Mar 12, 2023

Book Review: A fistful of Wisdom by Om Swami

 In the past couple of years, I've become a fan of Om Swami's writings.

What makes me go pick up his books one after another are his simple words without much jargon, yet profound in the impact they leave behind.

"A fistful of Wisdom" is a collection of articles on varied topics related to life, love, spirituality, death, and more. You could choose any random chapter and finish reading in 10-15 minutes. It doesn't require a particular sequence to be followed, though I read it from the first chapter to the last. Depending on what you seek, some of the chapters will strike a chord, while the rest may not.

The very first story in the Foreword section gave me goosebumps and so were the insights from the first two sections on Life and Love.

On the role of adversities, he gave a fresh perspective - "By giving you everything, life has deprived you of the triumphant feeling of defeating your adversities".

In his typical narration style, he brings up insightful perspectives, with the help of personal anecdotes, popular stories (that you might find in ACK), and epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata. He simplifies many aspects on which we usually have a lot of questions - Karma, the role of a guru, relationships, thoughts, God, etc. 

Two chapters that I just loved were Handling criticism and the Art of Apology. This line made so much sense - "Don't pollute your apology by citing a reason or a justification".

A few of my favorite quotes:

"Compassion and foregiveness are simply synonyms of sacrifice. When you forgive, somewhere you sacrifice a part of your own existence, your respect, your dignity, yourself".

"Contentment is the mother of happiness".

"Those who criticize you are full of their own insecurities. Those in bliss and peace do not criticize".

"When your life has more memories than ambition, consider yourself old".

"Simplicity is spirituality.......any complexity in your life is merely your interpretation of how you see or experience anything".

"Being grateful is the easiest way to be peaceful".

I'm sure what we take away from such books is quite subjective, depending on what we seek in our lives.

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