‘Icons of Grace’: Author Nityanand Charan Das talks about his inspiration for ebook on spirituality in India, India News News

‘Icons of Grace: Twenty-one Lives that Outlined Indian Spirituality’ is a ebook by revered ISKCON monk Nityanand Charan Das who’s exhibiting a path to non secular understanding to all of the readers. 

‘Icons of Grace’ has turn out to be a nationwide bestseller. Within the ebook, the creator has launched the readers to the lives of twenty-one extraordinary individuals who served as non secular guides. 

Nityanand Charan Das revealed to WION what impressed him to put in writing the ebook on spirituality. He additionally talked about his private experiences and his journey. 

He talked concerning the challenges he faces regularly when he interacts with the youth of this technology.  

QUESTION: Inform us concerning the ebook – ‘Icons of Grace: Twenty-one Lives that Outlined Indian Spirituality’. What was your inspiration? 

Reply: The ebook talks concerning the 21 most distinguished non secular masters/saints which have ever walked on this planet. India is understood for spirituality and there have been numerous souls who’ve proven numerous souls, the forgotten path. Icons of Grace describes the exemplary lives of 21 such best personalities intimately. 

In my years of being on this path, one factor that retains arising many times because the essence of devotional life is that The Lord is extraordinarily happy when he’s glorified. However He’s limitless instances happy when His devotees are glorified. He says, “Devotees are my heart. They know no one but me and I know no one but them.” “Worship of my devotees is greater than worship of me.”

This was the principle inspiration: to please the Lord. However as contemplated this, I realised there may be rather more than what this ebook does. And that’s; it reminds us of our nice non secular legacy and non secular tradition. That is our actual historical past. 

We thrive on spirituality however only a few individuals are conscious of who has given this to us. So this should be recognized particularly to the current technology and this manner our non secular legacy could be preserved. Else it is getting misplaced. 

As well as, I realised that these saints deserve this glory for the good work that has been achieved. We discover solace and shelter in spirituality and thus this ebook is an act of gratitude to those nice personalities for his or her contribution to creating our lives higher.

So in essence, 

1) To please Krishna

2) To protect our non secular legacy

3) To make the current technology conscious of their roots

4) To glorify the good souls for what they’ve given us 

QUESTION: You could have launched readers to the lives of twenty-one extraordinary individuals who served as non secular guides. Inform us about them. What readers should not miss whereas studying the ebook?

Reply: The personalities talked about within the ebook function position modes for anybody who needs to both begin his non secular journey or as inspiration to proceed on this path. All of us are non secular by nature and thus non secular life is our pure life and the extra we connect with our pure setting, the extra we keep completely satisfied. So these saints set the very best requirements that we will aspire to achieve. One most necessary lesson that they educate is that irrespective of who we’re, trials and tribulations are inevitable. However then how we reply is what’s going to resolve whether or not we’re completely satisfied or depressing. They usually educate one of the best type of response in all conditions. They set the requirements for all of us to comply with. They educate how we might be on this world however not of this world. 

QUESTION: You’re a practising monk and also you want to revolutionise the present city situation by serving to folks to steer a peaceable and purposeful life. What are the challenges you face once you work together with the youth of this technology? Do you may have any recommendations for the youthful technology? 

Reply: The principle problem whereas interacting with the youth is that they’re too distracted. As well as, psychological well being is a matter and to assist them develop that religion within the increased energy to cope with their challenges is an uphill job contemplating the age we live in the place everybody is solely abo he motivational speeches the place we’re taught some superficial, quick-fix options that don’t final. To make them place confidence in one thing that can assist them in the long term fairly than merely give attention to some rapid gratification is hard. 

Suggestion: Issues could also be behind our management however they’re by no means shopping for His (God’s) management. Life is not only arduous work. It is grace too. We should work as if every little thing is dependent upon us and we should pray as if every little thing is dependent upon God. Each should go hand in hand. Effort plus grace is what’s going to assist us. For grace, we have to join with Him deeply. 

And it is not that we should surrender something in life. We are going to merely have so as to add Him to our lives. Religious life is a lifetime of connection, not rejection. So do not be afraid so as to add one thing invaluable to your life. 

QUESTION: In a world that’s chaotic, how a standard man can discover the trail to non secular understanding? Most individuals are busy with their jobs and have lesser time for self-awareness, how ought to they reconnect with their roots? Inform us why is that this necessary? 

Reply: We should prioritize. If we do not do it, we are going to by no means find yourself doing it. We should dedicate a while each day for our non secular progress. Ideally morning hours. Chanting the Lord’s names, at the least as soon as per week listening to from scriptures life Gita, Bhagavat or finding out them. 

