Swami Swaroopananda is the current Spiritual Head of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide. A disciple of the world-renowned Master of Vedanta, and champion of India’s spiritual wisdom, Swami Chinmayananda, Swami Swaroopananda left his family’s thriving business in Hong Kong at an early age to seek Real answers to real problems.
Swamiji teaches the principles of Vedanta which shows people the path to knowledge of the self gained through the mastering of the mind and meditation. He has an amazingly practical and extremely user friendly approach to Spirituality. He reminds us that there is a greater and more compelling Truth that provides the solutions to all our problems, enabling us to live a truly happy and positive life.
As a young 20 year old, he attended a talk by Swami Chinmayananda and was strongly after by the profound scriptures. Swamiji joined Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in Mumbai for a 2 year intensive course in Vedanta. The teachings and inspiration led to a deep understanding of Vedanta and discovery of self. The sharing of knowledge is for the students who feel that it is their calling. These Vedanta institutions are at a number of locations in India teaching in different languages in addition to Sanskrit.
Here is a brief transcript of the interview.
Q: As head of Chinmaya mission worldwide, you have a lot of responsibility. How do you manage a work life balance with your travel and personal spiritual journey and writings?
A: Swamiji laughed and said ‘luckily I only have work life and have to look into everything. From spiritual growth of the students, members to seva projects – schools, hospitals and village upliftment etc.’
Q: What is your advice for professionals who are tired, burnout, and ready to call it quits?
A: ‘Work never really tires us. Physical tiredness It is the mental drain that tires us. The anxiety, stress, grievances, and false expectations that leads to the burnout. A lack of understanding of why we are doing what we are doing. A daily introspection is essential. Contemplate on our positive and negative traits. Substitute the negative with positive habits required to fulfill personal potential.
Q: Bahgvad Gita is often referred to as the MBA for life. What is your view and how do you follow this in your life? How is it useful to business leaders?
A: ‘Bhagvad Gita is the complete knowledge of life. Our day to day duties and our attitude towards these duties. When there with right vision, right attitude and right action result in success and then we can be peaceful and joyful in life without stress. Spiritually that is important as only with a calm minds lead to knowledge discovering your infinite nature.’
Q: Is happiness the purpose of life?
A: ‘We are always trying to be greater, bigger not realizing that to be infinite is our nature. Every body wants happiness, but where do we find it. The purpose of life is to discover ourselves. If we are living up to our potential, we feel fulfilled and happiness. If we discover our infinite nature, we are in bliss.
Q: What is destiny? A matter of chance, luck or is it preordained?
A: ‘People have many notions on destiny. Law of nature is that every action has a reaction. Action is in the present and reaction is in the future. So the result of your action that you are experiencing today is a result of your actions in the past. For example a large meal of chola bhature or a pizza can lead to a tummy ache today. So the results of the action of your past is your present destiny. And it is not always bad, it is also good. Appreciate be grateful for all the good things in your life which are a result of your actions too.’
Q: What has been the most challenging aspect of being a monk and a guru to thousands of people?
A: Swamiji laughed and said beautifully ‘I do not have a Guru challenge as I consider myself a disciple of my Guruji Swami Chinmayanada. All the challenges are still left with him. I just do seva do as guided and demonstrated by my Guru and his teachings. The results I leave in his hands.’
Q: Tell us about meditation has become a commodity promoted in many ways and forms?
A: ‘It is very good that mediation is so popular and everybody understands that it is a useful practice. Dhyaan Yoga or meditation has to be understood. Ask yourself this:
- What is the purpose of meditation?
- What do we meditate upon?
- Who is ready for meditation?
- What is the methodology
- What are the obstacles and how do we remove them?
- How does a meditator lives in this world?
abide in your true nature – guidance, knowledge and contemplation is necessary. I would suggest that 2 authentic sources to learn meditation – Kaivalya Upanishad and the 6th chapter of Bhagvad Gita. Meditate upon the chapters 7-12 of the Bhagvad Gita.
A proper understanding would help much more from Meditation. Not merely for temporary peace & relaxation, but benefits beyond our imagination.
Q: Please share your top 3 insights with Indoindians?
A: My 3 insights are:
- always question yourself. What do I want in life? Is what I have achieved aligned to my purpose?
- seek knowledge from authentic sources and masters.
- be honest with yourself. live up to your convictions.
by Poonam Sagar