I was at BITS Goa for the TEDx there and their magazine interviewed me… here is that interview (a little abridged)…
Q. Life teaches us many lessons as we go along, then why does one need Art of Living? What is its importance in daily life?
A. So that you learn the lessons properly! If you have learnt your lesson you will not commit the same mistake again. If we had learnt our lesson in World War 1, would there have been a
World War 2? Would there have been the Vietnam, Iraq or all the other wars? We don’t know how to learn the lessons that life has to offer. We need lessons so that you don’t commit thesame mistakes over and over again, like a stuck record. Art of living allows you to make new mistakes in life.
Q. In today’s world we see people leading hectic lives, with hardly any time for leisure. How would you integrate spirituality with that kind of a lifestyle?
A. If you don’t have spirituality you will be stuck leading the life you have to lead rather than the life you want to lead. Spirituality makes you efficient, productive, and creative so that things that you have to do you manage quickly and you have time to do the things you want to do.
Q. Are there any myths associated with spirituality that you would like to clear?
A. The biggest myth is that it is not for me. It is for you. There are only three types of people not eligible for spirituality. Type one- you are dead. Too late. Type two- you are enlightened. You are already spiritual. Type three- you are clinically mentally retarded, then Art of Living cannot help you. If you do not fall within these three categories, then spirituality is for you. This is the biggest myth- “I don’t need it”. Until you do it, you have no idea what it is and whether you need it or not.
Q. Sir, you mentioned that this course has helped you a lot. Could you please mention a few transformations that you have seen in yourself that would interest the students of BITS?
A. There are so many things. In IIT while i was studying, I was a four point someone and I graduated as a seven point someone. I think that should interest everybody! Physically my health improved terrifically… And I became a better piano player, a better cook, a better son, a better friend… a better human being. I was upgraded.
Q. What would be your message to the students?
A. Upgrade yourself!
Q. Not everybody can be Einstein. Can people still have satisfaction and fulfillment in their lives?
A. Every person has some amazing, brilliant thing with them that they need to contribute to this world. The moment they start giving, they get fulfillment and satisfaction. The moment they start taking they feel frustrated and miserable. The whole purpose is to start giving. Taking is such a futile thing- you take a degree, you take money and within a few years, you are dead. But how will you make your mark on this planet? By giving. Like Lata Mangeshkar gives with her voice, Aamir Khan gives with his acting. Guruji gives us spirituality. Figure out what you can give. Don’t waste your life figuring what you can take. Anyway, it is going to be taken away from you eventually. So learn to give. And know that you have an abundance to give. Don’t think that you are poor or have nothing to give.
Right in the beginning there was a big race, a great race… Three hundred million sperms were fighting, and you won. So never think that you are a loser. You are one in three hundred million! You started your life as a winner, and so continue your life like that!
Interviewed by Abhishek Agrawal and Basanti Nachine from the Department of Journalism and Media Affairs at BITS Pilani, Goa Campus