By Ramchandra Gandhi
Pages: 248; Rs 350
Let the Ego dissolve. Let the self overcome all its boundaries. Overcome the artificial distinctions between self and the other that mutilate us and prevent us from recognising our true nature. All things are but manifestations of our own Self. Ramchandra Gandhi often conveys the central insights of Advaita effectively. Muniya’s Light
, a dialogue between an old philosopher and seeker of truth and the young daughter of his friend, rearticulates the same message through a melange of allegorical readings of everything from the Mahabharata to contemporary art. But the result is too repetitive to hold your interest, too didactic to be effective, too earnest to be provocative and too diffuse to be entirely convincing. Indeed, Gandhi seems to have forgotten two lessons of his own masters: Raman Maharshri and Ramakrishna. First, that if Advaita is offered as a kind of theodicy it becomes a self-indulgent effacement of real evil; it sacrifices selves for an abstraction called the Self. Second, true self-awareness is a product of an extraordinary spiritual discipline. It is a state of being that can’t be disembedded from a whole range of disciplines and techniques. Otherwise Advaita becomes words chasing words, like this book.