Eight Steps to Enlightenment

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Eight Steps to Enlightenment

On Yoga Day Sri Anish shares with Life Positive Magazine that there is much more to yoga than performing a series of contorted poses. It is a way of life and a means to achieve ultimate peace.

India is the cradle of human civilization. This land has given many gifts and has contributed much towards human wellbeing and, undoubtedly, the science of yoga is one of the greatest gifts from India to the whole

of humanity. It is a matter of great pride that, in December 2014, the UN proclaimed June 21 as International Day of Yoga.

But there are a few questions that we must ask ourselves. Do we know what yoga really is? Do we know about the tremendous power of yoga? Are we harnessing it well? Are we integrating yoga into our daily lives? Do we see it in its totality or just one part of it? Is yoga transformational for us? Do we see it as an activity or as a lifestyle?

If you do a Google search for the word ‘yoga,’ you’ll find that the first few hundred or thousand images that Google throws up will be of people in all kinds of complex body postures called ‘asanas.’ To most, this is yoga—the ability and flexibility to move and maintain your body in complex postures. But is yoga only about

postures? You may be surprised to know that asanas form just one small aspect of yoga.

Yoga was introduced over 3,000 years ago when Maharishi Patanjali compiled the Yoga Sutras. He wrote 196 sutras (rules), and compiled them into four padas (chapters): Samadhi Pada, Sadhana Pada, Vibhuti Pada, and Kaivalya Pada. And, out of these 196 sutras, there are only three on asanas!

I’m not sharing these facts to dilute the importance of asanas but to expand your perception of the transformational power of yoga.

‘Yoga’ means ‘to unite’.

This world of multiplicity is made up of duality. It is described as Purush and Prakriti, Shiva and Shakti, masculine & feminine, or yin and yang. These are polar opposites, typical examples being white and black, light and darkness, and knowledge and ignorance. This world, including us, is made up of these polarities. We are ignorant about a few things and knowledgeable about others, but we feel as ‘one’ being. Our days are full of light, and nights, full of darkness, but we call it ‘one day.’ So, there is ‘oneness’ hidden behind these apparent dualities.

Yoga is a way of life, a science, a mystery, and a step-by-step practice to integrate all polarities and unite all opposites into oneness.

Yoga is about joining knowledge with ignorance and darkness with light. Yes, ignorance is like darkness, and knowledge is light. What happens when you join both of them? Simple. When you join darkness with light, darkness is no more. Only light remains! And light means knowledge— illumination of the mind.

Yoga is a way of life, a science, a mystery, and a step-by-step practice to integrate all polarities and unite all opposites into oneness. Yoga is about joining knowledge with ignorance and darkness with light.

Yoga in practical life

Yoga is not a philosophy nor a religion. Yoga is practical, and it has a deep impact on our day-to-day life. Let’s look at yoga from this perspective. No matter what stage of our life we are at, all of us want to accomplish, acquire, and experience certain things in life. We all have certain aspirations, and we all want to experience life in its fullness through their

fulfilment.

These aspirations can be

  • Physical (of the body—shape, wellness, strength, endurance. etc.)
  • Mental or emotional (of the intellect— clarity, focus, confidence, positivity, etc.)
  • Financial (career, earning, possessions, security, etc.)
  • Social (status, relationships, sense of contribution, etc.)
  • • Spiritual (love, peace, happiness, moksha (liberation) etc.)

Yoga was introduced over 3,000 years ago when Maharishi Patanjali compiled the Yoga Sutras. He wrote 196 sutras (rules), and compiled them into four padas (chapters): Samadhi Pada, Sadhana Pada, Vibhuti Pada, and Kaivalya Pada. And, out of these 196 sutras, there are only three on asanas!

Let’s take an example of a working woman who has an aspiration to become the CEO of her company. She keeps thinking about it. But will it happen only by wishful thinking? Or let’s say you are sitting in Delhi and you want to go to New York. Will it happen just by wishful thinking? No. We would need to follow a certain process: apply for a visa, state the purpose of travel and convince the authorities, and prepare a whole lot of

documentation. Likewise, everything in life requires preparation.

