The New Age Valmiki
The life of Ramchandra Guruji is a living testimony to the fact that even a tiny spark of awareness has the capacity to turn a wayward person into a saint says Pradeep Krishnan
The story of the robber Ratnakar’s conversion to Maharshi Valmiki (the author of Ramayana) during the Treta Yuga is well known. In this Kali Yuga, the life of Ramachandra of Bengaluru, Karnataka, stands testimony to the fact that such a miraculous transformation of an individual—from sinner to saint—is possible, even in this age.
Born on 1 July 1963 to Sri Byrappa Swamiji and Smt Narayanamma, Ramachandra was initiated into spirituality at the age of eight by his father. After leading a reckless life during his teenage years, experiencing all that is considered taboo by society, in his later life, destiny took him to several spiritual masters, enabling him to discover deep spiritual secrets.
Thus, the once prodigal son was transformed into Ramachandra Guruji, spiritual master, helping people with their spiritual growth and holistic well-being. He says, “There are many things beyond physical existence, which our modern science barely explains. However, spiritual science deals with all the queries and heals most of the problems with their origin in the human mind. One can find the true essence of existence deeper within, in one’s own Self. We reincarnate again and again to complete the incomplete actions, deeds, and debts of the past. Spirituality brings that completeness to one’s life.”
In order to enable people to take up the inner journey and to transcend the physical, Guruji (as he is affectionately addressed by his disciples) has devised diverse programmes for different types: Prayer-art of the Heart, Student Therapy, Spiritual Hypnotherapy, Mystic Healing, and Kundalini Deeksha. A recipient of several awards and honours, Ramachandra Guruji has so far held about 10,000 sessions and workshops on different aspects of spirituality and healing in India and abroad, including the USA, Malaysia, and Singapore. His programmes on various Kannada TV channels are a hit. Recently, after extensive research, he has devised a practical course “Hanuman—The Supreme Hero in You,” to unleash the power hidden within one through Hanuman Chalisa. Considering his services, the Bengaluru-based Indian Virtual University conferred on him an honorary doctorate in Spiritual Hypnotherapy, in 2016.
Sitting in the open-air dining hall of Hotel Leela International, Bengaluru, located between an artificial waterfall on one side and a beautiful flower garden filled with yellow, blue, and orange flowers on the other, Dr Ramachandra Guruji spoke to Pradeep Krishnan about his unique spiritual path.
Guruji, tell us about your life and how you came to the spiritual path.
I was born in 1963 in a traditional middle-class farming community in Madderi village, in Kolar district. Being a village lad, I enjoyed playing with friends, often worked in the paddy fields, and had the freedom to explore life around. As a teenager, I disregarded family and societal norms and un-ashamedly and fearlessly indulged in activities such as gambling, smoking, drinking, and chasing girls, considered taboo or forbidden by society. My family was totally disappointed and disillusioned with me as I had brought dishonour to the family. In such a pathetic condition, Yashoda (my wife) came into my life in 1989 without any knowledge about my reckless life. Our sons Mohan and Bharath were born in 1994 and 1998 respectively.
Then how did you turn to spirituality? What was the turning point?
Rather than a hero, I was a big zero in life, with mounting debts and depressing conditions. I had heard that once king Tipu Sultan had to pledge his children to the British as part of paying his indemnity. At that time, my own condition was no different. Faced with either saavu (death) or sadhana (spiritual practice), I chose the latter to undo all that I had done. Seeking my wife’s permission, I became a recluse for seven years.
Where were you during those years?
Away from my family and society, initially, I lived alone without any food or shelter in M M hills, a forest infested with wild animals. Then, I roamed around the Himalayas meeting and staying with all sorts of saints: sadhus, babas, and siddhas, who helped me explore the deeper truths of life. One day, in deep meditation, a Eureka moment happened. I realised that in one of my previous lives, I had been a Buddhist monk. Surprisingly, soon after this incident, the Rakshasa gunas—fear, hatred, lust, anger, greed, and grief—left me. I could literally feel the new life-force pulsating within, making life a celebration! It dawned on me that the body is a hallowed medium for experiencing all that is secret and sacred, within and without. I felt the entire creation as Sathyam, Shivam, Sundaram. When, with the newfound energy, I returned to my family, everything looked different! Jaisa drishti vaisa srishti (As is our perception, so is our reality.)
What did you learn from the Himalayan masters?
The company of different sects of sages, who were deeply engaged in sadhana, was really a blessing as they taught me through their practices. They completely changed my perception of life. I realised that life is sacred and precious and one has to live intensely, moment by moment. These masters had introduced me to psycho-spiritual and past life regression therapies and advised me to use them for the benefit of humanity.
Who is your spiritual guru?
My parents were my first gurus; subsequently, I had several gurus. Are not Life and Nature the greatest masters! We can learn from all those whom we come across in our life if we are open enough. As one’s experiences, circumstances, choices, etc., have tremendous influence in shaping one’s life, they have to be considered as gurus.
Please tell about the different types of healing techniques used by you?
New research in the medical field has found that 90 per cent of diseases are psychosomatic in nature and only 10 per cent are physiological in origin. Asthma, cancer, cardiac problems, stress, anxiety, insomnia, obesity, hyper- and hypotension, diabetes, etc., have their roots in our karmic baggage, which is linked to genetics, i.e., linked to the individual’s manas (mind) or chitta, which is the storehouse of all memories, past and present. In hypnotherapy, the subconscious mind of the person is accessed to identify and cure the ailment. This method has helped hundreds of people suffering from loneliness, anxiety, fears and phobias, low self-esteem, problems in relationships, and marital discord.
