Saturday, 27 August 2016

The Laws of the Spirit World by Khorshed Bhavnagri, 2009

In Ghost, Sam (Patrick Swayze) is killed by a thief in an alley, leaving his girlfriend Molly (Demi Moore) shattered. It is no ordinary street mugging. Sam comes back as a spirit to warn Molly that her life is in danger. But since he cannot be seen or heard, he takes the help of a reluctant psychic, Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg), to communicate with Molly and save her from his crooked friend and mastermind Carl Bruner (Tony Goldwyn).

The film was a big hit because of the unusual storyline and the romantic poetry of Swayze and Moore and, I suspect, its underlying theme—afterlife—and the mystery surrounding it.

Everyone at some point or another wonders—is there life after death? If yes, then what is it like? So far a credible answer has been as elusive as the possibility of life in space. It has even eluded mystics who, for want of a better response, instruct us to keep our faith and not question the here and hereafter.


In The Laws of the Spirit World (2009), Khorshed Bhavnagri takes the reader through her painful quest to find the answer that eventually helps her turn her personal tragedy into an endearing spiritual journey—and come to terms with the death of her loved ones. Along the way she rediscovers peace, solace, and more.

Khorshed’s small world and her faith in God came crashing down when her two motorsport-loving sons, Vispi, 31, and Ratoo, 30, died in a car accident one winter’s day in December 1980. It was all but the end of the world for her and her husband, Rumi Bhavnagri, who lived in Byculla in central Bombay (now Mumbai). 


“I had been very religious. Now, for the first time, I began to question whether there was a God. If there was a God then why should He do this terrible thing to me, snatch my sons away when I have never harmed a hair on anyone’s head? I was ready to give up God, religion and life,” the distraught mother said.

Khorshed Bhavnagri
A few days after the funeral, a chance encounter with a powerful medium changed their lives once again—only this time for the better and for the spiritual benefit of scores of other sufferers. The Bhavnagris provided guidance and comfort to both young and old, and offered counsel to troubled people. Questions about personal and spiritual matters were addressed and minds set at ease. These are reproduced in the second part of the book.

The psychic held seances to help Khorshed and Rumi “communicate” with their sons in the spirit world. They did so first by automatic writing and then via telepathy. “You must not cry for us or miss us, we are much happier here,” Vispi and Ratoo told their parents who, guided by the boys, set out on their noble mission of spiritual awakening. The devout couple were inspired by the life and teachings of spiritual messiahs.

The 380-page book, published by Mumbai's Jaico Publishing House, is the true and affecting story of grief-stricken parents and their desperate search for the meaning of existence, the realms of life and death, the power of the subconscious mind, and concepts of good and evil and heaven and hell. It is borne out of their sons’ desire to explain the laws of the spirit world to the mortal world.

The Laws of the Spirit World is not out of my comfort zone. Since I have been reading spiritual books from my early teens, the book resonated with me. But there is plenty of food for thought even for those not inclined to the metaphysical. What is required is an open mind and the willingness to accept concepts beyond one’s deep-rooted beliefs and principles. It offers a refreshing perspective on various aspects of life and death, and it is up to readers to accept or reject them. For example, readers who don’t believe in the afterlife and the mediums and seances associated with it can still take away valuable tips the author offers on how people, as individuals or families, can lead a happy and contented life. Isn’t that the purpose of every beautiful life?

The writing is simple and lucid and set in broad typeface that makes the book aesthetically appealing.

Rumi and Khorshed Bhavnagri passed away in 1996 and 2007, respectively, and as they would've, no doubt, liked everyone to know, “happily reunited with their sons in the spirit world.”


A few reviews from Amazon

“The book has changed my life, and I am sure it will change yours too.”
 
— Shiamak Davar, noted Indian choreographer and follower of Khorshed Bhavnagri

“An excellent read. Changes one's perspective towards life. A book for believers in God, Karma and reincarnation. Death, the imminent event in everyone's life, is mostly an enigma. This book enables the reader to strike peace with death and solve that mystery i.e. death is nothing but a foray into eternal life.”
— Radha

 
“For one who has read Indian philosophy, and works (of) Dr. Brian Weiss etc., I find that this book reinforces the same universal message. It takes faith to believe in the spirit world but the message is universal—we need to connect with our inner selves and everyone around us is a noble person living out his/her 'spirit'ual goal.”
— J. Mallaparajuon

20 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Mystica, it is an intriguing book. Its acceptance will depend on individuals and their respective beliefs.

      Delete
  2. This book really does address one of those big human questions we ask, Prashant. Whatever is the actual truth about what happens when we die, I am glad this couple found peace and healing. It sounds like this book offers a lot to think about - fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Margot. Yes, it does address a lot of those issues that we all ponder over at some point or other in our lives. There are no satisfying answers. If I'm not reading anything, I'm usually reading philosophy. It works well for me.

      Delete
  3. I delved into the metaphysical when I was reading books on yoga and it didn't change my thinking about the afterlife p it could be or not. The book sounds like a complete study and acceptance, which is just fine with me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oscar, it is a fascinating subject and a poignant story about the author and her loss, and how she reached closure.

      Delete
  4. So much of fascination in this area, but so little real knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Charles, I prefer the spiritual to the metaphysical. It's easier to understand and practice.

      Delete
  5. Interesting, though I think my days of pondering philosophy may have passed, they were mostly when I was in college and the decade after. Thanks for this review, Prashant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Richard. I have been reading spiritual literature since my teenage years. It has been a constant companion through my ups and downs.

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Thanks, Col. The book makes a lot of sense though in the end it'll depend on each individual.

      Delete
  7. Thanks Prashant, great to have something of a departure here (I'm very partial to that - very good for the soul too). Sounds intriguing though I always very sceptical. But it is a big world and a bigger universe out there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sergio. I often read stuff that's good for the soul. For me, it's not a question of suspending disbelief as much as the willingness to accept what could be. I don't necessarily practice what I read.

      Delete
  8. I have enjoyed reading spiritual literature, Prashant, although I have never decided exactly what I believe in. It is good to read about all possibilities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tracy, I have been reading spiritual books from a very young age. Some mystics and writers, such as the late Eknath Easwaran, who founded the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in Tomales, California, have had a deep impression on me.

      Delete
    2. I did remember that you have read Easwaran, Prashant. I have at least two of his books and I like his writings a lot.

      Delete
    3. Tracy, I like Easwaran's writing because he keeps it simple and speaks to you through parables, the best form of storytelling.

      Delete
  9. You offer the most interesting books, and I thank you so much. I shall look into this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Nan. I have been reading philosophy, and particularly spiritual literature, for many years. While I don't subscribe to the idea of after-life, I'm curious about what happens to us after we are gone.

      Delete