unMind: A Graphic Guide to Self-Realization by Siddharth Tripathi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This clear and concise guide uses graphics and story to make the self-realization teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi (and those influenced by him) approachable and even entertaining. Ramana Maharshi was a Jnana yogi who advocated a single-minded path of self-inquiry as a means of coming to grips with one’s life. This book does a spectacular job of conveying the method of self-realization and exploring the philosophical ideas that inform it.
For those unfamiliar with Jnana Yoga, there can be said to be three forms of yoga. Bhakti Yoga is the devotional form practiced by those who have an affinity for worship. Karma Yoga is associated with actions and a selfless works. This leaves Jnana Yoga, which is the studious branch of Yoga. Jnana yoga is widely considered to be the most difficult path because it requires constant self-investigation, and because one is working without a net in that one takes nothing on faith, but rather one must see for oneself. This makes Jnana Yoga the least appealing “flavor” of yoga, but if one is a scientifically-minded and studious person, it offers an option that one will find far preferable. While terms like “self-inquiry” and “self-realization” may sound pretty pie-in-the-sky, the approach is really quite grounded.
I found both the text explanations and the artwork to be incredibly effective in explaining the ideas behind self-inquiry and Jnana Yoga. The artwork combines comic strip style graphics with full-page stylized images. Not all the material features graphics, but the text-only pages are concise and easy to follow.
If you are looking for insight into Jnana Yoga, self-inquiry, self-realization, or just the way the mind works, generally, I’d highly recommend this book.
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