Auspicious Good Fortune is English writer Sumangali Morhall’s first published work, a novice author and student of an Indian spiritual master writing more than adeptly of her lifelong journey from spiritual novice to adept. Or as such things are put on lush, inviting book covers, “One woman’s inspirational journey from Western disillusionment to Eastern spiritual fulfilment.” For once you really can judge a book by its attractively designed, accurately described cover.
Morhall is from an arguably unique generation in history, a generation which grew up taking the fruits and freedoms of feminism for granted. Coming of age in the late 1980s, she virtually had the world at her feet, and like few women before her, was able to study, travel, and work in almost any field of her choosing. In the pages of her autobiography, she does.
Completely unhindered in the ability to follow her personal bliss--to borrow the mantra of Joseph Campbell--Morhall seeks happiness and satisfaction in multiple jobs, countries, relationships and experiences: gaining an art degree, lead singer of a band, teaching English in Thailand, partying in London, scuba diving and nearly marriage in Mexico. In addition, she embarked in shoplifting as well as retail store management, earned a business degree from a prestigious university and a job in a London fashion house. Morhall tries it all and willingly walks away from it all, including a model-musician boyfriend, to wear a sari and join what is traditionally one of the most patriarchal, male dominated realms—a spiritual community—where by her own compelling account, she undeniably blossoms.
Amongst the near horizonless flotsam and jetsam of our internet age--the sea of world-weariness, cheap cynicism, aimlessly drifting intellectualism, and obscure speculation--the sincere and affecting, beautiful words with which Morhall describes her sometimes stumbling, sometimes running search for enlightenment are like a life-raft floating far beyond, and the depth of wisdom on board, pearls from deep beneath.
Auspicious Good Fortune is potentially an instant classic of the world of spiritual literature. Like the writing of Christopher Isherwood, an English author better known as the father of modern gay writing, but also a lifelong member of the Ramakrishna Order, and author of several seminal works on spirituality, Morhall’s book possesses the rare distinction of being the product not just of an authentic devotee and spiritual insider—Morhall a student with a rare close access to the recently belated New York guru Sri Chinmoy—but a genuinely talented writer as well. Also like Isherwood, Auspicious Good Fortune surprises with its candour and willingness to throw back the cloister curtains, the search for inner truth, speckled equally with tears of frustration and jewels of bliss.