Authored by: Prem Rawat; HarperOne, NewYork; 2021;
ISBN: 979-0-06-321500-9; 260 pages; Price: ₹399/-
“The more you know yourself, the more patience you have for what you see in others.”
The book, “Hear Yourself: How to Find Peace In A Noisy World?,” is a unique book authored by Prem Rawat, the renowned teacher and author of the internationally bestselling Peace Is Possible. This volume is almost at a resonant frequency of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi’s popular philosophy “Who am I?” that begins with answers to questions that were put to him by M. Sivaprakasam Pillai in the year 1902, bearing on self-enquiry.
“Hear Yourself,” is just not a general book but it is a treasure that addresses the impact negative thinking has on individuals while it sets out a way to reach a deeper, unchanging sense of ourselves that according to the author exists beyond our thoughts.
On one hand, without any doubt, there is a lot of muddled intellectual noise around the topic of understanding the self and on the other hand, understanding what exactly peace means. Nonetheless, this book gives readers the answer to both these quandaries — as the author records that the purpose of gaining self-knowledge is a herculean task which involves experiencing refreshing clarity, deep fulfillment, and immeasurable joy — and many other wonders —by being at one with the universe of peace inside us.
The author himself reveals the fact that he had learned from his father many things. For the first time he had addressed the followers of his father when he was barely four years old; and his first-ever message to them was, “peace is possible when you start with yourself.” Of course, the message that the author passes through this book is — starting with oneself is in reality the best thing one can do for other people.
The reviewer believes that the book, “Hear Yourself,” is an encyclopedia in itself that provides many issues that have been touched upon in holy books such as Bhagavadgita. For example, according to the author, it is often our mind that keeps us distracted from a deeper connection to ourselves. The following verse from Bagavadgita exactly speaks the same thing:
mana eva manushyanam
muktyai nirvisayam manah
When exactly translated, the meaning of the verse is — for man, the mind is the cause of bondage and the mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation.
The reader becomes wistful when going through such statements as, “when the wind blows really hard, the trees that don’t know how to bend break. But the trees that know how to sway with the wind, they stay. It’s just a storm; it will pass. But you have to be above it. You will be okay.”
Occasionally, this book addresses the ultimate individualities of a person viz. forgiveness, love, duty and responsibility, etc. The author has offered a dedicated chapter i.e. Chapter 9 on love. As the author confesses that the theme of this chapter has long been close to his heart, so would be for the reader!
The book is a throng of answers to all 5Ws and 1H that moves around the title of the book i.e. Hear Yourself. This book enchantingly presents the author’s standpoints and analysis of the captioned subject and contextually discusses some of the happenings in his life.
Though I understand that it is always very easy to critique books for what they leave out or what we as the readers don’t accept, I strongly felt, in this case, the author has intensely deliberated that it is a very simple task to experience the peace in oneself before choosing to fight or not, while introducing the Peace Education Program (PEP), an initiative by Prem Rawat Foundation. But, personally, the reviewer (in the capacity of an air veteran) in a broader context believes that an individual or nation that cannot win a war should not attempt to sermonize on the importance of peace — for the nature of awareness about war and peace collectively is existence-consciousness-bliss.
The author, who is the founder of Prem Rawat Foundation, has achieved the objectives he had set when he was writing this book in the first place. Overall, the purpose of the author in writing this volume is achieved — to bring a practical message of hope, happiness, and peace to all, one person at a time.
Indubitably, this book will appeal to assorted readers — serves the reader as a mirror that paves the way for the reader to see his/her inner self palpably. To this end, this excellent publication — the culmination of a lifetime of study, by all means, serve as a good read. In a nutshell, the message given by the author through this book is — if we allow ourselves to listen, what we hear is the amazing miracle of existence—an experience that transforms our relationship to life and everything in it!
-Dr. Suman Kumar Kasturi