Title: Muni, An Incredible Buddhist Boyhood
Author: Dr Susunaga Weeraperuma
Printer: Alwatania Marrakesh, Morocco
Cover Design: Claudia Weeraperuma
Muni, an incredible Buddhist boyhood by Dr Susunaga Weeraperuma is a neatly brought out book that merits to be read and re-read by both 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 to all other 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 descriptions of these events illustrate how Karma operates. Ramya discovers the root cause of her hatred of Muni. She realizes that in their previous lives she had been passionately in love with Muni but he had turned her down. The bitterness of having been a spurned lover in the last 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 moment in it captures the minds of the readers to appreciate this novel more and more. In this novel Buddhist values and teachings are illustrated, specially how Karma, the last 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 preceding one.
The following chapters of this novel will be of special interest to the discerning readers. His Eightieth Birthday which illustrates the Law of Impermanence (Anicca) and the inevitability of death – suicide is never the solution to suffering. King of the Underworld which illustrates how Karma operates – killers Carolis and Mendis themselves got killed. Troubled Times which shows the power and efficacy of meditation. Under the Mango Tree, the concluding section of this novel, which 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 on Buddhist themes such as Karma, Rebirth and Meditation. It comprises 28 equally interesting chapters. This novel provides inspiring reading and it is primarily based on the teachings and principles of Buddhism, a subject which is the forte of this prolific writer on Buddhism and it also carries a social, philosophical moral and religious message.
The author of this book, Dr Susunaga Weeraperuma, 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.
This novel is quite educative and has been lucidly written using a very simple style of language which makes it easy for the readers to understand the message the writer conveys even on its first reading.
Much study and labour has 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. We 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 is commendable.