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Wisdom in verses | Book review: ‘Shadows of the Fragmented Moon’ by Shubhrangshu Roy


The author uncovers the several layers of a human being, verse by verse, delving deep into the complexities of mind and sense of existence

That ancient Indian texts possess precious wisdom still waiting to be uncovered is a fact known to many. When an author attempts to translate those texts or pens his learnings from these treasure troves of wisdom, the text becomes invaluable. With 108 meditative poems on the experience of reality based on two Indian texts—Yoga Vasistha and Ashtavakra Gita–Shadows of the Fragmented Moon by Shubhrangshu Roy is a collection of poems that appeal to the reader on a subconscious level.

According to the book, poetry rejuvenates the tired mind to think, and eventually talk straight. The author uncovers the several layers of the being that a human is, verse by verse, delving deep into the complexities of the mind and the sense of existence.

“Layer upon layer, This mind of yours
Creates choices, Rich of imagination
Deep asleep when, Awake wide open
Experiencing whatever It builds, Thought by thought

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Knowing this, Do as you will, Knowing well, It’s all in the mind” writes Roy, putting into words the calisthenics of the mind—how thought becomes imagination and keeps expanding, even though only and entirely in the mind. The author brings forth the illusion of the mind that creates reality when awake and fantasies when dreaming. He talks about the whirlpools of time emerging and dissolving in the imagination and how the mind is a small fragment of the universe —still largely undiscovered and eclipsed from the human eye.

Through his poem titled Brahman, he conveys the fact that age, worth, arrogance, religious identities—all are the workings of the beautiful mind. “Brahman Am I, Mussalman too Am I, Hanuman Am I, Superman too Am I,” he writes to define the way identities are attached to beings as they become a part of the mortal world. The author explores the idea of God as in the mind, the idea of life and death as perceived by the mind—the pain that comes with it. He subtly suggests the readers to let go of the worldly delusions and “just be” and to exist in freedom. After all, as Roy puts it towards the end of the book, “Rituals are for demons, The gods are truly free.”

Shadows of the Fragmented Moon
Shubhrangshu Roy
Penguin Random House
Pp 212, Rs 350

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