Book review of A Monk’s Memoir: Truth be told, this is the monk who sold his Porsche

  • Medha Shri Dahiya, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jan 03, 2015 13:32 IST

Title: If Truth Be Told: A Monk’s Memoir
Author: Om Swami
Publisher: Harper Element
Price: Rs 499

If truth be told, Om Swami is the monk who sold his Porsche. And he gets that a lot, he says. He also renounced his multi-million International dollar business with the other worldly things. The book is his ­memoir. In a ­simple, engaging manner, Swami narrates his journey from being a multi-millionaire at 26 in Australia, to monkhood at 30 in the Himalayan ­foothills.

"When I wasn’t even conceived, an enlightened soul ­told my mother that she will give birth to a son who will be “one amongst” the enlightened. His mother guarded the prophecy like a little secret, wishing that his son would never renounce the world. But fate had its own plans. At eight, Om Swami had a vision of God in a dream that left him wanting for more. He wanted to ­experience the ecstasy again, and see the Goddess with his eyes wide open. Eventually, he did meet the Goddess, says the book — as he gave up luxury, ­success, million-dollar business and all the worldly pleasures to observe stringent ­meditative Tantric and Vedic practices.

This inspiring read isn’t didactic or religiously preachy. What you learn is what you absorb while reading the tale of the modern-day monk who now writes on his blog from his ­ashram.

But, it would’ve been nice to read about the Tantric practices in more details, just as other practices have been ­written about. And at places, the detail and ­description is wanting. Yet, pick it up to get motivated and learn ­ simple happiness and worldly truths.

A conversation with him is equally enriching. He gave us very simple rules to live stress-free in these stress-inducing times. "Don't bite more than you can chew," says the sage, explaining, "People need to learn the art of 'no'. Someone asks for a favour, someone wants a job done they approach you and you say 'okay, would do it'. Then, you are constantly living under stress to complete that job, even though you don't have the time or energy. Sometimes, you want to spend 20 lakhs on a wedding, when your savings are just 15 lakhs! People need to learn to say no, don't bite more than you can chew."

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