“Dance is the nature of existence
Dance is the nature of creation
Dance is a form of awakening
May you experience being the dance, as a dancer!” – Mohanji
It is said that Dance is the language of the Gods! The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva as Nataraja – the Ultimate Dancer, symbolizes Divine control of the universe through five stages – creation, preservation, destruction, illusion and grace. When He dances, matter, energy and sound are sorted out through the vibration of His drum and the elements are aligned in perfect harmony.
There’s something about rhythmic movements to the sound of music that causes all our worry and fear to evaporate instantly. Around the world people engage in various forms of dance, giving wing to their thoughts and feelings and communicating to everyone around through these expressions. Dance, in any form, is a mood enhancer. It has a positive effect not only on the physical but also on the emotional and spiritual well-being of the practitioner.
Let’s start with the physical benefits. We engage in various forms of motion in our daily life – walking, climbing stairs or the more commonly practiced workouts like treadmills or cycling. All these occur only in the sagittal plane, whereas dance works on the body from both sagittal and axial planes and from all directions, which activates and conditions all muscles – essentially a full body workout in the truest sense. This type of movement not only increases strength, it also improves balance.
Dance requires us to focus on both the constant changing movements in alignment with the music while memorizing/recollecting the next ones simultaneously. This is an excellent form of mental exercise for the mind, regardless of age. The popular phrase “Let your hair down” is usually used in conjunction with some form of dance and essentially indicates that by letting oneself “escape” the rigidity of thought and action, we are clearing the cobwebs in our mind, even if only for that brief period of time.
Practiced regularly, dance helps improve one’s mental and emotional health by reducing stress, decreasing the symptoms of anxiety and depression and boosting self-esteem. It’s all connected. If one has a strong body that can host a strong mind, it allows one to experience the world differently. Remember that we’re talking about art, something that is associated with right brain functionality and has always been considered emotional, if not spiritual.
Just as Sanskrit is considered the mother of all languages, Bharatanatyam, can be considered the mother of all dance forms. Given to the world by Sage Bharatha, it is a complete art form with poetry, visuals, music and drama. It brings together and aligns the body, mind and spirit. Verses from Natyashastra describe how the awareness progresses into alignment and alignment dissolves the mind and evokes devotion and culminates in Rasa – The essence.
This sublime, beautiful art form blends the aspects of grace, vigor, movement (Nrita) and expressions (Abhinaya) to experience life in its totality. It is an art form so perfect that it works synchronously in time and space, bringing out the nectar of the inner self… It travels through the dancer’s body, mind and emotions; an exploration of new dimensions and diverse processes. It is the celebration of the “Inner self”.
Himalayan School of Traditional Dance provides a platform to connect to oneself through dance, experience the joy while appreciating the nuances and aesthetics of the classical art form and progress towards alignment and inner transformation simultaneously.
“Dance is the nature of the universe,
Dance is our breath, in and out
Dance is bliss,
Dance is beauty
Dance is Shiva and Sakthi” – Mohanji
Sanskrit is the symbol of human refinement and the rhythm of life. Sanskrit is the sign of the indestructible, ever-flowing energy and the eternal truth, eternity itself. Sanskrit represents our true self. – Mohanji
Himalayan School of Traditional Languages (HSTL) is a global initiative inspired by Mohanji, to spread the light of Sanskrit to reach every corner of the world, thus making the human mind peaceful and aligned. HSTL is aimed at introducing the world to the ancient arts and sciences that were written in Sanskrit and as yet, not entirely revealed to the world.
Sanskrit is considered as the mother of all languages. Knowing Sanskrit enables one to learn other languages with more ease and understanding. Sanskrit literature highlights the importance of humanity, moral values, how to help the poor and the harmonious development of the individual and society. Helping mentality, non-violence, truthfulness, all these values can be learned from Sanskrit Subhashitas. Sanskrit has contributed greatly to every branch of knowledge like Arts, Culture, Dance, Drama – in all of them, we see the stamp of Sanskrit. It is good if the modern generation has an inclination to study this language and savour the beauty and richness of the culture which the world has now begun to recognize.
Further, Sanskrit has the ability to purify and heal the body, mind and spirit as the sound vibrations contained in mantras directly influence the subtle energy vibration of cells and organs, the nervous system and the chakras. Chanting of Sanskrit hymns improves focus and has a positive impact on one’s intellect too.
That said, despite all these benefits, Sanskrit is still not well known among the masses. Some refer to it derogatively as a “dead language”, others as an “elitist language”, yet others question its utility in today’s world. In such a scenario, making Sanskrit accessible to the masses and promoting the correct understanding of the language is a priority.
This is the grand vision of HSTL – to spread awareness of Sanskrit around the world, and to make it “cool and trendy” so that the deep benefits of the language can reach more people.
“For me Sanskrit is not just a language. It’s a culture. It represents a grand great tradition. Sanskrit is the essence of what we are. Sanskrit has just happened on the canvas of our existence from Vedic times. Sanskrit is pure and Sanskrit can never be contaminated. Sanskrit is essential to test and taste frequencies which are not easy to understand in the world of noises. Sanskrit is the essence in the world of noises. Sanskrit is real. There is no comparison to Sanskrit. No other language will come close to Sanskrit. It not only explores the deepest sacred secrets from the past which are mostly written in Sanskrit in India but it also enhances the ability to align ourselves through those words. This is the language which aligns. This is the language which organizes you and this is the language that rejuvenates every cell when spoken or chanted. Sanskrit is our heartbeat. Sanskrit is the heartbeat, the sound of Bharat. Sanskrit is real. Sanskrit is imperishable and Sanskrit will live forever.“ – Mohanji
Note: This article contains edited excerpts from a panel discussion between the heads of various organizations founded by Mohanji. The discussion was hosted on Mohanji Official Facebook page and moderated by Bimal Nair.
