Volume 18 Number 4
What Book Has Meant Most to You?
01 August 2005

We asked writers to confine themselves to books published recently, or at least in the last 100 years.

I CAME across David Bornstein’s How to Change the World (Oxford University Press, 2004) last year. I devoured it within a day.

Visionary individuals who seek a better future and dedicate their lives to achieving this promise are at the centre of its pages. From rural electrification in Brazil to assisted living for the disabled in Hungary, this book has taught me that service and commitment are an exciting and inspiring task.

This is not a manual on how to run your charity or your organization, it is just the stories of people who believe that things can change and pursue this dream without forgetting that they are dealing with individuals, not with customers, clients or patients.

How to Change the World has encouraged me to work to build a new society; to understand that, if we want to make a difference, there is no time to lose.
José Carlos León Vargas, London, UK

REFLECTING ON this question put by FAC, books such as a biography of President Truman came to my mind, but my immediate answer certainly is A New Day (Blandford Press, 1960). For each day of the year this small book has a page of quotations. ‘These have been taken from the whole range of mankind’s history, and bear on personal faith and a world view,’ writes the compiler, DM Prescott. I have carried it anywhere I went, also in my hand luggage on long flights. It still surprises me how often one or more quotations chosen for a day seem to answer exactly my need for vision for that day.
Eelko Bergsma, Enschede, the Netherlands

ONE SUCH book is I’d Rather Teach Peace (Orbis, 2002), by Colman McCarthy. This writer was a columnist for a major newspaper for over 20 years. However, his true impact has been on the college and high school students who were fortunate enough to take his classes in Peace Studies.

A couple of sentences that might serve as an example of his message would be the following: ‘Forgiveness looks forward; vengeance looks backward.’ Also, ‘Forgiveness means leaving the garbage of the last fight behind. Otherwise, we let our emotions become trash haulers. Settling scores never settles conflicts.’
Lloyd J Klapperich, Greenville, VA, USA

I REREAD recently the novel of Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray. I like this novel very much! The style of this author is vivid and precise. In his novel he touches upon many problems: love, mystery, perfidy, adventures.... The writer doesn’t impose his view on the reader.
Vakha Demelkhanov, Grozny, Chechen Republic, Russian Federation

IN Memory and Identity—personal reflections (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2005),Pope John Paul II brought home to me the totality of our human existence and that we are all involved in world affairs no matter who we are or where we are. He discussed the coexistence of good and evil and the ideologies of evil of Marxism and National Socialism. But he also spoke of the limits imposed upon evil by redemption.

This is a deeply inspiring book and made me sit back and think of the hope that faith gives me and that if I live the way God intends me to live evil can never triumph.

For those of us worried about the future of Europe at this time the late Pope quoted from one of his poems:
Freedom—a continuing conquest,
It cannot be possessed!
It comes as a gift, but keeping it is a struggle.

Donald Oswald, UK

THERE IS a book I read all the time. I do not take it with me, rather it comes everywhere I go. I read it in every light my eyes see, I hear it in every sound my ears hear, I feel it deep whenever I touch it. It is the book of Life.
Life is a book of God. He created it to give us the chance to feel and rationalize His wisdom, His power, and mercy.
This book will never end or be boring.
Doa’a Abdul-Galeel Hussien Abdul Majeed, Cairo, Egypt

Please send your contribution for the next 'Since You Ask':
Which foreign country inspires you most?
Tell us in up to 200 words by 3 October 2005.


At age 70 I discovered Tulsidas' Ramayana as a book that presents the ancient Indian science for receiving from God a mind empowered to its limitlessness. I started reading it at 70. but discoverred the science after trying to find answers to questions that arose by my study of the book.

What I found I published at age 86.in a book that is summed up at my web site in two pages of document

The science that the Vedic rishis discovered was for humanity because for the Vedic rishis there were no Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Jews, Christians, Zoroasshtrians, Muislims or Sikhs in India.

The science is in the holy books of all God centred religions because all these religions have a common foundation and only one defined common spirituality. The rishis discovered the foundation and the definition both.

My book presents lessons and tips that Tulsidas scatters in his couplets that narrate the story of Shri Rama.

Anyone interested in learning this science can spot the lessons and tips for daily practice without stepping out of his avowed religion because none is outside the spirituality of any religion .

An empowered mind became a necessity for research by Vedic rishis for this simple reason.

They found that God gave only four gifts to all human beings; life, thinking mind, love and bliss. Only the mind was the equipment for making use of life and love for receiving continual bliss.

So, the last effort of the Vedic rishis was to discover what made the mind best equipped for its use. Rishis prescribed this science after discovering its source in spirituality common in all religions.

Why could not this science be discovered outside India too if it is in all religions?

Followers of all religions outside India had no guides as India had in the Vedas.

Thanks to the British interregnum, India too lost this science and its educated mind does not care for the Vedas as guides. So, the educated India is swimming in the same pool of ignorsance that is outside India.

That is why India needs to revive its old knowledge to restart creating material prosperity by spirituality for sharing with all as it did itself for its world leadership for millenniums.

Science and technolohgy are products of the mind. The mind is supreme over both as their creator.

When the educated India undersands this elementary lesson it will turn to the science of emopowered mind that Tulsidsas is teaching for 500 years.

Since the science is in all religions, anyone interested can read Tulsidas in the manner I read and gain the science for the ermpowerment of his mind.

My website is www.indianphilosophy.cc/addendum

Prakash Narain
(Born Deklhi 1917)

P.S. Mahatma vGandhi unknowiongly observed the disciplines of the science of empowered mind and received his power for the greatest man made miracle in modern history.
Prakash Narain , 08 March 2007