Associating with saintly devotees of the lord repeatedly. That method we can preserve a divine consciousness with which we can make the suitable selections in life. A pencil that’s blunt can’t be a lot of a assist, to sharpen it would appear to be time-consuming nevertheless it’s not. It is solely going to assist us write higher. Equally, taking out time for our non secular practices each day is just not a waste however one thing that can assist us write the script of life higher. 

QUESTION: From aspiring to turn out to be a military officer to practising monk, how your journey has been? 

Reply: My life is stuffed with some mystical/inexplicable experiences that folks might not essentially consider however the burden of affection is such that regardless that we don’t need to be recognized, we can not serve with out sharing — so let me begin firstly. 

I used to be born in a small village in Himachal Pradesh, into a military household. My grandfather served in World Warfare II and my father was a military man as nicely, so because the starting, my deepest want was to turn out to be a military officer. After all, we’d pray and chant, however nothing associated to Krishna. Nevertheless, once I was a younger boy, I might have a recurrent imaginative and prescient in my thoughts of carrying saffron-coloured garments and leaving residence to turn out to be a sadhu— however I did not pay any consideration to it. 

I attended a military faculty in Jharkhand, and once I reached the twelfth commonplace I ready for my entrance examination to the NDA. In my complete education life, I had been a topper and for these exams specifically I had over-prepared. My father’s seniors within the military had interviewed me, I had undergone intense coaching in Chandigarh and was assured that I might clear.  

Earlier than the examination even began I knew one factor— the military officers did not tolerate lies. It was okay if did not know one thing, however if you happen to lied about it — they would not belief you and due to this fact not choose you. 

My examination started and we had a variety of checks… extempore, command duties, group examination, psychological checks and much more — I excelled in all besides the command job. I then had a proper interview the place the military official interviewing me already had all my check outcomes. He requested me the query, ‘did you face any difficulties?’

I had undergone coaching, I knew I needed to be trustworthy however I replied saying ‘no, I didn’t face any difficulties’ regardless that I had carried out miserably within the command job. He requested me once more, ‘are you certain?’ and I mentioned ‘sure, I am certain’. 

I stepped out of that interview and unexpectedly it hit me…what had I achieved? It was as if I used to be in a trance and a few unknown power was controlling me in that interview — and I solely got here again to my senses as soon as I used to be out — I used to be devastated. 

After 2 days, there was a second spherical of interviews with 15-20 military officers from completely different boards and right here comes the stunning half — the identical man who had interviewed me earlier was current and once more he requested me the identical query — ‘did you face any difficulties?’ and involuntarily my reply was the identical ‘no’. 

Once more, I had no management over this and I used to be rejected from the NDA. 

Again then, I had no rationalization for this…I simply wept for days to return as a result of my greatest dream was taken away from me. Trying again now, I can join the dots that this was all a part of a a lot bigger plan. 

“After being rejected, I did not even come out of my room for a number of days. At that age, it is simpler to seek out solace, so when one of many academics at that military faculty advised me that each Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan had been rejected from the identical academy — I started to suppose that possibly there was one thing else in retailer for me. 

I enrolled myself in a BSC course close to Himachal, the place I developed a brand new ‘move time’ as chances are you’ll name it. Each time I might see a bookstall I might run to seek out books on mystic perfections — the tantra, mantra of all of it fascinated me. 

After this, I utilized to check Engineering, however by some means I solely bought a placement at a university in Baramati close to Pune. It was form of a village so I actually wasn’t that completely satisfied, but when I cleared all 10 of my topics within the first 12 months, I might be capable to switch out. I cleared 5 topics within the first sem and once more, I used to be absolutely ready for every little thing in my second sem. For the Arithmetic 2 paper, I had solved all of the questions at the least 3 times. In reality, the day earlier than the examination I ended up educating my roommate as a result of he was panicking concerning the paper. The following day, once I noticed the query paper in entrance of me, I recognised each query however my thoughts drew an entire clean. In these three hours, I might solely try 27 marks! Think about my roommate handed the examination, however I did not and that is why I could not switch — at that time I did not have any thought what was happening. 

However like I mentioned, trying again I perceive how every little thing was orchestrated. In my subsequent semester, on my solution to faculty, I noticed a blue colored bus with the phrases ISKCON on it. I ran to it, to search for books of my curiosity however did not discover any. Disenchanted, I went again to my faculty. The following day, an announcement was made {that a} seminar would happen ‘The Secret to Happiness’ and faculty would finish early. All of us had been thrilled — we determined to skip the seminar and play cricket as an alternative! On the best way out I noticed 2 Sadhus strolling in — one in saffron and the opposite in white and it was as if one thing was drawing me to them. By no means earlier than, had I dropped cricket for something however that day I advised my good friend — ‘let’s go take heed to them, they converse good English!’ and I did not even know the way these phrases got here to me — I had by no means spoken to them earlier than! That is the way it all started.” 

