Saturday, June 18, 2016

Review of Ancient chants for modern living by Aatmanika Ram




Book Name         - Ancient Chants for modern living
Author                  - Aatmanika Ram
Publisher              - Westland Books
Number of Pages - 168
Publishing Year   - 2016
Edition                  -Paperback
Price                     -250
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Rating : 3.5

Blurb
The modern world is inundated with problems connected to emotional, mental and physical health. Some problems are brought on by a combination of genetic make-up being passed on from generation to generation and the environment, but most others are brought on by the lack of a strong mind. Stress and anxiety seem to be playing an important role in everybody’s life. Vicious cycles of hectic lifestyle, bad diet, lack of exercise and no commitment to relationships seem to contribute to this ever growing pandemic. This book would help provide practical and easy suggestions to people to become emotionally stronger and stress-free in the longer run. It would serve as a guiding light for the younger generation and help to make conversations with the Almighty more rewarding and pleasurable.

My Review
Ancient chants for modern living can be counted on as both a religious book as well as a spiritual one. Authoress has taken great effort in putting forth both aspects. 
'Why do we go to temples and chant prayers?' This is a question being asked for ages now and answers differ. Authoress gives a religious explanation as well as a spiritual one. She had made sure that the slokas are simple, and easy to chant and learn. The meanings of the same is also given along with the religious as well as spiritual relevance. For instance the sloka for developing confidence. It can be viewed both ways-1. Goddess will help you develop the same if you chant it.2. Your mind will be decluttered with the meditative effect. 
Slokas  like asathoma satgamaya can be chanted by anyone since irrespective of religion since it is not a prayer to any particular God.
A glossary of Sanskrit pronunciation in the beginning helps us get the right diction easily.  Authoress has stated the do's and dont's while chanting the slokas.
A section of each chapter is dedicated to the temples which are known for the purpose of the slokas chanted. Most of the temples are in and around Tamil Nadu. More account on temples all over India could have been helpful but authoress has mentioned in the acknowledgment  that she named the temples which gave her the desired results. Some chapterswhere in slokas are just a single one liner chant, seems to be a turn off. Number of slokas could have been increased, (not that we have any deficiency for them) so that readers can chose from the most effective.
The book should not be viewed as a Hindutwa book since the slokas can be chanted by anyone taking into account the meditative and therapeutic effect.

Reviewed for the publisher
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy in exchange for a honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

About the author

Aatmanika Ram was born and raised in India and has lived and worked in several countries in North America, South East Asia and the Middle East. The exposure to varied cultures, her strong family-centred values and her innate curiosity have driven her to explore and write about her life experiences in “Shells on the Beach – an anthology”; her artistic taste and the desire to bring out the essence of good human values has found expression in the poetic fiction, “The Rose Petal Trail – A Sutra for timeless love”.