KOLKATA, India, July 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Author-journalist Anshul Chaturvedi, in a virtual session of The Write Circle Special, organized by Prabha Khaitan Foundation and presented by Shree Cement, spoke about his recent book "The Vivekananda Handbook For Everyday Living". Award-winning filmmaker and environmentalist Nila Madhab Panda engaged Anshul in a lively chat, which was followed by a Q&A session. The session was introduced by Rishma Gill of Ehsaas Woman of Chandigarh.
Anshul came across the works of Swami Vivekananda when he was 16 and began writing about him in his 30s. Now, in his 40s, he has come out with a comprehensive, easy-to-navigate book on how the monk's teachings help us in everyday living. The book is an experiential account of practising the teachings of Vivekananda on a day-to-day basis, and is especially relevant at a time when people across the globe are emotionally weighed down by increased career pressures, discord and uncertainty.
The works of Vivekananda, one of the most revered monks of modern India, cover several volumes. Many, therefore, know of him but few have fully read him. Anshul's book is a 180-page primer on how to follow the practical suggestions of Swami Vivekananda. "My book is a transmitter to make you want to read him," the author said.
"This is not a scholarly analysis of his religious views, but a narration of the practicality of his thoughts to our daily life. It is not an academic work but more of a travelogue where Vivekananda is the travel guide. There is no pontification. People are influenced by management gurus and super-achievers. Vivekananda is my ideological anchor. He has been life coach, Stephen Covey, Dale Carnegie all rolled into one for me," Anshul said.
In response to a question about what part of Vivekananda's teachings would he suggest to the new generation, Anshul said, "Do not be in a hurry to believe. Keep questioning, question hard like Vivekananda used to do. Find your own anchors in life and don't give in to collective thinking. Think for yourself."
Vivekananda was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world. He was one of the speakers at the very first Parliament of Religions (which is still held annually) in Chicago in 1893. His speech "Sisters and brothers of America!" got a standing ovation as he greeted the world on behalf of "the most ancient order of monks in the world". His speech attracted widespread attention in the American press, which called him the "cyclonic monk from India". After the Parliament, he spent several years lecturing across America, and founded the Vedanta Society of New York in 1894. He also travelled to Europe, meeting Max Mueller in the UK in 1896. Vivekananda was offered academic positions in Harvard and Columbia, but he declined both.
He returned to the West in 1899, established several more Vedanta Societies in the US, including in San Francisco, and a peace retreat in California. He then went to Europe, giving lectures in Paris, Vienna, Istanbul, Athens and Egypt, before returning to India.
Published by Bloomsbury, The Vivekananda Handbook for Everyday Living is available on Amazon globally.