Bimal: We are talking to the heads of organizations which Mohanji has founded. We’re going to discuss where they are and how they came to be and talk about Mohanji’s contribution to the world and why people see him as the Friend of the Universe. Everybody sees a different aspect of him, everybody connects to him in a different way. We bring you different perspectives from: Madhusudan Rajagopalan – CEO of Mohanji Foundation, Devi Mohan – Global President of ACT Foundation, Soma Seal – President of Ammucare and Andra Baylus – President of World Consciousness Alliance (WCA).
Bimal: Many people see Mohanji in different ways, how would you describe him in 3 words, based on your experience with him so far?
Andra: The first word that comes to mind is ‘humble’. He and I were having a conversation and he made a suggestion and then asked, ‘Is that okay with you, Andra?’ And I thought, ‘Okay with me? You’re the founder of WCA! You tour the world, you speak everywhere. You’re looked at as a great humanitarian and a spiritual teacher and you’re asking me if something is okay!’ That shows you how great he is and how humble. ‘Wise’? Absolutely. For the first year of making contact with him, I listened to him on YouTube every single night. He seemed to know exactly what the cog in the wheel was for every human being and covered so many topics and that’s wisdom, to be able to help people out of their situations, to help people deal with life, understand themselves a little bit more. I would also say ‘compassion’. That’s one of the main things: his heart is a compassionate heart, we all feel that way when we talk to him and see the great work that he does.
Soma: ‘Unconditional Love’. That’s what he spreads and that’s what he keeps inspiring us to do. Devi Amma has given him the title, Jagat Mitra, Universal friend and I feel this. And, as Andra pointed out; ‘humility’ and ‘compassion’.
Madhu: ‘Visionary’ is the first word that comes to my mind. He is probably the epitome of unconstrained thinking. We could have zero rupees in our pocket, but his vision is something which can conquer the whole universe, he thinks really huge. In sharp contrast to that, he’s also the most practical man I’ve seen. In that he dreams extremely big, but he always says, ‘You start from where you stand’. So, you keep moving by taking small steps, even though your vision is universe encompassing. The third word I’d use is ‘leader’. Leadership is a very big word, you have to behave differently at different times in order to guide. Sometimes he’s friendly, sometimes he’s stern, sometimes he’s holding your hand and telling you what to do next and sometimes he’s just pushing you out of your comfort zone. I’ve never seen him in a situation wherein he fumbles for what to do next and that is because of the first two words, he’s very clear about his end goal, the mark he wants to leave as far as his legacy and impact on the world is concerned.
Devi: My first word is ‘fountain’. He’s like an ever-fresh fountain. You can only remain inspired if you’re sourcing from the source, the pure source. That’s the only way you can bring something that is always applicable to the present time, never stale, never too difficult for us to handle. Mohanji leads by his own example and that is what I find the most touching. When I asked myself what was missing from my life, it was the factor of social service and I said that if I were ever to marry, it should be to a Master who is unassuming. So, you have all described exactly what Mohanji is. He intentionally makes it all look so simple, he never makes a big story out of anything and it’s only when we look back that we release how big a thing is. I feel so honoured that I was there at the very beginning, when it all started as an idea. What is most beautiful is that it all grew organically; there was no sponsor, no established organization, it was all from scratch. Many people think that they can do it too, but to remain inspired in the face of adversity, heaviness, disappointments, betrayals and obstacles of various sorts, is much more difficult than one would imagine. To do constant selfless, positive action no matter what, unless you have the blessing from above, unless you really expand in consciousness, you will get exhausted. That battery is never exhausted with Mohanji and through him we also feel that huge energy, continuously coming and coming. When you serve selflessly, then you realize that your meditation is much deeper that day, you feel light and joyous and you realize that love is not an emotion; it’s the force that runs the universe. It’s so easy for us to become connected through positive action. Very simple. Many know this intellectually, but don’t feel inspired enough to practice consistently, so only when you have a Master who leads by example and brings all that profound knowledge into everyday reality. If Mohanji was sitting in a cave and conveying his knowledge to us through some telephone or telepathy, it would be one thing, but he’s right here in the midst of all the storms, he is with us, where it really counts. He says, ‘If you have achieved anything in life, it will show when you can bring that connection, that silence, that presence in the midst of the noise. Then you’ve really got it.’ Mohanji is somebody who inspires people from all walks of life. He is also a husband and a father; he used to be a business professional. He has seen it all and gone through all of these experiences and everything he teaches is very practical and simple and yet so profound. People who have mastered the mind speak in very simple terms. People who are trying to prove themselves from the aspect of ego want to impress with many words, many diplomas. Masters don’t need that, they just speak and you are touched.
Bimal: All of you are heads of organizations founded by Mohanji, and I’d like to go more into the organizations themselves. Devi what brought you to the role of being the head of the ACT Foundation and what is the mission of the foundation?
Devi: I joined Ammucare Charitable Trust, which was active at that time, when I first met Mohanji in 2007. The idea of ‘selfless service beyond all man-made barriers’ including the species barrier, started spreading internationally in 2012 and that’s when we divided the platform between Ammucare Charitable Trust in India, now headed by Soma Seal and I became in charge of the international side. We started some beautiful initiatives in South Africa, then it spread to the UK and in 2013, it was USA and Serbia, where I come from. Then it spread to different countries in the Balkans region, now Canada and Australia… There are no membership fees, no big procedures, people are simply joining together. One inspires another and then slowly activities start and slowly it grows to another level. It’s amazing to see on the one hand how we touch people’s lives and on the other hand, the transformation of the people who are members of ACT Foundation. As president I feel honoured to communicate with the teams and get to know the stories and be there to add a bit of a boost.
