My childhood preparation
I am going to give you a step-by-step revelation of SSY as I remember it now. It is a beautiful case study in the science of intuitive realisation.
As a child, I was selfish to the core. I knew it, too. I appreciated all those who were generous, but I could not bring myself to be that way. Because of this, I always had difficulties in being with other family members. I would run away when things were not going my way. My mother used to be very upset. They wanted to send me off to an ashram. I was very afraid of being sent away.
My father’s wish
One day, when I was about 7 or 8 years old, my mother took me for a walk. She told me all about myself. I had not known until then that I had no father and that Rama was my mother and not my sister as I had been made to believe before. My grandparents brought me up very well as if they were my parents. They did not want me to feel that I was a fatherless child.
This revelation had a shocking effect on me. Then she told me that when I was born, they had wanted a child who would be a Vivekananda. That was my father's wish. This idea stuck to me from then on. I understood what it was to be Vivekananda. I was inspired by the books of Vivekananda.
My master, Bhagwan Visweswaraiah, was a living example of greatness, and I knew that I carried the whole of India on my shoulders from there on. The idea of the development of India captivated me as if it were my life.
I was intelligent, so I hardly studied. My teachers loved me. I was an obedient and caring child, always standing for great principles. I was a very good and enthusiastic scout — something that taught me great values in life to live by.
My metaphysical meditations
When I was studying engineering, my commitment had slackened slowly. I had, I thought, attained something by gaining admission to engineering. In the third year, one of my friends, Ravindranath, talked to me about meditation, about the thoughtless state of mind. It triggered something in me. I found a book by Shri Paramahansa Yogananda on metaphysical meditation. I would go off into solitude and do those meditations. I would lose all bodily consciousness and feel my expansiveness into the whole universe.
"God is the unknown. Meditation is surrendering to the unknown." -Guruji
Realising my responsibilty
I realised that I had not paid any money for my education at all. Wherever I studied, my education was funded by scholarships. My education was, in fact, financing the family. I thought to myself: why am I being paid to study? All these poor farmers are paying for my education so that an intelligent one like me can come up and serve them truly. I was inspired by a lecture I heard on radio while alone. It was Smt. Indira Gandhi calling upon people like me to stand up for the nation. Then and there, I decided that my life is for serving the people of India. I suddenly became India — not a part of it. I looked upon myself as the great India.
Transition into an extraordinary student
From that moment onwards, my behaviour changed dramatically. I would think aloud about my country in the presence of others. They were all puzzled at such wisdom flowing out of me. I began to study very well. I had supreme confidence. I lost all jealousy of people who were studying better, who knew more than I knew. I began to revere them. Suddenly, from being an above average student I become an extraordinary student. My energies were released. I was no more selfish. I had become my great family. I have wept many days thinking of the utter poverty in which some of my family of Indians had to live. I clearly remember to this day a pregnant woman who came to our back door half naked because she felt that she should not be seen on the road in such scanty clothes. I immediately requested my mother to give her a saree. Witnessing such incidents made me more firm and resolute in my decision that I should dedicate all of my energy to the service of Indian people. *My master always implored me to dedicate myself.
Visit to Dakshineshwar
By the time I was in the final year of engineering, in 1968, I was a fully blossomed thinker and philosopher. My trip to Dakshineswar changed my whole life. It was as if Vivekananda had enveloped me. At the same time, I was keen to see the whole world and experience the life of plenty of America.
My search in America
I was glad to leave India in 1969. I thought to myself, ‘At last, I don’t have to stand in long queues for rice and sugar!’. My stay in America lasted only a year and a half. I could not stay there. My heart was with India. I began to study in America neither for myself nor for a degree. I began to think of acquiring that knowledge which India needs, that which I can take to India.
Entering the holy soil
I came back home during 1971–72. My first step on Indian soil at Delhi airport was very moving. I lovingly kissed the soil before stepping on it. I took some dust from the air strip and put it on my head. The pitiable way in which people treated each other in India was striking. The crowds in Bombay were frightening. I was happy to be home, yet concerned for the totally disorganised society.
Studying great thoughts
I travelled for many months after my 21 days in India, and began to go deeper and deeper into my life’s purpose. I wanted to study management and bring that science to India, to organise it. I studied all kinds of books — from those on Galbraith’s economics to books on Peter Drucker’s management. I was captivated by these sciences. I sought admission to the best universities in the world on management. I was fortunate to be accepted at the University of Western Ontario School of Management, one of the best in the world.
