SHUBHA VILAS, author of Open-Eyed Meditations in a telephonic interview with RAVI VALLURI said that individuals need to possess the faculty of perceiving objects and situations through the lens of the epics, known as Shastrachakshu.
Q. What impacts the human mind?
A. Perceptions, observational abilities, our senses and judgements impact the mind. It needs to be trained. Relationships operate at a lower and higher level of consciousness. Wisdom is to transcend the barrier.
Q. How do the three limbs of Yogain your book compare with Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras?
A. Yoga is derived from the word Yuj(to join). Food, time, place and events are external influencesfor a practitioner. Yoga is connection between jiva and God and this can be established through the yoga of interaction, participation and non-intervention.
Q. What differentiates meditation, contemplation and observation?
A. Yes, they are technically different but interchangeable. An average mind moves from observation to contemplation, culminating in meditation by absorbing the sutras.
Q. What is the advantage of choosing your technique over traditional methods?
A. My target is the commoner. I have offered a life guide to those who may not go through the scriptures.
We do not need everything at all times but need the right thing at the appropriate time. Ashwathama, always sought new, not valuing the weapons in his arsenal. Contrast this with Arjuna who penanced hard to acquire weapons, revered them and also their usage. As a result, he was blessed.
Q. Is there a significance to the number 64?
A. The number 64 is holy and auspicious, finds a place in our Vedic texts. It is advisable to meditate upon a rosary 64 times for maximum benefit. Life has 64 dimensions as explained in the 64 sutras in the book, akin to the squares in a chessboard. Each move made is extremely significant.
Q. Ramayana and Mahabharata are replete with wisdom. Have they solved our daily problems?
A. I for one, do not disown the traditional approach. But we need something deeper. There are four levels in this study. At level one is hearing, followed by understanding or comprehending what we hear. Next is a contemplative application, culminating in meditating on the concepts. Speaking and writing are digestible knowledge, which a commoner can appreciate.
Q. Can we embrace a violent person, say a terrorist by practicing the aphorism of LOC and LOR?
A. Sutras have to be practised with intelligence. Sustainable relationships are built on respect and gratitude,for the technique to work.
Q. What leadership styles would you recommend to corporates and government?
A. Aphorisms on leadership are derivatives to establish Ram Rajya, what we call good governance.
Q. By ruminating over a few aphorisms can humanseschew fearand not run to tarot card readers?
A. Astrology is merely adirectional science, akin to a weather warning system. Carrying an umbrella in the rain is our choice. However, the thunderstorms in life can be combatted using superior intelligence which the epics are replete with.
Q. What can be the biggest game changer in life? Is it the X factor alone?
A. Any action is determined by person, place, instruments deployed and endeavour. Most important is Daiva Shakti, a combination of knowledge, humility and blessings; influenced to an extent by past Karma.Divine grace constitutes AgyaatSukriti, and is beyond human control.
Q. What is the significance of Guru to receive universal blessings?
A. Mother is the first teacher and then we learn from several masters who provide the bedrock. This operates at the conscious and sub-conscious planes. Even for a non-believer this book itself is a blessing of the repository of knowledge imparted by the Gurus.
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