Book Review

“The Book of Life – Daily Meditations with J. Krishnamurti”, Edited by R.E. Mark Lee, Krishnamurti Foundation of America (Harper, San Francisco, 1995) Despite our unprecedented material well-being and life imbued in physical comforts, we, at least most of us, are suffering from insurmountable ‘psychic’ pain, for which we take recourse to “fast cures” in the form of books and lectures. Readers who resort to “The Book of Life – Daily Meditations with Krishnamurti” in search of quotidian answers to life’s daily problems will be disappointed. This master piece contains not instant solutions but probing questions into relationship of human beings with each other – with loved ones, friends, enemies – and even creation itself. The Book of Life presents 365 timeless daily meditations culled from the beloved teacher’s lectures and writings. In the words of a prominent philosopher, J. Krishnamurti (or J.K.) was to the world of philosophy what Einstein was to the realm of modern science. Readers will be richly rewarded by the dayby-day unfolding of Krishnamurti’s thought and insight. Whether for newcomers or for people already acquainted with Krishnamurti, “The Book of Life” provides a welcome new presentation of this remarkable teacher’s life work. The format is simple and it can be used as a “daily reader” or, through more concentrated readings, as a provocative and accelerated introduction to his thought which will encourage many readers to delve deeper into the extensive legacy of Krishnamurti’s talks and writings. An excerpt from the book: “Have you ever sat very silently, not with your attention on anything, not making an effort to concentrate, but with the mind very quiet, really still? .…. Approached with fresh mind each day, “The Book of Life...” will be a pearl of great price for every reader. *********************************

Book Review – “The Post Office”, Vol. 1 by Rabindranath Tagore Andrew Robinson (Translator) Anita Desai (Introduction), St. Martin’s Press, Inc. (1998) One of Tagore’s greatest inspirational works, “The Post Office” has been recently published in the North America in this handsomely illustrated new edition, offering pleasure for us all. Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, the greatest writer of modern India, wrote The Post Office in 1911, following a deep personal loss. In beautiful, simple prose, Tagore tells the story of a young boy, Amal, confined to his sickbed on doctor’s orders. Seated beside his window, he longs to join the world outside, where children play in the street and others scurry about, preoccupied with their daily routines. Greeting everyone who passes by his house, from the local yogurt seller, to the town watchman, to the lovely flower girl, Shudha, Amal - with his touching curiosity – teaches others life’s simple but essential truths while awaiting his own spiritual liberation. Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), Indian poet, philosopher, and Nobel laureate, was born in Calcutta, into a wealthy family. He began to write poetry as a child; his first book appeared when he was 17 years old. After a brief stay in England (1878) to study law, he returned to India, where he rapidly became the most important and popular author of the colonial era, writing poetry, short stories, novels, and plays. He composed several hundred popular songs and in 1929 also began painting. Tagore wrote primarily in Bengali, but translated many of his works into English himself. He was awarded the 1913 Nobel Prize in literature, and in 1915 he was knighted by the British king George V. Tagore renounced his knighthood in 1919 following the Amritsar massacre of 400 Indian demonstrators by British troops. Two of his songs are national anthem of India and Bangladesh. Dr. Ravi Subramanian

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