Interview by MysticMag

Magazine: | 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.  

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