Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Sanatan Dharma: Vaidik Gateway To The Next Century by Manoj Singh (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!


19th Book of 2021


There are very few authors who are not writing for their passion or hobby but for a mission – a mission to change something around them for a better future. Some authors write to find the change instantly and enjoy it happening in their course of life but there are few who are writing about implementations if performed even today will find its result long after they are gone from the world. Such authors are truly working towards a very big goal that you and I can’t even judge by what little bit we know about them. One such author I have observed since last few years is Manoj Singh. He has been a staunch believer of Sanatan Dharma and the practices it offers and his whole attitude is to spread it as much as possible and make people understand the benefit of adopting it.


I am just done reading his first major English release named “Sanatan Dharma” which comes with a tagline that says “Vaidik Gateway to the Next Century”. Before this, I have read Manoj Singh’s Hindi books such as “Vaidik Sanatan Hindutva” and “Main Aaryaputra Hoon” and really liked the concepts shared in them. This book is almost an English translation of “Vaidik Sanatan Hindutva” as I found many chapters which are exactly what I read in the Hindi book. This 312-pages book is going to be a great revolution in the English-reading audience as a book of this nature was missing from the picture till now. Whatever book we read on religion or dharma till now has been in fiction format where the authors have interpreted the story in their own way rather than telling it As It Is. Here, for the very 1st time, people are going to read a book which talks about why certain ancient rituals were performed and celebrated and what relevance it has for us.


Manoj Singh has very nicely drafted this book in 5 different parts where he sets a narrative on how Sanatan Dharma guides us in different sectors such as - Waste Culture of Science, Vaidik Aarya and Sanatan Culture, Nature in Sanatan Culture, Sanatan Jeevan Darshan and Challenges of the Modern Human World. Author discusses how Sanatan Dharma is generally perceived to be praying Idols or images of God and is thus, clueless, and stupid. He, then, clarifies how Sanatan always worshipped nature and everything that is celebrated or performed as festivals or rituals were always based on the movement of planets and change in climate. This is a perspective I have always read only through Manoj’s writing and no author has ever given such emphasis on the importance given to Nature by our religion or ancient culture ever.


Author picks up Saraswati river as an example and tells how it has got depleted due to everyone’s negligence towards rivers and waterbodies and now people consider it as a myth. Similarly, he says that all such big rivers etc. will get depleted one day and people will start believing that all those important aspects of our Nature are a myth. Author then talks on how noise pollution, waste management, population growth, overcrowding has further taken our planet to a stage where it’s becoming a dangerous one to live. Singh focuses on how all of us are become “Just Takers, Not Givers”. He picks up many examples to share and you will agree with almost all of them even if it sounds harsh and blunt. You end up realizing the truth with every chapter.


Author talks about many value systems Sanatan Dharma observed such as importance of agriculture, time management, sanskar systems, Yoga etc. Author then moves on to the 3rd section and gets into every festival, ritual and fasting that we keep and makes us understand why it is done. We know how our generation questions the logic behind everything we are asked to do in the name of rituals/festivals and unfortunately, even parents are not able to provide the proper reasoning in response. But, here, Manoj does it so beautifully that you would want to shout from the rooftop and tell everyone about your new awareness on why a particular festival is celebrated and clear everyone’s doubt. Author covers the important days of Sanatan Dharma such as no moon day, full moon day, solar and lunar eclipse, kuan pujan, tree worshipping, cow worshipping, shraddha, narmada parikrama, kumbh mela, Ekadashis, Mahashivratri etc. Author has also helped us understand the meaning of important mantras such as Mahamrityunjay Jaap and Gayatri Mantra.


Lastly, author discusses about the Jeevan Darshan, Vedas, Ahimsa, Dharma, Shanti and Indra which gives us the major crux of what Sanatan actually is. Author goes into a lot of detailing here too as he explains about type of religious texts, four great mantras of the Veda-Upanishads, basic principles of Sanatan, mythological statements, Om Shanti Mantra etc. In the end, before completing the book, Singh talks about how challenging it has become to follow the Dharma in future due to so many conflicts and wrong portrayals in the current scenario. Author makes us aware of the obstacles we will have to fight against to observe and carry forward the Sanatan Dharma and protect our planet before its too late.


Manoj Singh’s writing style is very simple unlike his Hindi books. I am glad he wrote a book in English because this has made it very easy for people not friendly with reading Hindi texts know about such important stuffs in comfortable language. The division of chapters and brief explanation makes even the complex concepts sound like simple facts. I must really mention here about the incredible research Manoj has undergone to bring such varied concepts compiled in a single book. Anyone of you who has been searching for the real origin or belief on which Hinduism or Sanatan Dharma stands should certainly pick this book as it has the essence which will clear many queries and doubts you had about this very popular religion and lifestyle.


Now talking about the drawbacks, firstly, as I have also mentioned it before, author becomes too critical of science and scientists. I believe he should take a little positive tone while writing because then the writing looks like a retaliation to someone’s statement and not something which you wanted to speak from your heart. Secondly, author repeats few things too much in multiple chapters. He needs to draft his beliefs more properly and ensure that once when he writes about it, it should be so strongly put that there’s no need to repeat it to make readers focus on it more. Thirdly, I find author gets confused at many places on what stand to take- Spiritual, Religious, Practical or Scientific which makes few explanations going haywire.


Overall, this is a very good book, and it has a lot of information for you to keep re-reading this book and get memorized with all of them to follow it regularly. I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. Please pick it up if you have always wanted to read something which is religious yet logical.







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