The Book Of Mirdad

This is a book that was introduced to me by a khadau wearing swami who drove the length of India in a jeep on his way to the mountains. The moment I heard him describe it I knew it was something special. Mikhail Naimy was a poet, novelist and philosopher who was part of the New York Pen League along with other eminent authors like Kahlil Gibran. Collectively they produced a spectacular body of work which led to the revival of Arabic literature in popular consciousness. In the Book of Mirdad which is acknowledged as a spiritual masterpiece the author creates a near perfect device of words, parables, and situations. Mirdad the protagonist in a dialogue with his disciples shares lessons on different themes like love, old age, birth and death among others. Usually the most popular literary device to express the inexpressible has always been song or poetry, for whenever someone came close to truth they found that language was an insufficient tool to communicate the experience. Only a select few have managed to capture the experience of truth in prose and in Osho’s words, ‘there is only one book which hasn’t failed in this regard and if you can’t get the essence then it is your failure not the authors’.  This is a lesser known timeless classic which deserves to be read and re-read.