Increasing Intensity

We arrived at 2.15am in Sri Vrindavana Dham. It was still, calm and quiet; a timeless place, unchanged in essence, ever-exuding spiritual potency. We bowed in the dust, walked to our room, and contemplated snoozing after a round-the-clock journey. At this early hour, however, Vrindavana wakes up – lights switch on, water taps start running,…

New Book!

Thinkers, readers, adventurers and seekers – attention! “In Essence” has landed. Sometimes it pays to look back before we move forward. Eons ago, wise sages ingeniously preserved their priceless insights in books of wisdom. They dealt with everything from religion to relationships, science to sociology, leadership to lifestyle management – the secrets to life, the…

Induced Selflessness

“Should I get married or become a monk? Which one is best?” It’s a question people ask time and time again. It’s also a question which can’t be answered off-the-cuff. Imagine going into a hospital and inquiring which operation is the best. It’s illogical. Unless they sign you in, run some tests and peruse the…

Proud Block

Pride is a formidable block on the road of spirituality. When it rears its ugly head it’s painstakingly obvious – to ourselves and others. We may deny it, cover it up or justify it, but deep down we know something is out of tune. A mentor once told me that there is a fine net…

A Final Lesson

Its 10.30pm. I’m leaving Vrindavana in an hour, going by taxi to Delhi airport. Gathering my thoughts and making my last prayers. There’s a frantic knock on the door. As I open it, a humble but emphatic request shoots through: “please let me feed you!” It’s the middle-aged South Indian devotee who stays across the…

Hall of Fame

Vrindavana is like a hall of fame. Everywhere you turn there are stories, landmarks and temples commemorating the saintly people who lived here. Ironically, they never wanted any fame. In fact, they actively avoided it – unassumingly absorbed in their daily devotion, quietly dedicating every moment of their time to forging a deep spiritual connection….

Discovering Discomfort

Whether it’s the coldest pre-dawn hours of winter, or the staggering heat of May and June, the external conditions here are far from perfect. Along with the climatic attacks, there is noise, pollution, decrepit infrastructure… whatever you do and however you try, Vrindavana inevitably ushers you into some level of austerity. When hardships come, however,…

Open Doors Open Hearts

Vrindavana has an open door policy. Just take a stroll around the village lanes and someone will invite you in for a meal somewhere. It’s happened to me three days in a row so far. In bygone ages, householders would loudly call for any hungry person in the vicinity before taking their own lunch. Such…

Nowhere to Hide

Back in Vrindavana by some good fortune. It’s a relief, an inspiration, but simultaneously a daunting challenge as well. Here there’s no other business, save and except cultivating a deeper spiritual connection. All the space and time in the world and not an excuse in sight. Back in London I can hide behind day-to-day responsibilities,…

The Naked Truth

BBC News | Paris | 2nd September 2017 A public park near the French capital Paris has designated an area for nudists. The site, as large as a football pitch, will be open until 15th October as part of a temporary experiment. There are measures to avoid misuse, but the overall idea is to have…

Blogging Out

After 10 years of happy blogging it seems a natural time to take a break. Thanks for encouraging me, offering feedback and correction, and supplying ideas and inspiration. It’s a grave responsibility to re-present the teachings of celebrated saints, a task which calls for genuine purity and freedom from worldly ambition. Forgive my weaknesses. I…

Casual Causes Casualty

It’s been three weeks since a raging fire tore through Grenfell Tower and destroyed the 120 flats inside. With the official death toll currently at 80, the tragic inferno has sparked widespread anger and a resounding call for justice. Though fingers are being pointed, the investigation continues as to why this fire was so fatal….