You must be thinking, We were talking about yoga, so, what is the role of yoga in this?

As I said earlier, yoga is practical, and it can enhance our day-to-day life experience. Thousands of years ago, when sage Patanjali propounded the knowledge of yoga for the wellbeing of humans, he created eight steps of yoga, known as Ashtanga Yoga. If we follow these eight steps, we can achieve anything we want in

life. In fact, they act like an inner preparation to empower and tune ourself to our life’s highest purpose. With yoga, nothing remains as wishful thinking; everything becomes achievable. And the higher we go in yoga, the more liberated, expanded, and blissful we start to become.

Now, let’s take another practical scenario. Let’s say you want to start getting up at 5 a.m. to go to the gym. Although you want it to happen, your mind throws a hundred tantrums every morning. So, what’s really happening? Your mind is not listening to you. While you want to build a daily morning schedule, your mind just doesn’t listen. It seems that the mind has its own agenda; it is not in control or in absolute sync with you. There are very few people who can claim that their minds are in their total control. If your mind is not in control, will you be able to put all your attention and energy into something that you want to achieve?

Forget achieving anything, this untamed mind doesn’t even allow you to experience life fully. Even when you go to your favourite restaurant to eat your choicest meal, while you are eating, your mind is engaged in random thoughts or conversation. It constantly distracts you, and in that process, you only taste the first few

bites and the rest becomes mechanical. This is the nature of an untamed mind—to dwell in distractions and confusion.

Here, Patanjali comes to our rescue. He gave us these eight steps to tame the mind and experience life in its absolute abundance. Look at these eight steps carefully, and as you start to practise them, your sense of purpose, mental clarity, energy levels, confidence, self-will, physical and emotional well-being, happiness

quotient, and spiritual wisdom will start to expand.

1. Yama (Value codes of life)

Yama comprises some basic yet very essential value codes of life. It allows us to develop right understanding and behavioral conduct, and teaches us how to treat others and the world around us. There are five yamas: I will not hurt anybody unnecessarily, I will be truthful in all my conducts, I will not take anything that

doesn’t belong to me, I will hold my desires, and I will not possess more than what is needed.

2. Niyama (Self-discipline)

Niyama is a set of self-disciplinary codes that help in building a strong daily foundation. There are five niyamas: keeping the body clean and pure, being content, building endurance, self-study, and developing dedication.

3. Asana (Stabilizing the body to bring mental equilibrium)

Asana deals with developing bodily stability, flexibility, strength, and balance. This allows us to be in total control of our body and create excellent body-mind harmony.

4. Pranayama (Breath control and focus)

Every thought and emotion can be controlled if we know how to work with our breath, and Pranayama helps us build this control. It also enhances our ability to focus on the breath.

5. Pratyahara (Withdrawal of senses)

Most of the time, our senses are not in our control. Giving in to our senses weakens our mental capacities and will power. Pratyahara teaches us to restrain and withdraw our senses. It is a great step towards building enhanced mental strength.

6. Dharana (To keep an object in your focus)

Dharana helps in developing single-pointed focus, which builds sharpness of mind. It is an essential practice to bring the scattered mind to one-pointed attention.

7. Dhyana (Meditation)

Dhyana is an essential practice to declutter the mind. It helps by silencing all noises in the mind and creates a peaceful inner space. The mind becomes powerfully intuitive with the regular practice of meditation.

8. Samadhi (Breaking the barrier)

Samadhi is the last stage where one is able to break all barriers of mental noise and conditioning. Where there are no more illusions, the truth of life reveals itself, and one is firmly established in deep peace.

This is complete yoga, which removes all physical and mental suffering and conditioning, and expands the boundaries of all perceptions. Anyone who follows these eight steps of yoga as taught by Maharishi Patanjali becomes empowered to experience life in its fullness. All aspirations become achievable to the one whose mind is tamed with yoga.

May we all be established in this highest yoga.

Om Tat Sat, Sri Anish

You can also check out this interview in Life Positive Magazine in June 2022 edition.

