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.

Code Name God: The Spiritual Odyssey of a Man of Science by Mani Bhaumik

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.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Nice to read your review here. I am going to be reading this book anyways, (Based on 34 reviews on Amazon, I ordered this book yesterday).

    Anyways, I did chk some of your other posts. Interesting stuff. Keep it going

  2. Why didn’t the first sentence of your comment apply to your review on Deb Anand’s book? Is there a different standard for your reviews for people you know? If yes, how do you justify that?

  3. As a student of Physics you might agree that not no one "published" book can give you the full knowledge of the subject, similarly you ought not to claim to know the personal saga completely from Mani’s book. For a shy young guy having escaped from the tentacles of the flawed Indian social system, this book definitely cannot be a complete source of knowledge to you.
    Well, your statement in the blog definitely exemplifies the odds which he tried to highlight in his experience of the transforming India in the 1950s. It’s a pity that even Physicists of the 21st century do not realize that there always exists the social black holes in our very own Indian society. To make it clear from your own words, the use of the word "poor" instead of "economic poverty" and "low caste", definitely shows the existence of the "black hole".
    A simple question to you… do you ask for your report card before even you enter the first day in your academic class. Then why should you ask for your caste even before you have not performed enough to fill up your social report card which could be your "real caste" of your own “personal” life.

  4. This book has been on my shelf for quite sometime. The cover is uninspiring. I wanted to find a review which could motivate me to read the book. Anyways, I will give it a shot since I would not like to give away a book without reading it!

  5. I had read the book before reading your comments. You have scratched on the surface mainly and not delved deep into aspects which could touch the life of an ordinary mortal like me. His discussions related to LASER technology & linking it to concentration or single focused attention to the ONE WHO powers it all – the I.
    the book has provided me with clues related to Oneness – Methodology for developing concentration for the required effort & acceptance of all conditions as HIM.

  6. I was really moved by the book. I think the narration of the personal journey was very important to understand the motivation that led to the spiritual journey. All of us have similar personal journeys and it is easier to understand the bigger picture when you identify with the smaller human stories narrated. I am surprised that you say that he does not show gratitude to the people who helped him in the journey. He has very movingly talked of his grandmother, the people in his village who collected money for his travel to the US, Gandhiji, Matangini Hazra, Professor McMillan, his friends Eddie Albert, Ashley Montagu and Norman Cousins. Even though the ideas he is talking of are not new, he never claims in his book that they are! He is just explaining them in a lucid and extremely readable manner for others who may not have the access to all the aspects of quantum physics or spiritual texts to make sense of it all.

  7. This is not an autobiography or a rags to riches story. I think you’re taking a detour from the subject of the book and diverting your focus to a lot of subsidiary information. I have read the book many times and I felt overwhelmed each time. The fact that Dr. Bhaumik is not a stellar public figure or an Einstein makes the first few chapters about his personal story relevant to establishing the motivation behind his spiritual interests. The jargons and concepts of physics are well explained and even a person with high-school-level idea of certain concepts can understand the facts. When the author proves in human consciousness and linking it to God or the source, he is not claiming that this idea is his brainchild. It is in what it claims to be: the spiritual odyssey of a man of science. Maybe you should try reading it again someday after you become rich and famous…just saying on a jovial note, Ma’am. ????

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