Book Review LIFE Made SIMPLE
We talk about life. We philosophize about life. We dream about life. We worry about the certain uncertainties in life. We speak about our experiences in life. Rarely do we realize that we are floating in an ocean of life – a big life. It is not just an empty space around us – it is a lively big life... It is not simple. But it can be made simple, says Dr.T.P. Sasikumar, who is popularly known as Dr.TPS in his book ‘’ Life made Simple”.
Dr.TPS is one such blessed being who has received a special stroke from heaven to understand that life is essentially a learning experience. He believes that each situation, challenge, and relationships contain messages that are worth learning and teaching. His criticality and powerful observations about life is what you find in the seminal work. It is this strong faith that has shaped his convictions and has enabled him to offer us simple solutions to alleviate the pain arising out of the complex life that not only baffles us but also atomise our existence. The title is very apt as it says “Life made simple” for us by this simple unassuming person who is a scientist, mathematician, poet, with degrees in LLB, MBA, M.S in Psychotherapy, and who is well versed in Vedas, Upanishads, Thanthra and Astrology. He has given us a good introduction about himself in his book. I quote “moved through Naduvil, Taliparamba , Payyannur, Kannur, Calicut, Kochi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, New Delhi on study and job”. You can read about what he is in page 136 of this very special Book..
The sum total of his learning and vast experience of Teaching contributed to the genesis of this book, through a socializing web site ‘ORKUT’. He named his community life is to live and conveys the strong message not to wallow in self-pity, which is worse than death! I should say he dramatically alters your perceptions of the world and yourself. This is what he says about criticism which makes us emotionally anaemic "…Arrow goes forward only after pulling the string backward. Bullet goes forward only after pressing the trigger backward. Every human being will get happiness only after facing difficulties in his path of life” (LS, 15).
The book is divided in to four sections. Part one comprises of fourteen chapters which holds the different permutations of our life under the microscope, He confesses life is not simple, but being simple, with no extra ego, we can make life simple.
In part Two titled “The Life coach speaks to you”; he discusses the blues of life and offers simple maxims to chart our journey peacefully. He warns us of our six enemies Kama-Lust, Krodha-Anger, Lobha-Greed, Moha-Delusion, Mada-Pride and Matsarya-Violence. He has defined matsarya as violence highlighting the fact that the unhealthy competition in any relationship is a violence against once own divinity! Part three deals with the FAQ are of day to day life. The answers are simple at the same time thought provoking and easy to comprehend.
Dilemma of Life in Tit Bits forms the fourth section. He says “life is to win, win over self” (147) enunciating the greatest philosophy of life. He answers the single most important question that people have always asked “what is the purpose of this life?” Here comes an answer which is simple- but far from easy. Live in a manner that is consistent with one’s spiritual ideals. Be consistent and live your life with a strong faith in God. He says “our finite power holds the infinite power. This why nothing is impossible”, conveying his deep rooted faith in God.
He reconceptualises love . He stresses the need for us to abound in unconditional Love that becomes the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation. The spirituality that he speaks about is not that simple for us. He says I quote “you need power to remain free from the influence of others. Detachment is this power”. ( Page-19). In other these words are well grounded in the wisdom of Vedas which tells us to remain as a drop of water in the lotus leaf. The hardest philosophy of life is made simple by saying practice detached attachment to live your life meaningfully
This book is special as it carries very interesting anecdotes about Hitler being a vegetarian and Ravana who meditated regularly. The book is replete with comments of his orkut community. So it becomes a discourse on “Life”.
HE offers you 4 simple steps to reach God
neglect those who oppose bhakthi
Mercy on those who are materialistic and not spiritual
Friendship with Bhakthas
Thus this simple book becomes sacred in illumining your way to god.
His earthy sense of humour is well reflected in chapter 11 titled economics of life. A peep into our life cycle begins thus “Our birth is our opening balance , our death is our closing balance” They are pithy epigrammatical sentences which make us reflect seriously about our karma. His views about karma can be summed up with the lines of Bhagavad-Gita.
“sarva karma bhale thyagams praahu thyagam vichakshaha”
One who sacrifices the fruits of his karma makes the supreme sacrifice. He defines karma as the activity of service to others. The book thus epitomizes the creativity of Dr.TPS which is a net of love that catches many souls. We feel that he is a great teacher who touches a life forever. The quote
“anna daanam param daanam vidyaa daanam athath param”
reveals his conviction that teaching the seeker is greatest of all services that has given birth to this discourse on Life. My discourse ends, but the personality keeps on growing - Just as LIFE.
( Dr. Latha Nair. R. Department of English, St:Teresa’s College)