26 November 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Nothing to Lose by Manbeena Sandhu (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!

1892nd BLOG POST

46th Book of 2020!


I have been on my spiritual path since 2015 and from 2018, it has only become intense and I enjoy listening to several perceptions and ideologies towards finding our inner self and realizing what we really are – a dynamic ball or nothing at all. This has made me read many texts of different people who talk on Spirituality along with following and reading about many religious Gurus or Godman such as Sadhguru, Swami Prabhupada, Om Swami, Shubha Vilas etc. I was always curious to know a bit about Osho or Bhagwan Rajneesh as he is someone who is always referred whenever spirituality is the topic and definitely, the most controversial too.


I finally got to know about a book written by Manbeena Sandhu named “Nothing To Lose” which is an authorized biography of Ma Anand Sheela who served as secretary to Osho and later, also became the face of the religion created by him. To my surprise, there is also an official autobiography announced by Ma Anand Sheela which is to come within a month still she went ahead and discussed her whole life with Manbeena for this book. Reading this one has been such an experience that I couldn’t feel myself throughout and could feel that I had become one of the sannyaasis myself staying in the ashram of Osho and observing things myself.


I have never read a biography with such detailing and written with so much of clarity and outspokenness that it seems to be nothing less than an autobiography. I liked how the author went ahead with an unbiased nature of describing both- Ma Anand Sheela as well as Rajneesh and didn’t try to provide clean-chit to anyone but just tell us whatever happened as it is. There are times when you will be shocked to read such accounts which will really make you question the people in power and their real nature towards their followers, fans or employees.


The author starts the book with the life of Sheela Ambalal Patel and how her teenage years was like, how she met Osho for the first time casually and fell in love with him, how she married for the 1st time and then book shifts from her usual life to her devotion towards Osho and finally her life as Ma Anand Sheela. After the first 100 pages, the way book moves forward like a bullet train telling us so many things about the Ashram and the culture of Rajneeshism that you will not want to believe many of them. This book, though being a non-fiction, has been narrated in such a simplistic yet thrilling way that as a reader you will feel you are going through a fiction tale.


The author has assured that while speaking about someone like Osho who had many celebrities residing in his ashram doesn’t end up disclosing their lives there and assured the right to privacy for them. She has only detailed about those who have already come in public about the religious guru. After reading this book, you will question yourself if what Sheela ended up being for Osho is right or wrong, the kind of acts she ended up performing was way too much or she should have raised the flag quite early, or what happened to her because of Osho is justified or not, or how she got into trouble even after serving her term in prison is acceptable or not.


There are many questions you will raise upon our beliefs for people whom we idolize and up to what extent we should get devoted for them. The book teaches us a lot about how spirituality and religion is used a tool by few to get what they want. This book is an eye-opener for sure and made me very angry reading about injustice met by people who believed in Rajneesh like God. Manbeena has just written a book that will always be a discussion point for centuries to go- this book is an eye-opener.


Now talking about the drawbacks, I must say that the first 100 pages are not written in an exciting manner which makes it harder for you to get into it initially but once you do, you are just into it. I found author skipping many years in between of Ma Anand Sheela’s life which I believe doesn’t give us the complete picture of the person in spotlight. Author could have also mentioned many spiritual speeches of Osho which moved Sheela but she has only shared few of them. Similarly, many conversations between them could have also been added to make us reflect more upon their relationship for such a long time.


Apart from few of these drawbacks which are definitely avoidable, this book shall serve you with an experience in its 330+ pages which is very hard to find in biographies these days. I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. Please read it if you wish to go deep into the path of spirituality.






24 November 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Past, Present, and Future of the Book Blogging (Guest Post by Aakanksha Jain)

 1891st BLOG POST


Blogging has become a new interest of many people nowadays, either to make money or as just a hobby people have turned towards blogging. You get numerous results popping up on searching for any topic, but blogging will be your cup of tea only when you choose the topics that you love and enjoy writing on them. It is not how much knowledge you have on the topic, but how much research you are willing to do.


In this pandemic, there is a visible surge in blogging. With the surplus amount of time given, many individuals have taken up online to record their views and points on various topics through blogs and vlogs. Though there is a sudden rise number of blogs every day, blogging is not something that started along with the pandemic and something that would vanish when it is gone. Coming to book blogging, like any other niche, this is a vast area where one can explore and create content every day.


The bibliophiles who have the constant need to discuss their views on the books they have read, hated, or enjoyed; they see book blogging as a window to reach out the fellow book nerds and the pandemic has only seen a rise in book readers who turn to the blogs to get suggestions and reviews on the books. Now, having the present time ideal for readers, how does the past, present, and future of the book blogging look like? Let’s see further in the article.


Book Blogging the past history:


Blogging, in general, was more like an online diary that people predominantly kept private and didn’t care to reach the SERPs of the Google results or to get likes and comments on the articles you post. 


Talking about the book blogging precisely, there was very few people who had the vision of making money out of it, most of the blogs were started to just create a community of book lovers and share their views among them. There were not so many blogs as they are now. So, in the past just having a book blog was enough and there was not much need to market it on other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook for that matter.


Book blogging as any other means have seen evolution and growth in the past decade, with the increased use of the internet, book blogging has also found its way to reach readers and bloggers.



Book Blogging, in the present:


Now, blogging has seen improvements both technically and personally in the minds of people. Blogs are now doing the job of magazines, from giving information on what is the trend to giving reviews, one can get any news from the blogs that are posted every minute.


Book blogging now needs more than just reviews and book recommendations. Bloggers should develop content that is unique and attractive that is more than just reviewing the book.