Disheartened with Western management
I received my first year’s intensive training. However, I had not received what I wanted — to be the manager of a nation. I somehow completed my second year, looking for more insights on how to uplift my country from its present conditions. This, however, I did not receive from the best universities in the world.
Meditation enters my life
My entry into a totally new science took place while I was studying management. I had been torn apart by the extreme pressures of study. I found myself nervous and taut. I had developed examination fear etc. My friend Arjun came from a family of meditators. We were staying together. I found his quiet, loving ways wonderful. I started to study what he valued — books on Radhasoami Satsangs. They at once released me from a great dilemma. I started the simple meditations taught there. It worked miraculously. In just 3 days, I was no more nervous. It was such a great gift. I knew that this science had far greater answers than all my MBA studies. I began to delve deeper into it. I began to search for a teacher, a guru to take me further. It is during this search that I came across my great master, His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and the Transcendental Meditation programme.
Role of Maharishi
I was initiated in July 1974 into TM (transcendental meditation) by my beloved teacher, Elizabeth Morrison. I began to experience something that was like nectar, something that was like the strength of my life. I was taught about the phenomenon of effortlessness. Spreading the awareness of this phenomenon is the great contribution of Maharishiji to the field of spiritual sciences.
I began to study this effortlessness, and, with that, Bhagvad Gita took on a new meaning for me, thanks to Maharishiji’s commentary. I was becoming more and more solidly established both in experience and in understanding the science of effortlessness.
Training under Maharishi
Maharishi’s grand vision of an ideal society that is brought about through effortlessness captivated me. This was just what I was in search of. This could be applied on a large scale to society, through which significant changes could be brought about. While Western management focussed on changing things external, this Indian way of management focussed on changing the individual from within. It focussed on producing a powerful, loving individual who will naturally build harmony around him. Automatic organisation is bound to happen in the presence of such an individual. I was captivated by it. It was my dream solution to the Indian situation.
I went about practising meditation more and more intensely. I began to observe and study the process of meditation very carefully. I gained a lot of superior knowledge by being in Maharishi’s presence and through the teachers’ training programmes. Maharishi, with the help of scientists of the order of Nobel laureates in Physics, was trying to formulate the unified theory which is based on the fundamental level of human consciousness — that of Turiya Avastha — the thoughtless awareness state. It is a great adventure and I think this is the right direction in which to proceed. I feel that the scientists are still not meditating deeply enough to grasp this foundation. They have to be taught the creative process, and it is only by deeply going into themselves that they will discover this unified field theory.
From building factories to building men
My pursuit of Transcendental Meditation and effortlessness brought me to several years of seva to Maharishi in Switzerland and then in India. On my return, I was to build factories for Maharishi’s work. My natural inclination was to raise human consciousness and not build factories. I began to go deeply into myself. I started teaching hundreds. I got a clue to the secret of meditation, but had not fully experienced or understood it.
I realised that total effortlessness is the key. Even the use of the mantra as is done in TM was a hindrance to this effortless flow. I saw that people around Maharishi had not understood this great clue. They were still living by holding on to things. There was competitiveness. They had engaged themselves as people who are going to change the world. A subtle ego that ‘we are better than others’ had developed. As a result, I noticed, there existed corruption that arises from power and money.
Master Bhagwan Vishweshwaraiah guides my meditations
I expressed my difficulty in being able to go into myself and do my experiments on myself, to my Master. After much consideration, Master told me to just practice my silent meditations.
This was the most critical period of my life. I had intuited total effortlessness. I knew that any struggle represented an untruth — a transgression from the divine law of harmony. Now, I had to formulate the whole science as a practice and as a theory.
My intense intuitive sadhana
All the books spoke of hard sadhana to realise your highest potential. Here I was, with a totally opposite view and a practice to go with it.
During the period of 1979–81, I found myself meditating mostly on the mysteries and puzzles of life. I would barely come out of my room. I would be in thoughtless awareness for days on end. Poetry would simply flow out of me. Insights would dawn. I would be in quiet ecstasy!
I would come out and formulate this new insight into the trainings in meditation. I started noticing that the course had become more and more powerful and that people were being miraculously cured of all kinds of ailments.
Hold the secret of samadhi
Thus, the process of going inwards for insights and answers, and coming out with them to incorporate them into the SSY course began. I realised that I had gotten a grip on the great mystery of samadhi. It was so simple, yet very profound. I could see how this knowledge could be lost so easily to effort. Everyone gets caught in karma, or effort, and that is karma bandhana.
