|Happiness Unlimited: Awakening with Brahma Kumaris; Sister Shivani in conversation with Suresh Oberoi; Pentagon Press; Pp185; Rs195|
The book is an invitation to awake into light—a new world of unlimited happiness and unconditional love.
Discovering the truth through dialogues and debates has a long tradition to claim. Though the scholars point fingers towards the likes of Parmenides, popularly, it traces its roots back to Socrates-Plato-Aristotle trinity. But it can never be solely attributed to the Hellenic thoughts as Bharat has developed an old long tradition of Samvada, the proverbial dialectical approach of reasoning. Take for an instance, Sri Krishna-Arjun Samvada (Dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjun) the very way through which the Bhagavad Gita unveils the eternal truth. And most of our Upanishads and Puranas are also following this methodology. Likewise, the narrative style of the book under review also follows the same format, the method of dialogue as if a persistence of our long—standing legacy.
Interestingly, the book is a long interview running through around 170 pages—a long conversation between Sister Shivani and Suresh Oberoi, famous film actor. Sister Shivani is a practitioner of Rajayoga Meditation of the Bhrahma Kumaris. Amazing though it may seem, she graduated in Electronics engineering with a gold medal from Pune University before joining the Brahma Kumaris.
The content of the book is the important takeaways from an international daily TV talk show, Awakening with Brahma Kumaris. Evidently the objective of the TV programme relatively reflects in the book as it is marked by the stupendous reception the book has received. It has already proved to be a guide of life that has helped overcome mental stress, depression, addictions, low self-esteem and unhappy relationships. Within a few months after the release, the book has hit new records in sale and made top bestseller on many e-commerce websites. It is odd that a spiritual book becomes a national best seller competing with the pulp and popular fictions.
Happiness Unlimited comprised of two parts, Book 1: Choosing Happiness and Book 2: Choosing Awareness and are further divided into sub-parts. Obviously, the interview has not been taken in a linear form, yet the continuity and lucidity have been maintained well through-out. Sister Shivani addresses most of the problems and worries a modern human being faces now. She shares her insights of the very idea of spirituality, it is not about doing things or becoming someone—it is just about being who we truly are. We are too dependent on outer world than inner world and are conditioned to this mundane life where our problems mainly stem from our reaction to the actual incident and persons. How can we tackle ‘outer’ pressure with ‘inner’ resilience? It is explained through simple albeit meaningful formulae and suggestions. The book is rich with such several formulae to balance our life between stress and resilience.
Happiness Unlimited is an invitation to a new tranquil and content life. Sister Shivani, puts forth an alternative way of life. Though one cannot equate it with the substance of J Krishnamurty’s discourses, the readers may obviously tend to place this book next to J Krishnamurty’s Commentaries on Living. As said in the preface, a book is an attempt to bring the readers close to the heart of this spiritual movement and also endeavours to cultivate a positive approach towards life. Ganesh Krishnan R