“I was always curious about what’s the purpose of life. That’s where I indulged in learning from Bhagavad Gita and met people. I feel it’s the purpose of human life – to ask the right questions and get the right answers.”
In this episode of The Ranveer Show, we have Gauranga Das Prabhu, a spiritual guru, monk, leader, and firm believer of Lord Krishna. He studies the ancient scriptures of Indian history deeply and draws parallels to better lives in the Modern Day.
I have interviewed a lot of guests talking about our culture and spirituality. One such podcast with Gaur Gopal Das has been more healing to my soul. But this one was power-packed and full of new learnings to me.
In this podcast, we spoke about Death, stories of the Mahabharata and Ramayana, the concept of Maya – Virtual Simulations, soulmates, the Law Of Attraction, the occult, ghosts, mysteries of the universe, and also about one of my inspirations, and Gauranga Das\’ sincere student – Jay Shetty.
BEGINNING OF HIS SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
Talking about the beginning of his journey when he was in his early twenties, Gauranga Das says, “I was studying at IIT Bombay where some of my friends were following Bhagavad Gita. My journey began in my fourth year at IIT. I was very intrigued by the concept of how every human being, every occupation works towards trying to solve the problem of death.”
While explaining the Concept of Death, he says, “Our secular education talks about improving our lifestyle till death, but our spiritual tradition focuses on the idea of the soul which can travel beyond death.”
He says every spiritual tradition or religion, irrespective of name, denominations, and language have five things in common known as ‘Spirituality 101’ –
- Where is your consciousness currently?
- Where do you want to go?
- What type of experience are you expecting after reaching the destination?
- What path will you take in that direction?
- What are the obstacles you will face?
Talking about how he decided to become a monk at a very young age, he says, “ Around 15 lakh engineers are graduating in India every year. Out of which most of them do jobs or start their businesses. But few of them join colleges as professors to teach engineering. Similarly, I was inspired to explain the Gita to 27 crore students in India who needed clarity in respect to Gita and practicing it in their life.”
LEARNINGS FROM GITA
Most people think of Bhagavad Gita as a religious book. I believe it is more of a Guide to Life.
When asked about his experiences, Gauranga Das Prabhu says Gita promotes the consciousness of living with the spirit of detachment, compassion, and service irrespective of your external appearance or occupation.
Gita talks about how everything around us changes, but some things never change, like spiritual beings – the Soul.
Krishna mentions that spirituality is about helping every individual in their journey of Soul beyond life. Our body goes through multiple changes at every stage, but the Soul within is always the same.
I asked him regarding his spiritual views on the stressful situations happening since the pandemic had begun?”
According to him, Bhagavad Gita talks about the three types of distresses that happen, known as – Adi Daivik – supernatural calamities like floods and earthquakes.
Adi Bhautik – distress caused by other living entities like diseases and wars
Adhyatmik – is distress caused within like depression and anxiety.
These three are the important factors of life that cause distress, and our spiritual texts help people cope with it.
LIFESTYLE OF A MONK
The only moment I saw the pain in your eyes was when you were talking about the suffering brought into the world. I have seen a lot of peace in every monk’s eyes that I had come across. Is it because of the monk lifestyle?
“I believe that there is a mysterious simultaneous existence of joy and sorrow in a spiritual heart. He is known as ‘Vaishnav’ – who experiences the real inner peace and joy but also feels distressed from the suffering of others.”
The 8 desires of life according to Srimad-Bhagavatam –
- Atma (body)
- Jaya (wife)
- Suta (children)
- Agar (house)
- Pashu (vehicles)
- Dravin (money)
- Bandhushu (acceptance from society)
- Rajya (progress)
Monk’s live their life without seven of these and focus only on ‘Atma’ for their spiritual elevation.
Krishna says one should be like trees. They are the form of ‘Paropkar’ – one who serves others and expects nothing in return.
Real success is when we are trying to benefit others with our life, wealth, intelligence, and words.
CONCEPT OF ‘MAYA’
I have been reading about ‘Maya’ for a while now. According to me, it deals with the law of attraction and simulation of the virtual world. I feel ‘Maya’ molds the things in your favor through your actions and your thoughts.
What do you think about this?
Talking about it, Prabhu refers to ‘Maya’ as an illusion. He says, in this world, all of us have some limited capacity to do things.
Bhagavad Gita speaks about 5 factors that make work happen –
Everything happens when the first four come together with Destiny.
Gita speaks about the supreme lord, soul, and material energy. This material energy Krishna defines as Maya.
The ‘Karma’ comprises the soul that desires, Maya that makes things happen and the ability given by the supreme lord.
If you decide to change or transform with good intentions, the Karmic results will be in your favor.
Ranveer agreed with him and said, I too believe that having compassion, doing good work, treating people properly and meditation is one way of transforming your Karma.
