Review of Shirin Venkatramani's Jeevansar Kathamrut

The book is divided into three sections. The first section has stories from the ancient scriptures. It focuses on the stories of Raja Janaka for the primary question in the minds of most people as for how to attain that equanimity and serenity while living in the world. It is all for monks and sadhus dwelling in the Himalayas and anyway, such renunciation is not possible for all.

The second section has stories told by various gurus in their talks which bring home a point about practice in daily life. The third section has personal case stories where the principles of scriptures were applied to demonstrate that it is possible to use those truths in daily life. Not only are these tenets practical, they also support us and help us live a simpler happier life with utter abandon.

Thus, this is how the title was chosen – Jeevansar Kathamrut: Nectarean Stories to Glean the Essence of Life.

My favourites are the stories in the court of Raja Janak and his interaction with the great sage Ashtavakra. When the King wanted to know the meaning of what is real and what is dream, Ashtavakra tells him neither. He says only the witness is true and the rest is just passing. Neither your joys are true nor were your sorrows. Here, Shirin tells us how the goal of our spiritual journey is to find that true self – the witness or the seer within us. I enjoyed the story of Narsingh avatar and Hirnakshyapu. These fascinated me. The book is full of drawings and illustrations that go a lot in adding flavour and visual elements to the stories. At 182 pages, it is an easy read and one feels relaxed after reading it. The price is also perfect, Rs 250 for a brand new copy. One can buy it from Amazon shops or Amazon India. Find links attached below where you can buy this fantastic book with ease at the best price.


Book Links

Jeevansar Kathamrut: Nectarean Stories to Glean the Essence of Life


About The Author

Shirin Venkatramani M.D. F.R.C.O.G. F.I. C.O.G. is a gynaecologist by training, but a seeker at heart.

Her medical career, spanning nearly four decades, has been filled with numerous awards and has been professionally satisfying. In her role as a doctor, she has been able to provide medical care, emotional support, and practical guidance to thousands of patients. Her passion has been to reduce maternal mortality in India towards which she spearheaded the SuPraBha Ganga Yatra, a 108-day awareness walkathon along the river Ganga.

However, she has consciously balanced her worldly career with an inward quest, fuelled by her close association with great sages of our times and love for the reading of spiritual and philosophical texts. Throughout her life, she has strived to reconcile spiritual concepts with the mundane experience and this book is one such attempt.

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