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Book Review: “To Unshakable Bliss” By “Serene Rishi”

Book Ingress..!!

TitleTo Unshakable Bliss [A Techie’s Adventure]
AuthorSerene Rishi
Pages: 290
GenreFiction
Publication date: 19 January 2024
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Author Intro..!!

Serene Rishi is a pen name for a tech professional based in Silicon Valley. She has worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly 25 years at major companies like Google and Cisco and a few early-stage start-ups, where she honed her analytical rigor and structured thinking. She was born into a Muslim home, studied at a Catholic school, and married into a Hindu family.

Outside the corporate demands, the author maintains an avid interest in positive psychology, scientific theories of consciousness, and Western and Eastern philosophies. Her existential dilemmas as a modern-day professional seeking tranquility are reflected in her debut novel. She illuminates important connections between science and spiritual teachings for analytical minds seeking practical tools for enduring peace.

Book Presentment..!!

We embark on life’s journeys, bursting with dreams and ambitions destined for greatness. With each hard-won peak, the expected bliss proves fleeting. New milestones pass, achievements accumulate, and yet, lasting happiness dangles just out of reach before the next desire hijacks its hope.

This philosophical novel chronicles a Silicon Valley technologist, Qayum, whose tumultuous experiences spark questions about the essence of existence. Blending psychology, neuroscience, and ancient teachings from Stoic and Vedantic texts, the gripping spiritual fiction employs lyrical prose and thought-provoking vignettes on a journey of self-transformation.

Eastern philosophy’s esoteric concepts of illusion, consciousness, and natural laws come to life in engaging dialogues, revealing the timeless tools for monk-like equanimity while being fully engaged in life’s dance.

Book Prelude..!!

To Unshakable Bliss is an anecdote of Qayum, a conspicuous techie turned author of a children’s book who entreats herself to discover the true meaning of life. The author strongly believes Qayum in every reader and guides us through the journey to witness the quest for transformation and self-realization with philosophy and love as the respective guiding lights.

Book Endeavor..!!

Struck in a vicious cubicle and being abhorrent of ample gadgets, luxuries, electronic devices, and much more that can’t find solace and serenity in life and crying from the corner realizing the lost meaning of life, every techie is undoubtedly a target reader of this book.

This book is an eye-opener for every individual to ascertain the true meaning of life plus to comprehend and perceive those dimensions we often scorn due to the clutches of responsibility, financial dependency, and Sanchita/Agami Karma.

Qayum, Qayum, Qayum..!!

Sculpted into four chunks to unveil the protagonist, Qayum, the author takes us through her life transition as Seeker, Detached, Awakened, and the absolute. This decent narrative is tightly coupled with innumerable Vedic concepts, and Upanishads (Manduka, Katha, Brihadaranyaka, Chandogya, and so on). Through Qayum, the author rightly emphasizes the need, demand, and guidance of the Guru and his importance in carving ourselves for better days to follow.

As the book flows, ample addendums of characters show readers what the author gives as respective takeaways from the respective personnel. Interestingly names like Maya, Sakshi, Prakruti, Bhakti, Vatsal, and Mihir contemplate the intent and justify the respective roles/responsibilities in Qayum’s life journey.  The author also spoke about the need for and importance of the basic building blocks of life like self-esteem, self-love, inner fortitude, reflections, stoic virtues, openness, overcoming failures, rational reflexes, consciousness, liberation, pursuit, and many more.

This book carries a bunch of emotions, equipped with the purpose, and need of bringing back the so-called serenity in our lives. It is quite evident from the writing style, that the universe will be always on our side reciprocating our actions and providing all possible aids bestowing the universe interconnect topped with resilience and compassion.

 What is Spirituality?

We often map spirituality with religion and ritualistic practices, unlike the stereotypical approach through Qayum author exposed spirituality as a guiding divine force that envisages deeper and profound happiness and assisted pathway of inner peace, the author also endorsed herself and the protagonist Qayum’s spiritual connections with the references of Muslim, catholic and Hinduism.

Unique Selling Point..!!

My initial read of a few pages made me more skeptical about taking this book forward, I was in a delusion that the book isn’t my usual reading tier. However, Qayum uncovers her journey and sensibly advances seeking a deeper purpose, insights, practices, and perspectives attaining “To Unshakable Bliss” is simply commendable.

Working as an IT Consultant staring at the screens of black, blue, and grey I fumble myself as prey of corporate mindset which made it hard to realize there is a life beyond the computer screen. However, Qayum set the right tone in handholding me towards exploring the world outside that has full potential, and rich in consciousness, and accentuates the purpose of life.

Upanishads and Mantras..!!

The author didn’t leave any chance to embed tons of references and mantras, Upanishad citations, Bhagavad Gita verses, Astavakra Gita,  Sanskrit decree, Shlokas, and many more supporting the protagonist throughout. Additionally, the author also equipped her writings with contemporary scientific references, Quantum, Ed Young/Mihaly paraphrases.

Book Aesthetics..!!

The author’s very own artistic marvel was made as the book cover to this book. This art form made as a book cover is a depiction of a woman at the bottom left spreading her arms to embrace the goddess resembling Lord Shiva. The artwork signifies the divinity within each of us and the path to realizing our inherent oneness with the ultimate reality. Also, all four chapters start with four interesting images: Mumukṣā (desire for the attainment of salvation), and Kurma (self-realization through detachment). Mandukya (The Awakened), Darpana (The Absolute Reflections)

Target Readers..!!

With so many takeaways in this techie adventure work, this book is intended for anyone to understand being self-aware, and conscious, enact positive outcomes towards a purposeful life journey, tips cum tools cum techniques to push towards detachment and arrive at a state of contentment of Couse with the helping hand of spiritual forces, Gurus and Prakruti (the nature).  

Accolades..!!

Serene Rishi” (Pen Name of the author) was born into a Muslim home, studied at a Catholic school, and married into a Hindu family made a commendable effort to reflect herself through Qayum, the protagonist reemphasize the purpose and meaning of life infusing the essence of existence and journey of self-realization and to channelize the energy with limitless tools and practices with the support of our ancient and proven techniques blending the learnings of Upanishad, mantra, stoic, Bhagavad Gita and many more.   

Points to ponder.!!

Don’t miss the Appendix part to read, learn, understand, and recite mantras from Mandukya Upanishad plus a few more notable shlokas that supported the author’s presentation in this book. As a matter of suggestion, I wish the author would have considered reducing the characters in this book, at times I am lost with the connection with the protagonist’s peregrinate flow. Thanks to the meaningful names of those authors that helped me to keep track of the narrative flow and interconnect between them.

Special Mention..!!

This book is strictly not a casual read. This book expects the readers should be at least spiritually literate. Unlike the conventional fiction book, this book is a techie’s journey who wishes to liberate herself from the clutches of the corporate world to find the inner meaning of liberation/serenity. Coming from a spiritualistic and ancestral follower of dwaita Vedanta (ancient school of philosophy) for me this book is not only relatable but also a guide towards discovering the purpose of life.

Quote(s)..!!

  • Life is like an ever-shifting kaleidoscope. Each twist displays a stunning pattern of colors and shapes, distinct and volatile in its beauty
  • Favorable circumstances inevitably give rise to adversity as part of the natural cycle of change.

Links & FootNote..!!

My HandleKiran_Kumar_Adharapuram
Explore My Work -> Here
Non-Fiction Book Reviews -> Here
Self-Help Book Reviews -> Here

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