“महत्वाकांक्षा में अगर सर्व कल्याण जुड़े तभी वह अर्थ की तरफ ले जाता है, अन्यथा वह अनर्थ का मार्ग है”

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Interview by MysticMag

Interview

Magazine: MysticMag.com | Edition: April, 2022

“Saadho is a vehicle guided by the vision of Sri Anish, to enable multiple initiatives towards ‘raising the collective human consciousness’.” Sri Anish shares some of his experiences and views on life, death and collective consciousness.”

Q. Which aspects of your childhood stand out the most for you today?

Childhood is a very important time of one’s life. It is the time when most of our impressions about the world around us and about our own self are formed. In many senses, it is the foundation on which our future experiences are based. 

My most vivid childhood impressions are of; eagerly listening to various ‘stories of the divine’ from my grandmother, accompanying her to the nearby ‘temple often’, few very ‘profound mystical experiences & interactions’ with some powerful spiritual beings, and also a few instances which brought me face to face with the ‘reality of death’ of some close relatives.

Q. What first triggered your curiosity with breath work and how did this impact your life?

I must have been around 7 or 8 years of age, when suddenly the ‘breath work’ mysteriously started in me. This popularly known phrase ‘breath work’, is actually a very intense process in yogic system of spirituality. In yoga we call it ‘Pranayama’ and the root word ‘Prana’ is not really breath, we call it the ‘life force’ or ‘subtle energy’ which exists inside us and all around us too. Becoming aware of your breathing; inhalation, exhalation and gaps in between, is a powerful process to activate the ‘Prana’ in our bodies

So, as a child, one day while playing cricket in an open field with my friends, I suddenly realized that my attention usually is on my breath and not in the game. I was very surprised because nothing outside would really attract me, even when I tried to take my attention away, within a few seconds, it would come back to the breathing process. As this awareness on breathing deepened, I started witnessing the movement of my thoughts and a profound ‘nothingness’ started descending. In this phase, I used to witness ‘emptiness of mind’ most of the time. In this phase of my life, I didn’t have many friends, because this ‘witnessing of the breath’ and ‘emptiness of mind’ were such delightfully absorbing states.  

Q. How did your Vairāgya phase (dispassion, detachment, or renunciation from the material world) transform your outlook and attitude towards your life and the contemporary world?

Vairagya is a very beautiful phase in one’s spiritual journey. In this, the world of names & forms start to lose their grip on you. You remain in the material world but totally detached from it. There is a sense of profound dispassion with the ways in which you once associated with the world, and your perception starts to shift

Earlier, one was running after all the things which were defined as success by others. Life used to be a big ‘conditioned dream’ in the sense that you were living in a dream and chasing the dream, but interestingly it was not your dream. It was a dream imposed on you by a collective unconscious process of conditioning. Vairagya shatters this dream, it takes a while for one to come to terms with it. But, once you are able to come out of the dream, life really becomes a beautiful journey. For the first time you are able to differentiate between the real and the transitionary. 

After this phase of Vairagya, I started to experience a deep continuity of life, every being is part of this endless continuity. There is no sense of separation anymore. I don’t get entangled in the world of names & forms anymore. And because I experience this profound oneness with all life, there is a sense of deep love & compassion for all beings. All my thoughts, words and actions have become aligned to sharing this love & compassion with all life forms. Though, I see that the contemporary world has become more entangled with the ‘matter’ side of life alone but I too was once caught up in this dream, and I know waking up is possible

Q. You mentioned that after Vairāgya, you set off on a quest to “learn & understand the spiritual fabric of our collective humanity”. Have you fulfilled your quest and can you quantify?

Yes, this quest to know ‘the spiritual fabric of our collective humanity in different cultures’ was part of my training on earth. I traveled a lot in many European countries, including Singapore, Dubai & Turkey etc. I realized that many western folks are actually ready to walk this path of spiritual awakening. They are at the border line of this collective transition. They have seen the pinnacle of material abundance and have realized that physical comforts are important but are not enough for mental and spiritual well-being. 

