Encinitas author’s new book explores ‘timeless wisdom of India’


Drawing from his own experiences pursuing “higher knowledge and self-realization” from India’s illustrious religious and spiritual traditions, Encinitas resident Alok Gupta wrote a book called “The Supreme Knowledge: The Science and Engineering of Life and Consciousness.”

Author Alok Gupta
(Courtesy of Alok Gupta)

“I’m the kind of person who has always been intrigued by why and how,” said Gupta, who moved to Encinitas in 1995. “It was mostly science and engineering growing up in India and pursuing my passion in science, engineering and math. But later on, at some point in life, you have big questions and you want to know. You don’t get those answers from science.”

Gupta, who is from India’s Bihar state, earned a bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, a master’s at the University of Hawaii and a doctorate from UCSD. But, he added, “you always want to know more.”

“I didn’t have much exposure to this other aspect of life,” Gupta said.

Gupta's second book focuses on his journey into spirituality and philosophy.
(Courtesy of Alok Gupta)

The book explores the Hindi text Bhagavad Gita, a branch of Indian philosophy called Samkyha and other “timeless wisdom of India.”

Gupta said the book “is not for people who have no interest in metaphysics.”

“It could be people who are seriously into metaphysics and spirituality, and want to answer all the bigger questions of life, as well as people who want to live a more holistic life and are interested in these tools and techniques from India and the eastern part of the world,” he said. “There’s always been interest and fascination toward the philosophy and the spiritual aspect of India.”

Many of the lessons, he added, can resonate with anyone of any age, including the karma yoga concept of “performing your ordained duty without attachment to the work and the outcome.”

“It takes the worries and the stress out while bringing focus and efficiency to work at hand,” Gupta said.

The book also discusses Dharma.

“So many of our young people struggle to figure out what to do with their lives,” Gupta said. “Dharma provides the guide for appropriate actions and conducts in general and Swadharma helps one to select a type of work that is natural to one’s ability and inclination.”

Last year, Gupta released an 82-page book of poems, “Dawn of Wisdom,” that also includes photographs he’s taken around North County. He said in a previous interview that the project started with one poem to “summarize my reflections and some of my life lessons.” It also helped spur his interest in Hindu literature and philosophy.

Gupta said he has another book in mind to share the road he traveled through life, starting with growing up in a small town in India, then going to a prestigious engineering school and then having a successful engineering career. He and his wife raised three children who are now adults.

“I have a nice story to share,” he said. “I do plan to maybe put that in a book later in the future.”

“The Supreme Knowledge: The Science and Engineering of Life and Consciousness” is available on Amazon.