Holistic Living - Vinod Khanna —The Silent Hero
by Suma Varughese
An Indian actor's tryst with spirituality.
Annual pilgrimages to Rishikesh and Hardwar were de rigueur. But I consciously
turned to spirituality when I was quitting college to work on my first film.
I've always been interested in spirituality, because my family was inclined that way.
I was attracted to by a picture of Paramhansa
Yogananda, and read his book Autobiography of a Yogi, in one
sitting. I felt I knew this man and his thoughts instinctively. Later,
in America, a psychic told me that I had been an American disciple of
Yogananda in my previous birth and I had died in World War II. Yogananda's
book triggered off my interest in meditation.
Within a year, I learnt transcendental meditation. I also attended J.
Krishnamurthy's discourses. Soon, I reached an impasse.
Transcendental meditation relaxed me, yet Krishnamurthy was dead against
it. The dilemma was resolved when I met Osho,
whom I immediately recogised as my guru. He made it clear there was no
path without a guru, and that one progressed to the state of no-meditation
through meditation. Osho's stress on witnessing the Self changed my life.
To find the observer as my goal. I went through many therapies and practices.
and watch yourself walk, breathe
and watch yourself breathe. At the end, you realize that the observer
is the observed. When I took sanyas, monkhood, in 1974, my marriage
to Gita broke up.
On returning to Mumbai in 1986, I had to rebuild my life. Today, I'm married again
and have two hildren from this marriage. I'm also back in films, but my priorities
have changed. Acting is today a small part of who I am. I would rather spend time
with my children or talk to friends. Fame and power no longer entice me. I'm launching
my son Akshaye into a film career with Himalaya Putra, an Indian movie.
But my real responsibility is to pass on my spiritual experiences to him and his
siblings. My wife has also become a sanyasi (a nun, the Osho way).
As for me, I suddenly realized that I was in a state of let go. Today my
mind is silent. But awareness is total, all questions have dropped. I live life
moment to moment. There is no anger, jealousy or desire. Instead, there is empathy,
compassion, love. My self-acceptance is complete. I'm 200 per cent comfortable
with myself. Smoking and drinking are habits of the body. If they stay, they stay,
if they drop, they drop. I can also accept others easily. You become aware people
are who they are because of conditioning. I believe there's a great power holding
us together. I trust that power. I surrender to it.
By Vinod Khanna as told to Suma Varughese