ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Om Swami is a monk who lives in the Himalayan foothills. He has a Bachelor’s degree in business and an MBA from Sydney, Australia. He has authored many bestselling books in the genre of spirituality. Mind Full to Mindful, A Fistful of Wisdom and Kundalini: An Untold Story are some of his more renowned books. He also runs a blog, omswami.com, where he writes every week and gets more than a million views.
There is nothing called a normal life. What is normal from one’s point of view may be the most abnormal from another’s.
If Truth Be Told is a memoir of Om Swami, an MBA turned monk. The 250-page book consists of twelve chapters, each describing a stage in Swami’s life. It chronicles his journey from being a successful professional to renouncing the worldly pleasures and taking the refuge of the Himalayas in his pursuit of enlightenment. Om Swami takes us on a comprehensive tour of his pre-monkhood life, starting from the time when his mother was told a prophecy about his arrival to his childhood vision of the Goddess, his journey to Australia to realize his dreams, his professional success and his wake-up call to renounce the world and seek the divine.
The narrative of the book moves between Om Swami’s quest for a guru, and his childhood and past life. The plot starts in Varanasi, where Swami is looking for a guru to initiate him into the world of spirituality, only to be left disappointed at his failure to find any saint or ascetic. He wanders around the city and realizes that his body is not capable of withstanding the rigors of the harsh life of an ascetic.
Om Swami meets many people, who position themselves as gurus and Naga Sadhus, but realizes that, far from being enlightened, these people are just fooling others for money. After a lot of searching and meandering around the ashrams in Varanasi, he finally meets his guru, who agrees to initiate him into sanyasa. However, the process is not an easy one. Om Swami had to wait for many days and face many tests from the Guru, before undergoing the final initiation.
Tired of waiting for the culmination of this arduous process, Om Swami finally realizes that his destiny is not in Varanasi. That is when he decides to leave for the Himalayas. He meets many people along the way, who guide him in one way or the other. He gives a description of the intense meditation procedures he had to follow and the tests he had to face before the final realization dawned on him. Om Swami finally realizes that he already was what he was looking for.
He also gives us an insight into some of the rituals of sadhana. However, a few more details about the tantric sadhana would have made the book a lot more interesting. The contents, though, are well-placed, since the book is about his journey into the profound world of spiritualism.
If Truth Be Told merits a 3.5-star rating. Written in a crisp and clear manner, the author has used a fairly simple and intelligible language. Readers interested in spirituality must definitely give this one a read.
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