Nobody Can Escape The Law of Karma, Says AiR Atman in Ravi

 - Sakshi Post

AiR Atman in Ravi shut down his successful business to embark upon a spiritual quest. In an exclusive interview with Sakshipost, the Spiritual leader and Founder of AiR Institute of Realization and AiR Center of Enlightenment tells Reshmi AR about his journey seeking answers to questions on existence, life, God, death, heaven, and hell.

1.The term ‘spirituality’ seems complex. Could you simplify it for a layman?

Spirituality is the science of the Soul, the Spirit, the Atman. It is about realizing the truth about ourselves— who we are and why we were born. It is about realizing the truth about life, that life is an illusion, a drama. It is about realizing the truth about God, that God is not a person or a saint, God is a Power, God is SIP, the Supreme Immortal Power. Spirituality holds the key to a life of Eternal Peace, Divine Love, and Everlasting Bliss. It leads us to Enlightenment, Self-realization and God-realization, to Moksha. In simple words, to sum it up, it is all about the realization of the truth.

2. Did you have a life-changing moment that made you give up corporate life and take up spirituality?

While I was successful and enjoyed many pleasures of life, I was also extremely busy, stressed, and anxious — all of which comes with success. Anybody who is successful or even wants success, experiences all this. I experienced pleasure, followed by pain, loss and gain, and all the ups and downs of life. I was going round and round. While trying to make a difference in this world, doing humanitarian work made me feel content and fulfilled, I cannot say that I was truly and completely happy. It was my Guru who made me stop to contemplate — who am I? What is the purpose of life? As a result, I shut down my very successful business and embarked on my spiritual quest, my Talaash, seeking answers to several questions about existence, life, God, death, heaven, and hell.

3. We are all chasing success. What exactly according to you is a measure of one's success?

People think that Success is Happiness, that is, if you are successful in terms of money, fame, name, and achievements, you are sure to be happy. But nothing can be further from the truth! Are all successful people happy? Look around you and you will find that many of them are depressed or have other problems. If we think about it — what is the purpose of being successful? Why do we seek accolades? It is because we seek happiness — we want to be happy. However, if you are happy, then aren’t you already successful? The focus, therefore, should not be on success, but rather just being happy. Success brings it with anxiety, stress, and many sleepless nights. Moreover, all the wealth and fortune we collect will ultimately be left behind. What is the point? I would say that we are successful if we are happy. If we realize the purpose of life and attain our goal — to realize we are the Divine Soul, we are truly successful!

4. Tell us about your transformation from Ravi Melwani to Atman in Ravi.

My evolution from Ravi Melwani to Atman in Ravi is more than a transformation. A transformation implies a change that can be reversed — it may not be permanent. I call my irreversible transformation a metamorphosis, just like a caterpillar becomes a butterfly — there is no going back. This analogy of a caterpillar aptly describes my spiritual journey, my journey to liberation, and my metamorphosis. With the realization of the truth, I have become free, like a butterfly, to fly in peace, joy and bliss, to become one with the Divine.

5. Could you decode Atman in your name?

Atman — the Divine Soul is who I am, that we all are. We are not the body, mind or ego, but the Soul, the Divine Atman. That is our true identity. Hence, the ‘Atman’ in Ravi indicates the reality of who and what we are - the Soul, the Atman, manifestations of the Divine: Chidanand Roopah Shivoham Shivoham. