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The hero inside you

Swami Akshara is a new age guru and his discourse on "Hanuman - the hero in you" propagates the idea of realising one's inner potential.

WORDS OF WISDOM: Swami Akshara's discourses are motivating.

WITH HIS arms folded, he is the paragon of servile humility. But, with a mace in one hand and the other akimbo, there is no obstacle that is insurmountable to him. For Hanuman, the monkey god epitomises every virtue - supreme devotion, steadfastness, felicity of thought and speech and courage to list a few.

A most striking feature of this mighty and valorous god was that he was unaware of his innate prowess. A realisation of the powers dawned only after the exhortations of Jambavan. What follows thereafter is the Sundarakanda in the Ramayana.

Swami Akshara, a new age guru was in town last week discoursing on this very topic and exhorting his audience to realise their potential. `Hanuman - the hero in you' was a four-day programme organised by the Akshara foundation to help people identify their latent potential; realise the Hanuman inside each of us. "There is a potential; a spiritual force that is not yet explored or experienced. These qualities and potential must be explored," says Swami Akshara.

Swami Akshara is truly a new age guru. Armed with an MBA degree and employed with a multinational banking company till recently, it was a road accident a couple of years ago that brought him "illumination" or "enlightenment." Ever since the period of convalescence got over, Swami Akshara has been travelling all across the country and beyond discoursing on scriptures and conducting workshops combining the best of the material and the spiritual worlds. His four-day programme in town has been a success, he claims, mainly because the people in Hyderabad are "evolved". "There is so much we have to imbibe from Hanuman and the phenomenon that he is. Conceptually, Hanuman is the mind. Rama is the soul; it is the surrender of mind to soul; matter to spirit. Hanuman (mainly in the Sundarakanda) is power personified," he explains. "The Hanuman that we need to realise within ourselves is fearlessness and doing what comes naturally to us, maintaining a balanced and steady approach sans excitement."

As is wont with most swamijis of the new age, Swami Akshara endeavours to combine the sublime with the mundane; the esoteric with the profane - something that makes them gel with generationext.

Ask Swami Akshara what happiness is all about and he responds, "the absence of sorrow. It is relative, temporary and changes. Happiness and sorrow are two sides of the same coin (of life)." Having said that, Swami Akshara also stresses the need for meditation and prayer. "Prepare your mind as you prepare your body. As you put on your best clothes and ensure that they remain the best till you return home, so you must present your mind each day," he discourses. Prayer, he says, can protect the mind. "You must prepare yourself mentally each day as much as you prepare physically." Which is why the Swami also promotes alternative therapies like reiki, pranic healing and vedic meditation.

The sum and substance of the Swami and the Akshara Foundation (it runs a school for rural poor children near Pondicherry and also engages in socio-cultural activity) is a slogan - `Together we liberate each other.' He elaborates, "one could talk on this mission for a whole life time. When two people are together, there is a possibility of conflict, animosity, hatred, anger, doubt -- a whole range of emotions. Yet we can liberate each other by realising that we have to live together and are not a burden on the other. True liberation is while you are in this world by understanding the innate goodness. One need not be cut off from the material world to achieve this liberation. To renounce the world for peace of mind is ignorance. But, to find it through the noisy world is true wisdom." For someone who enjoys a Beethoven as much as Vedic chants, is equally passionate about cars and racing as about Hanuman Chalisa, his advise to people is equally pragmatic and simple. "Be yourself; you are unique (not merely distinct) and special. Don't compare yourself with anybody. Do your best without comparison.' Sound words of wisdom for many in today's world, worth implementing.


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