Reading is one activity that tremendously impacts us. Fiction books dive us deep into an imaginary world and strike a chord connecting us with the fictitious characters. Non-fiction helps us with relevant information. Apart from these two, there is one more category that only a few lucky ones get to read. It is that one book, which answers all our unanswered questions what we have been waiting for long.
If it is a self-help book for some, it is about relationships for others while for some others it’s a spiritual book, reading which can trigger a major change in their perspectives or can be a source of enlightenment. Can these be called as favourites, I don’t really think. I’d say that such books can be called simply precious.
One such book for me is The Social Impact of Hindu Scriptures. And the reason is; as a child, I always had countless questions about procedures and the strict rules of the rituals and traditions we followed. When asked, I was always hushed or there used to be one answer what irritated me to the core, ‘There always is a reason for everything and you are not supposed to question. We just need to follow what our elders practice.’
As I grew, I had started to hate those and for me, it seemed as drama and was so illogical. The Horoscope predictions, the Vaastu, the various mythological stories behind the Hindu festivals, all never seemed to have any relevance in today’s world. Just because it was practiced in the past, do we have to continue practicing, I wondered. I ended up completely ignoring the traditions and the customs practiced. It was only during certain unavoidable occasions, I was compelled to follow, just because the sentiments of the elders’ in the family should not be hurt. During one such situation, when it seemed impossible for me to follow those blindly, I found this book which came as my eye opener.
The very blurb of the book intrigued me and I just couldn’t help myself but start reading the moment I received the book. The beautiful cover page, so relevant to the title of the book with the light colours blending through the font is well above perfect. And making the book stand out is the tagline, ‘Directions for the Future’.
The author Krishna Bhat, is a Doctor by profession, has clearly come up with so many instances of his life explaining the causes and reasons of certain practices that are practiced since ages in India. And is still continued in many parts of the rural India. The book has a crisp and precise explanation covering a gamut of subjects right from the evolution of Hinduism and caste system to Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas. From Animal sacrifice to Pilgrimage place, women treatment in the past to evolution of Ayurveda. The minute detailing the procedures followed for salvation and the beliefs behind in taking the Goumutra (Cow Urine) as a remedy for many of the illnesses was something I always wanted to know.
The book draws a fine line on what can be followed and what can be omitted in the present era, what most of us are confused about. Instead of believing and following the practices blindly in the name of tradition and culture, one can always make his or her own choice and tweak the practices based on their lifestyles.
It is no doubt a great guide in terms of directions for the future generation.