As the preface of the book says:” Feeling peaceful, happy and content is not about avoiding challenges in our life, but about how we navigate through these challenges to reach the type of life we want to live.” With this positive note… lets review….
- Title: Life’s Amazing Secrets
- Author: Gaur Gopal Das
- Genre: Nonfiction, Philosophical
- Cover Photograph: Satya Gaud
- Publisher: Penguin Random House India Pvt. Ltd.
Reason for Choosing the Book
In the unprecedented situation of this Pandemic, was feeling a little low. So, to boost up the confidence in myself, I chose this book to read. And moreover, I am a big fan of Gaur Gopal Das.
Also, the Title of the Book attracted me a lot. And as the title suggested, it did reveal some of the best secrets to lead a happy and contented life.
The cover of the book reflected so much of positivity. The grace on the face of Gaur Gopal Das on the cover page did illuminate a vibrant spark in the heart.
The book is somewhat an Autobiography but not exactly an autobiography……
The author, being a Monk, has set things simple as is the forte of Gaur Gopal Das. He has described some of his significant life experiences with people around in the most beautiful and artistic way, yet keeping it simple.
The author has summarized his experiences with different people into a single storyline revolving around the main protagonist.
Instead of making a bowl full of unrelated ingredients in it. The incidences are creatively linked together to prepare a dish that can undoubtedly satiate the appetite of the reader.
The story starts when the Monk, which is the Author himself, is invited to a well-established family for lunch.
And then what all happens to that family, how the Author gets involved in solving their problems by elaborating his life incidences and the lessons learned by him to the main protagonist. And how, the monk’s preachings awakens the protagonist’s mind, making him courageous enough to face and deal with his problems, is all the book is about.
The whole fiction story is a setup of all the real-life incidences and people, whom the author has met in his lifetime.
The Main Characters in the book are:
The Monk who is invited to the lunch by the protagonist’s family is the Author himself. He is a very calm and composed character as real Gaur Gopal Das is.
He loves sharing his knowledge and wisdom with his followers and most importantly those who are vulnerable.
Transforming mind disturbing problems into simpler forms through communication and story Telling is his forte in this story as well.
But the best part of his character here is, understanding the emotions and needs of other people. Making them understand the importance of facing their problems and finding solutions to them, instead of just getting frustrated and running away from them or playing blame games would not help.
Mr and Mrs. Iyer
Mr. Harry Iyer is the main protagonist of the story, around which the whole story is taking rounds.
It is he, whose problems are being solved by the Monk through a short or maybe a long one, we can say, the conversation during a drive through the traffic of Mumbai.
Mr. Iyer lives a life where outside for society, he is a tycoon and a very charming man. But inside his heart, he is dealing with all the demons of his thoughts
He considers himself a failure in various significant aspects of his life and could not share his feelings with anybody, out of embarrassment and fear. But neither, he is able to solve his problems alone.
Mrs. Iyer is his wife. She plays a small but very significant part in the story.
Some of the other characters are also there to play their part, some in the Monk’s experiences and some in the protagonist’s life, without whom the story would have been incomplete.
When everyone is trying to put their best of potentials to save themselves in this competitive and critical world, A monk reveals the mystery of human life through the story.
The book is segmented into four main sections, or we can say four wheels of life :
- Personal Life
- Professional Life
- Social Life
Proper maintenance of these four wheels is the key to happiness.
As the story moves forward, and after having lunch, Mr. Iyer offers the Author to drop him at his place.
The rest of the plot of the story is the conversation between the two of them, during their journey from the house to the Ashram, through long hours of traveling, which could have been shorter, if traffic must have been not there.
But this was all the conspiracy of the universe, that they had to be together and Mr. Iyer had to understand the purpose of his life. And the concept of Ikigai during this small but significant journey.
The concept of Ikigai
It is a Japanese concept, which means ‘a reason to live’.
It helps in finding out the purpose of your life. What did you love? What you are good at? How can you earn money through your vocation? How it can help you and what can you give to the world through this?
Through this concept of Ikigai Gaur Gopal Das makes the protagonist feel the importance of little things and efforts of people in his life. And how just by changing one’s perception towards life. Can change our whole life.
Mr. Iyer through this, sometimes deep and sometimes, very light-hearted conversation, sharing of mutual experiences, understands the concept of life.
And as the conspiracy behind this journey comes to the conclusion… Mr. Iyer gets a call…. And here. Whatever he learned that whole day about his life requires its application.
And yes Mr. Iyer makes best out if his learning.
There is a small exercise at the end of the book.
- Forgiveness worksheet
- Ikigai worksheet
Readers can do this exercise, whenever they get their time, to find out their Ikigai.
My experience with this book was extremely fun and yet, very inspiring. This book is a must-read, at least once before you die….
Gaur Gopal Das is the most loved monk of our times as in my opinion and so is his preachings..
Proved very helpful in getting insights into my life.
Go for the book… If you are looking for heart touching and real-life learning… And of course, it is fun to read it…. So, you can do it in your ‘me time’ too….
And yes. Not to forget….As the author has quoted, Sir Richard Branson:
” If someone offers you an amazing opportunity, and you are not sure you can do it, say YES, then learn how to do it later.”