Book Review: Many Many Many Gods of Hinduism by Swami Achuthananda

Many Many Many Gods of Hinduism: Turning believers into non-believers and non-believers into believersMany Many Many Gods of Hinduism: Turning believers into non-believers and non-believers into believers by Swami Achuthananda

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As quoted in the book, the poem “The Blind Men and the Elephant.” I too have touched a part of Hinduism, albeit a very small part. That’s why I enjoyed very much reading this book because it gave me a different angle to look at Hinduism, not just as a religion, but as a way of life.

I like the authors Swami Achuthananda writing style, in a very serious topic, he still manages to make me chuckle.

Understanding any religion is a difficult task, and reading this book probably won’t help me to understand Hinduism as a whole or even with the necessary indepth of knowledge, but it did open my mind to a new dimension. Especially about the things we are familiar with but do not truly understand. Like, Yoga, greeting with Namaste, the appreciation of nature, and the ritual of worship.

I recommend this book to those who are open-minded to other cultures and views, and to those who are willing to open their minds and be presented to The Many Many Many Gods of Hinduism.

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Book Review: Where Dreams and Visions Live by Mary Blowers

My parents (RIP) as Javanese people were true believers in the spiritual world. And although I spent most of my infant and childhood years living in the Western world, our home was a home of Javanese norm and beliefs. Yes, my father the lecturer who married his distant aunt, would always tell me to never lose my identity as an Indonesian in general and more so as a Javanese person.

We Javanese people truly believe in the signs carried to us by dreams, dreamt of getting bitten by a snake? Oh, somebody is going to ask you for marriage. Dreamt of seeing a volcano erupt? Bad news on the way…..

But then again, I’m not such an obedient daughter, after almost forty years of life, there are things I still believe and things that I don´t. Dreams in my sleep are one of them.

A few days ago, I got my hand on this book, it made me remember my Dad´s stories and teachings. Dreams are there for a reason, at this point in time, I think it is a bridge that connects us to that ancient spiritual being that lays dormant within us, force to slumber by the roar of modern life, smartphones, computers, social media, you name it. Reading this book, gave me a warm sensation inside, it made me remember of many beliefs that I had left chasing my life and career, the beliefs of spiritual bonds with loved ones that is reflected in dreams, the belief of omens and signs that the world communicates to us through dreams, and many other ancient beliefs that was handed down to me from generations before me that I chose to forget.

I highly recommend this anthology, it´s a compilation of short stories and poems about dreams and nightmares. It takes you on a journey to a surreal landscape and makes us rethink the meanings of the stories that our subconscious mind tells us. Truly a book that gives us food for thought.

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Feeling nostalgic: Lelaki dan Rembulan

Rembulan di malam hari
The moon at night
Lelaki diam seribu kata
The man sits in silent
Hanya memandang
Just watching
Hatinya luka hatinya luka
His heart is broken, his heart is broken
Hatinya luka
His heart is broken

Udara terasa berat
The air felt heavy
Karena asmara sesakkan dada
As love suffocates him
Ketika cinta terbentur dinding
When love hits a wall
Terbentur dinding
Hits a wall

Bukalah hatiku hatimu yang selalu membeku
Open your frozen heart
Agar ku lihat lagi rembulan di wajahmu
So I can see the moon from your face once more
Jangan sembunyikan hatimu padaku
Don’t hide your heart from me

Lelaki dan rembulan
The man and the moon
Bersatu di malam
Together again on the night
Angin sepoi-sepoi
The wind gently blows

RIP Bang Franky, you’re not forgotten