They should extend themselves to other social media like creating a book-tube, or a bookstagram, or starting a new Twitter account related to books.

It is important to work on placing your blogs on the front page of the search results and market it properly. Many online sellers have started to reach out to bloggers to do collaborations that are benefiting both parties, to reach that point you need to build a credible blog with quality content that is marketed properly.


In, the present book blogging is really a dominant niche that can gain more traffic if handled properly.


Book Blogging in the future:


The future of book blogging is bright, it is going to be a stable business for quite some time in the future if you maintain your quality and consistency.


The problem with maintaining a book blog is that you tend to lose interest in the initial times when you don’t make much money but once you have survived that phase and stood your ground there is no one to stop you.


But, if you are planning on starting your book blog don’t wait for a good time, do it this month, this week, today, do it right now, because the number of blogs and bloggers are only going to increase in the future. So, it is better to be never late.


The future of book blogging is going towards co-blogging since it is not going to stop with just blogging, you have to find your ways to create new contents, organize events related to your blog views, reply to your DMs and comments, it is going to be a whole lot of work which can be managed more easily by co-blogging.


Books are beautiful magic weaved on paper, and if you love them you are special. When you plan on creating a book blog, make sure you give the facts and content that are original. Writing is one art that has survived forever, now it has adapted to the modern form and you call it blogging. Once a new technology is found then there is no going back, rocks were taken over by ink quills, the paper took over ink quills, and now digital writing is taking over the paper, and it is going to stay for a while here.

Author bio - Aakanksha Jain is a book blogger and an author of non-fiction book, How to Become an Amazon Influencer. Her blog Books Charming is one of the top book blogs in India. You can connect with her through –

Blog - https://www.bookscharming.com/

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/bookscharming

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/bookscharm

Twitter - https://www.twitter.com/aakankshajain22

19 November 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Meeting Yama by Manoj V Jain (Book Review: 4.25*/5) !!!

 1890th BLOG POST

45th Book of 2020

I don’t know what it is but I am regularly getting books based on the concept of Death and the topic is really fascinating me. It pulls me so much towards itself that I wish I can leave everything and move towards understanding the meaning of Life and Death and what it feels like knowing Death from closely along with knowing about the process of Afterlife. And this is what exactly happens with the three characters in the book I have just completed reading named “Meeting Yama” written by Manoj V Jain in around 240 pages. This book published by Notion Press speaks about how these characters are fighting with something so internal and basic to them that they have to get it clear before they can process their life further and hence they end up reaching to the land of Shiva and Death – Kashi, popularly known as Varanasi or Benaras.


The book is written in a very simple language and it is easy to understand for anyone reading this even if the person is not in the spiritual space. The book is full of concept related to spirituality, mythology, religion and meditation but it has been written so beautifully that you will love going through them even if you have not read about them before. Author has mentioned that this book could have been a non-fiction but because he knows people grasp things better when it is spoken in a form of a fiction or stories, he has chosen to speak about this concept of Death through a story format. And I must say it is so nicely crafted that you will feel this to be true.


I have recently read two books on Death- “Death” by Sadhguru and “Between Life and Death” by Dr. Kashyap Patel and I must say, along with those two books, this one is at par with them. Though the one by Sadhguru is quite in detailing but this book can become a beautiful starting for the people who are wanting to read deep spiritual concepts.


Talking about few points that fascinated and touched me, in the very initial chapters, the scene where mother of one of the characters die, it made me so emotional that I spent the whole day doing nothing but being close and near to my mother. Further, in the other chapter, how the telepathy worked for the character with one of his friends when he asked to guess the number made me jump and sit up. I just believed it to be true and the concept of telepathy intrigued me.


Further in the book, author talks about mythology and spirituality in detail such as why Varanasi is an auspicious land is detailed very vastly which actually makes me want to go and settle there leaving this materialistic world. We have always heard about the King Harishchandra but this is the first time I got to know about the tale which makes him so popular. Puri Jagannath is another curious topic for me as the temple always seems to be little close to me even when I haven’t travelled there. Author has beautiful explained about the temple and rituals performed there.


Few meditation techniques were new for me which were discussed in this book such as Tratak as I had never heard about it before. The tale of Lord Vishnuji and Yama is also very insightful. The tale of Markandeya is very fresh to read which makes Lord Shiva grant him longevity.  Why the places are named Manikarnika and Avimukta respectively is nicely explained which makes you understand the depth about our history or mythology – whatever you believe in calling them. In the end, the story of Yama is described along with reference of Bhau Beej which lets you know so much about the God about whom we know nothing except that he is “God of Death”.


Now talking about the drawbacks, I must say that rather than conceptualizing the book such that it is divided as per itinerary of the Varanasi trip of the characters, author should have named chapters on each tale or concept that he has talked about which could have made reading them more enjoyable as you become prepared of reading what’s ahead. Secondly, I must say that the climax is little too abrupt and I couldn’t find any emotional connect with the characters when they finally achieve for what they landed up in Varanasi. I believe it should have been given more pages and detailing. I got quite disappointed there. Thirdly, the meditational techniques are just talked upon as an overview rather than going into its depth. I was looking forward to knowing how meditation is done by the characters and what experience it brings to one or all of them. Lastly, the concept of death is also not covered with the kind of depth I was looking forward to. I wanted to read about what one feels in the moment of death and the afterlife process that we often hear in our ancient texts.


Overall, this is a nice attempt and you will enjoy reading this book as it delivers ample of knowledge about our history and mythology. I give this book 4.25* out of 5.