A few days back, I stumbled upon The Little Light by Dipa Sanatani. After finishing this enthralling amalgamation of mythology, spirituality, and fantasy – my joy knew no bounds. In a fascinating manner, the book revives folklore that is passed down from generation to generation.
I can vividly recall my childhood days when I would test my mother’s patience by asking her questions related to the mystical processes of birth and death. The little brain of mine used to get perplexed with the thoughts of the afterlife and rebirth. My mom often pacified my situation by dodging this conundrum beautifully.
As I got older, I had several encounters with people who rebuffed my curiosity by stating that all this talk of birth and rebirth is just mythical. It has no relevance to reality. They tried to convince me that these stories are created to instil a sense of fear in us so that we do things in moderation without hurting others.
But deep down, I never found this credible.
Undoubtedly, a considerable amount of literature has been published to satiate the curiosity of people regarding birth and rebirth. There is a commonality which suggests that every individual is bound in the cycle of birth and death – no matter how hard they try to liberate themselves from it. In Hinduism and Buddhism, this enigmatic cycle is called Samsara.
Sanatani’s The Little Light captures this concept. The journey of The Little Light through the cycles of birth and rebirth tells us how every soul present in this universe has a unique purpose. To attain its purpose, it has to defy the limitation of time.
The way Sanatani has served this quandary of the birth and death to the voracious readers like me is exemplary. It feels like my little brain has finally found The Little Light – both literally and symbolically – that it has been searching for so long. What amazed me the most was the manner in which the characters are introduced to the readers.
As an enthusiast of Hindu Mythology, I was familiar with all the characters and their known traits. But, Sanatani has given a new dimension to these characters and illustrated their idiosyncrasies in a captivating manner.
There was Venus, who could have anything at her feet owing to her charm and beauty, but remained a helpless mother. There was Saturn who resembled the character of Karna from Mahabharata. I couldn’t help but notice the same scarcity in his life. There was Mars, who resembled a young dynamic man, carving his own destiny, away from his influential parents.
While reading the book, I found myself wandering in the universe surrounded by Celestial Beings who were just like us yet so different. Beautifully describing this parity between terrestrial and celestial bodies, Sanatani writes:
“We all have our destiny in this universe, even the Celestial Beings.”
The author has taken the reference of a mother’s womb to paint the picture of the grandeur of the Cosmic Womb in which The Little Light’s destiny is shaped. The Little Light is special in a plethora of ways as described by the author. The Little Light is not only wise and intellectual – but also compassionate towards fellow beings. Sanatani highlights the importance of the Emotional Quotient (EQ) over Intelligence quotient (IQ), with which I totally resonate.
“The Universe can exist without intelligence. It can’t exist without compassion. It will do you well to remember that.”
The novel has impacted me in a multitude of ways. My thoughts which always revolved around the birth and death cycle in a haphazard manner have got a direction. This direction is vital because it makes me understand the beauty of life beyond the obligation of time and matter. The days when I feel lost and abruptly question our existence, Sanatani’s words guide me out of that dark tunnel.
As put forth by the author through one of her brilliant characters,
“Life can only be lived forwards and truly understood backwards”
I leave you all with this thought to ponder upon the planning that cosmic forces have put into place to define our existence in the Universe.
About the Author
Udita Nayak is a bibliophile who wants to explore the world and pen down all her adventures. She has an inclination towards things that have artistic significance. She strongly believes in the power of ripple effect and dreams of publishing her own book in future. During the day, she works in consulting.