Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Why would an action thriller writer write a spiritual book

From as far back as I can remember (reading Amar Chitra Kathas as a kid) I wondered about God and his purpose. There was an innate curiosity about religion. My mother was a follower of Guru Nanak. Daily she would reverently read the Granth Sahib which was in the original Gurmukhi script. Besides the Jap Ji Sahib, which I can recite some pauris by heart,  there were other Hindu rituals that I followed. I didn’t question, but deep within, I was confused about what God expected of me and my life. After marriage, the religious ritualistic worship continued. I followed the elders without questioning them, or when I ventured to ask,  I was told  that they had been following the same rituals for generations. It was the path to follow. I did follow for decades, but, I must admit, not with sincerity.

When the opportunity came about to write about the great humanitarian, Dada Vaswani, I was totally enamored. From my limited knowledge about him, I learnt that he did not preach a particular path, but said that we must find our own spiritual path through our own understanding of the self. I loved the concept, and I wanted to learn more. I had to write about this great man of science who gave up everything to become a disciple and a lover of the Divine. And, at the same time I hoped to discover the true meaning of God.

A different genre

It was a challenge to switch from fiction to nonfiction. When I started on the research I said to myself, ‘what was I even thinking ?’ how could I do this, especially since Dada Vaswani is such a revered saint, evolved soul, and me being such a novice in matters of spirituality. How could I, a non-follower be able to write this?

So I spent a few sleepless nights thinking, and thinking. Worrying restlessly.

Then I realised that the best approach to structure the book would be to convert my doubts and make it the very strength of the book, my perspectives would be different, one of an unenlightened person.

There are many who are unaware about Dada Vaswani and his great work. My process of discovering, as I wrote this book, meant that I could be a companion to my reader, as we both learn about his life journey together. So I dove into writing the first draft.

Panic mode

In the midst of writing, suddenly I froze – I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information. I was bogged down by the long list of Dada’s achievements, selfless deeds, talks, recognition, awards, and so on. There was so much Dada Vaswani had achieved that I wasn’t sure how to cover all his meaningful moments without ending up like a shopping list of dry facts.

There was a key element missing in my book. So I took time to ponder and reflect.

From my first few drafts, I felt dissatisfied and insincere and unsure…I turned to Dada’s closest devotees for help. With their guidance I realised what was missing: amidst Dada’s many external achievements, I neglected to show his deeper traits, the true persona of Dada Vaswani –  the personality of the man who is innately humble, compassionate and accepting of all pain and suffering (which I have mentioned in the book). He is extremely in tune with the feelings of others, and a deep thinker and a wise soul. And more than that, a disciple to his Guru (His uncle Sadhu Vaswani) and a lover of the Divine.

I am grateful that I did this. During my eighteen month journey in writing and rewriting this book, I renewed my faith. My doubts are somewhat cleared up. In the process, I discovered that a simple prayer, a simple positive thought, a simple attitude of love is all that one needs to do to connect, it’s all a part of being spiritual. In addition, doing anything: work, pray, or love – with sincerity – I repeat sincerity from within – is what matters the most.  It’s a way to connect with a Higher Power. I believe it to be true.

My Reflections 

I realise that being spiritual is not about being a certain type, it’s not a whim or a passing fad. It’s not about fitting in or rebelling. To be spiritual is to accept, to learn, to develop and adapt to circumstances and life situations. Daily living involves multiple thoughts, decisions, and actions. And in daily life, it becomes necessary to constantly monitor those thoughts, lest they evoke negative feelings.

Being spiritual involves multiple aspects of our being which tests our self-discipline, tests our sincerity, our self-honesty. It is a way to get real, to deepen, and reconnect to our true selves. We live a superficial existence, we follow norms, we make decisions that may not always be right for us. We need to find clarity. And clarity can come in silence. Sitting quietly and observing our thoughts is enough to make us realise what’s happening within, and what needs to be changed.

