Intensity!

Lessons on the Road #6 Yesterday I parked my book box outside the festive merry-go-round. From morning to evening I heard the same 4-song playlist over and over again. These jingles hijack your mind! By the end of the day I found myself singing the line, “I wish it could be Christmas everydaaay,” in between…

Cold Showers

Lessons on the Road #5 It’s Monday morning. It’s cold, wet and windy. It’s time to face the world. It’s another day on book distribution! I remember returning from my first day on book distribution and being advised to do the unthinkable – “go and have a cold shower!” What! I’d already been standing in…

Great Expectations

Lessons on the Road #4 It’s the marathon! Scores, results, league tables and the seasonal time for (transcendental) competition. All of a sudden your performance, proficiency and position is in the spotlight, and it feels like everyone is watching, sizing you up. For some it’s entirely unnerving, for others it’s positively motivating. Some of us…

Cheaters to Teachers

Lessons on the Road #3 You have a 20-second window to make an impression – they stop, you size them up, put in a spiritual pitch, something interesting, inspirational and endearing, and wait for a reaction – hit, miss or blank… anything could happen! One thing is for sure – people are perceptive (more than…

Give me Hope

Lessons on the Road #2 Today he sits on the sidewalk, in minus degree temperatures, holding a ragged sign which reads “give me hope.” It’s a familiar sight that I’ve become somewhat desensitised to; I don’t think I can truly understand his situation. Seeing him sleeping rough, a few people throw in some coins, someone…

Bursting Bubbles

Lessons on the Road #1 It’s easy to get boxed into our own little worlds, sealed in a bubble and oblivious to reality, losing perspective and drowning in ethereal thoughts. It’s the familiar world of “I, me and mine” – a small world in which nothing very mystical, magical or memorable ever really happens. We…

The Inner Child

I’m getting old. I admit it – the hair is disappearing, the back is failing and the glasses are coming. Materially speaking, it’s a downhill story. Spiritually, however, the passing of time should deliver a range of invaluable gifts – more maturity, more experience, more knowledge and more opportunities to serve. Maybe, but in recent…

Heart Attract

People have heart attacks in Vrindavana – not just physical, but spiritual ones too. Holy places ooze with a divine influence that overthrows material consciousness and inexplicably ushers one towards transcendence. You may have seen the t-shirt – “I lost my heart in Vrindavana.” The illustrious Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakur reveals the phenomena: “Krishna instigated a…

Mental Muscle

Govardhana is enchanting… and simultaneously educational. At every turn there is a lesson to learn. While pacing the peaceful perimeter path yesterday, a street vendor suddenly announced: “Monkey seva! Monkey seva!” It was an invitation to feed the mischief-making monkeys that had congregated. “Monkey seva is my thing” I thought, “I’ve been feeding this monkey-like…

Read or Relish?

I try to visit Vrindavana in an off-peak time, with no ‘business,’ no meetings, no responsibilities and no particular project in mind. I mainly come to read. The time, the headspace, and the devotional atmosphere helps to cultivate transcendental thoughts. No excuses and no place better. It sounds wonderful, and it is, but admittedly it’s…

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…