Cases of mental illness are growing rapidly across the world, because people are feeling purposeless and directionless. It is a painful reality, but it also proves that humanity is looking for not just happiness but ‘purposeful happiness’, they just don’t want to live a good life, but they want to make an ‘impactful contribution’ too. This ‘purposeful happiness’ & ‘desire to belong – to contribute’ will create a healthy body-mind coherence and will create an awakened humanity on earth. 

Since ancient times, India has always been talking about this spiritual well-being as the base for all human pursuits. India’s culture has always been rooted in this wisdom. But the last thousand years of frequent invasions and two hundred years of colonization have destroyed India’s cultural and spiritual richness. It has put Indians on a wrong trajectory. But, thankfully, India’s wisdom roots are quite deep & strong and I see a new spiritual renaissance happening here. This, I believe, is very significant for world peace and harmony. India will play a greater role towards this in years to come. 

Q. What are your views on death?

Death is not different from life, it is part of the same continuum. Look at the moon, it starts its journey from ‘Shunyata’ – no moon – to ‘Poornata’ – full moon – and then again the journey continues from full moon to no moon, and all the phases in between. And the beauty is, in this process, the moon is always there, but to our limited sense of perception, sometimes it is seen as full and sometimes as part. 

Birth and death are like these two major phases of the moon. They both are 2 definitive points in the journey of life. But life is not limited by these 2 points, life continues. Names & forms keep changing but life remains & continues. Just as birth is a reality, similarly death too is a reality. In fact, death is a more definitive reality. It is like saying, will Mr. A take birth in the future, we don’t know, but if Mr. A has taken birth then we all know for sure that Mr. A will surely die sometime in the future, not so?

Q. Would you say that your life was predestined to change that of others? 

Yes and no both. Yes, in the sense, because I now know some of my earlier journeys (past lives) too, and I can connect the dots and say, I was being prepared for this awakening and for this contribution to humanity. 

And no, in the sense that our actions in the present moment are really powerful. Our will-power is profoundly strong. Our actions in the NOW have the power to change the course of our destiny. 

Most of us take decisions based on our mental conditionings, fears, desires, likes & dislikes, it is as if there is a strong momentum of the past and we just get pushed to take decisions and remain chained in the loop of destiny. But, if we work towards establishing ourselves in a state of ‘equipoise’ and remain balanced, then this stability strengthens our ‘power of discrimination’. Most of our decisions then come from this deep wisdom, and this, has tremendous power to alter our predestined life. 

Q. What is your goal here on this Earth?

To spread the seeds of spirituality, to establish “Dharma” (highest universal wisdom) as the foundation for all pursuits of life, to spread the message of love, peace, harmony & compassion and through this raise the collective human consciousness. 

Q. Do you believe the pandemic was sent for a reason – to change the direction humanity is taking?

Every life form wants to avoid suffering, but suffering is inevitable. Suffering often changes people, it brings a different perspective of life, it encourages us to deepen our levels of acceptance, it shows us the transitory nature of life, it teaches us appreciation and gratitude for everything that we are blessed with, and it nudges us to look for deeper meaning and dimensions of life. 

The Pandemic brought an enormous amount of collective suffering. Directly or indirectly, it affected every human being on the planet. A suffering of this magnitude is a wake-up call to the whole of humanity to change its direction. 

In the name of growth and development, our species is largely driven by greed, competition, jealousy and sense of separation. This blind selfishness has caused enormous damage to every form of life on earth. This blind greed is not sustainable and if we want to survive, we need to become more consciously evolved, to dissolve this false ‘sense of separation’. And, that is the only way, which will bring more sustainability and will help humanity to continue. 

Q. How do you see the future of our society and the world we live in?

The future always takes birth from the womb of the present. Our current actions as a collective humanity will define the future of our society and the world we live in. We are standing on a tipping point. If we don’t learn love and to work in collaboration with each other, our future is going to be troublesome. 

But, I am seeing a new wave of conscious awakening taking place right now. Some of us are able to perceive it, but for many, it is still a huge unknown. In this wave, if we work consciously, selflessly and towards the well-being of all, then we will witness a beautiful, harmonious life. In this new awakening, our mind’s intelligence will be rooted in our heart, and we will experience a deep coherence & connectedness. This, I see as a great possibility and probably the only way forward.  

You can also check out this interview in mysticmag.com

More Pearls of Wisdom

“Knowing ourselves is the beginning of creating a joyful life”

Awakening with Anishji

“The following is Sri Anish’s interview with Suma Varghese, Life Positive Magazine in August 2021 edition”

Awakening with Anishji

“The following is Sri Anish’s interview with Suma Varghese, Life Positive Magazine in August 2021 edition”

“महत्वाकांक्षा में अगर सर्व कल्याण जुड़े तभी वह अर्थ की तरफ ले जाता है, अन्यथा वह अनर्थ का मार्ग है”

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“Purity of the heart can not only move mountains, it also becomes the seat of the divine.”

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

STAY CONNECTED ON WHATSAPP

FOLLOW SRI ANISH

Contact us

India

Saadho Sangha Foundation

Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh

+91- 79821 52013

connect@saadho.org

SAADHO ASHRAM & Swayambhu shiva dhyan mandir, DHARAMSHALA

Copyright 2022 Saadho Sangha Foundation. All rights reserved. | Terms and Conditions | Copyrights | Privacy Policy

Interview with Life Positive – Awakening with Anishji

Interview

“The following is Sri Anish’s interview with Suma Varghese, Life Positive Magazine in August 2021 edition”

I first came in touch with Sri Anish sometime in 2018. I got a call from a pleasant-sounding person who introduced himself as a spiritual teacher visiting Mumbai to hold a satsang (spiritual gathering). He requested a meeting with me regarding a forthcoming book of his. I asked him if he was willing to come over to distant Malad. To my surprise, he said yes!

Dressed in kurta-payjama, with a dome of a head, long flowing beard, and a genial, good-looking face, Sri Anish looked every inch a spiritual teacher. But he stood out in many ways. There was a refreshing informality about him. And a lightness with which he carried himself. Unlike above his followers, Sri Anish was content to refer to them as his friends.

We talked about various aspects of spirituality, and I resonated with many of his viewpoints. He was passionate about the need to raise human consciousness, to free oneself from the shackles of separatist thought and recognise the truth of oneness. The present-day economic model and the subsequent ecological crisis concerned both of us, and he told me how he had started organic farming in a small way in Dharamshala where he lived. We were both also passionate about our great Indian heritage. “Primarily India has been the land of sages, seers, scholars, and scientists who laid down the foundational systems on how to lead an evolutionary human life. They showed the ways to live, which takes care, nourishes, and helps evolve the collective human consciousness through the principle of co-existence with all life forms in nature.”

The pandemic had confirmed his worst fears of the destruction caused by mankind’s heedless obsession with materialism. And all his energies are now focussed on awakening humanity. “We only have 10-12 years to change ourselves. After that, it will be too late,” he said soberly.

Recently, in a freewheeling Zoom conversation that linked him in Dharamshala and me in distant Mumba, we touched upon the pandemic and what the future held for us, before exploring the fascinating spiritual journey that the Divine put him through. At the end of the one-hour interview, I was left feeling uplifted and optimistic, for as long as there are people like Sri Anish (and there are thousands of them across the globe), there is hope for humanity.

Q. Why do you think the pandemic has erupted at this point in time?

The Hindus talk about karma, and the Buddha talks about the Great Law of Cause and Effect. Either way, it can be said that the pandemic is the effect of a cause that we human beings have collectively created. We have created it through excessive greed. By not being able to relate to Nature or have gratitude for it. By wanting the economy to grow at nice per cent annually for decades and centuries. How can we have unlimited growth with limited resources? It is unsustainable. Because of this, look at the suffering we have caused to plant, marine, and animal life. Where will the suffering go? Nothing goes anywhere. Only the form will change. So, think humans have sown some bad seeds, and the seeds are sprouting.

By not being able to relate to Nature or have gratitude for it. By wanting the economy to grow at nice per cent annually for decades and centuries. How can we have unlimited growth with limited resources?

