Alternative Education - Walking the Talk
by Life Positive
How do seekers live? What do they eat, how do they relax, what kind of relationships do they pursue? Here, a glimpse into the lifestyle of Manoj Lekhi, head of the Mumbai chapter of Siddha Samadhi Yoga.
Effortless living is dynamic living," reveals Manoj Lekhi, the affable head of the Mumbai chapter of Siddha Samadhi Yoga (SSY), a meditation program run by Bangalore-based Rishi Prabhakar. Lekhi has also introduced Infant Siddha Program (ISP), an educational venture that seeks to develop the child's infinite potential through innovative teaching techniques, which he teaches at his school, Rishikul Vidyalaya. Lekhi, an erstwhile businessman, today devotes himself completely to serving mankind through the SSY and ISP. Fortunate in not having to earn a living, his life and that of his family's, is enviably balanced and focussed on realizing the values of joy, health, harmony and growth.
I believe a spiritual life is expressed through unconditional giving, without any expectations. It is when life revolves around the simplicity of giving and sharing. More importantly, it is about enjoying what you do and doing what you love, with all your heart.
I live by a fairly structured routine, involving one hour of basic pranayams or exercises daily and meditation twice a day for half an hour each. My wife, Nina, and daughter Vedoci also meditate and exercise. My mornings are generally spent at school, teaching and interacting with the students. On Mondays and Tuesdays, I spend the evenings at satsangs and ISP classes. Every Wednesday, I keep to myself and observe a day of complete silence. From morning until sunset my wife and daughter spend time away from the house, and in my solitude, I delve into the silence of my being. I spend the other evenings with Nina and Vedoci. The SSY programs keep me busy on the weekends. Music being my passion, I generally spend an hour a day playing the harmonium, which I greatly relish.
Staying Healthy and Fit
Apart from doing asanas and pranayams, I also spend some time walking, which I believe is an excellent way to keep fit. If I am unwell, I restrict my diet to fruits so as to allow my body a chance to heal, naturally. However, since we follow a healthy diet and exercise pattern, the chances of falling sick are fairly low. For minor ailments such as coughs and colds, we adopt traditional ayurvedic remedies made of tulsi, ajwain and other herbs. In more severe cases, we rely on homoeopathy. We are not averse to allopathy and in case of an emergency would obviously resort to it.
Apart from the weekly binges on junk food and biscuits, the entire family lives on a healthy vegetarian diet, cooked with little oil and minimal masalas and spices. For breakfast we generally eat salads and vegetable rotis; for lunch we stick to a typical roti, sabzi, dal meal and for dinner we usually eat rice. All our meals are accompanied by substantial amounts of raw foods like carrots, cucumber and cabbage and throughout the day, we consume fruits and juices. We completely avoid non-vegetarian food and, as far as possible, onions and brinjal. Being negative energy foods, they make you dull and listless. Once a day, Nina and I also consume a herbal drink made of honey and tulsi, adrak, ajwain and other herbs grown in our garden.
Just like food, sex exists. While sex is generally blown out of proportion, it is an important part of a man-woman relationship. Although it is a beautiful form of expression of love, it should not be the base of any relationship. I also believe that sex can be used as a path to spirituality.
To me, money exists to be shared with others. It is useful as it allows one to enjoy a comfortable existence. Monetarily, I have always been lucky. Someone or the other has always provided for me. My guruji provides for the electricity, phone bills and other facilities necessary to conduct the programs; my brother has provided my family with a house to live in and my wife's business helps provide for my daughter's education. My earlier business has ensured that I have some funds to meet the day-to-day expenses of the household. I believe money and spirituality are equally important. Spirituality is about going in and discovering the treasure within, whereas materialism is about expressing that treasure in the world outside.
When you are happy doing whatever you do, it is success. When you do what you enjoy doing effortlessly, and with all your heart, success will find its way to you.
Ambition and tension create disease. Nina believes that ambition is essential to move ahead in life, but greater than ambition, I think, is vision. Vision is when you believe in something enough to cause it to happen, and everyone reaps its benefit. Vision is ambition without strain.
Love, in my opinion, is unconditional; it's when you do not possess the other. Through meditation one can naturally grow in love.
We do not believe in socializing, or obligatory social duties. We go for a wedding only because we want to, not because we have to. Similarly, we rarely go for movies and to discotheques, not as a restriction, but because we are genuinely not interested. Our friends are people who do the SSY programs and who come for satsangs.
Life is a Holiday
When you enjoy the work you do, life is a holiday, twenty-four hours. For me, there is no difference between work and holiday. However once in three months, my family and I go to nature camps at places like Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, Matheran. We generally holiday in large groups, because I come from the school of thought that believes, when I enjoy something, so should everyone else around me.
An ideal relationship is one without bondage or possessiveness. It is one in which you get up every morning, play your roles as mother, father, daughter, brother, wife, husband or lover and yet go to sleep, detached. After all, to this world we come alone and from this world we leave alone.
