Confessions, Upadesh and Talks: Author: Sadguru Omkar. Number of pages: 305. Price: Rs. 180 (Soft-cover). Distributor: Overman Foundation, Kolkata.
Kafka had said “If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skulls, then why do we read it?… A book must be an ice axe to break the sea frozen inside us.” Well…after reading Sadguru’s only available book, this is what I felt: Sadguru’s revolutionary ideas not only strikes your mind and wakes you up from a slumber to look at life through fresh eyes, but also makes you stand aside and observe events and people dispassionately.
As far as my knowledge goes this is the only book of Sadguru available in the market. It’s a collection of his earlier works “Upadesh” and “Selected Talks”. Another section “Confessions” which was never published is also included in the book. The book consists of 3 sections: Confessions, Talks and Upadesh, written and spoken during different phases of Sadguru’s life. Some of the contents were published as articles in “Organiser” and “Vedanta kesari”. The 3 sections clearly show the variation and change in perspective of Sadguru towards things and happenings as he evolved inside. The sections consists of talks arranged in paragraphs. “Confessions” was written when he was in prison on the margins of paper he was able to get there. They show the despair, pain and anguish he suffered during that period and the struggle to get out of it. The writings oscillate between faith and hopelessness, despair and joy, human limitations and the anger about the helplessness of being unable to over come it. Even though this may appear at first sight as an outpouring of despair and helplessness it contains pearls of wisdom and deep truths as rightly observed by Aurobindo, when Sadguru showed them to him.
The next two sections Upadesh and Talks cover the various discourses and talks delivered to disciples and general public over a wide period of time after reaching the ultimate. They cover a wide range of topics and problems faced by individuals and society in general. Here one can see Sadguru’s views on various isms, burning topics, human endeavours, goal of life, how to look at life and in general what life is all about. The contents are not arranged on subject lines but just listed one after another. After going through them one will realise that Sadguru has very much covered a wide range of topics and the matter in it is applicable to lot of areas. This makes the book a sort of philosophical treatise. Sadguru doesn’t prefer to call his teachings philosophy, as he feels that there can be no single philosophy suitable for every one, nor can it be stable so as to be applicable for all ages. His sayings are as relevant today as it was when they were spoken and will be relevant for times to come. The beauty, depth and relevance of its contents for times to come are what makes the book special.
Sadguru’s book is full of ideas and views seen from a different perspective. It’s not an analysis of people and events from a mental realm but from a reservoir of knowledge above it, which’s clearly a result of spiritual Sadhana. One will realise that seeing through the mind and analysing based on that is not sufficient. Mind is filled with its “isms”, biases, likes, dislikes and prejudices, so it sees and analyzes on that basis and not with out. Such an analysis will be always incomplete and incorrect.
Sadguru’s teachings are affirmative and all inclusive. He understood and respected each individual’s need, capability, strength and shortcomings and spoke accordingly. He taught Atma Vidya, which is the path of discovering one’s true nature and its potentialities. Throughout the book, the stress on Atma Vidya is evident and they form the crux of his teachings. A close look at the teachings show that they are influenced by Upanishads and based upon them. Repetition of thoughts and their stress on knowing one self is similar to the Upanishadic way. He does not believe in bracketing, labelling or blaming people. His teachings stress on knowledge and joy as the ultimate goals to strive for.
The beauty of the book lies in its clarity. Simple, powerful statements filled with deep insight are its highlights. His statements are precise and to the point. The depth of his understanding and the way it’s conveyed in a straight forward manner leaves one amazed. A good book should not only inspire, make a person think and take some action based on that, but also transform him. It should inspire him to inculcate, imbibe those ideals and work towards them. I feel his teachings have that potential.