THE SPIRIT OF ARJUNA, AND SPIRITUAL INTERVENTION
I am a big fan of Michael Jordan and follow his warrior mindset. But sometimes, I feel, when you work too hard and put in the effort, you start taking your success as your own, and when failures happen, you blame yourself. It leads to dark phases in life, so what do you think about this?
I would explain this with a story about the great warrior Arjuna. When Arjuna was practicing in Dronacharya\’s academy, he was never allowed to have dinner in the dark. One day, while he was having dinner, the lamp in a room blew off and he realized he could eat in the dark. Then he thought of practicing archery in the dark. Since then, he never slept at night and hence is also known as ‘Gudakesh’. That\’s the level of focus and devotion he had.
During the Kurukshetra war, Arjuna got confused when he saw his grandfather and teacher standing against him. He could not decide to love and respect them or to kill them.
Here is where Krishna told him to conquer the battle within himself first and then fight the world.
Prabhu says you need intervention to transform your consciousness and elevate the thought process like Arjuna.
Intervention in our Vedic culture was performed by chanting the ‘mantra’ ( maan = mind, tra = something that can transform ) that helps to clear your mind and illusionary conceptions.
It is where your perspective towards the world changes, and you understand the real meaning of ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam’ (the whole world is one family).
The well-being of body, mind, and spirit is the definition of good health. Practicing the mantra-meditation is one of the important forms of spiritual intervention.
WHAT ARE GHOSTS?
Some concepts that fascinate me in spiritual studies are astral projections, post-death experiences, out-of-body experiences, and ghosts. What are your thoughts on these?
“The Bhagavad Gita speaks about 3 levels of existence,
- The soul within
- The subtle body consisting of mind, intelligence, and ego
- Above everything is the gross body consisting of earth, water, fire, air, and ether.
After death, the subtle body carries the soul, and the gross body is left behind.
When a person in their lifetime has harmed oneself or misused their bodies, then their soul after death is not accepted by new bodies. It is the time when such souls possess living bodies and act like ghosts
MANIFESTING Your Life
CONCEPT OF LOVE AND SOULMATES
Is there anything called soulmates or union of two souls?
“Yes. I would explain this with a message from Ramayana and three things – Principles, People, and Purpose.
‘Ayodhya’ means land that cannot be conquered by any army. But the epic of Ramayana talks more about the family relations and people of Ayodhya than the strong army or administration.
So it sends a message about how difficult it is to manage our relationships than managing administration.
There are four principles described in Ramayana,
- Dharma ( Integrity ) – represented by lord Rama to do what you have said.
- Artha ( Selfless service ) – represented by Lakshman who selflessly served Rama.
- Moksha ( Tolerance ) – represented by Bharat for tolerating the pain of being misunderstood about his involvement in Rama’s exile to the forest.
- Sanati ( Humility ) – represented by Shatrughan by serving Bharat, even though people were against him.
These are the four principles required for a sustainable relationship that makes people remain bonded for long periods.
When people are bonded with each other selflessly, they attain the purpose of life.
That’s Ramayana’s perspective on relationships and how It has ups and downs and many misunderstandings. But selfless service and integrity help you achieve the supreme. “
Tell something about the role of Sita Maa?
“She is the most important aspect of Ramayana. She represents the fortune and lord’s energy, giving us all messages about how she was safe in the forest while serving Rama but the moment her attention got distracted from service by the golden deer, material energy or Maya entered and disturbed the relationship with Rama.
When such conflicts happen in a relationship, one needs the help of an intermediary to bridge the communication gap like Hanumanji did.
It is the role of a ‘guru’ in one’s life. To show you the correct paths to maintain your relationships and share the message of supreme with people in the modern-day world today.”
GAURANGA DAS PRABHU ON JAY SHETTY
One of the people who brings true wisdom and gives it out to the modern world is our mutual friend and my brother, Jay Shetty. Can you tell our audience something about him, how he transformed?
Gauranga Das Prabhu shared, “Jay is a very sincere student of spirituality. He had mentioned our first meeting in 2006 in his book ‘Think like a Monk.’
When I first met him, he was very interested in knowing the aspects of spirituality and how to apply them in his own life.
Today he’s sharing his wisdom and knowledge with the upcoming generations by helping people understand spirituality from the modern-day perspective.
I never expected that he would ever talk of being a monk because he was too young and had a bright career, but he had his clarity of thoughts on serving people and getting a complete perspective of life’s purpose.
He has systematic handwriting showing his thought process. The best thing about Jay is, he asks a lot of insightful questions.\”
MY LEARNINGS FROM THIS CONVERSATION
This podcast was a special one for me, full of learnings and thought-provoking conversations.
- Every historical scripture in India gives an insightful view of life and its purpose.
- I learned about how our thoughts and feelings attract destiny from the universe.
- Serving other souls selflessly, achieving your inner peace and joy leads to satisfaction.
- Learned about how intensifying your intention to do good and create change leads to success.