Book Review: ‘The Indian Book of Big Ideas’ by Mukunda Rao

Informative and inspiring!


Book Title: The Indian Book of Big Ideas
Author: Mukunda Rao with Ashwitha Jayakumar
Publisher: Hachette India Childrens Books
Number of Pages: 224
ISBN: 978-9357311908
Date Published: Jun. 17, 2023
Price: INR 379

The Indian Book of Big Ideas by Mukunda Rao Book Cover

Book Review

The Indian Book of Big Ideas” by Mukunda Rao and published by Hachette India is an enlightening exploration of the thoughts and concepts put forth by 45 of India’s most profound thinkers, philosophers, and reformers. This comprehensive small book delves into various subjects, from spirituality and philosophy to social reform. It poses intriguing questions such as the interconnection of everything in the world, the relativity of truth across individuals, and whether God communicates exclusively with specific individuals.

Each chapter in the book offers a concise biography of the featured thinker or reformer and a thorough examination of their key ideas and significance in the modern context. The book provides a well-rounded perspective on these profound ideas by drawing from diverse sources, including ancient texts, contemporary writings, and personal reflections. It considers the historical background of these concepts, aiding readers in understanding the cultural and intellectual milieu from which they emerged and appreciating their enduring pertinence in today’s world.

Covering a vast array of topics, from the importance of non-violence, compassion, and self-realization to the relationship between the individual and the divine, this book presents a wealth of insights from luminaries like Mahavira, Gargi, Adi Shankara, Kabir, the Buddha, Vivekananda, Guru Nanak, and many others.

The Indian Book of Big Ideas” aims to foster deep contemplation and personal and societal growth through self-reflection, education, and spiritual exploration. It does so by presenting the ideas of these eminent thinkers in an accessible manner, making them understandable to readers from various backgrounds. Moreover, it includes a glossary of key terms and recommended further reading for those eager to delve deeper into these concepts.

Intriguingly, the book sheds light on the intellectual currents of the past and highlights how these ideas continue to shape Indian culture and society today. As a result, it appeals to a diverse audience, including intellectuals, students, scholars, individuals interested in Indian culture, those seeking personal growth, and general readers with a curiosity for diverse and profound ideas. Despite being rooted in ancient wisdom, the ideas presented in the book are showcased to be highly relevant to contemporary society.

Readers are encouraged to apply these timeless concepts to navigate the complexities of the modern world and foster personal growth. The book is skillfully written in a clear and accessible manner, making it suitable for readers from diverse backgrounds. It avoids unnecessary jargon, ensuring a broad audience can comprehend and appreciate profound ideas.

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Hence, “The Indian Book of Big Ideas” offers a treasure trove of intellectual insights and wisdom from the most eminent thinkers in Indian history. Connecting the past with the present encourages readers to reflect on their lives, their world, and the shared human experience. It catalyzes personal growth, critical thinking, and a deeper understanding of India’s cultural heritage and philosophical legacy. The book is highly recommended for teenagers and young adults.

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