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When I read the news of Anwesha’s discovery about the power of Pranava Naad ‘Om’, I felt that all is still not lost in India in context of our ancient culture and heritage. In my earlier post on Creation: The Big Bang and the eternal sound ‘OM’, I had signed off with the following words…
“The young India does not like to read these amazing books… We ourselves have turned the immensely practical treasure trove of our rich heritage of culture and knowledge into a straightjacketed ritualistic customs and practices, hidden behind the closed and crumbling temple walls across the country, through our fanatic religious shortsightedness.” – Click here to read the full article
But young girl like Anwesha, Mathematicians like Manjul Bhargava, Rap Singers like Blaaze are still out there, reaching out to our ancient literature and cultural heritage, studying it and coming out with innovative ways and experiments to put the ancient knowledge across the world with new and modern perspective.
Manjul Bhargava, Maths Nobel winner, was inspired by a shloka, which his grand father gave him to read, to write his PhD thesis.Blaaze, famous MTV Idol, Rap Singer of ‘Baba Rap’, ‘Hosanna Rap’ Bunty Aur Bubbly, Slum Dog Millionaire etc. was inspired enough by a priest to create rap shloka like Dandakam Shloka, Gita Dhyaanam etc. and it gives me an immense pleasure to see that Anwesha, a 14-year-old has wowed city scientists with her discovery of the impact of the ‘Om’ sound in reducing fatigue.
But OM is beyond reducing physical fatigue; it’s the eternal vibration through which the whole universe is manifested. As more and more experiments being conducted, trying to find the God Particle, scientists will read a stage where they will come to conclude that “Eternal Sound” is all that is underlying the fabric of cosmos. This is what our ancient sages has said almost 5000 years ago as well.
“Space, said he. Verily, all things here arise out of space. They disappear back into space, for space alone is greater than these, space is the final goal. This is the most excellent Udgitha. This is endless. The most excellent is his, the most excellent worlds does he win, who, knowing it thus, reveres the most excellent Udgitha [Om, ॐ].” – Verse 1.9.1-1.9.2
Many people say that if ‘Om’ is such powerful word then why it is not mentioned in Veda. To understand this omission, you have to have the proper context. In ancient Vedic times, the “OM” was considered too sacred to be written down. It was given to the disciple by the guru in secret manner, mostly by being whispered into his ear, since it was such potent sound, to be even heard an un-prepared disciple through study and deep reflection, to receive it.
The Key to Unlocking Our Brain
If we consider our brain as a computer, scientists are increasingly calling it a ‘Wetware’, then the software which runs it are of two types. – One is logic and the other is language. If we take our ancient literature like Kalidasa’s Meghdoot, Bhagwat Gita, Purana, Veda etc. you will realise that it not only comprise of deep thoughts, ideas or way of life but it was written in beautiful and lyrical language.
As we read more and more of our ancient literature, it slowly unlocks the obscurity of our subconscious mind and firms up certain synaptic connections, that makes one more conducive to receiving deeper knowledge. That the sage writers of these work of art and science some how knew how our consciousness works and gave us keys to explore hidden areas within our selves.
And I believe that the key to unlocking our hidden purpose and strength is the sound ‘Om’.
We can all debate, till the cows come home, whether ancient Vedic philosophy was a scientific study or just incoherent musings of village mendicant or local sadhu. But I firmly believe if you dig deeper into these ancient resources of knowledge, you will find something that will connect with you. That is the only spark you need to become what you are destined to be. That alone will give you, your purpose of life and will make you what you are.
And as I keep asking the young generation at my workshops and my book “Songs of the Mist” talks, please don’t go by what you have heard or read some one say, you read it yourself. Go back to our ancient culture and heritage, if nothing else, the language alone will change you.
“Now that light which shines above this heaven, higher than all, higher than everything, in the highest world, beyond which there are no other worlds, that is the same light which is within man” —Chandogya Upanishad 3.13.7
In the beginning the river Ganges is so swift and fast that nothing much remains same on her way over a period. It carves its way out of the mountains and forests and reaches the sea to submerge. That is the way we begin our life too. In our childhood, we are full of energy and as we reach the end, we become sluggish and powerless.