We have 5 fingers in ACT which are food, clothing, shelter, education and healthcare and it’s always very practical. If you have children with speech and hearing impairments, then you’ll teach them yoga or bring them food. If you have children who are invalids, restricted, unable to walk then you’ll boost them by inspiring them to live a life of higher purpose, to use their intellectual abilities to support others. It’s not just giving aid. It has that human touch which is very important for us. We always deliver our donations and aid hand to hand. We meet the recipients of aid, we do a little bit extra, like a little dance or shoulder massage or a meditation or just talking to them and establishing that human contact.
Our teams have gone beyond the Corona virus scare, and have gone out there and reached out to people. The time of crisis is the time of transformation, we just need to change our perspective and be the ones who express love and connect to vibrational fullness through that service and be immediately transformed through that. So, the vision of ACT Foundation is transforming the world by adding value. When you express positivity at the action level, it trickles down to words and thoughts and intentions. We are multidimensional beings, not just this body and mind and when we express the highest vibration of selfless, pure unconditional love through action, it goes very deep within and our whole energy changes. We start experiencing what we radiate and our life changes. It’s that simple.
Bimal: Andra can you tell us more about WCA?
Andra: The World Consciousness Alliance was founded by Mohanji with a very ambitious mission: to change the world, to move beyond self-centeredness. Mohanji has given many talks on the state of the world and he has been very concerned about what humanity has done to devastate the world. That’s one of the reasons he created WCA. There seems to be a negative paradigm that is very pervasive in the world that Mohanji’s very aware of. He wants to completely transform that negative paradigm into a positive one. His word, ‘positivity’ sounds like a new word, but I think it’s going to be a part of our vocabulary. Under our logo we have written: Uplifting humanity, inspiring benevolence and promoting harmony. From our mission statement: WCA is a global initiative that brings together people from all walks of life, cultures, religions. Inspired to use the medium of the performing and visual arts and other diverse platforms to raise awareness of responsible stewardship of the earth and all life forms and to encourage the expression of our gifts, skills and talents to promote the cause of benevolent actions, selflessness and non-violence in thoughts words and deeds, thus forging a more conscious, compassionate and harmonious humanity.
WCA started in 2018 with Mohanji’s vision that there can be a better world, that we have to remind people of the goodness within them and that the way to do that would be to draw the young people as the torch bearers of the future, to do what Ammucare and ACT and Mohanji Foundation are doing. The WCA was founded in Durban, South Africa on the centennial anniversary of the ending of World War 1. WCA is a public platform, because it goes beyond borders and religions and cultures. It is meant to spread throughout the world. It’s not just an organization, it’s a movement which is meant to bring people together to help, Ammucare, ACT, Mohanji Foundation and every other kind of foundation that’s doing good work in the world.
If we all contributed our own gifts and took the time to give back to the world, we would have a more beautiful world. We talk about Mohanji being the friend of the universe; he cares about every species, he cares about every life form, he cares about the earth and the plants and the vegetation and he is our friend as well.
Bimal: Can you briefly tell us how you got involved in all this?
Andra: Before I retired, I taught English to speakers of other languages. I taught in the school system, in middle school, in high school and young adults. Education was what I was focusing on. One day just a few years ago, Mohanji had a retreat in Virginia in the US and we were walking together, he’s wearing jeans and a t-shirt, it’s so lovely, and he begins to share. He says, ‘Andra. We have to get the young to be a part of what we’re doing, to change the world for the better and if we use music, if we use the performing arts, we can do that’. I thought, ‘Oh gosh that’s wonderful, that’s something that I would love to do because I was a teacher.’ I said, ‘If you ever get something like that started, please remember me. I’ll help you in any way that I can.’ Not long after that Madhu’ gives me a call and says, ‘Mohanji really wants to get WCA started and he wants you to lead the way in the US. He had the plan already and it has moved beyond just the US. We have people on our board from different parts in the world. It’s really WORLD consciousness alliance.
Bimal: We’re going to talk a little bit more about who Mohanji is and also about what role these individuals play in their organizations and how that transformed their life.
Madhu: I’ve often wondered how I ended up in this role. (Laughter). It was an organic evolution. I met Mohanji 6 years ago, in 2014. I went to a retreat and really connected with him, with what he was teaching, with what he practiced. I started volunteering, I started with transcriptions. That evolved into small events, then I had the opportunity and privilege to travel with him a few times on a few programs. That grew into organizing larger events; retreats and so on… It was in August of 2018 Mohanji said, ‘Somebody has to represent the organization, internally, within the organization. Externally developments and outreach.’ I don’t know what got into me, but I ended the conversation by saying, ’Okay, I’m going to commit to this.’ He had two questions: ‘Are you sure? Because you have to be sure that you have to drop your patterns and come out of your comfort zones and you have to drop your fears.’ This was my commitment; to serve the mission and serve the foundation. One thing led to another and soon enough I found myself as the CEO.
As Devi mentioned, there was no global umbrella Mohanji Foundation organization when we started. Mohanji started teaching, conducting satsangs, he offered the meditations that came through him to people. Over time, various groups popped up around the world. As the organization grew, the functions grew because we are not just various geographies, we are various functions. There are people managing our social media, there are people managing the different blogs, our YouTube channel and other social media. Nobody has gone and hired or recruited, these are all volunteers who have committed their time. Around two-three years ago, it began to take the shape of an organization and we had our first global summit in 2018, in Shirdi, the home of Sai Baba.
