Skip to main content

Book Review: Susunaga Weeraperuma's book of essays 'Clarity is the Only Spirituality' is a rare blend of philosophy with humour

Published by FingerPrint! Publishing, Susunaga Weeraperuma's collection of essays titled 'Clarity is the Only Spirituality' takes you through a diverse world that is battling complex problems with little clarity on the big picture. A heartwarming style of writing, peppered with a dash of good humour, makes this book a memorable, interesting read as it negotiates through the turbulent landscapes of human mind and emotion on all aspects of life. 



From several people I personally know, I had heard tales of how difficult it was to communicate to the French people in English. A veteran journalist had once told me that when he checked into one of their finest and best hotels way back in the 80s, the receptionist would not even acknowledge his queries unless he addressed her in the French language.

But hey, wait a minute! This author is living in France and he has pointed out that French schools don't even encourage or promote the use of English language. The author's candid admission of struggling with the French language found me smiling as I read the details and funny episodes with increasing level of curiosity and interest.  [READ: The Amazing Tale of Peddabottu]

For instance, the author talks about not being able to figure out the correct word in French and a French lady snubs him, "Your mind isn't developed."

Another time, a shopkeeper acquaintance asks him in a rather annoyed way, "Why do you speak to your wife in English?"

This almost got me falling off my chair, cracking up. From personal experience, I had been of a mistaken impression that only Indian shopkeepers ask such nosy questions. I guess it can be a universal thing too, huh!

For those who enjoy the rare blend of philosophy with humour, the sheer charm of reading this book would be hard to resist. 

Another example I can't help citing from this book pertains to where the author talks about J.Krishnamurti's book 'At the Feet of the Master' where he likens the human body to a horse, with certain basic guidelines to be followed. 

For instance, the horse has to be treated well, properly taken care of and be fed only good food and it has to be kept clean. In the same way,  J.Krishnamurti points out that the human body must be perfectly in good health to become capable of undertaking the arduous work of spiritual preparation. The author has dedicated a chapter on  J.Krishnamurti's perspective on sex and celibacy too. 

[DO READ: Sage Tiruvalluvar's Golden Advice on Friendship]

Little heartwarming details like 'Yoga first, breakfast later' make the experience of reading this book a memorable one. For instance, Claudia's feathered friends are always welcomed with a watering trough and leftover food and the couple work hard to grow their own cherry trees and olive trees and extract olive oil, making sure the water they use is pure and unpolluted. 

Details like these are nothing extraordinary but these ordinary moments are what connect human beings to make habitats into homes. Okay, maybe I am too emotional about the ordinary moments of life but I also celebrate them like a personal expression of gratitude to the Universe.

Simply put, 'Clarity is the Only Spirituality' is a small book of essays that have been penned in short chapters that glimmer with the practical wisdom of knowledge, garnered from years of traveling across the world.

Comments

Most Popular Posts

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

Many years ago, when I wrote this post on Kerala's caste system, I had not considered that I would receive such online abuse for writing this or that I would be seen as some one who was trying to insult other castes. The intention of writing is always to share an experience or a perspective, not to insult others.  My experience of motherhood and marriage would be different from yours. When I write about my experience, it is illogical to abuse me because our journeys are entirely different narratives. My life and yours are not the same at any given point of time.

My question is - why do you ABUSE any caste or person here? You are free to disagree but why do you ABUSE? How does that reflect on YOU?

In my article, I shared what trials I went through, without any intention to insult any community.A new book 'Ants among Elephants' written by Sujatha Gidla, who writes about herself as being born 'an untouchable in India' teaches you everything you probably want to know abo…

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

Mahadmrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra nee

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. Do read my post: Does Mahamrityunajaya mantra really work?Of course, it does but you need to undertstand the meaning and significance of the mantra first.
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. [ Do READ: THE POWER OF LOVE]
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he becam…

Why chant Ramayana during the month of Karkidakam

For Keralites across the world who follow the Malayalam calendar, today marks the beginning of the month of Karkidakam. This month, which, decades ago, was known and slightly feared for its torrential rains and negative impact on the health, wealth and well being of Kerala's rural community. 
Why chant Ramayana during Karkidakam To ward off the negative energy unleashed by Nature and its possible repercussions on one's family's overall well being, the wise elders introduced the timeless tradition of every family reading the Ramayana as an oral, spiritual tradition. Thus, it goes without saying that for Keralites who embrace these traditions, the act of reading the Ramayana is as much a spiritual cleansing as it is a kind of tradition they can pass on to bond with their loved family members, particularly children.
In the Ramayana, there is no 'preaching of principles' but you are taken through the Avatar's journey as a human being. Lord Rama depicts how a man shoul…

The Amazing Tale of Peddabottu: How she battled all odds, took leadership roles and defied conventional norms in a unique way

When we first come into the world, we mark our entry with a big cry.  The wise ones say that we loathe to leave the safety of the mother's womb. As we grow up, we learn to seek happiness in the things we do. We find different ways to be happy. The wise ones says, ''Pain makes you strong.'' [READ: Feeling depressed and low?]