To bring a grounding within, is to realise that what really matters is discovering our own reality. In that process, there’s no wrong or right, no judgement, no faults or criticisms. Being honest with oneself, faults and all, is a place to start.

I have discovered that how you feel inside is what matters more than the image projected. And being grateful is a way to understand, that being perfect is not the primary importance. It is being happy in relationships, in daily routine, and accepting, that’s what makes life meaningful, and yes, in helping others in need. These aspects also lead to a subtle way of understanding oneself.

I cannot live outside of my mind, sometimes I wish I could. But we live within ourselves forever, with all the past experiences, the present moments and future plans. We carry regrets and remorse, pains and pleasures. All of those emotions can weaken, or they can make us wiser. We have to understand this and have the strength to transform, discipline and evolve ourselves. Being spiritual is empowering.

Dada Vaswani: A Life in Spirituality

21013760_685167048345933_2788848164742259299_o

Advertisements

Like most writers, inspiration strikes on different levels. Not necessarily a story idea, but a way of life, an experience, a life lesson. It buzzes in the brain and insists on being written. So, I pen my random thoughts, which I energise with short snappy words and phrases. Not more than 300 words of peppy motivations.

Sometimes I think the moon cycles influence my spontaneity. Other times, it could be an inner resilient rebellious mood swing. Maybe, words flow because it is a normal extension of being a writer, that one cannot just sit mentally still. I’ve tried meditation, which incidentally, opens up a treasure chest of ideas.

I’ve been feeling restless lately, I want more people to read my work. I’m also lazy when it comes to promoting on social media. In addition, I’m not familiar on how to increase traffic, which people have told me is very important. In that case I decided to piggy-back.

Recently, there was a lot of hype surrounding a portal created by Alibaba Group in India. They’ve come up with UC News – We Media Program for publishers and content writers. I signed up and have written some articles. So far, there hasn’t been much following. But then I’ve not been updating regularly. Anyway, do have a read in UC News. And yes, it’s available for public access on UC News Android app. Be a follower if you can.

Create Your Own Power Pedestal

It is Okay to be Enough

Positive Approach in a Negative Zone

Unflinching Devotion to One’s True Self

Clinging and Desiring Vs Patience and Detachment

Here’s the latest pic of me on my birthday. A moment of happy – content.

20170626_143432

Sitting is the norm, it is what you do everywhere and probably more than 10 hours of the day involves being seated, whether at work or socially. My chiropractor gave me an eye-popping advice, he told me that sitting for extended periods of time is as bad a smoking. Can you believe that? As bad as smoking!

That very day, I got myself a standing desk.

It’s been six months, and the process of writing as I stand has been an inspiring experience.

I discovered that the mind needs physical movements to stay alert, to be constructive, to be inspired. So every few minutes, I would stroll around the room, stare out the window, stretch my arms and bend forward and touch my toes. It feels good, then I crack my knuckles and I am back at my desk, inspired in both body and mind.

Generally, we are wired to be in a state of rest, but rest doesn’t mean lazy. It means resting a physically exhausted body and overworked mind. But, when that extends to complacency, into couch-potato mode, than the body and mind become sluggish. Unless, you lack in some vital nutrients or suffer some other deficiency you cannot let a healthy body and mind turn to sludge.

Mealtimes are when you must sit, and not stand and eat, bad for digestion. So, when I say stand longer than you sit, use that phrase wisely.

Here are some tried and tested tips to keep your mind and body moving, and useful when you tire of standing:

1. March on the spot, raise your hands up in the air, stretch and say: I’m blessed with all I have. Keep doing this for about a minute

2. Bend forward, try to touch your toes. Don’t think early morning stretches are enough. Stretch your body every few hours.

3. The spine needs to be erect, posture needs to be correct. Or pain sets in. So, be aware, are you slouching? Are you hunched? And conciously stand straight

4. Bend your neck backwards for a count of hundred, why? Because you are cricking your neck in the opposite direction all day long…and you don’t need me to tell you why!

