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The Fakir by Ruzbeh N. Bharucha – Book Review
By – Siddhartha Shankar Mishra

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The Fakir leads to many questions of the mystery of life. It is spiritual, philosophical and intriguing. Mystery after mystery… questions after questions unfolds. Each chapter deals with Karmic cleansing, which is the reality of life.

We are all in the grip of old karmic patterns. A karmic pattern is just the effect of something which has happened to us, whether in this life or in a previous one. Because everything that has ever happened to us is permanently held in karmic memory, it is as if it is constantly happening, and we are always experiencing it. Imagine that someone is continually hitting you – you would never stop feeling it. This is the case with karmic memories; they never stop being there and you never stop hurting. They are called karmic memories because they stay with you from lifetime to lifetime, stored in our karmic self.

At the age of 29, the author Ruzbeh N Bharucha was broke and unemployed. He had lost all his money in the stock market. The only thing he was left with was his ability to play with words. Having worked in a newspaper and a magazine on alcohol, he felt the solution to his problems could be writing a book. He went to a publisher friend for help, only to be told that the publishing house doesn’t publish fiction. Though written in a fictional format, the book has personal stories.

Ruzbeh started meeting people who were mediums. He believes Sai Baba of Shirdi is working on him and the book ‘The Fakir’ is the outcome. The book tries to find answers to complex questions in life. It emphasises how material attachment is not going to help. We all know we are going to die and won’t take even a rusted nail with us after death. You come with your karma and you go with your karma — that is what the book talks about.

The Fakir reflects the writer’s spiritual ideology. It narrates the story of an itinerant, Rudra, and a ‘fakir’ who guides him through levels of existence into the realm of afterlife. Rudra, a seeker, transforms into the lover and begins to comprehend the ancient philosophy of “free will”. It speaks about karma, divine action, channeling and above all spirituality. It’s not a smooth read but recommended if you are into spirituality.

After reading the book one can realize that it is going to change the philosophy about life. That the good thing about life is that it ends. But after the spiritual experiences, one can start thinking that the good thing about life is that it never ends. It also makes you a more responsible person.

The Fakir is the result of all the messages the author ‘received’ from Sai Baba, so it is meaty. His tryst with Sai Baba and experiences people have had with him. Finally, it’s all Baba’s grace.

It is a spiritual voyage of a hippie Rudra, who was about to commit suicide and saved by Baba. Baba having a sense of humor guides him and to go through karmic cleansing process.

Shirdi Sai Baba says, “As our karma is lodged in the causal body, the only way one can clear one’s karma is by making the causal body clean, strong, and receptive to the cosmic energy. The stronger one’s causal body gets, the faster our karmic illness attached to the causal body is burnt away. The fastest way of making the causal body strong and glow is via meditation. Thus, the fastest way to clear our karmic shit-pot is also through the shower of cosmic energy through meditation.”

Although a Parsi, the author’s philosophy outlines the boundaries of organised religion. Calling it a book on oneness, the author says, “I believe in oneness. For me spirituality has nothing to do with traditional forms of worship. Spirituality is beyond religion, it goes to the source. It explores the godhood in each one of us.”

The essence of spirituality can exist, therefore, even in actions that are frowned upon by religion and the religious. “Suppose if I am very angry, and I am going to scream my head off at someone who doesn’t deserve it, and in that moment, if I light up a smoke, then trust me, that smoking has an essence of spirituality because it has allowed me to behave in a more dignified manner. It is a spiritual act then.”

Finally in one sentence the book is gripping for those who are into spiritual quest and going through certain Karmic debt. Baba says,” I am always by your side, when you think of me. If you want me by your side every moment, then simply think about me every moment.”

Copyright 2014 Ruzbeh N. Bharucha.