Advait in Everyday Life, published in 2017, is a composition of a series of discourses presented in a question-answer format with Acharya Prashant – an author and scholar of Advaita Vedanta. The book is divided into seven sections, each dealing with a specific life issue pertaining to various aspects of a typical person’s daily struggles, using the age-old Vedantic philosophy as the guide for resolution of these struggles.
The author uses common-life occurrences and events to discuss the nature of existence, and of human action therein. The discourses detail the intricate processes of the human mind and how one can understand and gain control over one’s own actions and thoughts.
Surprisingly, Advait in Everyday Life has the ability to touch the reader and provoke questions that lay dormant. We often encounter the problem of credibility and comprehension in contemporary self-help literature. However, Advait in Everyday Life delivers the message logically and in a simplistic manner.
The book does a very good job of justifying its title by bringing spirituality to the common man. For instance, instead of coming up with stale and impractical suggestions of ‘living in the moment’ and ‘letting the past remain in the past’, the author offers sage advice on how to really handle the past and use it for one’s own benefit and betterment.
Since the book talks about everyday issues, it is relevant for everyone. However, it is especially relevant for individuals who find themselves out of depth in life due to various reasons related to work, relationships, career choices etc. and are looking for ways to change their lifestyles. It will also make for a useful read for the young populace on the precipice of taking important decisions of their lives.
Despite the book’s resourcefulness, it lacks in certain aspects, especially when it comes to the strength of message delivery. The book deals with a lot of questions, which, while being very relevant, are also very different. It could have benefitted from a better structure wherein the topics and themes are arranged in a manner so as to allow the reader to progress naturally from one issue to the other and from one emotion to the next. In certain places, the argument becomes wordy and expansive and runs the risk of losing the reader somewhere in the midst.
While Acharya Prashant’s ideas are powerful, the pedantic nature of sentences and lack of appropriate pace has hampered effective delivery. Sometimes, one may be compelled to read the sentences again so as to grasp the meaningfully.
However, the energy in the book is unmistakable and makes for an engaging read. The ideas shared by Acharya Prashant seem new and old at the same time, and hence always feel familiar and relatable. The beauty of the book lies in fact that some of the most mundane questions end up providing some of the deepest thoughts to the reader.
In a nutshell, Advait in Everyday Life is a must for all who have traversed through several self-help books and have failed to get answers. This book will also help those who are yet to begin their spiritual journey