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The Universality and Singularity of God

Haribakth
Haribakth Author Interview

aKsara Bhagavad Gita is an enlightening book that provides a unique view of the Bhagavad Gita. Why was this an important book for you to write?

To usher in cosmic harmony and promote universal brotherhood amongst different religionists by proposing a common paradigm to interpret scripture of any religion/philosophy or ideology. It is based on logic and derives authority from the Gita itself. The proposed paradigm codifies all rules of interpretation. This is done by enunciating rules of interpretation from the God’s quotes in the Gita, substantiating the enunciated principles by way of a mock debate, and providing an built-in checker to cross verify our interpretations and also an provides inbuilt auto updater so as to stay relevant under all changing times and circumstances. It is a Hermeneuticians touchstone and fulfilment of their long sought quest.

What were some key ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?

The words/sentences uttered in the Gita have been analysed and commented upon in a number of different ways by innumerable persons since 3270 B.C.

The untouched part of the concept underlying the words, beyond the words and the positioning of the words and sentences, that which is communicated but not spoken, the relationship between the concepts and the words, between different branches of learning and their relationship with the Gita and its usage, cognition thereof and metacognition are some ideas explored. At another level, the universality and singularity of God, relationship of humans and living entities with God, and how He wanted us to understand and act, these and some other ideas are also examined in the book.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?

God is one, omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, irrespective of the name you choose to identify Him, the rituals you follow or the beliefs you profess, and He didn’t ask His children to fight amongst themselves or endorse killing in His name to uphold His superiority or His words.

What kind of research did you undertake to complete this book?

If you observe closely, you will notice that there are two parts the book. The Gita proper and other subjects like grammar, law, management, logic, science etc. I haven’t researched anything about Gita. It was a revelation or an inspired communication from the divine without any intervening media.

The other mundane part required research. I had vague memory of the fundamental concepts of those branches of knowledge which required to be refreshed and correlated with Gita. I have used Google, Wikipedia, and Dictionary etc. extensively for this purpose.

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How were the rules framed? They were framed based on the parameters. How was Parameter identified and on what authority? Parameters were identified based on the attributes of the Gita. The authority too is derived from God/Gita. Isn’t the identification process obsolete and unscientific? There isn’t anything more scientific than the Gita. Just see the explosion of Artificial intelligence applications, be it Drones, Siri, Echo, or Robots. They are all non-human but endowed with intelligence.

A Nest for Lalita

A Nest for Lalita by [Ken Langer]

A Nest for Lalita, written by Ken Langer, centers around domestic violence in India, a sensitive subject definitely, but displayed expertly. In all honesty, this was a struggle at times to read, not due to poor writing or story, just the opposite. Langer writes these topics with an unrelenting force, displaying all of it in all its ugliness – to put it lightly.

It also revolves around corporate greed, infuriating politicians, a budding love in a country that, at times, seems to fight against everything the protagonists, Meena and Simon, fight for.

As a reader, I wholly believe that first impressions matter. If you are able to capture my attention in one chapter – or at times in a prologue – then that is a book worth reading. Fortunately, A Nest for Lalita is one of these books. I was intrigued, angry, furious, and devastated, all in a four-page prologue. Which also established the tone for the novel – though without the little ray of hope shining in the rest of the book.

This is where we meet Lalita, who is ultimately not a protagonist but a catalyst for other characters and this felt like a missed opportunity. The short prologue had me wanting more from her, however, Meena and Simon are great protagonists that were a blast to read.

The setting is also intricate and fascinating. Langer teaches and explores Indian culture and religion thoroughly, especially religion, and he accomplishes this through natural means. That is, through multiple characters, and Kesh embodies this greater than any other character. Part of Kesh’s motivations and flaws involves the deep and rich Hindu religion.

It may sound like Langer delivers an unforgiving story encapsulating multiple sensitive topics, and it does, but there are brief respites throughout, splashing the reader with a refreshing bucket of water, a short break where the reader can take a breath and hope for the protagonists and their goals.

I really enjoyed A Nest for Lalita, I was left unfulfilled with Lalita’s absence, in some senses, the novel changes slightly after the first quarter, and there seemed to be a greater focus on plot instead of story in the later parts of the book.

Overall, A Nest for Lalita is a powerful, although tough, read but it was absolutely worth it. Ken Langer has written a riveting political thriller that will keep you entertained throughout.

Pages: 324 | ASIN: B08HJPZTWB

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