By Rajendar Menen
‘Let your highest aspiration organise your life.’ – The Mother of Pondicherry
‘Evolution will surpass man.’ Sri Aurobindo
In my years in Mumbai as a journalist, I packed in an offbeat, sometimes wild, reckless and peripatetic existence. I wrote, edited, reported, travelled, experimented, sometimes hovered on the barbed wire and almost dropped off, and yet survived to tell the tale Unless you frenetically experiment and get out of your zones of comfort, it is difficult to find and settle down with ‘your’ or ‘the’ truth. There’s just one life in this physical body, the identity that we are familiar with, and you have to go for what you want.
I am glad I did what I did. There are no regrets. Today, my convictions are solid and based on very firm ground. After years of travel, in every sense of the word, and after finding some material and professional success, my work on the inner self began in some earnest a few years ago. There was a lot of clutter that needed tidying up. Demons from the past tried to slaughter my present. Old wounds, wrong perceptions, dangerous assumptions, emotions like anger and lust which sliced my soul frequently, karmic baggage (a previous life possibility), dreams that didn’t happen, events that took me by surprise, and sorrows I never imagined had a possibility of entering my life had me on the rack sometimes. But the earth didn’t open to swallow me. And, thankfully, after the tempest, I was always reborn.
There is a lot of work yet on the consciousness, but the start has been made.
For one, you have to forget the past. Learn from it, but don’t dwell on it. Then you have to forgive and not nurture grudges. Learn to live in the moment. You have to realise that your opinion is yours, and it needn’t be shared by anyone. Everyone’s circumstances are different, and there are as many truths as there are people. Keeping good health is vital. The body is your temple, and you have to respect it. A healthy body is propped up by a healthy mind. So you have to work on yourself at every level. This includes thoughts, actions, friendships, relationships, associations, understanding the role of money, religion, spirituality, food, work, exercise and so on. The cleansing process takes years. You have to learn to live with love, hope, joy and positive affirmation. It also helps to help others. Pets and plants provide great comfort. Finally, after all this, when you leave your body, you will be setting free your consciousness.
I begin my day with two spoons of gau mutra mixed with water, and follow it up with yoga. The Tibetan Rites are tailor-made for big cities. In 15 minutes your chakras are optimised and energy courses through the nadis. I also do free arm exercises to further tone the muscles. I don’t miss a single day. You have to be consistent in your regimen. My diet consists of fruits, vegetables and nuts and some cooked food. Antioxidants like ashwagandha and garlic are also on the everyday menu. If needed, homoeopathy and ayurveda always help. It makes sense to avoid white sugar, flour, salt, bottled drinks, nicotine and fried, oily and packaged foods. Occasional binges are allowed. The idea is to eat, and use as much living foods as possible to fight the decay wrought by free radicals. It is also important not to eat too much. The body needs simple food, and in small quantities.
My clothes are loose cottons, and I experiment with colours; different colours have different energies. Technology has made work easy and drastically reduced the stress of commuting. So the work station is at home. With the mind at peace, relationships are uplifting. I am a compulsive walker and believe that private ownership of vehicles in poor, congested and polluted countries should not be encouraged. I also believe that too much emphasis is being laid on consumerism. The freedom from wanting more is a great liberation. After all, the best things in life are free. I also feel that the people are the state and a serious individual effort should be made to reduce family sizes and to preserve the environment. Our natural resources are finite.
I spend my time with yoga, writing, reading, listening to ‘low fat’ instrumental music, and beach walks. It is a good life!
Rajendar Menen is a writer based in Mumbai, India.
His latest book is Karma Sutra-Essays From The Margin.
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