Literary Shelf

Spiritual Wine

Amma's Gospel by Rajender Krishan
Paperback: ISBN-13: 978-1-947403116
Amazon ebook ASIN: BO8LSYFLN4
Sales: Amazon USA | Amazon India

A few weeks back I received a surprise gift by post. A gift to be cherished; a book titled Amma’s Gospel, by and from a longtime acquaintance turned guide and friend - Rajender Krishan of our very own

Grappling along with the world, during the haunting insecurities of the pandemic wildfire which remains impervious to human apprehensions and arrogance, Rajendra made a deeply layered, analytical trip into the Self. His grandmother, who had been an anchor of dependability and stability for her family during post-partition times, comes alive in this book, which is part memoir, part an exquisite homage to an indomitable, simple, wise lady. Plucking out her words from the loom of memory he extracts an intoxicating drink from the ferments, enzymes and substrates of her observations; enriched with lived experiences, personal and cultural history he is stilled into contemplative sacredness and what ensues is a cross-pollination of his poetic talent and the radiant vestiges of his Amma’s timeless wisdom. These poems reveal that his prudent grandmother did not mold him into a finished product; instead, she gave him space, she fertilized his young mind which has allowed him to find his own element.

Rajender’s verses, intensely focused and uplifting, distil the incandescence of his Amma’s astuteness as he delves deeper in his reflections; his words, straight, simple, honest, drawn from a consciousness that dips into her trove of wisdom, crystallize her teachings into a revelation that is universal even as it appears to be whispered solely into your ear. Its abiding spiritual magnetism pulls one into the depths of inner silence; it resonates in the echo chamber of a spirit still searching, still wondering with the humility of the one who knows that he knows nothing. We are sucked into his frame of inquiry and ask ourselves the question he asks — “When will I learn?”

Deceptively easy as Amma’s gospel seems, we wonder with him whether we have truly divined its insightful depth. As always, Rajender awakens those deep yearnings that slip into dormancy in the hurly-burly of urban life where we constantly evade our true selves; with our mindless straining on the treadmill of attainment we have lost the art of living in the now. In his poem NOW he deliberates on the conundrum we all struggle with

How does one
truly come
face to face
with now
that seems to be
a fleeting moment
yet is an eternity
in itself?

Like Rainer Maria Rilke he makes us “aware that we are not really at home in our interpreted world.” He goads us out of complacency, out of the labyrinths of our tortured minds; along with him we are led to seek higher realms of spirituality and are set on a path that kindles our inert passion for truth. He has strung for us a rosary of forty-five poems, each a priceless meditative bead. While he muses about the ephemeral nature of all that is (Transient, pgs122-123), he exhorts us to live with expanded awareness of what really is.

Through his unobtrusive poems we share the exhilaration of the spiritual wine and connect to the source of nourishing goodness and meaning within, not to be found in our striving outside of ourselves. They create a natural symphony that penetrates and gladdens the soul.

Treasure the wine, find pleasure in the symphony.

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