The book, “Life’s Amazing Secrets” by Gaur Gopal Das takes you through a spiritual journey. In his debut writing, the Spiritual guru, Gaur Gopal Das has done justice to his fame of teaching life’s lessons in an entertaining way, similar to the various lectures which we are already familiar with on social media. I would like to brief on Gaur Gopal Das to the ones who are not familiar with him. Gaur Gopal Das holds a degreee in Electrical Engineering and briefly worked @ HP before moving on to become a monk. Currently, after 22 years being a monk he is regarded as one of the most famous monks in the world. He has been travelling all over the world sharing his wisdom with corporate executives, universities and charities to help people achieve happiness and purpose in their lives.
Gaur Gopal Das starts the book with the saying by Aldous Huxley, “Experience is not what happens to a man, it is what a man does with what happens to him”. This is what he is trying to detail upon in the book giving various real life examples for various scenarios. The scenarios and underlying principles can inspire anyone to lead a happy life by living with integrity and balance if practiced seriously.
He focuses on personal life, relationships, work life and social contribution by comparing them to the four wheels a car, wherein car being analogous to a person. In order for a man to lead a happy life all the four wheels need to be aligned properly and should be in good shape.
Some of the things or situations in life are beyond our control. Also what we see as bad at one point of time can turn out to be the best thing to happen to us. Regarding relationships, he focuses on being sensitive in our words and actions by considering ourselves in the other person’s situation. The ideal way to perceive people is even after seeing the good and bad in a person, choosing to focus on the good and neglecting the bad. This is the scenario wherein relationships flourish but implementing this would require consistent hard work and practice.In relationships, if we need to give corrective feedback, we should invest tonnes of praise and trust into a person before doing so. He underlines that giving corrective feedback is an art and takes time to master.
Regarding work life, he points out the two causes of unhealthy competition which is being envious of someone and uncontrolled ambition. Healthy competition is about competing with ourselves rather than others to become a better version of ourselves. He shares the Japanese model called ikigai or a ‘reason to live’, which we need to identify and work on early in life. This is composed of four points; What do we love? What are we good at? What does the world need? What can we be paid for? He also focuses on the misconceptions of spiritual minded people getting walked over in business because of their values. Here, we need to stick to our values but be meticulous and straight forward in business.
Finally regarding the social contribution, he uses the example of ice cream and candle to explain about selfish and selfless attitude respectively. For a happy life we need to shift from being an ice cream to being a candle, provided we are self sufficient. A notable mention in this section is the story of Lata Khare, the indomitable marathon runner whose devotion to her family is worth bowing down to. Here Gaur Gopal das is trying to tell us that selflessness starts with our family first.
Gaur Gopal Das keeps the reader hooked on till the end by touching upon various facets of life supported by apt examples. An engrossing read for sure.
Also refer to my blog on Spiritual Intelligence which includes a few of the topics covered by Gaur Gopal Prabhu in his lectures.