In this spiritual guide to karma and self-improvement, Dharma introduces Hindu ideas that transcend the idea of heaven after Earth and reinforce a less common perspective on reincarnation.
Action and work, Dharma says, are the true essence of karma. Karma, he explains, is not about beliefs, religion, or labels. It is simply based on what we accomplish, how we behave toward others, and how our conduct and character interact with the world around us. Explaining in clear, conversational chapters the relevancy of Hindu beliefs to modern life, Dharma encourages the reader to be a student rather than a servant. “The servant is all about the reward,” he says. “For the student the question is reversed: What can I do for God? How can I make God proud of me?” The author posits these ideas as pathways toward a better, more fulfilling life, and he likewise warns against evils masquerading as virtues. For example, in one chapter, the author discusses vengeance masquerading as justice. Yet he explains that the Hindu god Sri Rama is a teacher, not a torturer, and his spiritual reaction to bad acts is to offer a person a chance to redeem himself in the next life through lessons. While advocating Hinduism over other religions, the author explains in detail why the concept of heaven is a fallacy. He posits that running away to safety, comfort, and ease are actions taken by those who seek heaven, while staying to help, work, and fight for a better present situation are actions taken by those driven by karma. One anecdote, among many, involves a flood: a man gets in a vehicle and drives to safety, sleeping in a hotel and watching the disaster on the news the next morning, only to see his neighbors drowning and struggling to survive on the screen. This man, the author explains, should shrink “to the size of an ant” if he has any heart. His guide shows readers how to incorporate the teachings of Hinduism into mindful practice.
A thought-provoking, conversational description of Hindu principles and their modern relevance.
Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2015
Page count: 308pp
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Review Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2015
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016
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