Be well in mind and body

It has been a journey of seeking…seeking the known in the unknown, the authentic from the superficial. I search for that, that which makes me wonder about many possibilities in the universe. I know, instinctively, there is a Higher power out there…or maybe it is within me.
 
There comes a point in life when you ask why and what’s the purpose of it all. It’s a moment of truth, of a search of something just beyond. It is the mind and heart exhausted from all the life experiences. Living in that pool of preconceived notions and habitual behaviour, it is like you’re on auto-pilot, going through the motions of existing, wired to be, to think, to behave in a way that is expected. Then comes the parts of your self that begins to question and rebel, the heart and mind fragment. There are moments of doubt and disappointment 
 
The subconscious needs to repair the fragments of yourself. 
Those little bits and pieces of your self came apart because of what life offered you in lessons and experiences.
An inner restlessness is a sign that you want to transform, to change, to become different from what you were cast out to be, but you’re not sure how. There’s a part of yourself that needs fulfilling, it is a sensation of discomfort in a disturbed state of mind. In that maze of confusion, your inner compass goes haywire.
 
This goes on for weeks, months, maybe even years. You think and wonder and ask a lot of whys…and you seek answers in all kinds of places. Those places offer nothing more than temporary gratification. You are still not discovering the balance within.
 
And the wondering and wandering continues…more life lessons and experiences tests your limits. Stretches your mind. More questions crop up. The restlessness doesn’t cease but expands to a feverish pitch. It is demanding and fierce.
This is when the epiphany hits…that crucial moment – the moment after you’ve had your fill of wandering and temporary fulfillment. You realise that there’s that place just beyond your reach…but within your grasp. And you know you have to take that leap of faith…either that or once again succumb into the web of wandering and disillusionment.
When you let go and accept…you break through your ego, your fears, your veils of attachments…And you know you have to do this:
Because it is the only way to discover your deeper core
Because facing yourself means being courageous
It means dealing with the pain which will cut through the dark veils of your past self
You will be able to sense with clarity
Instinctively you will know you have discovered an inner guide
This difference in your self is disturbing and new… sometimes it challenges your every thought and emotion…yet you face those negative moments with a warrior spirit…with a sense of awareness and detachment
 
Because it is true, life is not all that you expected it to be
Because there is a part of you that knows…that very deep instinctive part of you, it knows this is the only way to shape your reality.  
It will build you whole from your fragments, it will enable you to be complete within your self.
 
When that happens, you flow, you grow, you connect with others, you express what they cannot, understand what they feel, and speak a truth that gives them a key to their own heart.
 
It will happen. All you need to do is go deeper within yourself and you will find your truth…your power.
 

According to Wikipedia, the Suspension of Disbelief is the temporary acceptance as believable of events or characters that would ordinarily be seen as incredible. This is usually to allow an audience to appreciate works of literature or drama that are exploring unusual ideas.

Taking a spin on this, I’m prone to believing in something, no matter how unusual, based on gut instinct. I am open to new creative insights on ancient beliefs.

We try to fit concepts like ‘creativity’, ‘ideas’ and ‘story’ into parameters. But mostly these are instinctive and emerge from something much deeper within us: it is a mysterious, symbolic world of the unconscious which speaks a dream language of images and gut feelings.

Therefore, what I share below is not a marketing tactic. It’s not a social media look-at-me spotlight. It’s got nothing to do with anything ulterior. It is instinctive.

I have no particular agenda, other than the fact that curiosity got the better of me, and I just felt like sharing this with you. I am fascinated by Indian author, Abhishek Leela Pandey’s very exciting fictional tale – The Man with Five Heads – The book is an anthropological realistic take on the ancient texts of Hinduism, with the concept of Trinity, being the central theme.

cover page

‘Let me tell you about a world in which I lived. The world which witnessed the greatest of warriors, fiercest of lovers, purest of emotions and brightest of ambitions. Let me tell you about a world where glaciers were serene, moonlight was tranquil, sun was mightier and wind was soothing. A world where co-operation was valued more than competition, loyalty ranked above variety, honesty ranked above prosperity, duties ranked above rights.