It is unsustainable.

Q. How many people are even considering this possibility? Judging from the papers, it appears that business people are only waiting for the pandemic to go, to get back to business as usual.

It can never be business as usual. That is the hope for humanity. I am hopeful about the situation. I would divide people into three sections: The first would be the awakened ones who are making conscious choices. These people are becoming more awakened. If on a scale of one to 10 they were at five, they are now at seven. The second section consists of the large majority of people. They are essentially sensitive but have been led by their uncontrolled desires. This section is really shaken up. Earlier they were semi-awake. Now they are wake. I have great hope for this section. The third segment was in deep slumber before the pandemic. Some of them may still be in the same state. These are the people who have been selling Remdesivir in the black market for profit. But even they have progressed. If they were at a minus level earlier, today, they are closer to zero.

The pandemic has enabled progression. Common people are out on the road, trying to help each other with their limited resources. Large organizations have gone out of their way to support their employees. Some Tata companies are actually continuing to give to the families of those who died of COVID, the equivalent of their last-drawn salaries until they would have turned 60. These things are unheard of in India. You would not expect common people to come out and express their goodness to the world, but they are. The effects will come. You will see an awakening.

The pandemic has enabled progression. Common people are out on the road, trying to help each other with their limited resources. You would not expect common people to come out and express their goodness to the world, but they are. The effects will come. You will see an awakening.

Q. In what ways are you responding to the pandemic?

Like most others, my work too has moved meditators, people on the spiritual path, and even those who are novices. All of a sudden, my work has rapidly expanded. It is as if the tree of my being was ready and the roots have expanded much deeper and wider.

I was initially apprehensive about going online. Can we create an energy pool when thousands of miles apart? I am now convinced that energy is not dependent on any media. The form does not matter for the formless to work. On a few online sessions, some of us were in tears because of the depth of the heart that we were able to touch. The work has probably impacted a few thousand people, and it is making the world a little more enlightened.

The pandemic is an extremely potent transformation period in human consciousness. A couple of thousands of years down the line, looking at the journey of human evolution, we would be able to put a date to it: pre-2020 and post-2020. However, it is not without pain. For transformation to happen, a period of intense suffering, dukkah, is almost unavoidable. Look at the labour pain a woman goes through because of the massive transformation in the life form.

The pandemic has enabled progression. Common people are out on the road, trying to help each other with their limited resources. You would not expect common people to come out and express their goodness to the world, but they are. The effects will come. You will see an awakening.

Q. True. I am so glad you brought this up. It is not that we are insensitive to the suffering that is part of the transformation. What we saw in the last one-and-a-half months in Mumbai and Delhi was gruelling.

Yes, it was just horrible. I think none of us living has ever experienced suffering on this scale. No Indian family I have spoken to has been spared. They have either lost someone in the family or known network, or suffered in some other way. Over a billion people have witnessed this suffering. We were all together in this. It is not as if something is happening in Mumbai and people in Delhi don’t care about it, I think this then becomes another seed because, somehow we all have been connected with each other.

Q. You are so right, Anishji. And it is not just India; it has impacted the whole world!

Exactly. This has been unprecedented in human history: The Spanish flue we keep talking about did not impact the whole world. Today, for the first time in recorded human history, the whole earth has been affected. This coming together has a beauty; it has a possibility. It is our work to make that possibility a reality.

Q. In one of your talks, you had mentioned that to develop resilience, we must activate the heart. Could you elaborate on that?

India has always been the seat of wisdom. That is our contribution to the world. Where is the seat of wisdom in the human system? It is in the heart. You may know that you must not put your finger in an electric socket because your mother told you that as a child. However, only if you actually put your finger in the socket and get a shock will that knowledge become wisdom.

If ever you had to talk about it, you wouldn’t need to think from your information database. You already know what an electric shock feels like. So wisdom is that which stays in your heart forever and cannot be taken

away from you. I tend to believe that even when you change form from one life to another, the wisdom stays. Unfortunately, most education only fuels the mind. I am referring to the education systems that we inherited from the West. The right education is that which included the application of the head, hands, and heart. When learning combines all three, only then are you are walking the path of wisdom.