My role is to help our teams transmit the vision. Mohanji likes to make things very simple. No great philosophy… He said that our job is “adding value to people”. As simple as that. How can we add value to people, to the world? The effect should be that they are transformed internally for the better and start looking at higher things rather than lower things. We have different ways and that’s the other nice thing that he said, ‘You do what suits the other person.’ People connect to him in various ways: Some are very devotion oriented, so for them you have chanting, bhajans and songs. There are others who are extremely intellectually oriented, for them he has books and blogs and YouTube videos. Much content on which you can think and ruminate, contemplate, analyse… There are people who are very work-oriented and they can volunteer and they find their purpose through work. That’s the Karma Yoga path. There are others who just want to dissolve and become Mohanji, or become one with the universe, the Masters. That’s the Raja Yoga path. He says, ‘All of these kinds of people exist and I’m available to provide for them what they need.’ He’s the same, but everybody has their own preference and orientation of what they would like to do. What he’s created in the Mohanji Foundation is all these techniques and tools which allow you to connect to him in the way that suits you. There is complete freedom for everybody to do what they want to do. There is no imposition.
In the time of Corona, he has come up with a new slogan, because of all the distress and delusions, he said, ‘Our slogan is: One World. One Family.’ Everything we do should lead us towards that. Make them strong inside so that there is less dependency on what is outside.
One of the problems that many people have is that he’s Indian, he is seen with Sai Baba quite often, so they think, ‘This is all very Hindu, I don’t want to connect to it.’ While he says, ‘I’m your friend, you connect to me any way you want’, people have biases and perceptions. So he created a new platform called the ‘Early Birds Club’, which has no spiritual sheen and is simply about helping people spend time with themselves early in the morning before the world wakes up and try and use that internal strength to be better and more purposeful.
We are in the process of getting some of our ashrams and other things in place so that they can become places of peace and contemplation and stability. Making all of this happen is, of course, the work of the masters, we just like little ants and squirrels trying to move the whole thing along.
Bimal: How has the organization affected you as an individual, your personal growth and transformation and how is Mohanji related to this?
Devi: My life has completely changed. Mohanji has fulfilled all of my dreams and it was something that I prayed for. Something that I thought was an ideal, a fantasy: I call this a huge global spiritual family. I don’t consider this as an organization. There is so much happening within this spiritual family. People are free to leave and free to join and it’s beautiful to witness how those who deeply connect move along this ‘Path of Pathlessness’ and transform together. One of my ‘heads’ within the foundation has been the Mai-Tri Method. Connecting to Mohanji’s consciousness and being fully protected, sending energy for the purpose of alignment and self-healing. There have been profound insights. For the first time I started seeing things through my third eye. I started understanding how karma works, I started perceiving parallel realities and our multi-dimensional existence. Something you could never find in a book. I’ve witnessed around Mohanji a grand collaboration of Masters; how they all work together, how this has been backed by this ancient, grand Tradition. As I said, this would not be possible for an ego-based, human being’s ambition.
The speed with which Mohanji moves is so great and through all these methods where I connected to the consciousness; I started to get glimpses of how he operates. I see him more and more moving from this great activity into silence and us becoming his extended arms and legs. At some point, a Master becomes a powerful conduit of energy, vertically and then we spread it out into the world horizontally. We have more than 100 Mohanji Acharyas who are instruments of his teachings, beautiful transformative programs, Himalayan School of Traditional Yoga, Traditional Dancing; so many different platforms. Everybody can find something for themselves.
You can see a global trend toward experiential spirituality where they start going within and aligning with nature and with inner truth; going deeper and deeper into discovering the inner universe. It’s connected with nature and being natural. We say in the yoga school: ‘Being a yogi means being natural.’ It sounds like just a phrase, but it’s actually very profound, because, as we said, love is not an emotion, it’s the force that holds the entire universe, entire universes; entire creation together. If we start connecting deeper with nature, with ourselves; we realize that we don’t need any chemicals, we don’t need any weapons. We have everything within ourselves and within nature to sustain ourselves and live in heaven on earth. We are here to take the responsibility to create that heaven on earth, for our future generations and for all of us living now. The aim is to show that it’s possible and to live that truth no matter what.
We are continuously inspired and all of us contribute in our own ways. Through the different platforms within the foundation, we invite people to join us, to experience the transformation within, to contribute through your own talents. This is a golden path, because the gold is within, the gold is when you feel that you have everything and you need nothing. It’s not a path of proving anything to others, accumulating wealth, accumulating fame or anything to be grabbed, no competition. It’s simply about realizing that truth and continuously being a fountain that spreads that, spontaneously.
Andra: Working with WCA and aligning myself with the vision that Mohanji has for it moves me to a higher realm of thinking. I’ve become more disciplined which is something I never had before.
The most amazing thing is happening, which is kind of private, but I feel that people should know about it too. When I look at Mohanji’s eyes throughout the day, I’m getting internal communication; I’m getting advice, guidance, helping me through my day and I know I’m getting that help because I want to serve. I want to help WCA do the fullest of what it’s able to do.
I look at WCA as a catalyst, to speed up the shift we’ve all heard about and of course, as anyone who has worked with Mohanji knows, he speeds up the action for everybody. He’s moving us forward, in a very gentle way, but we know that’s his vision. When you find out why, you find you have a purpose. Every human being has a purpose, every species, every life form has a purpose and can teach us something.
I have become more conscientious. My life is filled with joy in an unusual way, because these are the times of the pandemic and there’s a lot of depression. For me personally it’s a time of internal reflection and there is a silence that’s powerful and when you have that silence and there’s less on the outside, you tune in again to a higher way of being and to guidance within you that can help direct you and your life.
I love the idea of one world, one family. That’s the beauty of WCA; it doesn’t have division of any sort. It’s meant to be neutral and meant to give the idea that we human beings have the power to change the world, through what we’re able to give, in our particular life.
Soma Seal: When I look back at what I was 5 years ago and what I am now, my attitude has completely changed. The way I perceive things is very different. Having done spiritual courses and having read a lot of books; I knew about these concepts of unconditional love, compassion, accepting people as they are, being non-judgmental, but I used to wonder if it’s really possible to imbibe these qualities.
