Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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TAMIL NATION LIBRARY:Religion & Spirituality

  • Transient Thoughts - Volume I - by P.Narendra Nathan, 1991
    (purchase inquiries to 53, Crossways, South Croydon, Surrey CR2 8JQ, U.K.)

Book Review by Nadesan Satyendra

P.Narendra Nathan’s Transient Thoughts is a book for those who are moved to reflect on their own life experiences. In some 40 pages the author has set down what he describes as ‘passing thoughts’ from his readings on the subjects of Religion, Philosophy, and New Science.’

He says in his preface: "I have called them transient; the dictionary meaning is ‘of short duration’. To me, these transient thoughts are glimpses of light in the experience of my life. Most, I have gathered from various sources; and I have no claim to their originality. Few are mine too. It is said that no thought is original even when inspired. A thought results when thought acts on thought. Most of what I have written down are simple, and may even be mundane. Some are profound, but nothing scholarly is intended. I have lived a Hindu having been born one, and been a physicist by profession. I have thus been conditioned in all my thoughts. Kindly bear with me for that while reading them. It is my hope that you would enjoy them as much as I have, in writing them. Simple truths are interesting as well as illuminating."

He ends his preface by quoting Boethius: "Man would never go to Heaven, if he is content to go alone" - an explanation, perhaps, of the author’s desire to share his reflections.

Transient Thoughts lives up to the promise in the Preface. In a world which often speaks with a disarming forthrightness about the bottom line, the author says: ‘‘Your little ego is not the bottom line’’. He adds: ‘‘You are what you believe in.’’ The author quotes Max Muller: ‘‘There never was a false God, nor was there a false religion unless you call a child a false man.’’ Some other reflections: ‘‘You do not hear until you listen, nor see unless you look. You cannot be taught without wanting to learn.’’ ‘‘Know to meditate, meditate to know.’’ ‘‘Not to be wiser after the event, is not to learn by your experience.’’

In a world economy which is driven by insatiable demand, Narendra Nathan reminds us: ‘‘If what you want is less than what you receive, you are rich.’’ To those who endlessly ask questions which our limited minds are unable to answer he says: ‘‘Learn to live. It is more important than to learn the purpose of life.’’ ‘‘You have not failed until you have stopped trying.’’ And he puts the teaching of the Gita in his own way: ‘‘The reward of doing right is found in itself and not elsewhere.’’

One can well understand why it is that the author says that Transient Thoughts are glimpses of light in the experience of his life. Perhaps in that truth lies the capacity of Transient Thoughts to influence and inform. Words become meaningful only when they reflect a shared experience otherwise words simply make meaningless noise. Readers will find in Transient Thoughts, much that will serve to light up their own experiences of life. They will agree with the author that simple truths are interesting as well as illuminating - and that each of us gains by sharing.



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