What if a book could completely challenge your perspective on life and pave the way for a more materialistically spiritual life? It does sound contradictory! But the practical wisdom packed in the form of a book titled 'The Power of Karma Yoga, Decoding Ancient Wisdom for Lasting Success' by Gopinath Chandra Das unfolds many spiritual yet practical truths about life which otherwise are overlooked. One of the most pressing subjects that the author deals with is 'How to be purpose-driven and how to let go'. The book also discusses the path to selecting a cause that's worth dedicating our life to, and how one can transform into a Karma Yogi, which goes beyond our present existence.
Decoding the initial chapters of the Bhagwat Gita about 'Karma' in day-to-day life and with modern and relatable examples, the book successfully delves into the questions of balancing professional ambitions, and how each action holds the key to an individual's destiny. Leading the chair at the book launch at Crossword was Amit Rathi, the founder of QI – Cap among four other panelists Abhishek Karnani, Managing Editor of The Free Press Journal, Anand Rathi, Founder of Anand Rathi Group, Shrenik Khasgiwala of Aditya Birla Group, and Gaurav Sachdeva, Founder of JSW One.
During the event, the author, a young spiritual guru, opened up about his inclination toward spirituality, writing a book that transcends the idea of shredding identities and being dependent on someone else – contrary to being independent and controlling the course. Being a science student, Das found a passion for spirituality and it was his mother who made him realise that he was born to be a spiritual guru. “She said, this is the first thing in life you are putting your heart into. That's when I realised spirituality was my call,” said Das.
About the inspiration for writing a book on the subject of Karma Yoga, Das shared that people have the notion that Bhakti (devotion) is about sentiments and for “Useless” people. “Most people believe, if you can't do anything, become a spiritual person. But Karma Yoga is beyond that. Karma is something everyone can relate to. Karma yoga is more philosophical so people can connect with it,” explained Das, who delves into the philosophical aspect of each action with a practical approach. “In a way, this book is for both – winners, and losers.”
Das also pointed out the two segments of society where some are winners and some are less successful. “Those who have reached the pinnacle of success and have the energy to devote it to something positive in life. Their life is more purpose-driven. The others who are less successful don't have the energy to spare from their day-to-day struggle. My only aim is to bring change in both the lives,” he said. When asked about his idea of journey and destination that the mythological scripture delves deep into, Das said, Bhakti yoga goes beyond a superficial idea of material desires. “But it's not possible for everyone to follow and that's where Karma Yoga comes in, which is more practical. It is more about meeting your own spiritual self and how to utilise our Karma to reach the destination,” says Das. “Karma is a journey to reach your spiritual being.”
While the monk talks about reaching a higher level of spirituality through Karma while possessing all the materialistic assets, Das backs his views with the most modern and relevant references of leaders from across the world. From Steve Jobs to the Theranos scandal in California, references from the Holocaust and several contemporary references from social, economic, and political fields make this book much more relatable to our desire for success. When do you get time to read and keep yourself updated? Asked Rathi.
“The COVID-19 pandemic was a blessing in disguise. It gave me a lot of time to read. It was a time when I did a lot of research. I like to read and explore and see what's trending in society,” said Das. He also quipped that his job as a spiritual leader is to make the knowledge of spiritual scriptures relevant to the people. “We don't need to separate spirituality and materialistic worlds. There has to be a bridge between them. I took it upon myself to create a bridge to bring these two worlds together and for that, we have to be in touch with the outside world. It's part of our job description to do what's required to promote spirituality,” he laughs.
The session was then opened for a discourse among the audience, panel and the author, which concluded on, 'How one finds purpose in life and let go'.