Someone said ‘You can write a book and become famous, or you can become famous and write a book’. The author of this book Code Name God definitely falls into the second category. Add to it the fact that he was born in an extremely poor, low caste family in the worst times in Bengal when the country was going through the independence struggle and a famine had hit the region. On top of it he goes on to become so rich and famous that for a long time, his life is all about being featured on ‘Lifestyles of rich and famous’. Throwing the best parties in town, buying the best properties in town and flaunting them. And dating women from Hollywood.
On the fringes, he also happens to be a scientist who is behind the LASIK eye surgery. Which has kind of revolutionized the treatment of eye defects for millions of people on this earth? To become a scientist, he had to do his doctorate in Physics from IIT. And postdoc is what took him to America, which he calls his adopted country.
The book Code Name God is quite autobiographical in nature. And the author has tried to speak about his spiritual side through his journey. The book has been written for American audience primarily by an American. Who happens to have spent earlier years of his life in India. As a physicist, he has tried to draw parallels between the spiritual theories and the laws of quantum physics. He spends quite some time to explain the basic principles of Quantum physics. But I am not sure how many people would be able to understand and appreciate the same after reading this book if they have not studied it already.
I think he is trying to explain too many things from the world of physics. And trying to link it up to the theory of one source. The fact that all of us and everything around us is a manifestation of the same source of energy. Which remains constant at a value of within the whole universe. Confused? Well, you would be if you go by the way it has been explained. All the concepts that he had picked up are very fascinating to read. Including the philosophy of physics which I had the good fortune of reading for good three years.
I tried reading a lot of reviews before writing this one. Everyone seems to be fascinated by the facts that are mentioned in the first paragraph. But no one seems to be looking at the message of the book. I could not find any. The book definitely is not a spiritual odyssey. The realization in the middle age that people around you are there for your wealth. And not for you is a very common realization and a very obvious one when you have used your wealth to attract those people into your life. Second, his linking of science, meditation, eastern philosophy and western philosophy are nothing new, if you happen to be a student of physics even for sometime in your life. And he has spent his whole life with that subject.
I did not get the beginning of his spiritual search as an individual or as a physicist, and the answers that he got or even searched. I do not even see gratitude towards people who helped him get where he is. And I am sure for someone who did not have enough to eat, a lot of people would have become the stepping stones.
I do find him joining pieces from his two different personas, one that grew up in India and one that flourished in America. And these pieces are actually well documented in ‘theory of demons’ and in theory of ‘whole and parts’ and some more theories like that. Which is nothing but connecting the world of spirituality and quantum physics? The Fritjof Capra’s book ‘Tao of Physics’ also takes a look at the same thing, but without getting a personality and personal saga involved’. I think the author got lost between the personal saga and the general theories of physics. For the people who do not know Physics, there is a lot of jargon from physics. And for people who do not know eastern religions; there is a lot of jargon from there.
This may be the only review of the book Code Name God which does not say ’Oh! What a great book’. But then if you can take away the rags to riches story from the book and try to see what do you get out of the book, you may be able to see my point.
Buy this book – Code Name God: The Spiritual Odyssey of a Man of Science by Mani Bhaumik at Amazon India.