Though Amish and his respected elder Sister, Bhavna, have made it too easy for the readers to decode the epics and enjoy a meaningful life, the readers, practically, will have to continue the search beyond some less than 200 pages of this book in order to understand the vast world of Dharm (or as some people prefer it Dharma). The allusions to the Dharmaraj and Nachiketa episode from the religious depths of the great Hindu history do not make it easy for the readers to understand the exact impressions that the authors should have tried to make possible. It only goes awry, perplexed and derails after a certain distance. You are, in short, hung between catching up with the fiction part in this otherwise well-written non-fiction book.
The language is simple which is usually the case with the books written by Amish. The readers will not have any difficulty in understanding the surface as well as underlying meanings (if you find any, by chance). If you want a piece of free advice, you can only read the paragraphs with a violet background to understand what the authors might have wanted to communicate by writing this book.
The whole idea to offer knowledge on Karma, Dharma, Envy as your enemy, the heart is important etc loses track. Though the book bears very candidly written appreciation by noted personalities in India, I could not find it resonated in the content. Any book by J Krishnamurti or even Sadhguru, if you are into reading, easily convey a hundred times more than Dharma by Amish Tripathi. And I will stand by this statement I made anywhere, in any circumstance. You will find it yourself once you begin reading the book and get into a lot of words, paragraphs and pages. Don’t believe me, read it.
Amish Tripathi is a wonderful writer and he knows his audience. This might be a view from the outside. Modern readers will seldom get into the depths of Dharma, Karma, Hindu Philosophy and so on… therefore, they must be taught about the same by employing innovative, creative and decorative methods. Is Amish doing the same? Possible. If that’s the case, the author needs to simplify the fiction part of this non-fiction book so that elementary readers can make the most out of the time they invest reading this book (and for good). Readers want messages, communication and meanings; they don’t want perplexing scenarios to decode unless they are reading fiction.
To conclude, Dharma is a good book. Though the interpretation and implications might vary from person to person keeping in mind the nature of themes the authors have discussed, the reading is full of discoveries, factual packages and overall interesting. The book is not so long and that’s a good thing (to add to a few others). You can read the book for a change and learn about many things related to Hindu philosophy.
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Review by Ashish for Indian Book Critics
Dharma: Decoding the Epics for a Meaningful Life by Amish Tripathi (and Bhavna Roy) – Review
- IBC Critica Rating
Dharma: Decoding the Epics for a Meaningful Life by Amish Tripathi (and Bhavna Roy) is a book that could have been better with a single set of narratives rather than the present mixture. However, at its best, the book tries to look back into the realm of myriad, unfathomable depths of Hindu epics and philosophy and tries to conjure the hidden meanings for today’s readers.