Book Review: The Difficulty of Being Good

TITLE: The Difficulty of Being Good- On the Subtle Art of Dharma

AUTHOR: Gurcharan Das

GENRE: Non-Fiction

Rating: 5 out of 5.

In this celebrated chaotic world, humans tend to get lost in its dazzling facade. The choice between right and what seems right is difficult and usually people follow the one which rewards them at the end.

Gurcharan Das goes on a quest through an Indian epic, the Mahabharata to unravel the mysteries of morality. Why being good is considered a weakness and why do good people choose immoral ways to get ahead in life?

Not a single creature is either pure evil or pure angelic. They are a combination of both and what defines them is the side they choose to act on. Mahabharata is an epic about the Kurukshetra war fought between the two branches of a family. Even though it has been viewed as a fight between the right and the wrong, but loyalty from those fighting on alleged wrong side and trickery from the ones on the right, asks us to change our perspective.

Gurcharan Das takes us back in time to observe the characters on a microscopic level to humanize them and not paint over their flaws.

What is the point of being good when it only brings grief?

Draupadi to Yudhishthira

In this book, one will stumble upon questions which have gone through the test of time, “Once one’s youth, vigor and the thrill of winning are gone, what happens then?” The author draws parallel between men [women] of today’s society and the ones who lived centuries ago and leaves us with an uncanny similarity between the two.

Through The Difficulty of Being Good, Gurcharan Das has made an attempt to find answers to the lifelong questions and the only place he could think of going was the one where people who were supposed to be good, weren’t and why it was so difficult for them to be good.

To fight is easy; to forgive is more difficult. To be patient is not to be weak; to seek peace is always the wiser course.


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