Mantra Books, 2007, 224 Pages
Reviewed by Sky McCain
This book is about integrating spiritual values and techniques into everyday life and making intuitive connections with the place where ancient wisdom affects our daily life. The book also helps us to realise that trying to follow another person’s spiritual path (J. Krishnamurti spoke out against this common practice also) often obscures and usually causes us to lose the scent. Also, some spiritual seekers become confused when they read and observe so many “kinds” of Yoga. Santoshan explains no fewer than twelve branches of Yoga. I suggest the disappointment stems from our modern attachment to what we have been conditioned to believe as scientific certainty in every facet of our lives coupled with expectations of instant gratification. This also manifests as a quick results endeavour rather than a process path.
The diversity of spiritual paths clearly explained in ‘The House of Wisdom’ follows in tandem with the immense diversity found physically around us in Nature – not to mention human behaviour. The Yogic path shows us that the one mountain many paths concept is a strength rather than a confusion factor. The book also presents the binding to hold the few methods and practices the reader might resonate with. It may comes as a shock to some that spiritual seeking is about finding “your” path rather than “the” path. Yet, the book is not exclusively about Yoga. Within three appendices one will find Hindu, Christian and Buddhist traditions and how they relate to modern times.
Santoshan teaches through stories. For instance, when he is exploring Buddhism and wanting to establish practicality and the alleviation of suffering, he recalls the following story. There was once a man who was shot by an arrow. They onlookers were taken up with many questions such as – What weapon propelled the arrow? Was it a long-bow? Was it a crossbow? What string was used? What wood was it made of? And on and on. The master calmly pointed out that there would be more value in asking questions concerning the best way to remove the arrow and stop the man’s suffering.
Those readers interested in the feminine will find a chapter on Shiva and Shakti – masculine and feminine energy. I liked reading the quote from Marija Gimbutas: “The Goddess in all her manifestations [is] …a symbol of the unity of all life in Nature.”
From this book one may well decide that the Yogic tradition, both in its ancient and modern expression, has a lot to offer.