The foundation of any relationship, I believe, is trust and the joy of being with each other. The relationship I value most highly is the one with my guruji, Shri Rishi Prabhakar. A relationship of pure surrender that has been nurtured over the last 15 years, it even goes beyond the one I share with my parents. I tread his path of spirituality and take his vision of life as my vision of life. Words like love and respect fail to describe it. Since he resides in Bangalore, I meet him only once a month, not as often as I would like to. It is important for me to meet him; it is only then that I can acquire his spirit and carry his message forward. When it comes to friends too, there are friends I meet once in six months and we take off from where we left off, yet it is important to meet them every once in a while. All my friends are from my satsang group, and we share a very special bond, beyond the bond of the mind.
Nina and I
My wife and I share a beautiful relationship of unconditional love and support. She supports me in all that I do and I support her in all that she does. We rarely squabble over issues, and even if we do, it lasts for just a few seconds. One of us apologizes and the issue is then resolved. We may go our separate ways each day, yet at the end of the day we spend time to tell each other how we erred today, and what we learnt from it. Over the years, as man and wife, our relationship is continuously evolving.
Through the SSY and ISP, all I do is serve people. I enjoy it immensely. Through the programs we ensure that students from municipal schools are given an opportunity to develop their personality and skills with no fee at all.
A Fundamental Difference
Unlike a lot of other people, I believe I have the freedom to explore and define my limits.
The highest form of parenting is when you see your child as God, when you make your child your guru and learn, rather than teach. I believe that when God gives us children, he gives us a second chance, to relive our lives and become as enthusiastic, innocent and wondrous as children are. Parenting to me is an effortless, simple and joyful experience, when you allow your child to grow by providing the right environment with all the opportunities to explore everything in this world. Since the maximum brain growth takes place up to the age of eight, the child should be showered with love and encouraged in the quest for knowledge during this period.
I follow this approach with Vedoci. I make sure that I spend a lot of time with her. Once in three months, I take her for nature camps to nearby holiday spots, and I spend at least five evenings a week with her. My wife's priority too, is our daughter; all her commitments, including work, revolve around Vedoci. Because we wanted to give our daughter the best education possible, we opened a school funded by the MET Foundation. The school, Rishikul Vidyalaya, is one where technology and tradition meet to offer progressive and holistic education for children, focusing on their overall development. We thus ensure that she gets all the opportunities to develop and grow into a wonderful human being. We expose her to music, meditation, friends, holidays, books, parties, and everything necessary for her healthy development. We ensure she remains physically and mentally fit, and that she maintains a healthy diet, and yet allow her to be a child. We let her learn what is right and wrong through her own experiences, instead of giving her instructions. My biggest and only dream for my daughter is that she grows up to be a happy child and finds happiness in whatever she is doing.
I have no spiritual goal because I don't believe in goals. I merely want to live my life to its fullest. I simply tread on the path of my guruji and my only vision is to spread his message to as many people as I can. I face no conflicts at all between my lifestyle and my spiritual ideals. I follow the path of my guruji, Shri Rishi Prabhakar, yet I have explored programs like Forum, Life, Pranic Healing, and several others. I have never thought of changing my path and all the other paths I explore add to my knowledge and allow me to grow as a person. The path I follow has no shortcomings; it merely allows me to grow as an individual.
Working towards my vision of spreading knowledge to as many people as possible, I have started silence camps for businessmen called Creative Silence. It works on a unique principle, contrary to the popular belief that the more time you spend on the business, the more it will grow. Spending some time away from the business will, in fact, help it grow. I am also working towards popularizing the Overall Growth Center and the Rishikul Vidyalaya that I have started, so that more and more people benefit from it. While I have already talked about the Rishikul Vidyalaya, the Overall Growth Center is a unique concept for children under the age of seven, where they are exposed to multifarious activities, skills and art forms, to ensure their evolvement in all spheres, physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual.
Subject: need phone number - 16 July 2010
guruji pranaam.i am staying in ambala and hav heard a lot about isp and i hav 2 children 10yr boy and 4 yr girl.i deeply interested to do this to my children.help me to do this.please give me your no. to contact
Subject: ISP in USA/online ISP program - 30 September 2009
Dears, Our teacher Raviji conducts an online program on ISP which many have taken and benefited from. Contact him on email@example.com
Subject: isp classes in newjerssy - 13 August 2008
hello I am manisha.I had attended ur free lecture of isp classes in mumbai.Now i am in U.S.(NewJerssy) in Secaucus area.I wanted to know if ur classes of isp are conducted here.if they are then please let me know the area where they are conducted. thank u very much manisha
by: manisha shah
Subject: Good Thoghts - 26 February 2008
Good thoughts and way to lead life. I am also attending ISP course in Bangalore and I feel it is more practical approach than the nice thoughts and literatures. Ajay
by: Ajay Singh
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