April 24, 2024

Author’s Background:

Author Jay Narayan is a spiritual seeker on a passionate quest for wisdom and inner truths in life. His book NAMASTE is an illustrated spiritual guide with hundreds of captivating pictures and illustrations.

In addition to his spiritual pursuits, he is a Chartered Engineer by profession, with over 25 years of experience while working with esteemed engineering companies. Jay lives with his family in London, UK.

Even though this is his first venture as an author, Jay Narayan has dedicated a considerable amount of time to thoroughly explore and understand spiritual concepts, traditions, and history.

Questionnaires:

Neel Preet: Firstly, Congratulations on your book, “Namaste – An Illustrated Guide To The Hindu Way Of Life!” What responses are you getting from this book of yours? Please share your experience about this book.

Jay Narayan:

Thank you for the wishes and for inviting me for this interview.

There have been overwhelmingly positive responses to the book and that has been heartwarming. Knowing that people not only want to read it themselves but also share the knowledge with the next generation is incredibly fulfilling. I’m grateful for the support and excited about the potential impact of the book.

I am most grateful that my grandmother, who instilled the love of books in me, has open heartedly enjoyed reading it. Feels like life has come a full circle.

Given that the hardcover edition was recently released in India, it’s still early to fully gauge the responses. Taking this book forward is an essential aspect of my enduring and steady spiritual journey.

Neel Preet: What inspired you to write this book? What was the impetus behind this work of yours?

Jay Narayan:

Six years ago, a sudden urge to understand the meaning of life, and explore spirituality sparked a journey that has become an integral part of my life. I became an avid reader, soaking up any knowledge I could and finding missing pieces of the puzzle.

Initiated by reading books on the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata, my exploration deepened as I delved into scriptures on Vedanta and Bhagavad Gita, driven by a quest to comprehend spiritual concepts.

It didn’t take long for me to realise that a spiritual journey encompasses a fusion of knowledge, devotion, and sacrifice, ultimately leading to Self-discovery.

I have articulated in this book the enriching teachings of Hindu culture that helped me to enhance my spirituality.

Neel Preet: You’ve given a very interesting title to your book, which is very thought provoking too so, what made you go for this title for your book?

Jay Narayan:

This book is an illustrated spiritual guide that gracefully navigates through Hindu philosophy, mythology, science, history, culture, arts, and architecture. It unveils the timeless essence of the Hindu way of life.

I felt that the most fitting title to convey the essence of Hindu spiritual culture is  the most prevalent Indian greeting “Namaste”, which means “the divine in me sees the divine in you”.

Neel Preet: What was your mind-set, while working on this book? What do you expect the readers to extract from this book?

Jay Narayan:

According to my wife, during the couple of years when I was deeply engrossed in researching and writing the book, she felt that I seemed to have entered another spiritual dimension.

Personally, that period was demanding for me as I juggled writing the book with my professional responsibilities and family life. Nevertheless, I experienced a remarkably peaceful mental state during this period – the process of researching and writing this book was a phase of meditation and heightened awareness.

I hope and expect that readers will sense the same positivity and mindfulness, i.e. the sattvic qualities, that I infused into this book during the writing process.

Neel Preet: How is this book of yours different from the other titles of the same genre?

Jay Narayan:

NAMASTE is a spiritual guide and compendium that presents the alluring spiritual wisdom of Hindu traditions in a condensed, easy-to-read format. This captivating coffee-table book is tailored for a contemporary audience.

With 550 full-coloured pages adorned with hundreds of captivating pictures and illustrations, Namaste is a visual treat that enriches the mind and soul!

There is hardly any book in the market that explore such a wide range of aspects of spirituality and Hindu culture in an illustrated format. So in my opinion,  “Namaste” stands out as a unique book in its genre.

Neel Preet: Next, I would want you to tell us about some of those writers, who had inspired you and whom you follow!

Jay Narayan:

To begin with, I was blown away by the abridged rendition of Ramayana and Mahabharata by Ramesh Menon, and Srimad Bhagavatam by Kamala Subramaniam. The Holy Vedas by Bibek Debroy provided me with insight on the oldest literature known to humankind. The books on Upanishads and Vedanta by A Parthasarathy and Eknath Easwaran helped me grasp the fundamentals of the Hindu philosophy of life.

Exploring books on Indian culture and history, including works by Romila Thapar, Meenakshi Jain, and those by Western authors like A.L. Basham, Michael Danino, and David Frawley, provided me with an understanding of different perspectives in interpreting history.

Alain Danielou’s book on “The Myths and Gods of India” provided me with significant clarity inspiring me to articulate my own understanding of the subject in a book.

The YouTube videos from Sadhguru and Swami Sarvapriyananda served as constant sources of stimulation throughout the writing process.

The list of authors and their books who have inspired me is extensive. In the last section of the Namaste book, I have provided a catalogue of these references.

Neel Preet: Which segment of readers is your primary target through this book of yours? And, how is your book relevant in the present day scenario?

Jay Narayan:

Namaste is a “book of life” intended for everyone. It offers universal wisdom that anyone, regardless of their background, can integrate into their lives and culture. The book serves as a comprehensive introduction to spirituality, designed for both Indian and international audiences.

The hardcover edition of the book, featuring full-colour pages, is priced at Rs 3000 on the Evincepub Publications website.

Nonetheless, adorning a library or coffee table, it has the power to draw readers into a treasury of wisdom.

The eBook version, priced at only Rs. 299 on Amazon, offers an economical and convenient option for students and individuals on the go. It can be easily accessed and read on smartphones and tablets.

Neel Preet: Is there any message that you would like to convey to your readers? Or any piece of advice, which you would like to give to the readers out there!

Jay Narayan:

In this era of globalization, one should embrace life to the fullest by experiencing and absorbing the richness and goodness found in the diverse cultures of the world.

Adapting customs and traditions to changing times is crucial, as it is the only way to keep a culture relevant and ensure its continuity.

My advice to the youth is to strive earnestly to eradicate all social inequalities. When we perceive others as inferior, we inadvertently diminish ourselves in the process.

One should promote harmony in society. It involves respecting all cultures and cultivating a sense of oneness among everyone.

Neel Preet: Are there any other books being worked by you? Please let us know about your future projects.

Jay Narayan:

Currently, I am broadening my research efforts and deepening my understanding of spirituality. Additionally, I have commenced work on my next project, though it is in a nascent stage. I would prefer to keep the concept under wraps until I get a better grip on it.

My objective is to impart spiritual knowledge in a logical and scientific yet pleasing and engaging manner. I remain dedicated to pursuing this goal for the benefit of society and my personal spiritual growth.

Neel Preet: Thank you so much for answering all my questions. All the very best to you for future and your book too!

Jay Narayan:

Thanks Neel for the interview and your kind wishes. I extend my best wishes to you as well in all your endeavours.

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