Society

A monk’s take

Religion and spirituality: Differentiate between them, says Om Swami  

At a time when material comforts, getting the best gadgets and the highest paying job in the corporate pecking order is the biggest priority for most individuals, Om Swami took a different career path. He got a management degree in Australia, rose up the corporate ladder and was running a company before deciding to pursue his ambition to discover god. In his memoir, If Truth Be Told, he talks about this journey.

“From childhood, I was fascinated by spirituality. I wanted to discover and meet god. I kept doing sadhanas, followed scriptures, but did not discover god. I had decided then that I would lead a spiritual life. It was a planned decision and not a spur of the moment call.” He adds: “I used to run my own company in Australia and left it to pursue my goal of discovering god. I spent almost a year and a half in the Himalayas. I lived in cold damp caves, learnt to meditate for long hours and survived on fruits and berries. I was desperate for a vision of the mother divine. I was nobody when I went to the Himalayas. It was a spiritual journey that changed my life. I have dealt with it extensively in the book.”

How has the stint in the Himalayas changed his life? “I have managed to manifest god with extreme concentration. I can control my pulse beat, heart rate and can control body temperature. I did not have a reason to come back from the Himalayas. Someone asked me to write a book detailing my journey and this book is a result of that effort.”

He quips, “I am not on a grand spiritual mission. This book was in the making for almost two years, though it took me only 10 days to pen it all down.”

Om Swamy stays in an ashram in the Himalayas, where he spends most of his time meditating, writing, and meeting devotees. “I am always in a meditative state and find it difficult to come out of it. This book is for someone who thirsts for knowledge on finding god and is unable to do so. I faced a similar situation when I began my spiritual journey. I hope this book helps people.”

He has written seven books, dealing with concepts such as mediation and chakras and other aspects of spirituality and more books are in the offing. “I pay my bills thanks to my books. I am looking at writing books about yoga and meditation.”

Talking about the violence that is often conducted in the name of religious faith, Swami says, “Religion and spirituality are very different.

Religion is not connected with god. I found god because I was mediating. I would consider humanism the actual religion. Religion is just a set of symbols. It is being hijacked for political and monetary gains.”

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 11:28:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/om-swami-talks-about-his-journey-from-heading-a-company-to-becoming-a-monk/article6719299.ece

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