When I first met Mohanji in 2014 and got initiated into Kriya and practicing Kriya, it made a difference. Then Mohanji inspired me to get into service in a big way and visit old homes and orphanages in the beginning and the first thing that I realized is that whenever I spent time with these people, I used to feel very happy. Something within me expanded and it was as though my heart chakra was completely open.
I majorly resisted when I was asked to take over Ammucare in 2018. I’m a good follower, I’ll do my work, I’m responsible, but I’m not the kind to take that kind leadership responsibility. I gave in though because it was coming from Mohanji. I asked him to bless me and empower me and he said, ‘Why are you even worried? This is because you feel that you are doing everything.’
I had a lot of doubts about how well it would go and how long it would last, but Mohanji has the big picture and he believed in it and now I understand that I am absolutely doing what I was meant to be doing. I have shed my own insecurities and fears, there’s a lot of acceptance and today I’m very grateful that he pushed me into it, pushed me out of my comfort zone, to take up this responsibility.
Bimal: We call it ‘M Power’, that energy that stands behind us. He says all the time that he empowers anybody who has the conviction to do well for others.
Madhu: I might not see much difference myself, but I think that other people see that there is something different. I think I’m much lighter and one of Mohanji’s pet lines stays with me, ‘What you gain is actually what you lose.’ What I’ve lost are a lot of insecurities, a lot of emotions that are not required. I find that I’m very energetic. There are very few times that I’m listless or at a loss for energy, because you are connected to a much higher purpose and if ever there is a chance that your energy is dipping, there is a call from Mohanji or there is some message from him and suddenly you start thinking, ‘What are you doing? Why are you wasting time?’ Some of that purpose that drives him, rubs off on you when you work with him, or when you listen to what he is saying and follow what he’s practicing. That boost in energy because you are doing something for the world and not to fill your own pockets, which happens as a side effect professionally, is probably the biggest change.
Bimal: Where do you see your organization in the coming months and what are your plans.
Soma: Ammucare is now taking care of 60 old people in Thiruvanamalai and very soon construction will begin, because it’s Mohanji’s vision that we provide a permanent shelter. We are planning to open more Aangans across India focusing mostly in the rural areas so that we can reach out to children and women. We are planning to link up with other organizations to organize regular kitchens under the ACT4Hunger banner. We are going to expand regular annadaan activities into more cities. I would love to see Ammucare become a movement, to inspire people to serve selflessly and evolve as human beings. The key thing is that as you serve and as you grow, your life transforms.
Devi: For ACT I see greater outreach and long term projects; orphanages, shelters, soup kitchens and empowerment through skill development. It’s about inspiring people to come out of slumber and inactivity and the wasting of whatever free time we have in a lethargic mode of living; to rise up and contribute. That way we create many more safe havens for those who are most vulnerable and most helpless among us: The elderly, those who have disabilities and animals. This is the moment of non-violence and we support a plant-based diet, we even have Mohanji Vegan Club. We support the thriving of all species, we don’t think that we deserve to enjoy it here, at the expense of others. The greatest illusion is to think that you can enjoy something at somebody else’s expense. We can only rise up and awaken when we expand in loving consciousness and realize this. Connecting with unity consciousness is the aim here, it has to be reflected in what we do and say and intend.
Andra: Many years ago I thought about creating a culture of compassion and I believe that WCA is the vehicle to do that. We have to acknowledge that not only do parents raise children, but our culture, wherever it is in the world, is also raising our children. Our children are being raised by films, by music, by television, by video games and that has to change. The only way to change that is to go to those sectors of society and ask them questions about how they can use their particular medium to add value to the world; that’s the thing that Mohanji is constantly saying. We saw through WCA that Mohanji is multi-talented. He just recently wrote a song. The song is so magnificent because he’s setting before everyone the vision: Re-imagine the world. How will it be? How can it be?
Madhu: We have various organizations and schools and clubs. Each of them is a different avenue for expression, creativity and work which allows somebody to connect to his teachings. It all seems to be speeding up and the key element is more people coming to work for the mission because more people feel that this is something they should commit their time to. The second thing I feel will happen at a rapid pace are our centers, like Slovenia and other parts of the world, those will become magnets for more people to connect and reach out. We have the Acharya base as well now, which is a group of people empowered by Mohanji to go out and transform people and the world.
We have offerings for literally every community and constituency in the world. We spoke about the spiritual side, the seva side, but one thing which we didn’t touch upon was a big community of people that are stressed and are possibly huge catalysts in changing how things can work is the corporate sector. If you affect and transform the leaders; the number of lives you’re going to transform, because of how they conduct business and they conduct work, is going to be huge. We have a new program called ‘Invest in Awareness’, which is based on his teachings, which I believe has immense potential and is going to explode in a way that we can’t imagine.
I think that as our organization grows, people will see Mohanji for who he really is. We say Mohanji is the universal friend because of his vision and the way he has something to do with every aspect of humanity and the world. Mohanji’s journey has not been easy, it has been extremely challenging, but his purpose and energy are relentless.
To follow Mohanji and activities related to Mohanji platforms visit www.mohanji.org
Karl Marx spoke about the have and the have nots. A third kind always existed in Bharat (ancient India) since time immemorial and continues to this day – those who could have anything but wanted nothing. The Məsts. Remaining always in inner ecstasy and living in complete freedom and abandon, they walked the earth to remind us of our lost glory.
These amazing Masts are a rare breed. They are complete within yet strive and burn themselves like the proverbial candle to enlighten the world. Many have wondered about what makes them tick. Why would someone want to undertake this thankless task? What makes them do what they do? What is their trip? What is their story? This book answers these questions, through the fascinating life of Atmananda Chaitanya – from his humble beginnings to his glorious end. Through Atmananda’s life story, we are afforded a glimpse into the life of a spiritual Master in action and the grand Tradition he represents – the journey on the road less travelled, the ecstasy that absorbs him fully, the purpose of his existence, his life and teachings and his message to the world.
