OM SWAMI: As We Know Him – BOOK REVIEW

“What is it that draws one to a mystic? What is it like to know at close quarters a man whose powers are beyond the conscious mind? What does it feel like to be fulfilled spiritually, to feel understood, to stand revealed?”

‘Om Swami; As We Know Him’, is a memoir co-authored by two disciples who have described their experiences and life with Om Swami, a great monk and bestselling author of our times.

Book name – Om Swami: As We Know Him

Authors – Ismita Tandon and Swami Vidyananda Om

Genre – Memoir

Category – Spiritual

Publisher – Harper Element

Release date – 10 July 2016 (1st Edition)

Rating – 4.8/5

About Om Swami

Om Swami is a mystic yogi who resides in the foothills of Himalayas. He was already a multimillionaire at the age of 26, but that was not the supreme goal of his life. No comfort or money could buy his inner search for the ultimate truth of life. He abandoned a life of enormous wealth and luxury to pursue his only goal of self-realization. The every day Himalayan challenges and hardships failed to obstruct him from his sadhana, which ultimately led him to discover his own truth. You can read his autobiography ‘If Truth be Told: A Monk’s Memoir’, where he has beautifully shared his journey of self-realization.

About the Authors

Ismita Tandon is an award-winning poet and author who left her MBA to refuge in full-time writing. It was after a torrent of immense sufferings and losses she faced in her personal life, that she crossed paths with Om Swami. She became more spiritually inclined under the divine umbrella of Sri Badrika ashram, which urged her to write this book. She took sannyasa from Om Swami in the year 2016 and is now known as Sadhvi Vrinda Om. She currently writes beautiful poetries on her Facebook page ‘The Song of the Sufi Masroof’ portraying her emotions and her divine love for Sri Hari and her Guru.

Swami Vidyananda Om has grown up in Bangalore and had been deeply religious all his life. After spending some years in Bangalore ashram, he went to Haridwar where he lived as a priest in a Shiva temple for some years. But within the deepest core of his heart, he was in search of his guru for a very long time. And his search ultimately ended after meeting Swami Ji. He is the foremost disciple of Swami Ji and resides in Sri Badrika ashram under His blissful and divine tutelage.

About the Book

The first part of this book portrays the spiritual journey of Ismita Tandon from her ‘Purva ashram’ (life before renunciation) to being an honest and true disciple of Om Swami. She has narrated some of the crucial glimpses of her life around her selfless father, who was a colonel in the army once and her loving mother, who was once the only umbrella of her flood-laden life. After a series of events like a failed marriage, the death of her father, followed by her mother’s, she was left completely broken and forlorn in this ruthless world. Her life had crash-landed into deep waters of loss and loneliness.

And one day her life took another path after she came across Om Swami’s blog, followed by emails of hope and life. The rest of the book describes how Swami’s grace saves her from drowning into the ocean of life-long suffering and pain; and her transformation from Ismita to Sadhvi Vrinda Om, flanked by a cascade of miraculous experiences in the path.

After meeting Swami, everything I held to be true about life – its very meaning – was challenged, it was reduced to dust soon. Soon, I had to admit that the universe guarded many mysteries far beyond the scope of my rational mind’.

Ismita Tandon

Swami Vidyananda Om is not just-another-disciple of a just-another-guru in this complex world where spirituality has become just another means of marketing. Vidyananda was an ardent devotee of the divine mother at heart and was in search of a guru who would guide him to have the divine mother’s vision in her entirety.

He left Bangalore and came to stay amidst the bustling crowd of saints and sadhus in Haridwar, with his only purpose of God-realisation.  His experiences and journey are contrary to the life of Ishmita, who was a complete disbeliever of God. His life took a drastic turn when he came across Om Swami in Haridwar by chance. The second part of the book covers his entire journey with Swami, mushroomed with day-to-day miracles and mysterious experiences under his divine grace.

Ismita and Swami Vidyananda have beautifully portrayed the greatness of a monk, who has devoted every minute of his life to the service of mankind. Nothing can beat the kindness and compassion of a monk armored with simplicity and truthfulness.

Who are you Gurudev? Please tell me!” Upon being asked this question by Vidyananda, Swami pats him and says, “I am a simple sadhu in a complex world.

My Review

I would give this book a rating of 4.8/5. In my eyes, this book is a beautiful bundle of happiness and a feeling of ‘awe’ at the same time. The life of Om Swami has touched my soul deeply, and this book has become a true source of inspiration for me. It is a book that cannot be forgotten. Those beautiful experiences of Swami’s disciples have infused hope and life into my little heart. This book is for believers, who believe in spirituality and the subtle mysteries of the universe. I could clearly relate to Ismita, and I believe we all have an Ismita in us, who are going through a great deal of outer or inner struggle in this Ferris wheel of life.

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