The day was shining bright as I stepped out of my bed. I stepped out on the balcony. I love the rays of sun hitting my face, welcoming the beautiful light to enter not only in my house but in my soul!
Last month, if you remember, we had an opportunity to have a discussion with Yogi, Mystic, and an author, Sadhguru. I learned a lot about spirituality from the books, and the knowledge seems to grow as I interact with the spiritual leaders.
I made myself a cup of coffee and fiddled with the papers that were left unattended on my study table. Last night had been a busy one, had to do some office work and moreover, had to prepare me for the call to be done today.
Continuing on my spiritual path, I wanted to get to know more and more about mindfulness and the path that led to spirituality. With spirituality, you gain a sense of enlightenment, you feel powerful. But still, I felt that there is something that I am missing on still. I need to fully awaken myself!
I came across the book ‘7 Divine Laws to Awaken Your Best Self‘ by Swami Mukundananda. After reading the blurb, I realized that this is something I am looking for. As I was about in the middle of the book, I had a curiosity to have a word with the author himself. Being a Spiritual Leader, he can clear all my doubts and lighten the curiosity that I was having regarding spirituality.
I got an appointment and I was excited for this interview today! I got my paperwork ready and all the questions that I had were already lingering in my mind. After finishing up my daily morning chores, I was ready to jump in for the video call with Swamiji himself.
I turned on my laptop, opened up Zoom and after a couple of minutes of wait, Swamiji appeared on the screen. With a smile, we greeted each other and I was ready to begin. “I will not take too much of your time Swamiji,” I ascertained. He acknowledged with a smile.
Spirituality for Children?
I have seen many youngsters following the path of spirituality on YouTube videos. I also saw Swami Ji’s take on this subject. He is also inclined towards the future of the nation, the children, and the youth.
I asked him that besides teaching adults how to lead a disciplined life, when did it happen that he must also write book(s) for children? He replied, “Let us not see them merely as children. They are the future of the world. They will soon be other people’s husbands and wives, and parents of grandchildren. They possess God’s life force that is yearning to make them presidents, scientists, engineers, doctors, artists, writers, and musicians. It is our solemn responsibility to fill their hearts with lofty ideals and inspiring thoughts.”
I was listening to him intently. “How will they read these books?” I was curious. “At JKYog, we run a special program for children, called the “Bal-Mukund” character-building program, with centers around the world. While launching this program, twelve years ago, I wrote a series of books based on the Vedic scriptures and the rich literary heritage of India. These contain stories, biographies, festivals, sayings, kirtans, and prayers for the young ones. They convey transformational messages to educate, encourage, enthuse, and entertain young minds,” he continued.
A sense of doubt was still lurking in me. I had seen that the spiritual path is often taken by the elderly or by the people who have had done enough in their life. I asked Mukundananda Ji about his take on the age at which one should start seeking spirituality.
“Spiritual wisdom has two aspects to it. The first shows us “how to live” and the second teaches us “why to live.” The first part of spirituality includes tools for improving the quality of our life. There is no age constraint for it since we all can benefit from good wisdom on how to live better.
The second part of spirituality addresses the big questions of life. Who am I? Why did I come to this world? What is the purpose of life? People postpone seeking answers to these questions for later. But that is a mistake. Finding the cosmic purpose of our life is hugely beneficial. It inspires us to become the best version of ourselves and to utilize our talents for making a difference in the world. And these twin endeavors—improving ourselves and doing the best we can—result in genuine happiness.
So, if you wish to find fulfillment, do not postpone spirituality for later. Utilize material science for meeting the physical needs of your body. Augment it with spiritual science to manifest your internal divinity. In this way, enrich your existence by harmonizing both material and spiritual sciences.” I drank a sip of water as I processed the information.
One interesting thing I came to know about Mukundananda Ji was that he didn’t reach out to the youth. ” I did not seek to reach out to the youth. My goal was merely to share wisdom with all. But an interesting phenomenon took place through the internet. The youth came searching for what I was offering. The JKYog video team informs me that the 18 to 24 years segment views my videos the most.
Isn’t that so encouraging for the future of the world? Elders have the habit of saying the young generation has gone astray. But our channel statistics reveal that today’s youth are seeking solace and meaning in life through spirituality. They have good jobs and enough money, and yet they are discontent. So, they are coming to a Swami’s videos in the hope of finding answers to the problems they face,” I nodded in acknowledgment.
Living with the Beliefs
We are all accustomed to living with a belief system the moment we are born. It is imbibed deep within our minds. I personally have challenged my belief system many times. I found out that like energy, you cannot create or destroy a belief system. It can only be replaced by some other belief system.
I asked Mukundananda Ji about his thoughts. “Is it possible to live without beliefs? We go to the barber who puts a knife on our throat. We have faith that he will not kill us. We go to the bank and hand over a wad of money to the cashier. We believe she will count it correctly without cheating.”
I nodded and asked, “Can they be avoided?” “Beliefs cannot be avoided even by scientists. They have faith in the perception of their senses and the logic of their intellect. It could be deceiving them, but they have assumed their logic to be sacrosanct.
The distinction between good and bad beliefs is created by how we choose to take the leap of faith. If we believe indiscriminately, that is blind faith, and it has the power of ruining our life more than anything else. Conversely, when we create beliefs based on a trustworthy source of knowledge, they are immensely empowering, and are good beliefs,” Swami Ji elaborated further.
About the book
Swami Mukhundananda explains, “7 Divine Laws” does not explain something new. Rather, the difference is in the manner of presentation of the knowledge. Every truth is explained through sound logic, illustrated with real-life examples, and validated with quotations from the sacred books of knowledge. For example, how to conquer the mind is a million-dollar question. The simple answer is that we must purify it. How, then, how can we purify our minds? The easiest way is to attach it to the All-pure. That is why we need devotion to God.” Q.E.D.
“Often, God is seen as a third entity, and many people miss the beautiful feeling of feeling God with-in. How can one achieve the ecstatic feeling of seeing God from with-in?” I asked with excitement. Swami Mukundananda replied with equal enthusiasm, “To experience God within us is definitely a beautiful feeling. But it is again limiting. Should we not see His miracle in every atom of creation as well? And what about His glory that manifests in the virtues of people around us?
The ecstasy of God that we seek will come when we develop a love for Him. Then we will see the face of the Creator in all of creation. We have to progress from feeling Him in the temple alone, to seeing Him in all creatures. And finally, seeing him everywhere.”
Spirituality as a way of life
Before leaving, I had one final question for Swami Mukundananda Ji, “How can one include Spiritual practices in their day-to-day life?” He replied calmly, “We tend to categorize our works as either material or spiritual. This is wholly unnecessary. Every activity can become spiritual if it is performed with pure intention. Then our pooja does not remain limited to the precincts of the temple. All that we do becomes pooja and worship.
Our ancients talked of Karma Yoga. This is the art of keeping our mind in equipoise, alongside with performing our daily duties. In karma yoga, our consciousness gets purified, without neglecting our worldly chores. It is such a simple practice for freeing us from anger, greed, anxiety, and stress.”
It was time to say goodbye and I thanked Swami Mukundananda ji for his time.
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