Q. Swamiji, when you were 18, you decided to go to Australia (Sydney), to study. What made you take that decision, and how did that change your life?
Ans. I have always said that if India is my biological mother, then Australia would be my foster mother, because that country gave me so much – my entire career, my tertiary education, all happened there. It was just a random conversation I had with my father. He said, “Would you like to go there, and study?”. I said, “Yes, why not?”. He said, “I can only pay the first year’s fee, and then, you are on your own”. I said, “I think I can handle that”. So, it was just meant to be.
Q. Okay, so you went to Australia, you pursued a couple of courses, you worked part-time, and then, you also had a little romantic interlude with someone?? No?
Ans. Sshhh!! Nobody knows about it! (Laughter). I had a romantic ‘prelude’ with somebody, no ‘interlude’! Hahahaha.
Q. So, you were a young boy, and you were in a new Country, you didn’t know anyone there? You had to make new friends, so did you engage with people of your own sex and people of your opposite sex, and did you find that you got interested in what normal young people get interested in, as in, were your hormones active? (Laughter) Did you fall in love with anyone? Did you have a physical relationship? What did that teach you, and how did it help you transcend various things and got you interested in a lot of things like Tantra, and you came to know the difference between love, lust, affection etc?
Ans. I think this is a very good question, because nobody has asked me that till date! (Laughter). So, here’s the thing – I was so busy making a living, I was so busy earning my University fees, studying for my Uni, that I didn’t really have the time for relationships. Until I was 25, there were no relationships in my life, other than, just with my books, I was always a very voracious reader.
So, that means you were very close to your family, your parents and your siblings?
Yes, I mean, I used to call them once a month! (Laughter). So, I had no relationships with other people. I didn’t even have many friends at all, if I may call that, simply because :
- I did not have the time
- I studied our Vedic literature and I always believed that between the age of 0 till 25, it is ‘Brahmacharya’.
From 25 till 50, it’s fun, and a bit of struggle, and lot of arguments, and challenges. From 50 till 75, it is ‘Vanaprastha’. From 75 till 100, if you are still alive, then it is Sanyaas.
Q. But you were just 30 when you gave it all up! The man who sold his Porsche! You bought a new car when your mother came to visit you in Australia. Tell us something about it.
Ans. It was a very nice car. (Laughter).
(Some description of the Porsche car follows)
Q. So, you gave that all up! Tell us why.
Ans. I was crazy. (Laughter). See, it’s very simple – Sometimes, you see the value in your dream. Sometimes your dream is so strong, that your reality cannot match your dream. And, when that happens, you are willing to do anything to realize your dream. There are people in this country and elsewhere too, for example, who got educated well, who got good jobs, but they leave that, to pursue their Bollywood dreams, because they believe that they can make it there! And it is not for the money. They believe that “I want to express myself through my talent or through my skill, or through my craft”.
For me, I was always quiet, but restless. Restless in the sense : I always thought “Okay, what is next?”. “Now okay, I have got this project, I will get richer by half-a-million dollars in a year’s time. What is next?”. “This car, it drove really well. What was next?”. “This house, it looked really nice. What was next?”.
In material life, that ‘next’ never came. That ‘next’ was always there like a carrot, dangling in front of you, and then you wonder : What the hell I am actually doing here?
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