Book Review: 'Life's Amazing Secrets' by Gaur Gopal Das
Buddha once said, “A disciplined mind brings happiness.” Gaur Gopal Das in his debut book “Life’s Amazing Secrets” tries to spill the beans in order to discipline our minds so as to attain happiness. Although, when one reads it looks like the author has invested on speaking about already explored areas like finding purpose and meaning in life, the keys to lasting happiness, and an assessment on human conditions. But what makes this book unique is the author explaining the events that happen in life and the way it needs to be interpreted based on the philosophy that he holds dear. Gaur Gopal Das chooses to narrate the truths or the philosophy behind attaining happiness in an actually three minute journey with his rih friend Hariprasad Iyer which is extended by the traffic jam on the busy roads in Mumbai. Perhaps his sole concern was to explain the words of Oliver Goldsmith that, “Life is a journey that must be travelled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.” Gaur Gopal Das explains and uses practical reflections in quotes to drive our attention to the existential truths of life.
The book is designed perfectly well by Penguin Ananda, An imprint of Penguin Random House, India. The author has made the narration look natural by including dialogue and demonstrating his viewpoints intertwining it with life. The author escorts the reader through four principles that form the foundation of a happy life choosing to call them ‘wheels.’ The four ‘wheels’ that Gaur Gopal Das mentions and deals with systematically are Personal Life, Relationships, Work Life and Social Contribution. The wheels are certainly that which compartmentalize our life basically.
Gaur Gopal Das insists on being grateful rather than being consumed by negativity in one’s personal life. He states that negativity consumes our mind so much so we lose the ability to see the beautiful things around us and solve the problems that we are able to confront.
When Gaur Gopal Das discusses about relationships he quotes Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Further on explaining the relationship woes, he quotes Proverbs 11:27 “Anyone can find the dirt in someone, be the one that finds the gold.” He quite efficiently explains the type of people existing in humanity and what one ought not to become.
The most important aspect in work life he states is spirituality, because there is always a tendency on our part to separate spirituality and work. Gaur Gopal Das clarifies that both spirituality and work go hand in hand. The way we live our spirituality we will be able to crystallize the life events and see them in different light. Our spirituality will enable us to face our work life differently. After all the success we might have gained or otherwise, the important aspect as we live in the society, is to contribute to it; patiently and positively. Because ultimately when one gives from the little that one has and achieved, brings joy in abundance.
The author deals with themes like jealousy, hatred, possessions, honesty, blessings in life etc. Apart from the smooth flow of events and the explanation of the mantras to find balance and purpose in life, Gaur Gopal Das decides to place worksheets on forgiveness and Ikigai. Overall the book is an easy read, at times predictable, but the way Gaur Gopal Das explains it, is unique in his own way, like he always does.
Read the book if you want to get clarity and focus in life, and for much more.