Chandresh Bhardwaj was raised by Catholic nuns, but found his solace in Hinduism. His family line consists of traditional Indian gurus, and the author continues that tradition. In Break the Norms: Questioning Everything You Think You Know About God and Truth, Life and Death, Love and Sex, he first explores the different belief systems that both religious people as well as atheist adhere to. These include the norms, frames, and boundaries for behaviour, suppressing dark or dysfunctional traits, while rewarding good deeds and a fruitful life.
Chandresh is honest on his upbringing, the current not-so-perfect state of India en Hinduism, the flawed title of guru. Less nuanced is his characterization of ‘western religions’, ‘western world’, and the ‘it doesn’t matter which religion you belong to, we all worship the same God’. I don’t think a muslim will buy this, neither do I or a Jewish fellow. The millions of gods, especially in Hinduism can certainly lead to a fine line between the human and divine.
The author bases his knowledge of God, spiritual guidelines and the freedom to enjoy both spirituality and material goods in the Tantra. And yes, tantric learnings go well beyond the sexual aspects only. The author challenges his readers to rethink norms on ego, consciousness or presence, life, live, the need for a personal guru, sickness, death, afterlife, sex, and God, and replace these with new insights. That’s reframing or re-scripting by invoking the many questions Bhardwaj has, inviting the emotions these will stirr, and involving meditation in all of your activities.
Break the Norms stresses the importance of becoming better at it, using the power and responsibility that comes with knowledge and freedom. The book’s accessible, it’s message not open-ended.
About the author
Hailing from a family of traditional Indian gurus, Chandresh Bhardwaj is the founder of the Break the Norms movement. An official Facebook public figure, Chandresh conducts talks across the globe, helping to raise spiritual awareness and individual empowerment. He lives in Los Angeles. For more, visit breakthenorms.com.