Do you know that the bio-magnetic field of the heart is 5000 times stronger than the head? This means your heart is tremendously more powerful than the brain, even physically. The heart is the only centre that will enable us to feel for each other, to connect with each other, which the mind cannot. During the pandemic, especially in India, the heart centre got activated, We were feeling bhava (emotion) of mass suffering. And we all wanted to do something about it. It has proven beyond doubt that heart is powerful, and it can do a lot of good in terms of spreading hope, positivity, and light. It does not tire. The mind tires, but never the heart. No one will ever day, I got so tired of loving that I have stopped loving.

Since education is not focusing on it, we need to learn how to activate the heart. Creativity is a great way to waken the heart centre. Every child who comes into the world must spend plenty of time in creativity. It could be painting, writing, poetry, thinking, woodwork, or farming. It is one of the ways to create an enlightened humanity. Education is key to creating an evolved society.

Unfortunately, most education only fuels the mind. I am referring to the education systems that we inherited from the West. The right education is that which included the application of the head, hands, and heart. When learning combines all three, only then are you are walking the path of wisdom.

Do you know that the bio-magnetic field of the heart is 5000 times stronger than the head? This means your heart is tremendously more powerful than the brain, even physically. The heart is the only centre that will enable us to feel for each other, to connect with each other, which the mind cannot.

Q. Would you say that the pandemic is moving us to Satyug?

We are entering a new phase of human consciousness. The word for it is evolution. It means we carry with us the wisdom of the past and combine it with the reality of today. So, in future, we will be an evolutionarily wise species, where we will integrate the past with the present to create a glorious future for all of us. It is a future of collaboration, co-operation, co-existence-not of competition. The current economic systems which is based on material growth will go away. We will have a new economic systems based on sharing and caring. The current phase is not sustainable; it will kill the Earth. If the Earth is gone, we are gone.

Q. Tell that to the capitalists, and they will tell you that the solution is to transition to a new planet. What do you have to say to that?

(Laughs) Nature will not allow it. Elon Musk and a lot of other are trying to do that. All the best to them because I love explorers. But I have my serious doubts. Such an outlook is not right. We need to med our ways instead of destroying more planets. We will be virus then. We will be the pandemic. But I know that human beings are made of light. And we will change.

Q. Let’s move to something more personal. Who were you before you became Sri Anish?

During childhood, a lot of mystical things happened to me. Neither I nor my parents noticed them because we were not trained to. For instance, when I was three, my grandmother took me to Rishikesh and made me take the traditional dip, so during the dip, I picked up a small black Shivalinga. I had a special place under my bed for Shiva. When my mother would scold me, I would go under the bed and spend hours with Shiva.

Four years later, when I was about seven, the Buddha came into my system and a lot of mysterious breathwork happened, including anapana sati. I would be playing with friends, and in between, I would stop breathing. I could hold my breath. I was led into the meditation of breath.

At around the same time, my parents took me to an amazingly beautiful guru – my first meeting with an enlightened being. He was Charan Singhji Maharaj of the Radha Soami movement. For the next two years, I remembered the satsang and everything he said, word for word. When we were in the darshan zone (where you play your respects), I looked at him and he looked at me, and at that moment, the line stopped for a few seconds. I was in tears. My father could not understand it.

In my adolescence, I was passionate, ambitious, and a motorcycle rider. Later, I did my MBA and became a serial entrepreneur. One fine day, at the peak of my career, all my past came back with such force that I had to let my career, ambition, and material success go. It was as if someone woke me up and said, “It’s tme for you to do the things that you are here for.” I was told that my real work would begin when I turned 40.

When I was about seven, the Buddha came into my system and a lot of mysterious breathwork happened, including anapana sati. I would be playing with friends, and in between, I would stop breathing. I could hold my breath. I was led into the meditation of breath.

