Friday, October 5, 2007

the monk who sold his ferrari

title: The monk who sold his Ferrari
Author: robin sharma

Publishers: jaico books (2007)

Isbn: 978-81-7992-706-9

I had seen reviews and comments on this book in various places online, but never once read any of them as I generally don’t have the habit of reading reviews as I am afraid that the views of the reviewer might affect the way I see the book thus denying me the freedom to have an unbiased and original appreciation of it. Nevertheless the captivating title was successful in casting a spell on me, and that’s how my mind made a little note of it. And when after a while I saw this in a bookshop I bought it without much thinking. But to say the truth, the contents of the book failed to bring out that fascination in me that was sparked by its title.

I love reading about spirituality. But I guess this book has raped spirituality. It is all about shallow spirituality. It is all about creating formulas and shortcuts out of hardcore spirituality. It is guilty of having oversimplified the entire concept of spirituality. Spirituality basically is something that is to be experienced. Our selves can’t attain an exalted level of being just by blindly following some easy shortcut techniques. It is like learning swimming by reading a how-to swimming book. One can’t learn how to swim just by reading a book. One has to take the plunge and struggle with water and be committed and perseverant enough and has to go through a pretty tiresome procedure before one finally becomes capable of managing to keep oneself floating on the surface of the water. I am not saying that one has no right to write a book on spirituality. When a person who has firsthand experience of the spiritual world writes a book, it ignites a spark in the mind of the reader which evokes an interest in him/her to pursue the path of spirituality and self fulfillment in his/her own way. And creating that spark is the maximum a spiritual book can do. But this book enumerates certain formulas claiming that one who follows those shortcut techniques are bound to attain the highest levels of self realization that the great sages of the past had attained. The feeling I got when I read the book is that the author doesn’t have any firsthand spiritual experience. Instead he must have read a lot about spirituality and have compiled great principles and made a book out of it. And perhaps that’s why the author instead of telling the story in the first person employs a character julian to narrate the spiritual principles that is supposed to help anyone in becoming successful in their businesses and works through the medium of a fable.

The people who have given the title of leadership guru to the author are those lazy ones who always wants to make great money in their businesses and at the same time are looking for shortcut paths to achieve their goals. Their eyes are always on the goal, but they are not ready to tread the hard path that leads towards it. Instead they need if-you-do-this-you-will-get-this kind of formulas. And that’s why this book became such a big bestseller.

But the truth is that such formula books have never helped anyone in achieving their goals. If anyone has achieved anything it is just because he/she has it in him/her. He/she would have made it even without such a book.

But still I have great love for the title of this book. It is a fabulous title indeed for a book that deals with the subject of self-realization. Only the contents need to be changed!

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