Mini Review – Our Oriental Heritage by Will Durant (Part 3) – India and it’s Neighbors

I’m 35 hours (50 in total) into this beast of a book and it’s a good time for another mini review. This part tackles the history of India and it’s a good one!


📝Gandhi: “What the eyes are for the outer world, fasts are for the inner.” I have never fasted. Have you? Maybe this will be my next experiment. 🧪

📝 It’s hard to overestimate the importance and impact and the cast system on India. I want to read more about it. 🤓

📝 The dominating fact in India is heat, Durant argues. ☀️ “It weakened the youth and shortened them. It also gave way to the most quiet of religions and philosophy”. “The only relief of this heat is to sit still and do nothing and desire nothing”…”When the monsoon fails to blow, India starves, and dreams of Nirvana.” 🧐🤔

📝 Mohenjo-daro was as old as the civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia.

📝 “In the whole world, said Schopenhauer, there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as the of the Upanishads. It’s been the solace of my life. It will be the solice of my death”. This Schopenhauer guy show up a lot in the Laws of Human Nature too. I need to read his work.

📝 ”Unlike most saints, Buddha had a sense of humor and knew that metaphysic without laughter is immodesty”.

📝 The oldest and ever reoccurring theme of Hindu thought: “individual separateness is an illusion.” “All life is one”.


⭐️TAKEAWAY: “Nothing should more deeply shameful to the modern student than the recency and Inadequacy of his acquaintance with India.” 🙋‍♂️🤦‍♂️ 🇮🇳. Ive been quite oblivious, but reading this is a part of the cure. I also want to read more about the cast system, Brahmins and maybe even take a closer look at the Upanishads. Let me know if you have book recommendations?

The books goes into traditional yogic practices (hardcore stuff.😨), the life of the Buddha, and the story of Buddhism and Hinduism and a short biography about Gandhi. And you know me by know; I LOVE that stuff!

4/5

What are you reading this week?

Also read part 1 and part 2 in this review series. Plus find other awesome books here!

Thoughts on: “My Experiments With Truth” by Gandhi

We get to follow a great man in the making in this autobiography by Gandhi. Like a mad scientist, and from an early age, he experimented with every area of his life to find essence of the soul.

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Being very limited in my knowledge about Gandhi, I expected a focus on religion in this book, but I was positively surprise find that it was much more an account of life lessons learned. And of course experiments! Both successful ones and failures. Ranging from self control, frugality to diet.

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He dedicated his life to the truth. It’s turns out that being truthful in all aspects of life, is not that easy after all. What is fascinating about this book is to follow his struggle between internal beliefs and actions. And it’s becomes extra powerful because it’s in his own words.

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My main takeaway is to keep trying different approaches in life. I’ve always been a big fan of experiments but it’s always to good to get a reminder of its importance.

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Here are some notes:

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Gandhi tried to memorize the whole “Bhagavad Gita” (an ancient Hindu scripture) by taping passages from it to his bathroom walls so that he could practice them while taking his morning shower.

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“The seeker after truth should be humbler than the dust. The world crushes the dust under its feet, but the seeker after truth should so humble himself that even the dust could crush him. Only then, and not till then, will he have a glimpse of truth.”

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“Renunciation of objects, without the renunciation of desires, is short-lived, however hard you may try.”

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4/5

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“The Story of my Experiments with Truth” by Mahatma Gandhi

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Books That Will Change You Forever!

I did a “favorites of 2016” last year on my instagram and I thought it would be a good addtion to my blog. Good book recommendations are always relevant, right? The list for 2017 is coming soon butthese books sure are worthy gifts for loved ones this holiday season!

Favorite Books of 2016 – Self-Discovery

My Pick:

“The Bhagavad Gita” – Translated and introduced by Eknath Easwaran (Audio / Paperback)

One of my many takeaways from Nassim Nikolas Talebs book “Antifragile” was to read original material and books that stood the test of time. So I did just that and it turned out to be pretty sound advice. I naively thought it would be tough to enjoy books from hundreds of years ago, because old school writing styles, but thanks to modern translations I found it to be quite the opposite.

One book that stood out to me was “The Bhagavad Gita”, translated and introduced by Eknath Easwaran. After seeing this ancient Hindu scripture being referenced in more than six of the books I read this year, covering very different subjects, I’d decided to give it a shot. It was well worth it and you can find my “review” of it in my feed. What really stuck with me was the concept of detachment from outcome. “Only the one who is utterly engaged and utterly detached is able to live life fully.”

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RUNNERS UP:

Read the full list with all it’s categories here!