Life flows spontaneously and is infinitely greater than all your plans or intentions put together.
Dear LWP Readers,
This past week I had the opportunity to meet bestselling author and celebrity speaker, the wonderful and prolific, Amish Tripathi in Mumbai. This week’s very special piece is about our conversation which covered a wide range of topics from his writing process to atheism in ancient India to current issues in India relating to religion, society and politics.
In Conversation with Amish
If someone had told me a year ago that I would one day be interviewing India’s “first literary pop-star” (a label by film maker Shekhar Kapur), I would have thought it a nice joke. The reaction may seem justified in light of the fact that a year ago, I could mostly be found immersed in financial spreadsheets and legal documents in a cozy office on a chic Parisian street overlooking the grand La Madeleine.
But following an eventful year of many life changes, I now find myself sitting in a swanky meeting room in Lower Parel in Mumbai on a bright and humid September morning, waiting expectantly for bestselling celebrity author Amish Tripathi to arrive. The author of the wildly popular Shiva Trilogy and the latest Ram Chandra series has been named among the 100 most influential Indians by Forbes magazine for many years.
In my personal experience, Amish’s books evoke a rather unusual emotion. As a reader, I fully expect a bestseller to pull me into the story; I expect to be engrossed, thrilled and generally taken on an enjoyable ride. But I do not expect to feel this one emotion that creeps up on reading Amish’s books – gratitude. Gratitude for pulling out the characters and Gods from ancient Indian texts into modern minds and making them so relatable; for paying homage to India’s great past.
Here’s the highlights from the past week on LWP:
– In September 1893, Swami Vivekananda spoke in America for the first time and his speeches were an instant hit. His opening words at the Parliament of World Religions, on September 11th received a two-minute standing ovation. Read the text of the speech and Vivekananda’s message for the world.
– LWP shared the second part of the enlightening two-part essay in which Beloo Mehra explained the true relationship between the Guru and disciple and also, why there have been and are, so many gurus. Sri Aurobindo’s wisdom on these topics serves as an indispensable guide for both seekers and those not familiar with the role of a Guru.
– LWP featured the final part in this four-part series in which Ganesh Varadharajan contrasts Eastern and Western thought with a focus on pop-culture portrayals of the evolution and future of humanity. In this part, Ganesh explained The Mother’s vision of the future of humanity and the role of the Supramental towards achieving it – something that appears to have inspired many Hollywood movie makers in recent times.
– “To claim a limited end to a limitless process, to reduce the infinite to the finite, to draw borders across the borderless, to make measurements of the unfathomable – this is the beginning of the human impulse to create certainty where none exists. It is the birth of pain, of suffering, of delusion.
The spiritual journey is a journey towards clarity, but never towards certainty. When you draw conclusions about beginnings and endings, you are a believer. When you accept that you really do not know anything, you become a seeker.” Read more of the excerpt from Adiyogi: The Source of Yoga by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
– “The earth beneath my feet moved. I was going down and could not see any soil beneath my feet. It was white ice all around. I pressed my trekking shoes against the ice as hard as I could and managed to regain my balance. I took a moment to catch my breath and then went to the edge of the cliff to see what was going on…” Read more of the final part of the Everest Series in which Rohit Kumar finds that the awesome beauty of Mother Nature is enough to energise and lift one’s spirits in the toughest moments.
– The previous week on LWP was all about digging into our past and enlightening ourselves with the words and lives of some great men from India’s not too distant past, like Swami Vivekanada, Sri Aurobindo and Dr S. Radhakrishnan. It seems in this time of 24/7 media, 140-character opinions (courtesy Twitter), general social media shouting and bickering and often rudderless debates, that we as a society are much deprived of good, enlightening literature. LWP hopes to fill that gap and if not enlighten you (just yet) then at least inspire you with the wisdom of which this country of India has been the custodian for many millennia. Read the highlights from the previous week on LWP in case you missed them.
As always, I look forward to your comments, feedback, suggestions and article contributions. Do share this with those you think may be interested so that they can also and join the wiser-living movement!
Wishing you a lovely day wherever in the world you may be!
Editor, the LivingWise Project