Highlights from Keepers of the Kalachakra by Ashwin Sanghi
"Do you know the difference between mythology and history?' asked Brahmananda. The lady expressed herself in a shrug. 'Mythology is a set of lies that people rarely believe,' Brahmananda said and paused. 'And history?' 'A set of lies that people have agreed to believe."
I have read a couple of books of Ashwin Sanghi before this one. I love the way he combines mythology, religion, and politics in the plot. It obviously takes a lot of research on his part, and the hard work shows in the breakneck speed of his books.
Keepers of Kaalchakra is no different. The book starts with some prominent world leaders getting killed mysteriously. In India, Vijay Sundaram, our protagonist, is a scientist. He is offered a lucrative job at Milesian Labs. He is not keen on joining, but circumstances force him to accept the offer. When he joins the lab, built-in forests of Dehradun, he notices some weird things. He talks with another colleague from the lab. Soon he realizes the real motive of the lab and unearths some secrets that can affect not only his life but also alter the course of humankind.
In this book, multiple stories run in parallel, happening all across the globe - India, Russia, Syria, Tibet, America, China, among others. Then there is a sage Brahmananda, whose boisterous conversations with various characters of the novel were quite engaging. Sometimes, it felt that the author has just put every research paper that he has read in this book.
This book does not have the usual grip, which was expected from an Ashwin Sanghi book. The abundance of scientific explanations dominates the actual plot. The book feels very dull during the explanation of some concepts of quantum science. No doubt, these parts reflect the depth of his research. It talks a lot about Hindu Mythology, Islam, and terrorism, but it fails to take prominence in the book. I must say, some of the concepts and facts mentioned in the book were very surprising and enlightening for me.
There’s a touch of belief within every doubter and a touch of doubt within every believer.
…the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists, it is equally true that many terrorists are Muslim.
…history and politics are stories that have multiple endings. People choose whichever ending works better for their sensibilities.
…history is a pack of lies about events that never happened, told by people who weren’t there.
Liberals were meant to uphold values such as freedom of speech, gender equality, free choice in worship and freedom of sexual orientation. But they looked the other way when it came to Islamic societies that stoned and genitally mutilated their women, killed homosexuals, permitted wife beating, enforced the hijab, allowed marriage of minor girls, killed apostates and instituted laws against blasphemy. It was these double standards of liberals that made ordinary people look for solutions from the right.
When all in the world understand beauty to be beautiful, then ugliness exists; when all understand goodness to be good, then evil exists.
Just like a father and mother are needed to produce a child, method and wisdom are required for enlightenment.