Fascinating story of an extraordinary boy
Muni: An Incredible
Author: Dr. Susunaga Weeraperuma
Printer: Alwatania Marrakesh,
Muni, An Incredible Buddhist Boyhood by Dr. Susunaga Weeraperuma is a
neatly brought out book that merits to be read and re-read by Buddhists
as well as non-Buddhists interested in Buddhist ideals such as Karma and
rebirth. It will not only be of appeal to the widespread Buddhist
reading public throughout the world but also to all general readers
interested in Karma and rebirth.
If one were to give a synopsis of this novel: “It is a fascinating
novel about an extraordinary boy called Muni and it is also a pen
portrait of Sri Lankan society with its colourful customs and practices.
Muni, who is given to meditation, talks and behaves like a learned and
saintly sage of ancient times.
When he is interviewed by a journalist, Muni asks us not to be fooled
by the external appearances of the so-called races, for if people only
look within themselves they will find that all human beings are
essentially the same.
Muni gets into a trance and recognises the house where he had lived
in his previous life. There is a happy reunion with the owner of the
house who had been Muni's secretary in his last life. Several such
instances bear testimony to rebirth.
When Ramya, Muni's jealous sister, hires two men to kill Muni, both
attempts on his life are unsuccessful and the assassins end up having
fatal accidents. The vivid description of these events illustrate how
Karma operations in our lives.
Ramya discovers the root cause of her hatred of Muni. She realises
that in their previous life she had been passionately in love with Muni
but he had turned her down. The bitterness of having been a spurned
lover in the past life is a trait she had carried over to her present
one. Muni An Incredible Buddhist Boyhood is a work of rare literary
merit and the humorous moments in it captures the minds of readers to
appreciate this novel more and more.
In this novel Buddhist values and teachings are illustrated,
especially how Karma, the law of cause and effect, operates the art of
meditation, and finally how meditation results in a spiritual change or
metamorphosis. Ramya drops her hate and the consequence is loving
kindness for her brother Muni whom she had hated not only in her present
life but also in the proceeding one.
The following chapters of this novel will be of interest to the
discerning readers. His 80th birthday which illustrations the law of
impermanence (Anicca) and the inevitability of death – suicide is never
the solution to suffering.
The King of the underworld which illustrates how Karma operates –
killers Carolis and Mendis themselves get killed.
Troubled Times shows the power and efficacy of meditation. Under the
‘Mango Tree’, the concluding section of this novel illustrates how Muni,
the protagonist of this novel, experiences a spiritual transformation.
Muni An Incredible Buddhist Boyhood has a well organised plot and it
primarily deals with Buddhist themes such as Karma, rebirth and
meditation. It comprises 28 equally interesting chapters.
The novel provides inspiring reading and it is primarily based on the
techniques and principles of Buddhism, a subject which is the forte of
this prolific writer on Buddhism and it also carried a social,
philosophical, moral and religious message.
The author of the book, Dr. Susunaga Weerapperuma, is an experienced
writer on Buddhism in English and has already published more than 30
widely read books on a variety of subjects including the deeper aspects
of the philosophy of Buddhism which is so near and dear to his heart.
One of his books, Krishnamurti as I knew Him, has been translated
into several languages. Born in Sri Lanka Dr. Susunaga Weeraperuma has
spent a major part of his life in England, Australia, Switzerland and
France, where he is living now, His numerous writings show his erudite
understanding of Buddhism and Philosophy.
The novel is quite educative and has been lucidly written using a
very simple style of language which makes it easy for readers to
understand the message the writer conveys even in its first reading.
Much study and labour have gone into the publication of this very
readable novel and the author has striven hard to bring it out
maintaining a very high standard both in its layout and in the language
he uses. It has been elegantly printed and has an attractive front cover
designed by the author's wife, Dr. Claudia Weeraperuma.
Sri Lankans should be proud of the fact that the author is of Sri
Lankan origin and his efforts in bringing out this very readable novel