Vibrant and Deep Wisdom, with Jokes
by Birgit Kratz
Two things immediately attracted my attention. First, the book is well written with a lot of love, and second, there are really good jokes that can be easily found in the text. In the beginning I looked at the jokes and soon found that I wanted to know which topic would fit the joke.
This way of reading became tiring, so then I picked topics that interested me at the time and read those. So it is possible to approach the book in different ways.
Premananda is for me clearly a narrative artist. He begins each chapter mostly with descriptions of "normal everyday scenes" from his own life. I have spent time at Open Sky House in Hitdorf, where Premananda currently lives, so I immediately recognise the places he is talking about. So in the truest sense of the word I can build "a picture" and from here dive directly into the truth, as Premananda explores each situation in depth. Small incidents that could be easily overlooked become sources of knowledge and wisdom. This can be the behaviour of a bird, or a child who has fallen and processes its pain in its own innocent way, free from interference by adults.
There are many such examples from Premananda’s life, all of them interesting, that he uses to make us more self aware.
But that's not all.
Open Sky House gives people the opportunity to visit Satsang with Premananda or even to live together with him in a community. So in this house, meeting Premananda is part of daily life.
The centrepiece of each chapter is a dialogue from Satsang, Although each dialogue is focused on one person’s issue, it is clear that the problems are not personal but are essential issues that touch everyone.
After reading the book I put it aside to digest and intergrate it. My original perception that it was written with a lot of love, even in the tiny details, held true and I recognised it as a book of wisdom.
In conclusion, it is absolutely worth reading for seekers of truth and people who are interested in practical wisdom.
"I felt this book was pretty clear about why we can't seem to find lasting happiness in our lives. Although it seems naive to me at some points - like sometimes the advice and situations given to make a point seem much easier said than done - I felt it was cutting to what's important, and what the Truth behind our searching for happiness is. I have actually met Premananda and feel that he lives what he writes about, so in this sense the insights in the book can be taken as something I can apply in my life. Again, the book was sometimes naive and unrealistic to how people really experience and struggle through their daily lives, but it's full of genuine humour, and a kind of relaxed, insistent message that was very useful for me in my life."
"A book for everybody who is looking for concrete advice, suitable for daily life, notjust esoterical gabba gabba. With a lot of humor premananda is leading through the depths and hights on the way to freedom. A MUST HAVE - not only for advaita lovers. Premanandas natural way is touching. A must read."
"Premananda writes in this book with very clear words what the great misunderstanding is in our lives. I'm very amazed by the simplicity of the language he uses and yet how deep his words touch me.
Especially if you are interested in Satsang and becoming free, this book shows you in a simple way what you have to do.
There are many different topics. You can find for nearly every life situation a connected interview and teaching which can give you deeper insights for your own life.
For example there is a great chapter about "Love and Relationship". Here Premananda describes very precisely how everybody tries to find happiness in a relationship.
And how we forget our true longing for freedom in looking out for a partner. A dialogue is used from someone who was going through a difficult relationship situation, so it makes it very approachable and easy to bring into your life.
You can find guidance for every situation in your life in this book.
Last but not least this book is very nicely designed. It has several artworks from the author and many uplifting jokes in it.
I can only recommend this book in all its different facets."
"I read your book The Great Misunderstanding, very interesting and really very well authentic written. It felt very in tune and I am happy about such a treasure and that you share your richness of experience with us. Thank you for this."
"Recently I bought Premananda`s book "The Great Misunderstanding" and finished reading it quickly after a few days. Right from the beginning it was very beautiful to hold this book in my hands. It looks amazing, and is wonderfully designed, with a lot of love for details. The content is very detailed and clear. Several things which I have experienced in myself I now can understand after I have read the book.
The book is a "great treasure" for me. It's so nice that so many people were involved in producing the book.
After I read the book it became clear for me, that Premananda is the right guy, who really can help me to realize my true nature."
"It's very powerful to feel that the message, the truth about enlightenment, is possibly so simple.
In practice it may be harder than it sounds, and that is highlighted in this book, using real-life examples of people who live close to a spiritual teacher, and the kind of challenges they face.
This book doesn't shy away from any facet of waking up to reality, be it ugly, mean, wonderful, or completely ordinary.
I was touched by the simplicity of the language, and the power of the message.
"I have read a lot about spirituality, but this is the first book that have given examples from people's lives that I could really relate to. The spirituality Premananda is talking about is not something special, or something airy-fairy that you do as a hobby - what he shows, through examples with his students, is a raw, heart-opening look into who we are, what we are. Life is spiritual. Everything is an opportunity to see who you are, especially when you are challenged in some way.
The book is setup so it guides the reader through a spiritual journey, using real examples from people's lives who are close to Premananda, interspersed with jokes and teachings from the author.
I was particularly touched from the jokes, which sprinkle humor into a topic that is radical: the point Premananda constantly stresses is that when you really, honestly look into your own experience of life, you will see that there is no one. There is no separate entity. There is just life unfolding.
The book clearly explains why and how we live in this sense of separation, and it brings you constantly back to the great misunderstanding, that we believe we are separate.It also shows well what lies beyond this misunderstanding: the possibility of living in spontaneity, joy, and easiness.
This is a down-to-earth book, looking at a subject that actually is for everyone, as it lies at the root of all of our experience.
"I already had several books and films from Premananda and this is a great satsang-book.
It really covers all possible topics and is also nice that it even contains many great jokes.
Also included is a dvd-sampler in the back of the book with trailers for 2 new films - one film is ‘The Great Misunderstanding’ and the other film is called 'Satori' - is very touching."
"Often, when I found a book, I felt excited and attracted to read it, but after some pages I was often disappointed and didn't finish it. Why? Because it wasn't touching on the level of a day to day living.
This book is completely different:
It shows through several examples what "Conscious Living" really means.
You can feel that the the deep wisdom of this book comes out of Premananda's daily experiences with his community. It is a convincing knowledge full of lightness and humor, you feel immediately inspired to watch yourself and your daily life from a different perspective.
While reading the book I really saw for the first time this so called "separation" in my life. Some chapters just express what my heart always tried to show to me but what never came through in terms of real understanding. But now I also got an insight of the so-called "oneness".
The language is simple. A book for everyone, no complicated theories, no therapeutic mind games. Fresh, encouraging and touching."
"Premananda puts in clear words what life is about. I felt very inspired by reading this book, it helps you seeing 'your' life from a different perspective. Next to its clear message the book contains little stories and jokes, which makes the book easily readable. I recommend it to everyone who is on the spiritual path and wants to bring spirituality into his everyday life."
"I did not know what I was looking for until I found this. It is a easily digestible and moving account of a way to discover a different outlook on life. It is full of very valuable words of wisdom but it is not dry or too self-helpesqe! There are some funny anecdotes and you finish it feeling good, maybe I wont go so far as to necessarily say enlightened, but its something to read and think about. Definetly 5 stars!"
"Premananda writes in this book with very clear words what the great misunderstanding is in our lives. I'm very amazed by the simplicity of the language he uses and yet how deep his words touch you.
Especially when you are interested in Satsang and becoming free, this book shows you in a simple way what you have to do.
There are many different topics. You can find for nearly every life situation a connected interview which can give you deeper insights for your own life.
So be sure you can find guidance for every situation in your life in this book.
Last but not least this book is very nicely designed. It has several artworks from the author and many uplifting jokes in it."
Buy it now
Also available as eBook