The story unfolds with the child Vamadeva’s unquenchable thirst to meet his master. The young unflinching Vamadeva displays remarkable levels of precocity and clarity far beyond his age of eight when he insists on seeking the tutorship of the Maharishi Shantananda of Varanasi, a place that is a month of exhausting travel away from their small village. We are even more amazed by his maturity as he deftly and consummately answers the questions of the great sage Shantananda. An excerpt from the book on the divine meeting between Vamadeva and his soon-to-be-Master Maharishi Shantananda:
“Vamadeva stepped forward, bowed his head and spoke, “Maha Guro, I seek your discipleship.”
Maharishi Shantananda glanced at the young boy. His eyes seemed to penetrate the young boy’s constitution, piercing through the visible into the invisible. There was a slight movement on his elegant face, perhaps the dawn of a faint smile, maybe a recognition from another life, or maybe due to what he saw in Vamadeva. Maharishi Shantananda was a man of few words. He observed silence and spoke only when it was extremely essential to communicate through words. He inclined his head forward and asked the boy in a very deep, booming voice:
– This param buddhu (most ignorant) is called Vamadeva, respected Master!
– What do you seek?
– Make me see my brightness so I can merge with the brightness, respected Master!
– The path is right here within you, why not walk?
– I am param buddhu. I don’t know the way, respected Master
– Final destination?
– My Self, the Supreme Self, respected Master
– Where shall you walk from? (read: Where will you start? When can you start?)
– At your Lotus Feet. (read: Right here! Right now!)
Saying thus, he prostrated again at Shantananda’s feet
Maharishi Shantananda smiled and merely said, “Walk” (read: Come with me). Saying thus, he turned to walk the steps of the ghat and return to his gurukul. Vamadeva had passed his test and was accepted!”
Vamadeva stayed at Shantananda’s ashram until the age of twenty-two. His training was unique – sans any mantra (a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation), yantra (a geometrical diagram, or any object, used as an aid to meditation in worship), tantra (mystical or magical text) or even any initiation into spiritual practices. Neither were there any rigid lifestyles and rules in the ashram. The students were allowed to be themselves and were transformed by the Master’s powerful presence as per their unique orientation, capacity and dispensation. This amazing system of learning has to be experienced to be believed. When Vamadeva is ready, the Master gave him the monastic name of Atmananda Chaitanya and directed him to go out in the world to carry out the divine purpose of his incarnation.
After staying with his parents for a year, Atmananda travels as a true parivrajaka (spiritual wanderer), living no more than three days in any place, traveling mostly alone and occasionally giving lectures and spiritual discourses whenever needed. His astounding experiences with siddhas (realized Masters) as well as his personal experiences connect us to a plane of consciousness where we get to see the exquisite blend of the subtle and the powerful. Then, we are shown a window into Atmananda through the eyes of his disciples – both while in the body and after he left the world. He chose to shed His mortal coils when he was only forty nine years old, in spite of being healthy and strong as His consciousness was expanding far beyond the mortal frame.
Until his passing away, Atmananda breathed, lived and walked like the quintessential Mast. absorbed in the total silence and stillness of Shiva. Benevolence and benedictions flowed uninterruptedly but only through little signs or subtle gestures. As an epitome of stillness and bliss, his life journey gives us a rare insight into the expanded state of a Məst and the infinite dimensions of the soul. It is really fascinating to find seemingly trivial directions like, “gaze into the sky” or “stare at the cows”, give birth to an extraordinary unfolding and thereby give a glimpse into what is attainable when a Master’s words and a disciple’s implicit faith are triumphantly blended! Similarly, another riveting eye opener is the soul stirring journey of Raman packed with trials and tribulations, eventually finding consummation with the grand visitation of the Master.
It gives us a peek into the grand Tradition where the Master comes in search of the seeker when the seeker is ready. The Golden Tradition of Masters take into their fold a truly aspiring, eligible soul and ensure their eternity. Only a precious few could hold on to him in this transcendental part of the journey and needless to add, they all became complete Masters. After all, when the disciple is eligible, receptive and ready, the absolute Master not only ignites the fire of eternal love but more importantly sustains and consummates to the perfect finish. Finishing the game to perfection is a true Master’s goal and Atmananda’s life is a vibrant testimony to this eternal truth.
Even though the book says that this is a work of fiction, the authenticity of the story is left to the reader’s imagination, intuition or experience – whatever we may call it – to unravel whether the mystical story is fictional, surreal or an epitome of truth.
 A residential school system where students live as part of the Master’s family and serve and learn under him
Author: Rajesh Kamath
The Awakening Times’ first edition of 2021 is focused on a universal theme – humanity! This issue brings forth varied perspectives and inspirational stories on how humanitarian thinking can truly uplift world consciousness and awareness. Read on for stories from the life of Yogi Ramsuratkumar to wisdom from the Vedas (ancient scriptures from India) as retold by a modern-day spiritual activist, Swami Chidananda Puri. Can conscious leadership transform conventional thinking in business – read the views of Richard Barrett, a thought leader in this domain. Have you ever wondered what it would take to create a global non-profit organisation with no prior experience? Or what it would take to create a movement around veganism and cruelty-free living? Read the stories of charity:water and Veganuary to draw inspiration.
Don’t miss this power-packed issue!
You’ll find all this and much, much more in your favorite spiritual magazine.
