By Suma Varughese
Meet Pradeep Pawar, an acclaimed Marathi trainer and facilitator and an enlightened soul. In conversation with Suma Varughese
I was introduced to Pradeep Pawar by a reader who sent me such an appreciative and obviously genuine mail about him that I was intrigued and decided to meet up. Mr Pawar is one of the leading trainers and facilitators in Maharashtra, holding programmes in Marathi that have received a great deal of appreciation. He teaches a range of energy dynamic tools like EFT (which he calls Quantum Empowerment), EMDR, BSFL, WHEC (WHolistic Hybrid between EFT and EMDR), Bilateral Stimulation, Understanding chakras and the Sedona Method.
Some months later, a tall stately figure dressed in white, with a leonine head of curls and a calm face, showed up at my office. Everything about him felt right. He was courteous, respectful and co-operative, and without the slightest need to impress. There was something immensely likeable about him. It was easy to see why his programmes would draw appreciation. It was only later, while in a conversation with him, that I discovered that Mr Pawar is that most elusive of beings – an enlightened soul. At any rate, so he says, and I could find no evidence to dispute it. And since I subscribe to the law of the land – innocent until proved guilty – I believe he is enlightened unless proved otherwise. Read on for an account of his spiritual journey, and how an enlightened mind operates. I have taken myself out of the frame and allowed Mr Pawar to have a stream-of-consciousness conversation with you. Enjoy.
How it all started
Looking back, my life has just happened. I studied in a residential military school which had equipped me with a rugged upbringing. I wanted to join the Armed Forces, but because of my weakness in mathematics, I could not join the National Defence Academy. So I joined a regular college and in my first year, I participated in a college programme. Some film-makers saw me and offered me the lead role of their forthcoming film, Soyarik (matrimonial alliance), which was released in 1976.
Once the film was released, I realised I was not actor material, but before I could quit, I was offered another role in a film by the great V. Shantaram. I could not say no. Ultimately I made 14 films – but I was not successful. I got neither fame, name, nor money from it.
I had come to Mumbai in 1979 to pursue acting. I thought I would stay with my brother who was an established actor; however, I realised that it was not a very welcome idea. I lived in many places, including the footpath! As a military student, I had been trained to take anything in my stride. So I never felt that I was in a crisis. I just felt it was part of the unfolding of life. I would order a rice plate from a slum eatery. A rice plate was literally that – some rice on a plate without anything else! It would cost me Re 1. For Rs 1.50, there would be some dal too.
I stayed in the footpath for almost a year. In 1981, I decided to go back to Kolhapur where my parents lived. I took a break in Pune. It was July 18th. Something happened. I started feeling immense joy. Without any reason. For about 20 days I was in a state of bliss. When I looked at someone, tears would roll down from my eyes. I would feel, “He is an expression of me.”
There was no other revelation. I could just see a pathway in my vision, and someone saying ‘Walk on’, as if I was being supported. After that, I became so inclined towards spirituality that I started reading a lot, particularly Osho. I was at peace, even though nothing was peaceful around me. I had no career and my parents were not happy.
Life started unfolding. I didn’t have anything to do so I took up farming. I did nothing, just sat silently. People thought I was a great failure. But I was absolutely ok. I only felt bad that I had no money. I did not know how to earn money.
The path unfolds
One evening while taking a walk, a queer thing happened. A man was approaching me; as we crossed paths, he smiled and said, “Why don’t you do flowers now?”
At that time, horticulture was popular so I thought he had mistaken me for someone else. However, when I came home, a friend of mine had come from Pune, and he had a book with him – Bach Flower Therapy.
I felt it was no coincidence, and I started studying and understanding the book. In fact, I felt I understood the whole dynamics of flower therapy. I decided to practice it, but who would come for treatment in this remote part of rural Maharashtra?
At that time, a lady author was living close by, a friend of a friend. Her daughter had delivered a baby and from the start, the baby was crying inconsolably. The lady asked me if I could help. I gave her some Rescue Remedy, which is administered when one is in deep trauma. The baby had just undergone the trauma of birth. In one or two minutes, the baby stopped crying. At that time, the lady was reading a magazine published by the Indian Express group on how to live to be a centenarian, which explored all sort of alternative therapies. This lady wrote to the editor of the magazine suggesting that he also include Bach Flower Remedy. He wrote back saying he did not know anything about the therapy but would be happy to carry something on it. So I wrote an article, and he wrote back asking me to do a series of articles on it. That is how all of Maharashtra got introduced to Bach Flower Remedies, and people began to flock towards me with all sorts of psychological disturbances.
I used to treat them intuitively. Perhaps since I was programmed to do this work by the Almighty, the portals opened. Often, I would just touch the pulse of the person, without even listening to his story, and the name of the medicine would flash in my mind. At such times, I didn’t interfere. I recognised that ‘Pradeep’ was just an intermediary.
But despite that, that sense of “I” was there. “I” am giving the medicine and so on.
The ego drops
Finally, I started earning money and experiencing the sense of having money. Life started changing altogether. I got married in ’89 and life kept unfolding. A turning point occurred on August 29, 2003. At about 10:30 pm. I had had dinner and was relaxing in my room. I got up from my chair to go to bed. Something happened. I realised that something within me, which I was accustomed to thinking of as ‘me’ had crumbled like dust. There was no identity left. Only Presence. I realised that I, as an individual ego, was no more. The greatest revelation was that Presence was living its life.
