Book Review

Book Review: Belief and Beyond by Mukunda Rao

Title: Belief and Beyond: Adventures in Consciousness from the Upanishads to Modern Times

Author: Mukunda Rao

Genre: Religious & Spiritual

Publisher: HarperCollins India

Language: English


Book Summary: Belief and Beyond

Belief and Beyond delves into the realm of the mystic – Adi Sankara, Allama Prabhu, Kabir, Nagarjuna, Gaudapada, Akka Mahadevi, Lalleshwari, Anandamayi Ma, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Sri Aurobindo, Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Jiddu Krishnamurti, U.G. Krishnamurti, and the Buddha – bringing to life their spiritual quests and the philosophical messages they left behind for humanity.

The book explores the search for the non-dual state of being – sahaja sthithi or the natural state – which is not in the realm of experience at all, but a state of being where the borders and boundaries of the divided self have been transcended.

The author also weaves in narratives from many difficult-to-access texts, including the Upanishads, the Ashtavakra Gita and the Avadhuta Gita. Written with depth and simplicity, this book is for the seeker and the curious alike.


Book Review: Belief and Beyond

What thing I am I do not know. I wander secluded, burdened by my mind, When the Firstborn of Truth has come to me, I receive a share in that selfsame Word.

The book, Belief and Beyond, opens with above lines from Rig Veda. This is a very profound book and has provided me many new perspectives. I will re-read it because the idea density is so high! It offers many tools for improving self-awareness. Author writes in an efficient manner that gets quickly to the message. I’m so glad to have encountered this on my nascent spiritual journey.

I found Belief and Beyond to be a very valuable and insightful discussion on non-duality, Vedanta, enlightenment etc. It was clear, concise, and interesting to read. There is some excellent discussion on what enlightenment is NOT.

The book, Belief and Beyond by Mukunda Rao,  is a direct guide to your true nature of existing, from nothing, to the whole essence of just being. Author Mukunda Rao explains step by step the profundity of how our community, thinking, reasoning and everything we know externally, determines our reality. Returning to a state of complete joy and fulfillment is what every human being is in search for, and here Author tells us that this state we are in search of is located deep within our conscious mind, we just need to learn how to let go of all our perceptions and begin to contemplate how not knowing is the beginning of it all. Author Mukunda Rao stats, “Consciousness is the only reality but appears as objects…”

The format of this book is laid out in such an accessible way for such an inaccessible subject matter. Author Mukunda Rao gives the reader plenty of time to come to terms with the topic and argument of understanding for each chapter. But the goal of the book isn’t to give yet another map or belief around what self, mind and consciousness are. It’s to directly challenge your beliefs on them, and open the door towards directly experiencing them. This isn’t a book to read. It’s a book to study.

The deeper you go into the contents, the more the depth of the contents becomes apparent. I recommend it for anyone looking to deepen their understanding consciousness from a different perspective.

Buy Now: Belief and Beyond by Mukunda Rao

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