Book Reviews

Book Review #18/50 – Thank You, Maria


The title of the book is “Thank You, India”… but its India that needs to thank the author, Ms. Maria Wirth. We had the opportunity to attend a talk by her at the Srijan Foundation almost a year back and she spoke beautifully. A German lady who came to India as a stop over destination 38 years back and found her home here.

Am hoping the Indian government makes her an Indian citizen because she totally belongs here !!

The book is written so truthfully and from the heart that it touches you deeply. There are certain opinions shared in the book that you may not agree with, but Maria’s heartfelt honesty shines through and makes it non-confrontational. The book captures her spiritual journey, the many Gurus and teachers she spent time with and learnt from and her growing understanding of the Vedas, Upanishads and Sanatana Dharma. Her search for a Guru started with Osho and went through Anandmayi Maa, Devaraha Baba, Karunamayi, Dalai Lama, Satya Sai Baba and Mata Amritanandamayi. She has spent time at the Ramana Maharishi ashram, Auroville, Babaji of Haidakhan and Shantivanam, besides a few ashrams in Kodagu, Rishikesh, Gangotri etc.

She has met Baba Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as well and deeply believes that the Sanatana Dharma will show the light to the world. When you read the book, you realise there is so much wisdom that our forefathers have shared with the world but we, the fortunate ones to live and walk on the same sacred ground that they did, have allowed this wisdom to slip through. We are trying hard to ape the west and continue the mental slavery to the British Raj and the white skin. We want our children to speak ONLY in English and look down on people who speak in their mother tongue or Sanskrit, while the West is lapping up Sanskrit, the most perfect language known to mankind !! Soon we will have Sanskrit teachers being imported and then probably it will be in fashion once again.

Maria is worried that we will fritter away all our ancient wisdom, but in typical Indian style I want to assure her – everything is a cycle, the truth never dies and the quest to reach the truth also doesn’t die. So the cycle just continues eternally, with some souls merging with the whole and others trying to.

I had been trying to get this book on Kindle but it wasn’t available and luckily when Kabir attended a program at Srijan Foundation in September, he bought the book for me. I remember that Krishnan and I were on the train back to Vienna when Kabir called asking if I needed some books :). Thank you Maria, for writing an amazing book, sharing your experiences and insights with us and personally, for signing the book. I cherish it more.

p.s – I think this book must become compulsory reading in all schools. It gives a great perspective of our ancient wisdom and unparalleled heritage. 

A couple of excerpts from the book –

 

The de-bunked Aryan Invasion Theory continues to be peddled still, especially by the Dravidian parties in TamilNadu … just utterly sad. Guess the government has to change all the textbooks so that this stupid fake theory is forever forgotten.

 

I wish the HRD minister reads the above excerpt and stops making English as the main language. I love English and am happy to speak it as a language, but I love Hindi and Tamil as well. I feel sad that I haven’t learnt Tamil as well as I should have because that’s my mother tongue, but the consolation is that I speak, read and write in Tamil. Hindi is the language I love the most, and I can speak Hindi as well as a native Hindi speaker. Ofcourse I can read and write fluently in Hindi. I plan to learn Sanskrit, which I seem to understand naturally, but not fully. English was used to subjugate us and make us cut away from our culture and roots – why are we perpetuating that language as the main language? Unfortunately, parents feel proud when their child speaks English well and doesn’t know their mother tongue. My dear friend Arun and his wife Vidya have this great language policy for their daughters – they have to speak in Tamil at home, they don’t answer if the child speaks in any other language !!! I wish all parents adopt this policy and ensure our languages survive and thrive.

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