Q. How old were you? And were you married?

I was about 29 or 30. And yes, I was married. Our son was three years old at that time. Fortunately, my wide accepted my decision. I told her if she came with me, I would make sure there is purposeful life waiting for us. She was also a career woman who had seen me as a CEO and enjoyed a lavish life. I promised her that we would not die of poverty. She agreed with me, and we moved to the Himalayas in Dharamshala. That period of 10 years was not easy for her. I was largely in solitude, with very little social contact. I would take off into the mountains for two weeks at a stretch. But she and my son supported me.

Exactly as predicted, when I turned 40, the message came that I was to move from the mountains and start to travel. That was five years ago. I spent the first three years travelling within India to understand the current spiritual fabric of this nation. I also travelled a lot in Europe, absorbing its spiritual fabric. Something tells me that India needs to forge a strong spiritual connection with the USA, and I would be going there shortly. Over last two years, spiritual teaching has been happening. I have a sense of where we are as a collective humanity and the steps which have to be taken.

Something tells me that India needs to forge a strong spiritual connection with the USA, and I would be going there shortly. Over last two years, spiritual teaching has been happening. I have a sense of where we are as a collective humanity and the steps which have to be taken.

Q. Could you share the essence of your transformational journey?

It was strange. I was led from one school of spirituality to another very systematically. I have already mentioned Shiva and the Buddha. When my transition from the corporate world happened, I was plunged into bhakti (devotion). There was a strong pull towards Guru Nanak who taught me the essence of bhakti. From there, I was led to Ramana Maharishi and Vedanta philosophy, which was followed by Ramakrishna Paramahansa. I got introduced to Osho because he used to speak about all schools of spirituality. He was the door-opener. Each of these phases would come with such force that for instance, for eight to nine months, it would only Ramakrishna Paramahansa. I could not think of Shiva at that time. My thoughts, my tears, my dreams, sleep, waking hours, the books that would appear would all be about Ramakrishna.

After the 10 years were over, I was travelling to London, and I took a five-day halt in Turkey. I was led to a place called Konya, where Rumi’s tomb stands. And something phenomenal happened there. A group of strangers came up to me and said, “We have been waiting for you.” They took me to Rumi’s tomb where magical things happened. That was my exposure to Sufism. I even spent a period with Jesus Christ during the 10-year phase, and a deep connection was formed with him. From there, I was introduced to yoga and a deep, ancient connection with Patanjali emerged. As for Swami Vivekananda, I feel as if he were a brother from another mother. It was as if an elder brother has done some work and has left some of it for me to do. These are strange things to say, but this is what I experience. In addition, there was also a beautiful phase of Krishna bhakti which I went through. I felt that I was being put through a kind of preparation.

When I was about seven, the Buddha came into my system and a lot of mysterious breathwork happened, including anapana sati. I would be playing with friends, and in between, I would stop breathing. I could hold my breath. I was led into the meditation of breath.

Q. What is the next step for you?

I am convinced that the leadership of this nation has to be enlightened. I am referring primarily to business leadership. Business impacts politics and also affects all of us at the ground level. My future work will be with leaders from all segments of life: business, social work, administration, politics and education as well. If you look at it from the Maslow hierarchy of needs, these leaders have fulfilled their primary needs and even the need for ambition and success. Now they are ready to embrace the light of consciousness.

Q. What exactly is the work you do at Saadho Sangha?

It is a foundation we have created to organize public talks. A lot of corporates are now inviting me to speak on spirituality. I will be speaking at the IIMs shortly. We also hold regular sessions on yoga and work a lot with sound. Sound has a big role to play in raising human consciousness. India has done a lot of exploration through ragas (Indian classical scales). This is the time to utilize that science.

You can also check out this interview in Life Positive Magazine in August 2021 edition.

“महत्वाकांक्षा में अगर सर्व कल्याण जुड़े तभी वह अर्थ की तरफ ले जाता है, अन्यथा वह अनर्थ का मार्ग है”

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“Purity of the heart can not only move mountains, it also becomes the seat of the divine.”

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SAADHO ASHRAM & Swayambhu shiva dhyan mandir, DHARAMSHALA