Tuesday, 3 November 2015

If Truth be Told A Monk’s Memoir - Book Review


I was so impressed after reading Om Swami’s A fistful of love wisdom and humour from a monk’s bowl, that I purchased his autobiography If Truth be Told – A Monk’s Memoir. Unfortunately the book disappointed me.

The book tells us about Om Swami, who became a renowned astrologer even when he was in school. He became a successful software professional and went on to start his own company. Then suddenly he received the calling and he decided to give away all his earnings to a stranger that on their first meeting. He goes to Varanasi and starts searching for a Guru taking the help of a local guide. He finds his guru, who is an adept tantric. However his Guru exploits him and fleeces of all the remaining money. Finally he leaves his Guru and goes to perform his penance in the Himalyas, where he gains self realization.

When I am reading the book which has words A Monk’s Memoir, I expect to read more about his life as a monk. His material success as a software expert in Australia consumes most of the space in the book. His search for Guru appears too superficial. How could an educated man just go on knocking doors in Varanasi asking for a Guru? Even when he finds his Guru, he is not taught anything. He goes to the Himalayas and meditates on his own. There is nothing in the book which would interest the seeker. I had read somewhere, autobiography is like a woman, if beautiful not honest, if honest then not beautiful.
Plus there are errors in the book. These days I find errors even in books of leading publishers. So on page 171 of the book there comes a character called Sanjay. On the very same page Sanjay is unintentionally christened as Ranjay. Thereafter on the following pages he is Ranjay. This is not acceptable.

To conclude I wasted my money on If Truth be Told A Monk’s Memoir. Doesn’t it say all?

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