duty is called nishkam karma or performance of duty with detachment. This is possible only when one is not swayed by emotions and looks at the situation objectively with a calm mind. Equanimity and stability of mind are the keys to success in life.
The main concern of the Gita is spiritual emancipation with emphasis being on happiness in life and a balance in worldly success and spiritual salvation. The authors not only expound on the Gita but talk of karmayoga, gyanayoga, bhaktiyoga, Purushottamyoga, moksha, sanyasyoga, etc.
Modern societies are very complex, heterogeneous and highly regulated, but the general features of all societies include population, territory, physical environment and natural resources, a set of laws and culture. The emphasis is on the nature of society which is characterised by being everlasting – society exists while its members continue to last for long; ever-changing – society is not static but ever-changing with its traditions, aspirations, convictions, mindset, plurality; diversity and reciprocity.
(Parimal Publications, 27/28, Shaki Nagar, Delhi-110 007; www.parimalpublications.com)