WRITING STYLE: 4/5
At the onset, “Arya Dharma: The Noble Dharma” appears to be one of those dull academic reads that often leave us wanting for something interesting and engaging.
Unfortunately, the cover doesn’t do the book much justice. It does little to draw potential readers of nonfiction and only adds to the scholarly appeal of the book.
But do not be fooled by appearances, for the book offers a treasure trove of ancient wisdom blended with just the right dose of modern-day sensibilities.
Don’t understand what I mean by it?
Read on to know more about the book, my experience of reading it, and my takes on the writing, research, and relevance of penning it.
What to expect?
Expect a book that offers an abundance of information and opinion on various subjects that concern the modern Indian state.
Expect a book that delves deeper into the glorious past of the Sanātan Dharma along with its rich cultural and literary texts.
Expect a book that connects ancient learnings to modern problems, and proposes a very thoughtful and well-researched alternative of governance.
Expect a lengthy read which is full of scholarly references, various Sanskrit terms, and eternal Sanātan concepts.
Finally, expect a book that talks about a wide variety of subjects from law and order to governance, from agriculture to banking and many more.
Who can read?
The book makes use of intellectually weighty concepts and is meant for someone who already has a working knowledge of the modern Indian republic and ancient Sanātan and Vedic concepts.
What is the book all about?
The focal point of the book is ‘Arya Dharma’.
Bollachettira Dhyan Appachu attempts to educate, and then cultivate in the reader, an understanding of ‘Arya Dharma’ which is prescribed as the most excellent way of living life.
According to the author, following the ‘Arya Dharma’ entails a breakaway from the current system of faulty, unethical and unsustainable democracy as propagated by the FUKUS countries of France, the UK, and the USA.
It necessitates going back to the notion of a “Ram Rajya” which has nothing to do with religion but everything to do with inclusive governance.
The author questions the current state of our world which values the priceless Amazon forests at far lesser estimate than the valuation of the Amazon company.
He questions the mindless pattern of unsustainable consumption that has wreaked havoc on our environment.
What did I like?
I love that the author has tried to educate readers about the much-misunderstood ideas of our scriptures, and enlightened them about the boisterous misuse of such well-established structures.
A case in point being the Varnashram system, which because of much corruption and misunderstanding, is often hailed as the biggest failure of our Indian society.
The author also concentrates on duties before rights and debates about the archetypical conduct of a responsible citizen.
He stresses the importance of grasping the darker side of democracy, suggesting how democracy annihilates the very freedom that it is supposed to uphold.
Criticizing comes easy, but that’s not where he stops.
He further proposes structures and governance standards that can prove to be more class-inclusive and environmentally sustainable.
What did I not like?
There are segments in the book that read like a rant and where the writing gets too informal for my liking.
I am all for being open to newer perspectives, but I like to be won over by argument, facts, and logic (which the author puts across brilliantly).
However, the rants and name-calling that sometimes pop-up in the narrative is just not my style.
How does it help?
The book helps in expanding one’s horizons. It gives the mind a lot of points to ponder on, and that’s a great thing.
I also love the way the author constantly focuses on the concepts of Dharma, Dhyan, Rtam, and Samathvam. We definitely need more such books that bring to us the concepts of ancient India in a relatable, and easily comprehendible fashion.
“Arya Dharma: The Noble Dharma” is a welcome step in that direction.
The best way to read it
The best way to make the most of this vast accumulation of knowledge is to take it moderately.
Focus on reading sections and concepts instead of focusing on a given number of pages. When done with a day’s worth of reading, go back and summarize the learnings for the day.
This will enable the readers to retain the essence of the chapters, without the need to rote.
What kind of research has gone into its making?
That a lot of research has gone into the making of the book is quite obvious from the very start.
Throughout the book, the author quotes from all the sources that he has studied, including the various Upanishads, Puranas, Manu Smriti, Quran, Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta, Bible, and many others.
He also goes a step forward and informs the readers about additional reading materials, available both online and offline.
What could have been better?
There are segments in the book that are often repeated multiple times. Different chapters sometimes converge on the same points, and the content gets similar.
But even then, repeating concepts that have already been stated before only tires the reader. Trimming those sections would have greatly benefited the reader.
Is the book interesting to read?
“Arya Dharma: The Noble Dharma” is indeed an interesting read, especially for someone who exhibits a keen interest in not just religion and philosophy, but also governance and economy.
It is a book that leaves you with an unquenchable lust for additional knowledge and does so in a manner that is both engaging and illuminating.
In the end
In the end, “Arya Dharma: The Noble Dharma” is a serious inquiry into the sustainability of the world that we live in today. It is a book that attempts to propose a better and more sustainable way of living for all individuals.
By introducing the readers to the concepts of ‘Arya Dharma’, the author proffers a balanced approach that not just focuses on wealth but also on wisdom and ethics.
The final verdict
Go for it.
Pick the book if
- You love books that give you points to ponder on.
- You enjoy books that enhance your knowledge and stimulate your intellect.
- You like books that discuss ancient Indian knowledge and its applicability in the modern Indian state.
- You are looking for an in-depth and academic read that touches upon multiple subjects – law, democracy, business, spirituality, wellbeing, dharma, governance, finance, etc.
- You are looking for a book that distils the essence of classical wisdom and combines it with contemporary sensibilities.
Skip the book if
- You don’t like nonfiction.
- You don’t like books that speak about history, culture, law, administration, economy, or spirituality.
- You are looking for a short read.
- You don’t like books that are borderline academic.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of the “Arya Dharma: The Noble Dharma” using the link below.