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Does spiritualism mean understanding divinity and leaving all worldly desires?

Generally religion is also portrayed as spiritualism. In my perception, spiritualism is not related to any religion or culture. Leaving all the worldly desires alone does not lead to transformation of the mind. In spiritualists, first, transformation takes place and then they live in undiluted happiness with total contentment. I am not able to comment or elaborate on divinity, as it may not be relevant to this question. Everything is related to the "mind".

Is it possible to be always happy and content?

Yes, it is very much possible. What we need to do is to adopt certain practices to understand the mind. One such practice is called "Kriya". Kriya means "Activation of the Mind". Unlike other practices which concentrate on physical activity, Kriya practices give importance to understanding the mind and then help in transforming it.

Transformation of the mind is the key to material success, happiness and contentment. The transformation technique "Kriya", is oriented to analyze the mind, emphasize and retain good thoughts while resolving and erasing bad thoughts. So, by reorganizing our mind, it is definitely possible to be happy and content.

If these practices are going to help in living a happy material life, then how can these practices help in spirituality as well? Aren't these two supposed to be opposing ways?

No, these are not opposing ways. Kriya practices help the practitioner to be happy and content while working towards accomplishing their material goals. This is important because each one of us have been born to be productive and to accomplish something in our lives, in order to move forward to the next level, which is to be happy within our own self. Kriya practices help in giving time and effort towards our responsibilites.

Only a few amongst those who have the luxury of not having many responsibilities develop the passion for knowing the "self" beyond the mind. Though everyone is not supported by destiny to understand the "self", a person who is able to live a happy and content life experiences an evolution of the mind. That he/she evolves mentally to explore their consciousness. Such a person is commonly referred to being involved in spirituality.

Thus "spirituality", "self-realization" or "the state of clear consciousness", may be seen as a continuity of good material living. It is the mental transformation that promotes us to the higher levels of development. It requires a person to learn to be happy and remain content in all circumstances. Hence, it becomes necessary to give importance to happiness and contentment in material living which ultimately leads to "self-realization". Hence, material living and self-realization need not be opposing to each other.

What are these Kriya practices? Are they based on some cult, superstitions, etc?

These are not religious practices neither do they contain any superstitions, rituals or cultural norms. These practices are methods for application based continuous introspection. Kriya practices were taught to me by my "gurus". Here, I want to mention about the difference between a guru and a teacher which generally goes unnoticed. Teachers are those who educate the students with the knowledge that they have learnt. Gurus are those who teach and educate their students after understanding the student's needs and desires. I was very fortunate to get such "gurus". In fact, each of these practices have been tried, researched and refined with the help of my "gurus". I have being practicing them since 2001. This has helped me to understand about true happiness and real contentment. After my spiritual initiation, I was instructed to teach these practices to others. Now, at Sanmarga Foundations we teach people to live a happy and content life through the "Kriya practices" or "Kriya Meditation".

In what ways are these techniques beneficial to individuals and to the society?

Practitioners gain the confidence to handle their problems without any unwanted dependency. By recognizing their responsibilities and abilities, practitioners explore the mind and it's potential. They learn to cherish everything around them and appreciate the goodness in their lives. These techniques also help the practitioner to resolve and remove wasteful and negative thoughts. Practitioners develop positive mind energy that helps them to live a good productive life. Overall, these practices motivate people to work towards their worldly desires without causing any harm to society. These techniques help the practitioners to let go of social and cultural barriers. In the process of practicing these techniques, the practitioners learn to out grow their anger, depression, anxiety and stress. It enables them to work to their maximum potential. People are able to do their work with unity and integrity.

Can you tell us what you do in the classes?

We teach Kriya Meditation. We have developed 12 Kriyas. Kriya means "activation of the mind". These are not physical exercises, but practices that help to explore and develop the mind. They are application oriented introspection techniques. One can follow these easily. It can be used in everyday life to reap the benefits of the transformation of mind.

Out of the 12 Kriyas, the first 4 basic kriyas will be taught to everyone. It falls under "Explore and Evolve" classes. These basic kriyas are Ananda Kriya, Niramaya Kriya, Sudhi Kriya and Yuva Kriya. The remaining Kriyas, known as the "Advanced Kriyas", will be taught individually, after the practitioners have made progress in their basic kriyas. Their progress can be analyzed and judged through counselling and feedback sessions. Advanced kriyas are handled under "Way to Liberation" classes. Apart from the kriya classes, we also conduct counseling and feedback sessions for practitioners who need individual attention.

How are these Kriyas different from other Kriyas and other meditation classes, which are being taught in many places?

The main difference lies in the fact that we stress on cleansing the mind by directly approaching it. Our classes help students to attain transformation of the mind. First, let me explain the qualities of a transformed mind. A transformed mind is calm, peaceful, happy, and content in all circumstances. Transformed people handle all their problems effectively. Even if a problem is not overcome, they still continue to work on their issues productively. Hence we can say that problems don't stifle them. They remain focused within themselves to attain a state of undiluted eternal happiness.

Most of the other kriyas and meditation classes concentrate on physical activity, chanting and meditation. Though the classes dealing with yoga asanas and meditation promote concentration, they do not develop transformation. The happiness and contentment attained through these practices are short lived, because the mind does not undergo any basic changes. Any continuous repetitive action such as chanting does not provide greater impact to the mind. While doing this practice, the body and mind act as two different entities; the body chants habitually while the mind keeps wandering in unproductive thoughts.

We are all quite aware of the fact that the mind is a powerful tool. But we are unaware of the fact that mind is powerful only if it is clear of unproductive or destructive thoughts. Our introspective and meditative kriya practices are suited for such cleansing and transformation of the mind that helps the practitioners to lead a happy and content life.

You were a medium first, how did you then become a spiritualist?

In 1993, I became a medium for a good, guiding soul. This guiding spirit initially healed my mother who was physically ill. Gradually, over the years, I explored and widened the scope of helping people through my guiding spirit. I was drawn to counseling and the possibility of using higher energy to heal people.

It was not a deliberate attempt on my part to become a spiritualist. I do not feel that I am one. Some people choose to learn spirituality to get rid of their problems, others as a means of escapism, or as a curiosity for divinity and god.

At first, by being a medium I went on to help people. But after a point, I wanted to help further but got stuck like any helpless person as certain problems did not give way to solutions. I wanted to know why we cannot solve all the problems, why we go through sufferings, where and when this suffering ends. Ultimately my quest changed my journey. I developed a passion for understanding my own self that is my self, my mind and the truth beyond mind. For anyone, the path towards enlightenment begins as a process of evolvement which is a natural occurrence and it is not an enforced state. I was gradually introduced to this state of awareness termed as spirituality.

About your recently released book... can you tell us about it?

It's a book in Tamil, titled "Ennai Naan Thaedugiraen". The main character named "Karma" goes through various ups and downs in his life, all the while learning the lessons it has to offer. Being strongly principled, he goes on to show that one's life is in their own hands to make the right choices, and that one carves their own future based on their thoughts and deeds. Many real life incidents have been adapted into the storyline. The story of Karma is to help transform lives to work effectively to realize their legitimate goals.

Besides helping one to live as a good human being, the book also simplifies the continuity between the material and spiritual realms. I wish to add that the book will soon be published in English, and that, the English version will also be easy to understand even by those who find this concept alien.

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