Yogi Ramsuratkumar is a great saint who spent most of his post-enlightenment period in Tiruvannamalai, a power centre in Tamil Nadu (India), also famous as the home of another renowned saint, Ramana Maharishi. Yogiji attained Mahasamadhi (conscious exit from the body) in 2001 and his teachings are propagated via his Ashram in Tiruvannamalai. Yogiji’s life was his great message – unassuming and humble, his impact on people around the world and his teachings to uplift human consciousness and humanity were colossal. In a detailed interview on the Palak Mehta Show, Ma Devaki – Yogiji’s closest disciple – talks about Yogiji and various incidents and stories from his life, that give us food for thought and reflection.
Wisdom from the Vedas from the mouth of a powerful spiritual master and spiritual activist; Swami Chidananda Puri. He is like none other, tirelessly spreading the age-old science of Advaita. He has written more than 30 books on the subject and is the founder of the center of Vedanta studies. Advaita is an age-old system of spiritual realization in India. What is limitless, beyond nationalities, beyond religion, beyond species, beyond castes? There is an eternal order that exists in the universe. The Indian Constitution has called Hinduism a way of life. Sadly today, it has been misrepresented as a religion “The reality is one without a second”. Swami Chidananda Puri brings a deeper understanding of Hinduism, or as it’s properly called, Sanatana Dharma, the Eternal Dharma and to share the knowledge which he has won through and can only be won, through experience.
Richard Barrett, a globally recognized thought leader in Values-Based Leadership, Cultural Transformation, Personal Development, and personal, cultural, and societal wellbeing, is coaching and transforming leaders and organizations throughout the whole world. They bring a holistic perspective to individual, organizational and social levels of development. Richard’s world view offers ideas that could transform humanity and uplift our global consciousness to its highest state.
The World Food Programme is a philanthropic arm of the United Nations and has set the ambitious goal of ending hunger by the year 2030. Here we take a look at how things currently stand in terms of food poverty, how COVID-19 is affecting us, some of the obstacles that we will have to overcome and proposed solutions. Statistics may be dry but there is a very uncomfortable reality behind all the figures which has a very real impact on the lives of all who call Earth home. The first thing that we need to do is to be as well informed as we possible can.
A purposeless man asks himself an extraordinary question which entirely transforms him. With no experience he leaps boldly into a new adventure: He begins to work for the welfare of the world. The challenge he took in hand is enormous, but the impact of his work has been huge as well. “It’s about impact, goodness, and making history.” – Scott Harrison. At 28 years old, Scott Harrison had it all. A top nightclub promoter in New York City, his life was an endless cycle of drugs, booze, and parties. But 10 years in, desperately unhappy and morally bankrupt, he asked himself, “What would the exact opposite of my life look like?” Walking away from everything, Harrison spent the next 16 months on a hospital ship in West Africa and discovered his true calling. In 2006, with no money and less than no experience, Harrison founded charity: water. Today, his organization has raised $496 million to bring clean drinking water to more than 11 million people around the globe.
Since 2014, Veganuary has inspired and supported more than one million people in 192 countries to try vegan for January – and beyond. They have worked with businesses to drive up vegan food provision in shops and restaurants, and have made veganism more visible and accessible through their work with national and international media. They say their vision is simple; they want a vegan world. Read more to find out the impact Veganuary had on the world.
Hein Adamson has been working in the vegan food service industry for the last 4 years and is currently studying at the Vegan Gastronomy Culinary Academy. Here shares his how he found encouragement and a lesson or two when he came across the Veganuary challenge.
Being yourself, being on good and intimate terms with yourself, being comfortable with yourself. As part of this on-going series, Eva shares how self-forgiveness and forgiving yourself on a daily basis is an indispensable prerequisite for getting there.
Your thoughts, words and actions are powerful forces. Once you unleash them, they come back to you like a returning boomerang, bringing back exactly what you send out. Suzy Singh, International Author of the Best-selling book 7 Karma Codes, speaks on how karma affects us. Touching on causality, desire and intention; the understanding presented is invaluable in helping us stay lighter and maintain our clarity in relationships and when dealing with the world.
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Anna had decided to visit her daughter Carla, for a few days. Upon reaching there, she discovered that Jane, Carla’s mother-in-law was bedridden and was scheduled to have surgery on her right leg. This was to be a third, in a series of several surgeries that she was required to undergo, and it had been a very stressful time for Carla. Anna felt sorry for her daughter and developed deep resentment towards Jane, whose constant state of illness was putting so much pressure and strain upon her poor daughter.
Feeling upset and angry, she returned to her home, distressed about her child’s plight. Two days later, Anna
slipped and fell in her bathroom, fracturing the bones in her right leg. Upon medical investigation, it was discovered that she would need the exact same surgery that Jane was scheduled to have when she was visiting her daughter. This was Karma’s boomerang effect. This incident brings to light many interesting aspects about how Karma works in our lives.
Causation is the first aspect.
Your thoughts, words and actions are powerful forces. Once you unleash them, they come back to you like a returning boomerang, bringing back exactly what you send out. Anna had resented and trivialised the suffering of Jane. She had sent out angry thoughts towards her for causing her daughter so much trouble. These thoughts brought back a similar quantum of suffering to Anna. This illustrates the causation effect of karma. Your past thoughts, speech and actions create future consequences. Karma’s objective is NOT to punish you, as many people wrongly interpret, but to maintain balance and equality in the universe.
Intentionality is the second aspect. Even though Anna pretended to be polite with Jane while she was staying with Carla, her deep intention wasn’t so good. She had hoped that Jane would stop being such a burden on her daughter. Many unkind and vicious thoughts had arisen in her mind and she had done nothing to stop them. We often believe that no one knows our deepest, darkest thoughts, but the keepers of Karma are always listening. They hear and watch everything that we think, say and do. The law of karma is only interested in your hidden intentions, not your outward expressions or pretences. After her fall, Anna felt so helpless and alone as there was no one to look after her. What she had wished for Jane, was now happening to her.