Past life regression therapy helps one to get rid of chronic emotional and mental blockages such as drug or alcohol addictions, without the use of drugs by altering the brain chemistry and thereby releasing trauma from the mind, body, and spirit of the person concerned.
During the past 25 years, I have helped and healed hundreds of people with such conditions. A specific problem with a lifelong pattern is worked out in a few sessions. However, it is essential that each layer of the trauma—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual—be transformed and integrated for complete healing to happen.
Is there any connection between past life and diseases? Can one get rid of one’s prarabdha karma (karma to be carried out in the present body)?
One’s health condition is genetically determined and karmically sustained by environmental factors as well as one’s lifestyle choices. According to ayurveda, one’s own karmic actions revisit in the form of diseases. Our ancestors have prescribed an integrated lifestyle to bring healing, balance, and harmony in one’s life: Daana (charity), dharma (right thinking and right actions), seva (selfless service), vratha (time-bound ritualistic practice), japa (chanting), puja (rituals), prarthana (prayer), dhyana (meditation), etc., are part of holistic living that helps to cleanse and heal the past karmic patterns and ailments.
What is the role of beliefs in one’s life?
Belief is accepting something without physical proof. It plays a decisive role in one’s life as it helps to make or mar health. Studies show that the chances of recovery for a patient who has neither trust in the doctor nor in the efficacy of the medicines are bleak. I know from experience that those who have firm faith recover quickly.
You say that the ultimate goal of human life is moksha or liberation. Please explain.
The popular belief that moksha is a physical place to reach after death is not correct. Rather, it is a mental state in which one is not affected by anything of the past, present, or future. It is a state of complete equilibrium, experiencing life moment to moment, with absolute freedom. A person having such a state of mind will not have any sufferings, worries, miseries, fear, and sadness.
How can one achieve such a state of mind?
For that, one has to purify the chitta through spiritual practices. Life lived with awareness is a blessing as it frees one’s manas from ignorance, fear, and the karmic baggage. One of the methods I suggest is to watch the incoming and outgoing breath so that the senses are shut to the outside stimulus and response cycle. Moksha happens on its own in due course.
Is this state the same as Self-discovery?
Yes, but explained differently. Discovering one’s true Self is discovering God within—the state of sat-chit-ananda, which is our true nature. In meditation, by fine-tuning the mind, one travels within: body to mind, mind to intellect, and intellect to Self, i.e., from annamaya kosha (physical body) to anandamaya kosha (bliss body), described as a nirvanic or nirvikalpa state. By whatever name we call it—Atman, Soul, Self, Being, or Life Force—it’s the source of our existence. It is the Self that powers our mind and body. Returning to our Source is all that there is before we end our journey in this physical form. We are free souls bound by bondages. Being slaves to our senses, we are unable to see life beyond the senses.
How does one get rid of human suffering or how does one make progress on the spiritual path?
Lost in the world of senses, we are busy gratifying them, making them our masters. Atma Vidya or Self-knowledge frees one from ignorance and suffering. Today, people ‘seem to know’ about everything and everyone except themselves. Being scared of one’s own Self leads to outward exploration. Driven by greed, lust, ambition, and complexes, we undertake the unending ego trip, never arriving ‘home,’ until frustration haunts us like a shadow. Acquiring Self-knowledge through spiritual sadhana is one of the ways to end suffering.
What is your concept of God?
Understand that the word ‘God’ is not God; rather, it is just a sound. When we realise that God is neither a concept nor a belief and it’s beyond our intellectual understanding, then there’s a possibility to experience this strange phenomenon right now, here, everywhere, in everything. That’s why rishis of yore described it as Tatvamasi (You are That), Aham Brahmasmi (I am That), and Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma (Everyone and everything is That). My concept of God is Sarvantharayami: omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, the in-dweller of animate and inanimate existence.
The number of suicides and crime rates is increasing day by day. Even within the family, child abuses and rapes are taking place. What is the way out?
Suicides happen because of ignorance. Our shastras say, “As the food, so the mind.” What we feed our body, mind, senses, intellect, and emotions has a profound effect on our character. Self-knowledge alone can end all sufferings. The only way is to educate people at all levels: individual, family, school, etc. Here, religion can play a vital role in leading one on the path of swadharma, the path of righteousness.
What is the role of rituals?
All will agree that an idle mind can be a devil’s workshop. So, in order to engage one’s mind constructively and creatively, rishis from time to time have introduced rituals and practices. Though they differ from culture to culture, they have a unique place in moulding the individual by bringing peace and harmony.
What is unique about Hanuman Chalisa?
Hanuman is the healer of our past, present, and future. Hanuman Chalisa, a 40-stanza vibrant hymn praising Lord Hanuman, is a unique stotra mantra (hymn of praise) composed by the saint-poet Tulsidas Goswami in the 16th century. My experience has been that chanting this mantra helps to activate the subconscious mind—which is 90 times more powerful and creative than our conscious mind—and thereby cleanse and clear one’s negative emotions: jealousy, hatred, anger, lust, grief, fear, ego, and guilt. I have experienced this mantra’s therapeutic effect on the body, mind, and soul. Also, it brings rhythm and harmony in breathing and the heartbeat. It can release excessive stress and tranquilise our mind. It can enhance our aura, which is a biomagnetic field protecting our immunity system.
Message to readers?
Dear noble souls, realise that attaining Jivanmukti or liberation before we leave this body should be one’s goal in this janma (incarnation)! In Bhajagovindam, Sri Shankaracharya has shared beautifully the access to Jivanmukti: “Through the company of the good, there arises non-attachment; through non-attachment there arises freedom from delusion; through freedom from delusion there arises steadfastness; through steadfastness, there arises liberation in life.”
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