The cheap flyer walks to peace

The father of low-cost air travel, GR Gopinath believes in long walks in the hills, says Jayadevan PK

The man who gave the common man wings takes to the hills, the rivers, or to his farmhouse in Hassan when faced with inner strife. “More than the question of existence of God, I wonder about the mysteries of the world, the beauty of nature and the vastness of creation,” Captain G R Gopinath says, when a philosophical poser on the existence of god was presented.

Like the 18th-century Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant, who concluded that one cannot transcend experience through concepts derived from experience, Captain Gopinath feels that when it comes to God, he is limited by the limited nature of human perception.

Hovering somewhere around the concepts of modern spiritualism and native astuteness, his idea of prayer is not a conventional one. “I do not pray at all in the conventional sense,” he says. “When I need spi­ritual awakening, I go to the Himalayas, walk around the hills, all by myself and try to distance myself from the rest of civilisation.”

Quoting from the Upanishads, he says, “Advaitam Anantam, there is infinity in the oneness around you.” The conventional belief is very man-centric, he believes. As an infinitesimal part of the universe, Gopinath does not want to fancy himself as its centre.

There is a oneness that prevails everything, he says and goes on to recite from Tagore’s poem — “Whom does thou worship in the dark corner of the room”, is not there in front of you but is out there. “There are answers that come up when you identify yourself with the beauty of the world,” he says.

“My mother was very religious and my father was spiritual. My father was religious in a spiritual sense. He never went to a temple to worship. He believed in the beauty of the world.”

According to him, his way of connecting with the nature has paid off. “I come out stronger.” Always a man of action, Gopinath likes the central concept of the Gita — pure action. “Consequences and results are bound to happen when you lose yourself in action,” he notes.

Escapism is not something he advises. “Harmony is possible when you find yourself spiritually aligned with the world. You need to find salvation through the world. Running away is not a solution.”


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The New Indian Express