A chapter from the novel by Mukesh Eswaran has just been posted to the main site.
Here is a brief description of the book by the author:
The life of Michael Pearson, an American scientist, falls apart when his wife accidentally dies. His search for a way to deal with his grief, which takes him to India and back, leads him to spirituality. Since he firmly accepts Darwin’s theory of evolution, he is skeptical of the validity of the claims of spirituality. But Socratic dialogues with an enigmatic man in India called Swami and his subsequent life-experiences compel him to gradually rethink his position. The novel traces Michael’s arduous odyssey to self-discovery in a secular life, ending in a crisis that decidedly resolves his doubts about the compatibility of spirituality with evolution. This novel clearly illustrates how everything in life—from the mundane to the sublime—can be approached in the light of nonduality or Advaita. And if one wants to understand how and why spirituality is completely consistent with the theory of evolution, this novel is worth reading.
Mukesh Eswaran is deeply interested in spirituality, especially Advaita. He is an academic by profession and teaches at a university. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.
An Explanation of the Ending
One or two readers of this book have expressed some mystification over the ending; and maybe the other three were too polite to comment… Accordingly, it occurred to me that it might be helpful to write this brief essay to provide a little more explanation.
WARNING: If you haven’t yet read the book, what I am about to write will not be relevant to you and will spoil the experience if you do decide to read it later.
Here is the link to download the PDF document but, if you still haven’t read the book, here are links to purchase from Amazon first:
Buy from Amazon US (book)
Buy from Amazon US (Kindle)
Buy from Amazon UK (book)
Buy from Amazon UK (Kindle)
If you would like to read the Prologue to whet your appetite, read it here! The initial announcement for the novel also contained a further extract from the book.
Readers of this blog, and its associated website www.advaita.org.uk, will (I hope!) associate my name with my books on Advaita, which have been published fairly regularly since 2003. What very few people know is that I have also written a novel! In fact, this was the first book I wrote. I actually began it around 1974, while I was working as a contract computer programmer and temporarily idle. Unfortunately (I was still being paid), I was not idle for very long and the book was not completed until 1982! Since then I have revised/rewritten it four times! I did attempt to get it published back in the nineteen eighties, but without success. Earlier this year (after completing ‘A-U-M’), I decided the time had come, even though I have had to subsidise the publication as I am not recognised as an author of fiction.
I usually describe the novel as an ‘ecological thriller’, since the action revolves around a landfill site and waste disposal. The science fact also develops quite quickly into science fiction. By the time of the third iteration, however, I had reworked the material to introduce aspects of philosophy, with emphasis (surprise, surprise!) on Advaita. Originally, there had been lots of quotations from T. S. Eliot, but I discovered when writing ‘Back to the Truth’ that copyright permission for lots of Eliot quotes would be both difficult and expensive to obtain. Then I had the brainwave of changing one of the main characters from someone calling himself ‘Elyot’ (T. S. Eliot’s grandfather) to someone calling himself ‘Krish’ (short for ‘Krishna’). And, of course, I used quotations from the Gita instead of from ‘The Four Quartets’.
‘Krish’ only communicates via computer and, in addition to helping the principal character with his investigations into the waste disposal activities, he also discusses matters of Self-inquiry. Blending these elements without artificiality was quite difficult but I think I have succeeded. I was asked to write a blog on these writing aspects for the publisher to tie in with publication in early December. I reproduce this below, together with an extract from the book. (I will post another extract in a few weeks.) Continue reading