Law of Attraction is the third aspect. Whatever experiences you need to have in order to learn and purify your consciousness, Karma will bring to you. This is the law of attraction aspect and it is indicated here by the sudden fall that Anna had after returning from Carla’s home, injuring her leg. She is now scheduled to undergo the exact same surgery that Jane was to have. This demonstrates that whatever experiences you encounter in the present time, whether good or bad, are merely consequences of your past thoughts and deeds.
Attunement is Karma’s fourth aspect. Anna was so blinded by her attachment to her daughter, that it made her insensitive to Jane’s pain. This blatant rejection of another’s suffering indicates a lack of empathy and a deep intolerance for others. The only way she can develop the capacity for empathy is by going through a similar experience of suffering. This represents the attunement aspect of karma.
How Karma works
The attitude and intention with which we respond to our present circumstances determines what we will encounter in the future. If Anna reacts angrily, becoming even more enraged, cursing and blaming Jane for passing on her accident proneness or sickness to her, she will only increase her suffering. But if instead, she realises her error, and seeks forgiveness at the soul level for being so uncaring and selfish in her attitude, she can neutralise some of the bad karma she has created. By reacting to difficulties and pain with anger and hostility, we increase both our present and future suffering. However, if we respond to adversity with a sense of humility, patience, acceptance, tolerance and a learning attitude, we can fast track our suffering, even mitigate it.
Effect of Family Karma
Our Family karma also has a bearing upon our total burden of karma. If Carla’s ancestors have had a history of being selfish and entitled, those influences will bring into her life experiences where she may be required to serve others so that she can develop an attitude of service and become more oriented towards others. This will provide her the opportunity to redeem some amount of her family’s karmic burden. In this case, Carla has the opportunity to serve her mother-in-law, Jane. As we can see, this opportunity is entangled with the selfish resistance from her mother, Anna, giving us a clue about the narcissistic family karma involved.
If Carla is able to offer her service willfully to Jane, she will neutralise some of her personal and family karma, relieving her children and future generations from the transgenerational impact of this suffering to some degree. The purpose of our human incarnation is not to suffer, but to transform our suffering into the search for peace. We are born to move towards purity, perfection and liberation, and the karma we perform plays a central role in enabling or disrupting this process. Whether it’s your relationships, work, finances, or spiritual search that you are experiencing difficulties in, or feeling stuck with, the 7 Karma Codes can bring you great relief, providing you answers to questions that seem so complex and remain unresolved.
In the words of Mohanji, Global Spiritual leader, this book is “Absolutely compelling. It can help you gain a firm grip on your life. Treat it as a friend you can trust, a guide who can point you in the right direction and a reliable companion who will stand by your side through all your highs and lows of life. The 7 Karma Codes can help you know yourself better and live a more peaceful life.” How different desires design your karma Karma’s key aim is the unification of all beings. Desire, on the other hand, creates the illusion of separation. Desires can be of three kinds. When we are moved by a beggar on the street because his hunger reminds us of a time when we were in need and someone helped us, we may feel the desire to buy him some food. This is a pure desire. It is uplifting and expanding. It is sattvic in nature and it builds good karma. If however, we ignore the beggar, feeling nothing because we are in a rush to meet our friends for lunch, and we are excited about trying out a new cuisine at a fancy restaurant, our desire is driven by selfish desire. This is Rajasic desire.
If you enjoy the food, you will want to repeat the experience and may think of coming back with your husband for another meal. Through this example, we can appreciate how desires create attraction or repulsion. If our experience is pleasant, as in this case, it will increase the craving for that thing. Now let’s imagine what might happen if the husband refuses to visit this restaurant, saying that he doesn’t enjoy this cuisine. You will be disappointed and may even end up having an argument or fighting with him about this issue. Here we see how desire drives karma, creating suffering.
Let us now examine another scenario. Let’s say that in the process of reaching the restaurant, you get into a fight with someone who cuts into your parking space and you end up exchanging some rude words. Here you have created Tamasic or harmful Karma because your anger made you want to hurt or punish the other person who was trying to take your parking slot. You could end up reaching the restaurant in a bad mood, blaming the bad experience of having ruined your day. Instead of enjoying your meal, you may spend the whole afternoon venting and complaining to your friends.
Every action we perform is creating karma. When we are rushing or trying to multitask, we end up being irritated and snappy, and we unwittingly create more poor karma. This is why it is so important to maintain our internal harmony at all times so that we can respond from our centre of peace and create more good karma, than bad karma.
Neutralising past poor karma
The 7 Karma Codes reveals ancient wisdom that will help you overcome your destructive habits and tendencies, your selfish desires, and unmindful behaviours that can help you neutralise your past karma.
When we come into this life, four essential determinants decide our destiny, the quality of our consciousness, past Karma’s, current life soul syllabus, and the burden of past Karma’s that we have chosen to redeem or neutralise in this life. These create our fixed destiny. Many people wonder if this means that we have no choice, because everything is always pre-decided. The truth is that you do have the power and free will to change your destiny. But to do so, you need to understand the universal laws and internal forces that act upon your psyche. You also need to know how to skillfully align yourselves with these laws, and how to counteract the opposing effect of internal forces. The 7 Karma codes explain these in great detail, in a very interesting and simple manner, through the loving and deep conversations between a mother and her young daughter, called Precious. Together they explore how to create a better and more powerful destiny.
To order your copy of the 7 Karma Codes book click HERE
To order your copy of the Serbian Edition of the 7 Karma Codes click HERE.
About Suzy Singh
Suzy Singh is a Healer, Karma Coach, Spiritual Teacher & Author of the bestselling book 7 Karma Codes, Heal the Storm Within. She is based in Delhi, India and can be reached on email@example.com.
Her website is www.suzyheals.com