When books work better than shrinks…

Times of India online, August 13

by Smeeta Mishra Pandey
NEW DELHI: Feel like screaming at your boss at least once everyday? How about slapping your subordinate who failed to keep a deadline? Anything to vent your anger and soothe your stressed soul?

But if you don’t want to do any of the above, you could read a de- stressing book. And that is exactly what a lot of people seem to be doing in the Capital – reading ”New Age” books to heal their stressed- out selves. Or so it seems from the books being sold at the Delhi Book Fair that opened on Saturday.

So, there are books with glossy covers that promise ”mysterious healing, spiritual enhancement and well-being.” And, strangely perhaps, it is more of the younger lot than the old who flock to the stalls, flip through the pages and purchase their required dose of spiritual diet.

”I read a lot of James Redfield, even Shiv Khera and Deepak Chopra,” says Kumkum Singh, a 30-year-old advertising professional, who is now eying a book by Osho at a special Osho stall. ”They help tackle the daily grind. There is a lot of pressure at work. I live alone and it helps to read some healing stuff before going to sleep.”

The burnt-out youth seem to be seeking solace in the words of the spiritual gurus. Hectic schedules, constant deadlines, and, no holidays have finally led them down the healing path of the New Age.

”We are getting a good response,” says the staff at the Rishi Chaitanya Trust stall. ”A lot of young people buy our books on enlightenment and compassion.”

The most crowded stalls at the book fair are that of Osho and ISKCON. ”Today’s youth like reading Osho because they identify with a lot of his teachings,” says Crossword manager, Jacob Johnson. ”All books dealing with philosophy and spiritual psychology are popular. There are hordes of people reading James Redfield’s The Celestine Prophecy and The Tenth Insight, Brian L Weiss’ Many Lives, Many Masters and Deepak Chopra’s How to Know God.”

Manish Malhotra, a young banking official, has laid his hands on a book that promises healing through mudras or knotting of fingers. ”I want to go through this one,” he says. ”You never know. Probably turning inward will soothe my nerves.”

Then there’s a lady demonstrating the Bhagvad Gita on the Internet at the book fair. ”This CD- ROM has innovative discourses for busy professionals,” she vouches.

”You only have to click the mouse for the right spiritual advice. There are over five hours of audio, 500 pages of researched text and 100 images. All you need to be close to God is a multimedia PC,” she adds.

What really explains this New Age spiritual fascination of today’s youth? ”The young people are the ones who are facing tremendous changes,” says psychiatrist Jitendra Nagpal. ”And there is no outlet for the pressures they face. So they are reading books. They are picking from the West what the West picked from us. In the midst of their busy lives, more and more people are feeling a need to be at peace with themselves.”


* The youth are seeking solace in New Age books on faith and healing to soothe their stressed souls.

* Hectic schedules, deadlines and constant pressures at work is now making them get their spiritual diet from books.

* Books by Deepak Chopra, Shiv Khera, Osho, ISKCON and other faiths are popular at Delhi Book Fair.

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