Let me tell you about an incident when humanity was forsaken and this near-perfect world was shaken.

Let me tell you about The Creator, The Preserver, and The Destroyer…Let me tell you that I witnessed it all. Let me be proud that I lived in that world, I lived in the time of Shiva, I lived in the time of Vishnu and…

I lived in the time of Brahma.’

https://www.instamojo.com/paninipublishers/the-man-with-five-heads-7c3ea/

Blaze the Trail

You’ve heard it in songs, read it countless times, watched youtube videos – everyone’s telling you the same thing – follow your dreams, your heart, your calling…

Do it if you dare… Because if you do, then you’ll have to face the most unrelenting, scary, roller-coaster ride of your life. A life that will test your limits, that will challenge, that will break you down, and transform you from the inside out. So, if you really have the guts, then armour up – you have a lot to face if you want to stay true to your dream, your craft, your goal or whatever it is that lights up your insides.

Dive into the uncharted territory that fires your spirit…

Trust me…if you really want to do this, you better be mentally and physically prepared for what happens next. This dream of yours may require some amount of risk, it will face opposition. That’s the easy part, when you get on the path, the journey will rip you apart, tear down your ego, make you vulnerable, and twist you around, it’s going to knock you down so low, you wonder why you didn’t listen to the opposition and just let your dream die and give it a decent burial.

But hey, don’t you dare give up….

Because at the lowest point, at the moment when all your hard work has been rejected, when all the strength has died, when all the enthusiasm has seeped out, then comes the glimmer of hope, of sunshine – a sliver of light in the darkness – a small step up on your journey to your goal. A nod, a yes, a positive sign, a hand-shake: That’s all it will take to stand tall again and say it’s all going to be fantastic. Don’t listen to the detractors, they’ll say ‘well that’s just a small step up’, you smile and say, ‘bless you, yeah, a small step is all I need, to make that giant leap.’ Judgements of others are based on their own inner insecurities – they are not your problem. Your concern should be focussed on your mental strength, it is yours to mould and master. And then you will notice something interesting – your journey will make you deeply perceptive.

And you know what that means…

You learn about your self – your commitment – your principles – your weak points and strong points – you tailor yourself to become better than before. You start to challenge yourself even more, take risks. Not everything is about the money, or padding the CV, or impressing the society. It’s about YOU and your life choices, and your improvement. You just have to compete with yourself, get better at what you do.

It has taken every ounce of your will-power to defy the norm. But if you want something, then have the guts to accept that this is who you are, and how you are wired. Not everyone will understand, but those who do, will respect you for who you have become.

That means respect your craft…

After all the time spent striving towards whatever you aimed to achieve. Take a moment to say thank you, show gratitude, say, ‘I am deeply grateful for this beautiful gift.’ Be disciplined, continue to practice and improve. Maybe, in this life, that’s how you might find bliss, by accepting your path, by making every moment meaningful.

By finding your Truth.

there were many ways to do the deed

drips and drops or creative speed

constraints of time meant do or die
zoned out deep but eager to fly

‘ twas jots and notes in hundred seconds
rushed and hurried, reality beckoned
patched out lightening thriller stories
prided myself for the disciplined glories
but no joy came, just the painful kind
restlessness fogged up the mind
So I deeply reflected and analysed
slowly then I began to realise
there’s a higher realm, the rocky way
the inner focus not outer fray
life’s wisdom twists a new DNA
To accept the route and so I say
I journey with the love of word
I rise and fall just like a bird
but the meaning of life is simply this
flow and feel, but keep the bliss
20161009_201039