HYDERABAD: Being spiritual is to heighten the spirit in oneself. By heightening our spirits through pleasures of life, we can heighten the inner energy is what Swami Sukhabodhananda says is the key to happiness.
The spiritual guru who was in the city for his workshops shared his experiences about his work in the fields of spirituality, charity and stress.
What’s real joy?
Talking about his journey of spirituality, Swami Sukhabodhananda said, “I hail from a fairly wealthy family in Bangalore and I studied in one of the best schools. My friends were into drugs, alcohol and I always knew there was something wrong with these things and none of them gave them fulfillment or happiness. If the known avenues don’t give you real joy what else is giving you real joy was the question in my mind. Then I took up Chinmaynanda’s course on Gita where Lord Krishna says happiness is within you and not outside and that is how my spiritual journey has started.”
“We can heighten our inner energy not through sensual pleasures of life but through enhancing the very context of living. Anger, frustration, likes or dislikes are contradictory and make content of consciousness messy. We worship trees for oxygen and sun for heat. We need to respect the inter connectivity and thus, support charity,” he opined.Swami Sukhabodhananda feels stress makes our life unintelligent. Citing his own life as an example, he said, “I have been travelling across the world for over 12 years and this involves physical stress,” he said and added that since such physical stress is for a good cause, it is positive stress.
“While travelling, I avoid laptops and phones and instead to listen to classical music to ward off stress. Likewise, exercises are also healthy stress,” he explains.
According to the guru staying up late nights or eating unhealthy food are unhealthy stressors, which people need to minimise for maximum experience. “Thus, I always make it a point to address stress levels in all my workshops and Gita talks,” he adds.
In an age where most youth don’t seem to have much interest in anything spiritual, Swami Sukhabodhananda’s workshops are often filled with those in their twenties. Swamiji explains, “West is different from India and England is different from America. Even though on a peripheral sense we are different, lifestyle is different but deep inside conflicts are the same, it is the same anger, jealousy and stress issues. Therefore, deep within, humanity has something that is static. In the younger generation, the chain of thinking is the same. It is the same stress of finding a job or relationship or any worldly pleasures. They are attracted to me because I have a rich knowledge of Indian philosophy and Sanskrit and my talks have jokes, examples and common issues. I talk the language of the youth and use people-friendly words. For instance, I ask the youth what are your blind spots instead of using the word ignorance and this clicks with the youth. It may appears non-spiritual but the content is the same.”
Love people not objects
Swami Sukhabodhananda who also interacts with corporate employees, feels our lives lack balance and are marred with relationship issues. “There are three types of people -- self oriented, others oriented and life-centred. Today people are very self-centered which is bad. In fact, being others centred is equally bad. I tell people to be life-centered, life in you, others and in plants and animals. This is how we will unlearn using people and loving objects,” the guru explains.
‘Be the lamp’
He also has a message for the youth, “Remember what a little lamp can do the great sun cannot do i.e., sun cannot shine in the night. You and I are little lamps but we can shine in the night. Secondly, instead of looking in all four directions, look inside. That’s from where eternal bless begins”.
On account of Swami Sukhabodhananda 60th birthday in next April he has asked his followers throughout the world to do charity. Meanwhile, ‘River of my Life’ a compilation on the last 25 years of his discourses and books, teachings along with people’s experiences will allow us more insight into his life and teachings.