We are pure Presence with coatings of personality which make one feel there is an identity. This “I” is Maya; and the entire process of manifestation which happens by itself is the Lila. There is no doer, no doing. Knowing this, I began to float on the current of life. Things just began to happen. People began to come. I started holding programmes. So many different things began to open up in me. Healing started happening on its own. Anyone who needed help whether with their health or relationships, used to tell me, and it would get sorted out in merely the telling. I often tell people, think of me and pass on any problems you face. People experience miracles.
In the process, I discovered energy dynamics. I realised how our thoughts create a dent in the fabric of the Universe. Our thoughts influence our reality. I felt that this understanding would help people address their material problems. Since then, for the last 10 years I have been talking about how spirituality and the mundane life can be balanced.
Problems arise when people ‘try to do’. When you ‘try’ it is the ego that is in charge. The ego wants to change. If you realise that everything is being taken care of and that things will unfold by themselves, then you are in Presence.
By doing something, you are empowering the ego. This is true even of meditation. The only things I teach are therapeutic tools like meridian tapping which people can use to eliminate something that has got stuck in their cellular memory. When emotions heal, life begins.
The best thing is to ‘be’. To be ready. The teacher will appear.
People are always looking for a spiritual outcome. And that comes in the way. It is like going to bed and ‘trying’ to sleep. Sleep has to come. Your trying is not allowing it to come. When you are ready, you will just open up and say, let it unfold because “I” don’t want to drive it anywhere.
The enlightened mind
An interesting thing happened to me three years back. My mother used to stay in the same building as I do, only on a different floor. One afternoon she called me, complaining of being restless. I admitted her to the hospital at about 3 pm. After 15 minutes, I went into the ICU ward to check on her. All movements had stopped. All monitors showed nothing. I called the doctors. After a while, they told me that she was no more. I said, Fine. Nothing happened inside me. There was no disturbance. She had gone to another dimension. That is all. Death has lost all dread for me. For me, death feels like a transformation from this stage to a more blissful one. And as Osho says, if you can be aware when making the transition, it can be very enriching.
My present state of mind? The mind does go to the past and future. There are memories of the past and projections of the future, but I don’t get carried with it. The thought process keeps on going continuously, but I just watch it. Because of being awake, very rarely does a negative thought arise. But it does arise. I lost my brother six to seven days back to cancer. It was very sudden. Just like our tongue tends to go into the cavity of the tooth that has been removed, the mind will tend to go wherever there is a sensation of loss or lack. My mind started bubbling up memories of my brother. I just kept looking at them. The moment you observe the memories, they begin to slow down. When you don’t pay any heed to it, the mind stops.
That is the meaning of the word swami – it refers to one who controls the mind, and is not controlled by it. I can use my mind, but I do not allow the mind to use me.
The normal mind is unconsciously hooked on to this chatter by feeling that they are her/his own thoughts. Whereas they are just the chatter of the processor. People who desire to experience the ‘No Mind’ state normally try to stop this chatter. Stopping the thinking mind is like trying to stop a storm with hands. It is not possible and not only that, it is futile. ‘No mind’ can be experienced only by realising that one can become aware of the chatter. With this he creates a distance between himself and the process. This is the first step towards awakening. This awareness slows down the storm, and creates a distance, like the distance we experience while watching a movie.
Then we have a choice whether to get involved in a scene or not. Once this muscle starts developing, we can experience a state where we can actually distance ourselves from the chatter. And this distance then gives oneself the experience of the ‘No Mind’.
I have found that I can remain aware even in moments of extreme physical pain. Any pain arises because of lack. It is advisable to go to the pain and ask it, Why are you there? The well known orthopaedic surgeon, John Sarno, author of the book, Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection, has realised that most pain exists because there is some emotion stuck to that part of the body. For instance, he says that suppressed anger is the reason for lower back pain. I try to uncover the cause of the pain, and tap at the meridians. Usually the pain disappears unless there is a physical cut or something.
For instance, one day, I contracted conjunctivitis. My eyes were swollen and itching. Since I was busy, I put some drops and went on with my day. The next day my eyes were even worse. I asked myself what had happened in the last week that the mind had not liked? I recalled that a few days back, one of my students had come to meet me. Concerned that he had lost a lot of weight, I checked his blood sugar levels on my glucometer and found that it was 350 which is a very high reading. I told him to get his sugar checked in a lab the very next morning, and give me the report. The next day there was no news from him. When I called up the lab, they confirmed that his fasting blood sugar was 250 and the post prandial blood sugar was 350. The day after, he just sent me a message giving me the readings. I felt bad. I had been so concerned about his health, and he had not bothered to keep me informed. When I released the ill feeling, in three minutes, my eyes released the infection and I was fine.
An interesting aspect is that whatever this form (myself) becomes interested in, he automatically begins to understand the dynamics behind it. I am basically an arts student, but when I began to study quantum physics, I could understand the dynamics of it very well. When I was a young man, I had a motor cycle which no mechanic would repair because it was from England and unfamiliar to them. So I opened up the engine and to my surprise, I found I could repair it, without knowing anything about the machine. I cannot sing, but I automatically understand the science of music, can identify all the ragas, and their effect. Without knowing anything about architecture or engineering, I have built very good houses. And when I paint, I go into a trance. Even if my family stands next to me and says something, I cannot hear them.
With regard to relationships, I have none. I do not have a single friend. I have never felt the need for it. I don’t travel either. Except for the programmes I hold. I like to live in my comfort zone. When my wife and daughter feel like travelling, they have a group of their own to do so. There is zero resistance in my life. You will not believe this but I have been married for 25 years and I have not had a fight with my wife.
I have no future plans. There is no ambition. I just allow things to happen.