A Book Review - The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
The Monk, who sold his Ferrari by Robin S. Sharma, is a story of Julian Mantle, a successful lawyer and his journey to the path of enlightenment.
Julian Mantle and John are the two characters that anchor the story throughout - Julian Mantle, a very successful lawyer and John, his associate in legal practice.
The story starts with Julian Mantle suffering a heart attack in the middle of a court session. This heart attack becomes the turning point in Julian Mantle’s life. Julian gives up his law practice and vanishes into thin air. Nobody knew about Julian Mantle’s whereabouts after that.
Julian Mantle was a successful and hardworking lawyer. He had fame, fortune, and all luxuries life had to offer. Despite all this somewhere deep inside his heart, he had an empty feeling –something profound and spiritual. He often told John that he had no passion for what he was doing and felt an emptiness inside him.
After three years, Julian drops in at John’s office to visit him. John is not able to recognize Julian. Julian looked as though he had drunk the elixir of life and appeared to be radiant and full of energy. All the wrinkles on his face had disappeared, and he looked young, glowing and full of positive energy – in the author’s words, “A model of change.”
John was astounded and speechless by the magical transformation of Julian Mantle. He asks Julian Mantle what the reason for the change was. Julian Mantle recounts his tale about the discovery of the path of enlightenment over a cup of tea.
Story of Julian Mantle
Julian Mantle sold all his worldly possessions, including his Ferrari, after which he headed for India. The ancient culture and mystical traditions of India had always fascinated Julian Mantle. He set out on the path of self-discovery and enlightenment. Julian traveled from village to village and tried to connect with the “vast pool of ancient wisdom on living a more rewarding, fulfilling, and enlightened life.”
Julian Mantle met many scholastics and learned people. Still, he did not get the key to the wisdom he was seeking. It was in Kashmir at the foothills of the Himalayas he met “Yogi Krishnan,” who revealed the secret of a mystical band of sages living high in the Himalayas. Legend stated that they had discovered the secret to a system that would profoundly improve the quality of one’s life – a holistic improvement of life.
The local people called the learned people “Sages of Sivanna.” Sivanna means “oasis of enlightenment.” No one knew the exact whereabouts of these sages. The very next morning, Julian set off to find the location of the “Sages of Sivanna.”
The journey was long, hard, and tiresome. The Himalayan ranges were tough to climb, and Julian was all alone and trudged on wearily for several days. Suddenly Julian spotted a figure dressed in a long flowing robe. This mysterious stranger refused to answer when Julian called out to him. The stranger started running faster and faster. Julian shouted out that he had come in search of the “Sages of Sivanna” These magical words stopped the stranger in his tracks.
The stranger inquired about Julian Mantle, who recounted his tale to the stranger. The stranger revealed that he was one of the sages that he was looking for and took him as a guest to their sacred temple further deep into the Himalayan woods.
Before taking him in, the sage made Julian promise that whatever wisdom and timeless truths that he learned, he would share with his people back home.
Julian felt that this was “the first moment of the rest of his life, life soon to be much more than it had ever been.”
Pearls of wisdom from the book that struck a chord in my heart
Reflect on the self. Do not measure yourself with what others have achieved.
The mind is like a garden. Stand guard and let only the best of information enter your mind. Do not let any negative thoughts enter.
There are no mistakes in only life lessons. There is no such thing as negative experience. Each experience is a lesson to grow and become better in life. More strength is gained from life's struggles.
Meditate on the self every day. As you do this, you will notice that you will become calmer; you will feel happier and learn to appreciate the many gifts around you.
See yourself as you want to be. If you want to become a good lawyer, visualize yourself doing it. The mind has the magnetic power to attract all that you want in life.
Lasting happiness comes from steadily working to achieve all your goals.
Make a Dream Book. Divide the book into different sections for each one of your goals in life. A goal not committed to paper is not a goal at all, so write down everything you want to do. The more important thing is to enjoy the process and admire the beauty in all living things. Focus on your work and selflessly help others.
Take complete control of your life. Be the master of your fate. What lies behind you and what lies in front of you is nothing compared to what lies within you.
Push yourself to do a little bit more. Step out of your comfort zone and achieve what you thought was very difficult.
Do what you truly enjoy out of this comes true happiness.
Take some time out of your busy schedule for self-enrichment and self-improvement. Reflect on the inner self – a pit-stop for the soul.
Abundant knowledge is essential to lead a wholesome and enriching life. Read, learn and apply what you have learned in life. Read and get the best out of a book.
Get up early, plan what you are going to do for the day. Before going to bed spend ten to fifteen minutes reflecting on what has happened during the day. Spend quality time with yourself.
Get a good night's's sleep and feel refreshed early in the morning.
Happiness is not about having millions of dollars in the bank account. Do not forget to live and enjoy life while chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
The only thing standing between people and most of their dreams is the fear of failure. Failure allows us to grow.
Always be brave, stand your ground and follow your dreams.
Develop great will-power. Will-power is nothing but having control over your mind. When you master your mind, you master your life. Live the life you want rather than accepting the life you have.
When you control your thoughts, you control your mind, and when you control your mind, you control your life.
Practice random acts of kindness daily. This enriches your life and gives meaning to your existence on earth. Compassion and daily acts of kindness make your life far richer.
Take time to nourish your relationships; do not forget your friends. Show your near and dear ones that you are grateful for what they have done for you.
Live in the present. Live your children's's childhood. ""What is the point of climbing the steps of success if you have missed the first steps of your kids? What is the good of owning a house when you have not taken the time to create a home? What is the point of being a famous person when your kids don't't even know their father?""
Give thanks for all that you have today, day after day.
To conclude in the author's's very own words ""Begin to live each day as if it was the last day of your life. Learn more, laugh more and do what you truly love".
I found this book a gem – a book of knowledge and enlightenment. A book to be read, understood and digested.
© 2012 Nithya Venkat