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Motivational, Fiction, Self-Help


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One of the most successful lawyers in the country, Julian Mantle, suffers a heart attack in the middle of a buzzing courtroom. His deteriorated health, emotional turmoil and his work related worries had finally taken a toll on him. His closest aide, John(the narrator), just stands there watching, unable to move. He refuses to meet John or attend his calls. The next thing that everyone comes to know is that he has decided to sell everything, including his Red Ferrari, and go to the East.

John continues with his life. He tries to find out about Julian but the only thing that he comes to know is that he is somewhere in India. 

One fine day, a young vibrant young man walks into John's office. It was only when he heard is voice and his laugh that he realised that it was Julian. Julian told him about his journey. His travel to various parts of the country and how he found the Sages of Sivana in the foothills of the Himalayas. And how they transformed him form the old, bulky person with worries and wrinkles to the young, vibrant person with a serene mind. 

The next evening, Julian went to John's home and told him how he had become the person that he had now become. Julian told him the fable of the Sumo Wrestler who lived in the lighthouse . He explained to John the ten principles that the sages had told him to achieve happiness and contentment in his life. Throughout John listened to him with interest, he promised Julian that he would apply those principles in life and if successful, will spread this knowledge of the Sages of Sivana to all people who may be in need of it.


This is one of those books which I was repeatedly coming across, in libraries, in my friend's collections and on the net while searching for something good to read. I had been avoiding it. Fiction is not my preferred genre and Motivational Books(or those related to improving your life, career etc) are something that I didn't even touch. Until I picked up this book, of course. 

Coming to the book, there is scope for improvement in the story, the narration. The content is good, the presentation is not as good as the content deserves. Its rather slow, that is.

Coming to the motivational part of the book, the principles are very clearly and well explained. They are in line with the thought put forward, the approach towards life that is suggested in the book. Most of the people today are running after money and other materialistic gains and in doing so are living a life which is as dead as it could be. Ironically, majority of the people do not even know the end objectives of their lives, they just work like programmed robots and earn money. Earning money throughout their lives seems to be the only objective that they have in their lives, they don't even know what they want to do with this money. So when this book came out, and gave these people hope of improving their lives and themselves, they simply loved it and it sold like hot cakes. And I am sure that a whole lot of people would have actually practiced these principles too. And this might have made a difference, a major one, in their lives too.

But, I do not agree with the very foundation of the principles, the way the concept of spirituality has been presented in the book. Here the spiritual aim is to achieve a happy soul which, as presented in the book, is just a means to achieve a great, youthful physique and to achieve longevity. Ironically, the aim of achieving a spiritual high here is just to achieve a materialistic high ultimately. The spiritual aim should be to free your soul of all materialistic connections. If you want to have a goal for your life, sit and think about how the process of achieving that end objective will make your life better. Because that objective will be meaningless if it doesn't make your life or the lives of the people around you better, not materialistically, but in terms of happiness.

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Please note: This review was originally written in 2008. 

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