BENGALURU : Kamlesh Patel, popularly called Daaji, has practiced pharmacy in New York before he was named as a successor to a century-old lineage of spiritual masters. As a modern-day guru, he travels widely and extends his support to spiritual seekers everywhere. He pays special attention to the youth, in an attempt to guide them spiritually. His latest book, Designing Destiny, focuses on what destiny is and ways in which one can attempt to change their life.
What was your trigger for writing Designing Destiny?
Back in 2014, we started a series of International Youth Seminars, and my young friends were always asking questions like, “Is my destiny fixed? What can I do to change?” etc. At the time I realised their genuine interest in understanding what they can do in designing their destiny. So based on the discussions we had and the talks I gave, this book evolved.
Have any of your books been inspired by vernacular books?
My books and articles are often inspired by conversations with young people, and the questions they have about life, the future and how spiritual practices can help them. So in a sense these books are inspired by vernacular conversations rather than books. I am keen to share whatever practical tips and approaches I have learned during my time as a student of spirituality, so that the youth of today can start as young as possible to make positive changes and realise their potential towards a brighter future.
Do you go back to your old writings? How does it feel to re-read what you had written years back?
Recently we did a series of readings of some of my talks and articles from the last six to seven years, and it was amazing to realise what I had said. It was as if everything was already in seed form back then that is unfolding now. Actually, those seeds were sown a long time ago, and took time to germinate as a result of the wonderful training of my Guide. I see the old writings now having greater understanding in me.
Have you always seen yourself as a writer? What has been your inspiration as a writer?
No, not really, although I write after meditation and often at others times in a series of journals that I always keep with me, especially my experiences arising out of this personal spiritual journey. The people who have inspired me most are Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Swami Vivekenanda, Ram Chandra of Fatehgarh and Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur.
But I also love reading good science, and anything that challenges my perception of existence. Inspiration also comes from within, either when I have been meditating, or reflecting, or in discussion, and new ideas come from a deeper place within. It is a simple process of allowing the superconscious mind to express itself.
What is the process you undergo while writing?
It is very much a process of dictating the inspiration that descends in my talks. So the most important thing is to be ready to receive ideas and thoughts, which means being alert and receptive, with a pure and simple state of consciousness. If I have writer’s block, I wait until it unblocks!
How difficult or easy is it to get published? Have you had to modify or change the content of any of your books for it to get published?
Getting published has just happened. The changes I have had to make are welcome ones, as they make the books more readable. It is always good to have critics who tell you that more work is needed, or more explanation is required, for the writing to be good.
Do you think marketing has played an integral role in the success of your books?
I guess it has played some role, but it is not my field of expertise. In many ways, I am reluctant to be so visible in the public eye, but if more people get to know about these wonderful practices, and are thus able to design their own destiny, then it is worth doing.
Have you moved to reading books on screen or do you prefer the old-fashioned books?
There are times when I need to read books online or on a screen, but I much prefer old-fashioned books. There is something very relaxing about reading a book.