book-review midday

One of the most interesting new books to land on our table recently is ad man, book publisher and all round spiritualist Gautam Sachdeva’s Explosion of Love, about his life’s experiences in the spiritual world. Covering subjects as diverse as the 26/11 terror attacks (in which he was directly impacted), to his learnings at the feet of his guru Ramesh Balsekar to Greek mythology, the Tarot and the teachings of Nisargadatta Maharaj, the book, written in an open, honest and unpretentious way is a delight to read.Sachdeva, incidentally, is a close friend and host of bestselling author and modern day sage Eckhart Tolle and we recall sharing a profound cup of tea with the two men at a SoBo coffee shop not too many years ago. Incidentally, the book begins with what must be the nicest words in the world, “One lazy Sunday morning over a cup of chai …”

– Malavika’s Mumbai, Mid-Day, Mumbai

Explosion of Love is one of the best available, modern-day collection of essays on the Indian philosophical tradition of Advaita (non-duality), lucidly written in a simple, readable style that flows straight from the heart. A deeply esoteric subject is handled with wry humour and a deft touch; interlaced with anecdotes about ordinary, everyday occurrences that one can not only relate to but can also tickle the intellect and, which unsuspectingly, dive into the all-pervasive presence of Consciousness. Walking the pages of this personal voyage – beyond the limits of time, space or culture, Gautam Sachdeva displays a wise and deep understanding that has been well integrated and assimilated through his own lived experiences. It translates into an exercise in effortlessness as well as mellow craftsmanship in storytelling. Traversing a universal canvas of luminous figures and mythologies, from Joan of Arc, Salvador Dali and India’s spiritual masters to the Centaur and Narcissus, we come heart-rendingly close to the synchroncity of events that led to the 26/11 terrorist massacre in Mumbai. Thus bringing home the profound lessons of Advaita in everyday living to us.

– Sri Ma Amodini Saraswati, Rishikesh

I love this book, which intertwines the understanding of advaita with art, historical figures, and our beloved gurus and teachers. As a fellow disciple of Ramesh S. Balsekar, I am honored to read Gautam Sachdeva’s unique contributions to the literature of non-duality. Gautam writes from the heart. One never feels that he is parroting teachers. Every essay is written from his personal experience and his own embodied awakening.

– Erin Reese, author of The Adventures of Bindi Girl: Diving Deep Into the Heart of India

Explosion of Love is a very simple and stark book and by virtue of that alone, the subjects dealt with in the book become more approachable. Who talks about ‘Consciousness, I Am, me and mine’ in the same breath and still expects the reader to understand? Gautam Sachdeva has done his master proud by dealing with his teaching in a manner that only an adept can do. His down-to-earth style of writing curbs the edge of an oft-decried topic like ‘Death’ and I also got the impression that it was cathartic to some extent. The interpolation of his master’s teachings and (Nisargadatta) Maharaj’s quotes in day-to-day experiences gives the book a timeless quality. I would feel extremely happy if youngsters in their twenties were to pick up and read this book. It is written so well that many a times I thought the subject was approaching the reader rather than the other way around. This in itself is a rare phenomenon. He has managed to hit home through didactic repetition of the concept of Consciousness. I for one will never look at a stone in the same way as I did before. His constant juggling with similarity and polarities and then bringing out the fact that there is no ‘you’ and there is no ‘me’, it is just ‘we’, is like a dart that hits straight at the heart. He has explained so well that the fight is not with ‘Duality’ but against ‘Dualism’. I think it is supremely brilliant. No matter how many times we read tomes of stuff on these topics, there are very few that really pass the grey matter and reach the heart. Gautam has hit the home run. The most surprising part of the book is that the author has dealt with esoteric subjects without suggesting, quoting or even fleetingly mentioning the one and only Bhagawad Gita. Thank God for that! Who does that? What courage! If anybody reads this book beyond their level of comfort reading will realise that this book hides the Gita’s teachings, so to say, in every third page.

– Anuja Deorukhkar