In Conversation with Narendra Murty

Narendra Murty

About Narendra Murty

Professionally, Narendra Murty worked as a Divisional Manager in the Life Insurance industry. However, the deep driving passion of his life has been the study of various religions and philosophies – both Eastern and Western – to which he has devoted more than three decades of his life. His first book EATING HIS MONEY – The Antics of a Metaphysical Clown, contains his commentaries on twenty-five stories of Mulla Nasrudin, the enigmatic clown. The book is an expression of his understanding of Sufi philosophy which he illustrates with concepts derived from all the wisdom traditions of the world making this subtle knowledge easily accessible to the general lay readers.

Adjudged the Best Book in the Pioneer Literature Awards, 2024, his second book AN ODYSSEY OF THE MIND – Journeys in the Modern Mindscape, is a collection of twenty deeply thought-provoking essays written over a period of ten years. The subjects include psychology, philosophy, history, sociology, the impact of technology, ecology, political philosophy and even a couple of humourous and satirical jibes on our politics, society and culture.

His third book titled THE RELIGION OF WONDER is an attempt to define religion outside the context and framework of the organized religions. It is also a call to all atheists and agnostics to sincerely explore their own negation.

His fourth book is on Zen Buddhism titled AN OAK TREE IN THE GARDEN – Exploring the World of Zen where he has provided enlightening commentaries on thirty enigmatic and enchanting Zen stories.

Apart from this, he has a YouTube channel where he explores various ideas pertaining to religion, philosophy and spirituality. Presently he is devoted full time to his study and writing. Narendra is also working as a Content Creator for Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry and writes every month for their online journal Renaissance.

LiFT: Tell us about your book, the journey of writing it and its content.

Narendra Murty: An Oak Tree in the Garden is about Zen. It is based on my study of Buddhism for more than 30 years. Zen is the purest flowering of Buddhism and is not based on any scripture but rather on an inner and outer discipline. For centuries, the conversations between Zen masters and their disciples have been recorded which have given rise to a unique spiritual literature – the Zen stories. The book contains 30 such Zen stories and my commentaries on them.

LiFT: Why you chose this title?

Narendra Murty: An Oak Tree in the Garden is the title of one of the most fascinating Zen stories in the book.

LiFT: When did you realize that you want to be a writer and what’s your inspiration behind it?

Narendra Murty: I started writing in 2004 after having a background study of more than 15 years of study at that point of time. My first manuscript was completed in 2006 and since then writing has been a passion for me and I have been writing continuously for the last 20 years. The inspiration behind my writing was the lofty wisdom that was contained in the great mystical traditions of the world like Sufism and Zen.

LiFT: Where do you see yourself ten years down the line in the world of literature?

Narendra Murty: As of now, I have 4 published books. I have won the best book award in the non-fiction category in the pioneer literary awards 2024 this year for my second book” an odyssey of the mind.” in another 10 years I hope to have at least 10 more books to my name.

LiFT: How much do you think marketing or quality of a book is necessary to promote a particular book and increase its readers?

Narendra Murty: I think more than marketing, it’s the quality of the book that determines its fate. Spending a fantastic amount of marketing may bring in some initial sales, but if the content is mediocre, the book would sink without a trace in no time. But if the content is good and if there’s a steady stream of good reviews from readers, the book would have a promising future.

LiFT: What is the message you want to spread among folks with your writings?

Narendra Murty: I mainly write about philosophy and religion. I bring to my readers the treasures of timeless wisdom in a simple and entertaining format. For instance, my first book “Eating his money” is my commentaries on the jokes of mulla nasrudin, the enigmatic clown. Most people don’t know that nasrudin is actually a teaching method devised by the sufi masters. My objective is to bring such wisdom to the general reader who has no background of such study and who doesn’t have the time to invest in such study

LiFT: What do you do apart from writing?

Narendra Murty: I have been a long-time devotee of Sri Aurobindo and I am working as a research associate with Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry

LiFT: What are the activities you resort to when you face a writer’s block?

Narendra Murty: I have never faced the writers block. It is my opinion that if we broaden our mental horizon with intensive study, then we would never run short of ideas and creativity. Moreover, quality writing requires some amount of withdrawal from the digital noise and hectic activities of the outside world. Contemplation and solitude are required for good writing.

LiFT: Are you working on your next book? If yes, please tell us something about it.

Narendra Murty: My next upcoming book is titled “A Grain of Sand – Decoding Images, Rituals and Mythology”. It’s about understanding the inner meanings of image worship, Hindu rituals and mythology.

LiFT: What are your suggestions to the budding writers/poets so that they could improve their writing skills?

Narendra Murty: My advice to aspiring authors is only this: Tell your own story. The reader should hear your authentic voice. Don’t bother about what sells or what doesn’t. Do not have publishing in mind while writing. Just express what you have inside you and make efforts to learn the art of expression. If your work has substance, it’s going to produce a resonance in the hearts of the readers. Sooner or later. But that is not in your hands. So just keep writing. Let the unpublished manuscripts keep on piling. But give the very best shot you are capable of.

Click here to order Narendra Murty’s Book – An Oak Tree in the Garden

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