Title : The Seeker
Author : Karan Bajaj
Publisher : Penguin India
It so turned out that the books that I picked up for reading this summer kept leading me to the logical next and further on in my pursuit to know and understand things better, as if it was all pre-planned and ordained to happen. Although I am far removed from understanding the meaning of life and getting even a glimpse of the elusive peaceful state of mind but the dots that are joining through these books are bringing in some form of solace and respite. Just wondering if it is Alchemist's message getting validated in real life - nature conspiring in some way to satisfy the urge from within.
Happened to pick 'The Seeker', seeing it on the stands of a book store, along with J.P. Vaswani's book - Thoughts Life has Taught Me. Written by Karan Bajaj, this book is again a person's journey to know the purpose of life. In more cases than one this kind of desperation gets kindled when one goes through extreme emotions like - near death experience, loss of a loved one or similar such situation. During such life changing experiences, many questions cloud a mind and one keeps wondering and questioning about what is beyond what is visible to the eye. The urge to know more and know better keeps one unsettled till one begins on some path to everlasting peace.
In 'The Seeker', Maximus Pzoras, a Harvard economist and Wall Street Banker calls it quits soon after his mother's demise. In order to find reason for human suffering, despair and pain, he sets out on a journey from New York to the snow capped Himalayas first, then to an ashram in South India and finally to the Himalayas again. He realises that it is the mind that needs to be conditioned to stay silent. 'Mind is always on fire. It violates every yogic percept, claiming it wants enlightenment when it craves pleasure, coveting the comfort of chatter, committing violence when it thinks negatively. Mind knows no contentment, no peace, no maturity.'
In order to find the truth behind the statement, “So if there is birth, age, suffering, sorrow and death, then there must be something that is un-born, un-aging, un-ailing, sorrow-less and deathless, immortals as it were" Max progresses from one stage to another and experiences an inner transformation.The bondages, attachments, worldly pleasures that earlier enticed and seduced him, slowly settle down and so do the bodily discomforts. The book actually walks the readers through an adventurous journey where the protagonist is equally unsure and unsettled to begin with but gradually the clouds of confusion start diffusing giving way to clarity and assuredness.
After reading this book, the learning gets reconfirmed that there is a right time for everything when the mind, soul and body actually get ready to receive it. The receptiveness of these three faculties conjoin to convey the message to the nature which then conspires to make it happen in its own discreet way.
Karan Bajaj has done a great job in bringing out the inner feelings and emotions of a person on the journey to self realization. The detail and depth in his writing validates how keenly he must have experienced the emotions and how deeply he must have observed the progressive changes. He talks highly about the significance of selfless service and silence while mentioning various means and mediums in order to stabilize the mind. He touches upon the concepts of - power of yoga and meditation, good and bad karma and the outcomes of the same, rebirth theory and much more and the way they are pieced together, make it all very logical. While reading through the book, one may not even realise but one eventually gets a glimpse of how 'Tattvam asi' - the enlightened state - would be.
Tattvam asi means - You are That (That is God), which means aligning oneself with that supreme power as one is actually a part of that complete whole.
This book has already gone in the list of 'Literary Sojourn Recommends' for this year.