LOS ANGELES — “The Life of I: On the Sadhana Trail,” by authors Swami Ishwarananda and Nimmi Raghunathan, both based in Los Angeles, is based on the age-old wisdom of the Vedanta school of philosophy propounded by the greatest of seers Adi Sankara, and the wisdom of Swami Chinmayananda.
It approaches time-tested truths and values applicable in every faith and culture through a story, according to a press release. Of particular interest to Indian Americans is that the setting of the tale takes place in San Francisco and Percy, Calif., where Swami Chinmayananda lived, taught and reflected.
Free of jargon, The Life of I simplifies complex thought of the ancients and makes it available for today in an approachable manner without veering from the central tenet and contention: the importance of dissolving of the ego or “I,” notes the release.
It approaches the quest for happiness through the fictional tale of an agnostic. From the opening page, the reader meets the skeptic to the culmination of his journey, and the book employs scenarios familiar to everyone.
Anveshak, the agnostic and life’s great explorer whose journey the reader follows to find the purpose of life, meets such characters as Dr. Sevadas, who finds his calling in selfless service; Shanti, who makes her peace in devotion; a yogini, who speaks tongue firmly in cheek, and a professor who gets it all theoretically.
The book applies the Upanishadic style of teaching through dialogue in which the reader becomes Anveshak, who shares the same doubts. The book is peppered with sequential questions on love, work, wealth, community and God.
Ishwarananda, the head Acharya of Chinmaya Mission-Los Angeles, is a sought after speaker who travels around North America “spreading the message of eternal happiness.”
Raghunathan is a longtime member of Chinmaya Mission-Los Angeles, where she has been a teacher. She travels extensively, practices yoga, is a student of world history, debates current politics and is a journalist by profession.