“We ended up having Geeta courses at our cottage each week and with each passing session, I felt extra linked. I had unusual experiences — like in the future after our class I used to be on my solution to dinner and singing the Keerthana, solely absorbed within the clear, starry sky when unexpectedly I felt a power transfer me from my path and place me throughout the bridge. I used to be bodily lifted to the opposite aspect by some invisible power and I had no rationalization however I used to be too completely satisfied to query it — It was solely as soon as I bought to dinner that my good friend advised me the same old path we took to dinner was obstructed, and he had fallen down on these stones and injured himself. That’s once I realised who that power was… I had intentionally been moved.

It’s written within the Holy ebook that Krishna will fulfil all of your materials needs so issues even began occurring in that path. First, of all locations they may discover, 2 military officers got here to my faculty in Baramati to randomly interview and choose 2 college students for coaching and naturally, I used to be chosen. Once I reached Prayagraj, I realised that I used to be in a unique world; that I couldn’t relate to anybody there — my greatest want of turning into a military officer left me with out warning…regardless that it was inside my attain. 

I additionally had one other attachment that got here again into my life throughout this time. Someway, by my prayer, even that want progressively left me. I realised then that I used to be given entry to all my needs, however I personally didn’t really feel the necessity to attain for them. 

It was additionally through the faculty days that I had probably the most out of the physique, non secular expertise. One of many devotees despatched me a field of books to learn, and as I began to undergo them it hit me that I had been to all these locations earlier than. I knew them, I recognised them and that was the second it was throughout for me. For the following 4 days, each time I began chanting, the tears would simply stream. I’m nonetheless ready to relive these days. 

I formally grew to become an engineer in 2006 and as a prerequisite to start out our coaching right here on the temple, now we have to work outdoors in order that we all know what the opposite world’s like and by no means really feel like we’ve missed out. I completed getting my work expertise and in 2007, I left the opposite world and got here right here to turn out to be a monk. 

It isn’t simple being a monk in Bombay [Mumbai]. From needing to be a military officer to turning into an engineer — to end up turning into a monk! After all, once I undertook coaching, it was troublesome to persuade my father that that is what I had determined to dedicate my life to. I knew I had a duty in direction of them, however I had blind religion that ‘to the degree, you surrender to God to that level he’ll take care of your near and dear ones.’ That’s precisely what occurred — each my brothers discovered their ardour and their lives modified for the higher; my father discovered his calling and my mom was completely satisfied. 

By spreading this message, I really feel that my household has grown to lacs of individuals. I share their ache, I share their happiness. I’ve visited so many properties in Bombay and the one factor widespread is that nobody likes to share! Each particular person thinks that the opposite particular person is completely satisfied so let me not share why I’m sad however let me inform you this world is a 25Paise circus! 

The story goes, that in a village in India an announcement was made – 25paise solely to the see one of the best circus; solely catch being that folks might solely enter one after the other. The morning of the circus got here and the person who stood in line for a lot of hours to ensure he has first entered the circus. When he entered he noticed it was empty and there was just one massive tall man current. When he requested this man, ‘where is the circus?’ he mentioned – ‘I’ll show you!’ and he beat the particular person up black and blue! When this man left the circus from the bottom he thought to himself – ‘let me not share this humiliation with anyone’ — so he dusted himself and went to the opposite villagers ready in line and mentioned ‘wow, what a great circus all of you must go and enjoy!’ One after the other all of the villagers went into the tent and obtained the identical remedy, however not considered one of them warned the others. At night time after they all gathered on the village sq., some spoke of clowns, others of elephants however nobody mentioned what really occurred. Each particular person felt dangerous that night time as a result of all of them thought ‘everyone else saw such great things, it was only I who suffered!’ 

On this world everybody goes by struggles and trials, why should we faux? 

We predict we’re the one ones however really, everyone seems to be passing by an examination, simply that the query paper is completely different! We see our query paper and we predict mine is the hardest! 

It is completely okay if we’re going by some trials as we live in a fabric world .. Ups and Downs are part of life! Some surrender and a few do not and so they ultimately develop and are available out victorious .. supplied they’ve a robust shelter which is Krishna as we learn in Mahabharata. 

We shouldn’t be ashamed of our struggles. In reality, we should set an instance for others as to the right way to cope with them and that’s the best service we will do to others …allow us to attempt to put a smile on everybody’s face by giving them the shelter in Krishna… that would be the best welfare work. Until we connect with our supreme father, we will proceed to battle… and it is a reality! That is our calling …however we do not know! 

Wherever and no matter we’re, we should merely join with Krishna n He’ll flip our adversities into alternatives and curses into blessings! 

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