Thursday, November 19, 2020

Meeting Yama by Manoj V Jain (Book Review: 4.25*/5) !!!


45th Book of 2020

I don’t know what it is but I am regularly getting books based on the concept of Death and the topic is really fascinating me. It pulls me so much towards itself that I wish I can leave everything and move towards understanding the meaning of Life and Death and what it feels like knowing Death from closely along with knowing about the process of Afterlife. And this is what exactly happens with the three characters in the book I have just completed reading named “Meeting Yama” written by Manoj V Jain in around 240 pages. This book published by Notion Press speaks about how these characters are fighting with something so internal and basic to them that they have to get it clear before they can process their life further and hence they end up reaching to the land of Shiva and Death – Kashi, popularly known as Varanasi or Benaras.


The book is written in a very simple language and it is easy to understand for anyone reading this even if the person is not in the spiritual space. The book is full of concept related to spirituality, mythology, religion and meditation but it has been written so beautifully that you will love going through them even if you have not read about them before. Author has mentioned that this book could have been a non-fiction but because he knows people grasp things better when it is spoken in a form of a fiction or stories, he has chosen to speak about this concept of Death through a story format. And I must say it is so nicely crafted that you will feel this to be true.


I have recently read two books on Death- “Death” by Sadhguru and “Between Life and Death” by Dr. Kashyap Patel and I must say, along with those two books, this one is at par with them. Though the one by Sadhguru is quite in detailing but this book can become a beautiful starting for the people who are wanting to read deep spiritual concepts.


Talking about few points that fascinated and touched me, in the very initial chapters, the scene where mother of one of the characters die, it made me so emotional that I spent the whole day doing nothing but being close and near to my mother. Further, in the other chapter, how the telepathy worked for the character with one of his friends when he asked to guess the number made me jump and sit up. I just believed it to be true and the concept of telepathy intrigued me.


Further in the book, author talks about mythology and spirituality in detail such as why Varanasi is an auspicious land is detailed very vastly which actually makes me want to go and settle there leaving this materialistic world. We have always heard about the King Harishchandra but this is the first time I got to know about the tale which makes him so popular. Puri Jagannath is another curious topic for me as the temple always seems to be little close to me even when I haven’t travelled there. Author has beautiful explained about the temple and rituals performed there.


Few meditation techniques were new for me which were discussed in this book such as Tratak as I had never heard about it before. The tale of Lord Vishnuji and Yama is also very insightful. The tale of Markandeya is very fresh to read which makes Lord Shiva grant him longevity.  Why the places are named Manikarnika and Avimukta respectively is nicely explained which makes you understand the depth about our history or mythology – whatever you believe in calling them. In the end, the story of Yama is described along with reference of Bhau Beej which lets you know so much about the God about whom we know nothing except that he is “God of Death”.


Now talking about the drawbacks, I must say that rather than conceptualizing the book such that it is divided as per itinerary of the Varanasi trip of the characters, author should have named chapters on each tale or concept that he has talked about which could have made reading them more enjoyable as you become prepared of reading what’s ahead. Secondly, I must say that the climax is little too abrupt and I couldn’t find any emotional connect with the characters when they finally achieve for what they landed up in Varanasi. I believe it should have been given more pages and detailing. I got quite disappointed there. Thirdly, the meditational techniques are just talked upon as an overview rather than going into its depth. I was looking forward to knowing how meditation is done by the characters and what experience it brings to one or all of them. Lastly, the concept of death is also not covered with the kind of depth I was looking forward to. I wanted to read about what one feels in the moment of death and the afterlife process that we often hear in our ancient texts.


Overall, this is a nice attempt and you will enjoy reading this book as it delivers ample of knowledge about our history and mythology. I give this book 4.25* out of 5.








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