Book Reviews

A Light Sublime and Eternal

Light Eternal-A Spiritual Epic by Dr.T Vasudeva Reddy
Authorspress, Delhi /2020 Pp 162- Rs. 350

The Author

With books twenty by him and five on him,
Prof. T V Reddy is an intellectual with wisdom vast
A niche for himself he created in English Literature
before he became dear to God in year 2020 last.

He left to heavenly abode, but his soul continues
to converse with us through his works, marvelous
His body of works rich with poetry, short stories,
criticism, fiction, grammar and articles numerous.

Light Eternal, his last book, a spiritual epic written
in two parts and ten cantos is a gem, classy
One hundred and sixty-one pages of poetry
on spirituality with rhythmic couplets, a pure ecstasy

Not an easy task by any means or counts,
even the preface glows with lyrical beauty, a feast
Before starting the work to give strength to his trembling fingers
he prayed to Krishna, fervent

Reddy believes the body is alone his,
the spirit and soul HIS, the voice of Krishan he tells.
HIS is the thrill and Upanishads are
the final words of Lord and the author, only HIS quill.

Author has deep faith in Sanatana Dharma,
the eternal pure moral path of Karma with unique laws
This book of Hindu faith, as called by invaders,
is an attempt to reflect a slice of the eternal light .

In writing this epic, Reddy wanted to turn as a simple reed
in HIS hands to fill thrill and breath
And the book is solemnly dedicated to Krishna,
the Supreme Lord, the sublime seer and bard.

‘It is the right rhythm that lifts aloft a piece of verse
From the mundane mechanical plane, dry, drab and terse;

To the higher poetic realm touching the cosmic spark;
without the spark it looks as a dry leafless barren park.’
In concluding lines in the preface
he says, true of this work.

The Book

Standing on the sandy stretch of the bushy ancient burial ground,
Sivaram’s mind detached in strife
With a medley of tearful thoughts and memories,
he stood mute, engulfed by pain losing his wife.

Filled with agony and strife, he decided
to go on pilgrimage with a heart that lost light,
To places sacred, see temples from seas to snows,
a time to achieve spiritual goal and turn a new leaf.

From Chennai to the banks of holy Ganges he left,
words of his people to deter him were futile,
Leaving his dear ones, his academics career
and the rejuvenating smiles of children, guiltless.

At Varanasi his mind got recharged with some higher force,
moved from ashram to ashram around,
Had been to Gaya and Prayag, holy dip in the confluence
of Ganga, Saraswathi and Yamuna abound.

Ascetics from Himalayas lived in caves he met,
a solemn search for the meaning of life and beyond,
Met Naga Sadhus who come only during Kumbmela,
lest their power wanes or fades.

People from far and near come here to die sans fear
all through the year giving up worldly ties
Sivaram waited at the ghats to see noble souls
and started off to Har Ki Puri, Haridwar alias .

At Budha Gaya he performed rituals for departed souls;
from Saranath to Ayodhya he moved
Followed a group of Sanyasi to Amarnath,
the snow-capped hilly abode of the formless God.

Stayed at Badrinath Sivananda Ashram,
still his search for a Guru failed to bear fruit,
He listened to spiritual talks with sadhakas of austere walk
and witnessed Ganga Harati at sunset.

At Rishikesh, Sivaram met Govinda,
the disciple of Swamiji, a Yogi of higher order
Who served the Yogi with utmost faith for a decade;
Sivaram found in him an earnest seeker.

Happy he was in Yogi’s pious presence and wanted to serve him;
Yogi found in him a devotee, true
He advised Sivaram and Govinda to set to the South
while he left to Kasi, in a week’s time.

Journeying together Govinda recollected his past,
his role in .Kargil war, losing his friend, close
Upon which he vowed not to make another widow,
gave up his career and spiritual path he chose.

They visited Rameswaram to Srirangam, Tirupati to Srisailam,
Puri and Dwaraka in total piousness
And Ujjain to Jammu to worship Vaishnodevi,
Jammu by then was a boiling pot of rebels, riotous.

There they met Sanskrit scholars, poet-critics, pundits,
all unsung ones and at Dal Lake spent a night
Then returned to their Guruji at Rishikesh
and felt their closed minds are opened to the sky at last.

Then started the Yogi’s message on Krishna, ‘
we are the sole authors of our own life, none else
Indestructible is our eternal soul that unites in the Soul
imperceptible, it’s unborn, hence deathless.

With penance austere and meditation, Him one can realize,
once our soul gets free from earthly prison
Sat-Chit-Ananda, the luminous knowledge none should miss;
seek the truth , thus went on his vision.

‘Hectic life with birth and death is a passing cloud,
unworthy are tears or paeans of praise for glory’.

Moving on to Bhagavad Gita, he said,
man is a bundle of desires, always work for spiritual harmony 
He gave elaborate discourses to his disciples
and concluded with stories from Kena Upanishad

One is sure to get liberated from cycles of life,
meditating on Ohm, the Pranavanada, he said .
During his speech there was an abrupt pause,
finding hard to breathe he collapsed in the chair.

Persons rushed to his care, ‘A star vanished bright and brave’,
the scene was calm as a grave.

Reflections

Let me leave to the readers quest to explore the wonderful book and realize the cosmic vibrations,
Transform their selfish earthly life into luminous life divine to establish peace and harmony.
Vast is Bhagavad Gita, the ocean of virtuousness and Atmatattwa, I am too inept to explain it
And I urge all to read this book which is sure to enlighten one, make spiritually fragrant and astute.
Reddy has left to literary world gem of a book, which would be remembered quite for long
And I consider myself fortunate being able to reflect on this book in my own humble way.


(This is being published in IJML January 2024 issue)

26-Aug-2023

More by :  Pankajam K

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