The truth about happiness is that it teaches us nothing, whereas pain nudges out of our complacent comfort zones.  It teaches us to reflect, look within and find the answers from a zone that we are not usually familiar dealing with.





Pain and sorrow manifest in our lives differently and across different phases but how we react to it defines our the direction of our life. A newborn child undergoes pain when vaccinated but will a mother stop her child from being vaccinated simply because she doesn't want her child to undergo pain?
[Must Read: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]

So, there is pain that both protects and gives strength though…

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! 

[DO READ: The POWER OF LOVE]

Earth Angels have amazing superpowers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions and  becoming invisible at will.
[MUST READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]
DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are constantly “rescuing people” because it is in your nature to want to see everyone happy in …

Book Review: Subrata Dasgupta's novel 'Voice of the Rain Season' a journey of four generations of Bengali women, extraordinarily told

Published by FingerPrint! Publishing, Subrata Dasgupta's novel 'Voice of the Rain Season' is not an easy book to describe for it involves a journey that takes you back into time, spanning four generations and catapulting you into the epicenter of a Bengali family's long kept secret that is tied to notions of identity, homecoming, language, love and loss. [DO READ: The Amazing Tale of Peddabottu

The telling of Subrata Dasgupta's novel opens in the US. The protagonist is Joya Bose, a twenty five year old Indian lecturer, who is living with Martin Shawncross, an American undergraduate student at the University where she teaches. Initially, Joya is surprised that Martin Shawncross is not only familiar with Rabindranath Tagore's poetry but is also passionate in his interpretation of it. She is delighted when he tells her that her paternal grandmother Manjula is a Bengali, who had married his grandfather, an American. Manjula's twin sister Nilima also becomes de…

Five ways to take charge of your anger

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems -- not people; to focus your energies on answers -- not excuses.” ― William Arthur Ward
Every day, the newspaper headlines are full of scary stories of people killing each other over trivial things - mostly these incidents happen when individuals lose their temper and turn violent. In traffic jams across Noida in the evenings, people don't hesitate to walk out and hit each other.  At workplaces, colleagues lose their temper and say things that they regret later. During holidays with loved ones, small things set us off and we say things that damage relationships forever. No one stops anyone. Everyone likes a big, bad fight. It's great to vent. After all, what's the big deal about getting angry? After all, if you cannot express what pisses you off, how can you call yourself human? 


Does anger solve your problems? You know the answer!

If anger solved all the problems in the world, this world would have been a perfect place centur…

Feeling depressed and low? This guy at Costa Coffee taught me something invaluable about being at peace!

At Costa Coffee outlet at DLF Mall in  Noida today, I hovered blankly over an iced latte. I wasn't in my best mood. You know how it is, there are days when one feels disappointed and let down by the self and withdraw into an inner shell.  [READ: Does sincerity have any value?]

FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST

And so it happens that the server at Costa Coffee who brought to our table what we had ordered is a smiling young man. He has a big, happy smile on his face.
We looked up. He was conveying something with his fingers to my son, who had his headphones switched on and was listening to music. I looked up and understood then that the young man was deaf and unable to speak, which is why he was using sign language to communicate.
This is what I think he communicated to my son, ''Enjoy your sandwich.You have a good smile and a good day.  Thank you for coming today, happy to serve you."
My son was also gesturing back to him with a bright smile and conveying thank you. [READ: Chil…

Top 10 Skincare tips for Summer

Come summer, and we women worry a lot about how the sun lashes out on our skin. True, skincare tips for the summer are plenty but what about the hushed secrets - yes, those tried and tested family secrets that are passed on from mother to daughters? [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]

FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST

Here are some that are totally easy to do. Best of all, these are effective and bring on a feel-good factor in the peak of summer.

1. Replace water with rosewater. It keeps your skin luminous and fragrant throughout the day. It's a good toner too.

2. Cleanse your skin by combining these ingredients - honey, milk, rosewater/rosepetals and turmeric. Add a dash of olive oil and yes, it feels wonderful.

3. Almond oil body baths are a must-have! You will smell delicious all day. This summer, skip all those body lotions & moisturizers! You will love the way almond oil pampers your skin all day!

4. Use a mixture of almond oil and olive oil for your fe…

Happy Onam: Revisiting Memories of Onam Celebrations

Everyone’s watch is set to a different time and the earth revolves slowly or fast depending on the state of one’s heart. – Anjum Hassan (Difficult Pleasures)
The scent of Onam brings with it the secrecy of pain and the tumultuous, roller coaster sense of gradually heightening excitement. Looking back, memories flood back into my mind. Like firecrackers that light up the sky in a brilliant display and burn itself out into a shimmering incandescence, these memories stored safely in my mind turn alight. The memories push through the shadowy boundaries of nostalgia and make my heart flip over with a strange, inexplicable sliver of joy and pain.

So many Onams spring to life. Onam with my parents – where my mother would be busy in the kitchen preparing all the items for the sadhya without any one’s help in the kitchen. When she used to fry the banana chips, I would sneak in to steal some from the hot plate because I didn’t have the patience to wait till it cooled. I’d take some to my father w…