Name of the book: Home at Last
Author: Sarada Chiruvolu
Home at Last describes the milestones that the author, Sarada Chiruvolu, encounters during her journey towards enlightenment. The book also takes the readers on a journey in unraveling the mystery behind the awakened inner force called kundalini. The book explains how our outlook and goals transform as the kundalini energy begins directing our day-to-day life. I would call it a part spiritual memoir, part meditation handbook. Sarada’s writing is succinct with profound spiritual insights focusing on:
- Prana, or vital life force – how to increases its presence in our system, and the process of transmitting pranic energy from a Guru to a willing pupil
- Food for thought – importance of diet, exercise, and mental acuity in preparation for the journey of realization
- Challenges – The various physical and psychological challenges you can expect during this process of enlightenment; any impediments in raising the energy, and how to transcend them.
Any book on spirituality is a hugely personal experience. While you are traversing down the path of spirituality and enlightenment, holding the hand of the author, you also, at some level take yourself towards a different dimension from where you are at that moment.
Sarada’s book is an indulgent exercise in raising oneself from the mundane existence and attempting to transform ourselves into higher beings. By providing simple to follow instructions and personal life examples Sarada has invested a lot of herself in this book.
Whenever one writes about meditation and such, the first reaction to it is of disbelief. People caught in the worldly cycle, Maya, often tend to undermine the profound effect of simple acts and their immense reactions on self and the external world. Such is the insistence of these occurrences that the practitioner gets involved at multiple levels of their consciousness.
Sarada states and I quote, at one point in the book, that:
The Tibetan Buddhist view describes consciousness being composed of multiple shades, bands, or levels – not separate layers but more like mutually interpenetrating forms of energy, from the finest all-radiating, all-pervading, luminous consciousness down to the densest form of materialized awareness, which appears to us as our physical body.
Sarada has described her personal experiences in such vivid detail that the readers finds herself being transported to that moment where Sarada is. The book gives you enough inputs and the required impetus to being planning your own spiritual journey. A journey which takes us towards the ultimate state of being one with all of life, a cherished union of the souls with the consciousness.
In the beginning of the book, Sarada provides some meticulously practices tips to improve one’s stamina and build one’s awareness about the practices. Some practical tips such as keeping an eye on what we consume, exercising to keep the prana moving, getting enough restful sleep, exposure to the sun, decrease ineffective chores, begin some sort of spiritual activity, find a location to meditate, and find a guru or a teacher to guide you. She stresses on the fact that the desire to reach out to the Universe to know the Truth must come from within.
Over time, says Sarada, during her meditation practice, she learned to move her subtle energy to activate certain chakras to balance them out or to heal certain parts. Sarada describes healing techniques such as Reiki, which helped her find an inner balance.
In the subsequent chapters in the book, Sarada explains how at one point she felt an urge to become a sanyassin and renunciate the world, as she knew it. Easier said than done. Life keeps happening and we often wonder at the usefulness of it all. Meditation and spiritual pursuits often take us through enlightening journeys.
Similarly, in Sarada’s case, she experienced utter “desirelessness” at one point and wondered if it was just the beginning of the journey towards salvation. She says, the very experience of moving from one state of consciousness to another, is often a life changing experience. You tend to metamorphose to such an extent, old habits and choices cease to exist.
Sarada says: “When the student is ready, the teacher appears” is very true in her case. Sarada’s Guru, Amma Karunamayi, offered her instruction and guidance in meditation.
To conclude, Sarada’s words play on my mind:
Human life is a major spiritual opportunity for consciousness to evolve and for all of us to attain Self-Realization, which is an expression of the gift that the Divine offers to those who are ready.
I feel, this book is an honest attempt to help us realize that we should expect from life and that our goal on this earth extends beyond materialistic achievements. Rather running after ego enhancements, we should try to experience our true nature.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has even once thought of the spiritual aspect of life. Let me be very clear about this: spirituality is not to be confused with being religious. These are two different aspects. I enjoyed reading it and would surely suggest it.
Sarada left a pharmaceutical career to pursue a spiritual calling. She set out on a unique journey that has taken her toward attaining realization of Self or Enlightenment through many years of deep meditation. Over the years since, she continues to lead a normal family life dedicating her time toward various philanthropic pursuits where ever she can make a difference.
Her focus always is to address most of the rudimentary needs of people, because if these essentials are not taken care of then a detrimental cycle ensues. HOME AT LAST is her first book. She lives in Princeton, NJ. She travels extensively to other countries and annually to India to work toward this mission.
Review copy sent to me by the Publisher for an honest review.