What is Vedanta? Is it a religion?
Vedanta is the ancient philosophy that enunciates the eternal principles of life and living.
Which explains the meaning and purpose of your existence in the world. A knowledge that trains you to think for yourself. To analyze, investigate and realize the quintessence of life. Ultimately, it leads you to spiritual Enlightenment.
Vedanta expounds the truth methodically, logically. It does not rely on the authority of a preceptor. Its truth is its authority. No master or messiah can claim it. No religion has a hold on it. It belongs to one and all. Bears no distinction of caste or creed, community or country. Its universal application appeals to all lovers of truth.
Terrorism is getting a lot of attention at the moment. What are its causes and the best way to deal with it?
Human beings are gifted with an intellect. The capacity to reason and decide a course of action in life. Not realizing the vital role the intellect plays, humans have ignored and neglected it. And people are left with a barren intellect. Consequently humanity is torn apart into divisions and demarcations. Has engendered bitterness and hatred, militancy and terrorism.
The intellect has to be developed by oneself. My father and guru, Swami Parthasarathy, through years of deep study and research has prepared adequate literature and founded the Vedanta Academy, which runs continuous three-year residential and online courses wholly dedicated and designed to strengthen the intellect.
Relationship problems abound in the modern world. What is the cause and how can authenticity and connection be restored?
Problems in relationships arise because of the deadly trait of attachment. Attachment is opposed to love. Where one looks into one’s personal interest rather than that of another. Attachment is rooted in self-centeredness, selfishness. Whereas love is based on selflessness and sacrifice. You would need a powerful intellect to control, govern and not let the mind slip into such attachment.
What do you consider most important for today’s youth to be aware of?
Thinking is generally considered a natural process like seeing, hearing or breathing. The youth must understand that to develop the faculty of thinking, reasoning you need to devote as much time and effort to it as you would to learning any other art or skill. The process of thinking should start from an early age. They would need to follow the program developed by Swami Parthasarathy.
Your life is devoted to the study and propagation of Vedanta. What inspires you?
The virtue of selflessness, the power of truth, the grandeur of duty is a fountainhead of inspiration.
What do you do for enjoyment during your free time?
True and constant enjoyment lies in doing what ought to be done. Moment to moment, experience by experience. Having learned that lesson early has made life and all my time enjoyable.
What is the best advice you have received?
Serve, Love, Learn and realize your Self.
Your three-day retreat in September has the ancient text Bhaja Govindam as its theme. Why this text?
Bhaja Govindam gives out basic instructions on life. It helps create a strong foundation for self-development irrespective of circumstance. Points out human beings’ delusion in pursuing the external world for peace and happiness. And urges them to seek the supreme Self within to reach the eternal Abode of bliss.