The all powerful flowing river, Holy Ganges reached the edge of its journey, ready to merge with the eternal sea, and as the silt rises from all sides to block its path, an indestructible Peepul tree reaches out to hold her hands with a promise of a renewed life…
“The sluggish river, as it brings all the mud of its karma over the life lived, which inhibits its merging with the eternal sea. The silence is attained in the end, before another journey begins; the stillness of being at the precipice of another fall or rise, an endless beginning, where our nature itself is the seed for another tree or another river to burst forth.
But the Holy Ganges is in doubts, to which it says, that flowing is your being, so flow over the karmic barriers that hinders your emergence into a different space, because if you don’t, then you don’t exist.
So you see, son, it’s our duty to do what we are destined to do in life, and do it despite obstacles and doubts. It is our nature to be and do and it is our inner self that lifts us up after a fall as a friend does. Now when you cross the barriers, you must withdraw your ego, senses, and desires; to continue what you have been doing, surrender to the sea, withdrawing all that was there around you, within you as the tortoise does. Just be in the silence of being, and merge in the eternity that is around you. And the eternal sea will, wave upon wave, change your individual self into universal consciousness.
Death is not the destruction of your body or the flowing stream, but the merging of your dreams, desires, sorrow, and anger into an eternal calm—a deep sigh that echoes an eternal calm of eternity. O Ganga! That is OM.”
My Talk on Story Mirror Creativity Workshop III – Apparao Galleries, Chennai
The agenda of my talk was to get the aspiring author to understand what goes on behind making a best seller and how a budding writer can work on the ideas to get to the top. The agenda of my workshop was…
First things first , to make your book a best seller, the content is the king. Write a great story with beautiful language, flesh your characters with interesting matter and thoughts, you have a winner at your hands.
Second, as I keep repeating in my talks the powerful words of Milan Kundera, “Any work of art has to have a purpose of its Existence”. Your book has to have a purpose to suastain interest in the long term.
And finally the 3rd basic thing is to “Write the Damn Book” as Naresh Fernandes advised me some years back when I was looking for the way to publish my first book, “Songs of the Mist”. This is what the enthusiastic budding authors forget to do and waste precious amount of time in contemplating, thinking and finding the right / any publisher to publish the book.
Find your champions: The best and the most powerful advise that I can give, in terms of marketing your book, is to find your champions, usually they consist of your friends, relatives and colleagues.
Create your champions: And equally powerful advise you should thing about , in the process of becoming a best seller, is to help others become a best seller. This way you will create your own champions.
Keep the buzz going
Find New angles, Promote in new ways, Launch in new places
Workshops, Book Clubs, Training
Create a platform to share your thoughts, ideas and reach out to your readers
Write something that other’s can find use for e.g my post on Hindu Lit For Life is used as archive for the official Hindu Festival Page. Click here and click on the “Archive Blog” tab. Below is the case for IndiBlogger’s BNLF Curtain Raiser, which was used in their portal for their mega blogging event last year, Oct-Nov.
In the end, here are some key points that you need not only to keep in mind but also actively pursue. Sharing also some of the pictures from the Story Mirror Creativity Workshop III. If you would like to attend the upcoming 4th Creativity Workshop, please register here…
1. Advertisements on FB, Twitter and most of the social media’s do give ROI. Personal Emails do, personal interaction do. SO create an email List
2. Keep the interaction going on, help before asking for help
3. Celebrity Endorsements, High Value Influencers, High Profile Publisher’s don’t work in terms of ROI
4. Book Readers, Review Bloggers, Book reading communities work. Get on to them
5. The best turn around is your own website, blog or group is. So create each one of them and invest your time and effort on it.
6. Write the next book, get your book translated, publish Kindle versions of supplementary books
7. Create workshops, help in learning curve of your readers, provide value of your interaction
8. Solve a problem, provide support without any need of reciprocation, become an expert in your niche area
9. Focus on your area of expertise
10. Get one blurb that counts, Get an introduction by some one of authority or expert in your area, ask for their help in spreading the word.
11. Utilise Amazon’s marketing tools
12. Finally, get your champions together, which will come from your family, friends and network. TO ATTEND THE NEXT WORKSHOP ON 17TH DEC @ APPARAO GALLERIES – CHENNAI, PLEASE CLICK HERE AND CHECK THE ‘GOING‘ TAB
The 3 Part Book Series, follow the life of a mysterious Monk and a young heart broken boy in Himalaya, who is on the path of self discovery. The first book "Songs of the Mist" has been published in Dec, 2015 to wide critical acclaim.