The still elusive secret of effortless action
By 1980, I had clearly understood the inwardness process. Still, effortless action was somehow evading me. Its pure theoretical formulation was still missing. I had experienced effortless being but did not know how it was that it happened. I could not get to it as a process — through an understanding.
The gift of EST
Next in line was my great experience of seeing God everywhere. It was in a training called EST formulated by Werner Erhard, in California. It opened my awareness to a whole new possibility of samadhi in action. I owe a lot to the great teachings of Werner. He had received it or intuited it from the Zen Masters.
‘Samadhi in action’ was a whole new area which I investigated from 1981 to 1983, through the advanced enlightenment trainings. They were great experiments in human consciousness, taking the mind to zero and leaving it hanging in activeness. Then the aspects of talking without talking, seeing without seeing became visible, but not yet clear.
Creative mechanics unveiled
Soon, I got a wonderful insight into another mode of working of human consciousness, called ‘creating’. This was beautifully formulated as a science by Robert Fritz, in Boston. I studied the science under him and got a deep understanding of it. With this, the formulation of SSY as the science of human consciousness at work was complete. Both process and experience are possible, along with the theoretical basis.
Now we have a system that can elevate man to being godlike. It produces powerful men who are able to build harmony. A great nation is in the making: All that was needed to build an automatic system of management has been laid open. The revelation has such power that it propagates itself.
Manifestations under the SSY title
The Fun Club, the Clean India Campaign etc. were the offspring of this new understanding. The Fun Club seed has been planted. The tree is growing. Now fruits and flowers have begun to manifest themselves. Everything happens like clockwork now. We are on this path of joyfulness. We are in the state of ‘everything is O.K.’. We know how to reach ‘everything is O.K.’.
AMC — mastering thoughts
The AMCs (advanced meditation courses) are insights into a new state of being where we can live as masters of thoughts rather than be blown away by thoughts and caught by them as though ‘we are the thought’. We learn how to remain thought free. We can choose what thoughts we are with. We become masters of our emotions. We understand that the world exists only in our minds. By emptying the mind, we remain detached from the world. We can move around in emptiness. This is the ultimate bliss of life in surrender.
My whole sadhana is the development of that great insight into effortlessness and being in ‘everything is O.K.’. It all happened in meditative states of silence.
Penetrating the seat of intuition
By understanding intuitive meditation courses (still to be offered, as of 1996) one can get to the insightful state and get all the puzzles of life solved. There are great discoveries achievable and these unfold themselves individually for the person and, collectively, for the world.
Find myself in completion
After I felt the completion of my work, in 1987, I went into a period of joyful celebration. It was suddenly a moment of total sufficiency. I felt that I could now run everything effortlessly.
I had attained such a state where I could then have a home and a family. Until then, I was student, learning the art of life. Even though I was married physically, I did not know much about marriage. Marriage is a celebration of completeness. When you have still not mastered life and understood its principles, you cannot celebrate.
Usually people cannot stand other people celebrating, and misunderstand their celebration as irresponsibility. I had to learn to celebrate only as much as it was not disturbing to others. I wish that they would also rise to such joyfulness that they do not hold back others from celebration. I want everyone to be joyful and that is possible only by their being in a state of ‘everything is O.K. as is’.
Now we are beginning to build beautiful manifestations out of our inner self-sufficiency. At present, it is not only teaching SSY that is going on but a whole range of activities supported by SSY teaching is being undertaken successfully.
Ashram and Schools
We have now begun to build ‘Rishi Adventure Schools’. We are training children who are loving and responsible and able to build beautiful things. We have started to build ashrams — homes for turning inwards and living in joyfulness without carrying any burden of selfish feelings of possessiveness.
We have now begun collective farming and dairy farms. We now have factories operating on SSY principles. We are simply celebrating life in every way. We conduct adult education programmes in villages to bring about more harmony and understanding.
India’s Power Unearthed
The day is not far off when India will stand as the beacon of wisdom, wealth and harmony for the whole world. The vision of Vivekananda is already getting realised. The secret of bringing about a joyful state has already been revealed. What you only have to do is to attend the Fun Club meets in various villages and towns. You have to experience the SSY culture to know that the nation is already on the move.
My vision comes true
Our vision has come true, thanks to the silent meditations. May the whole world live in bliss!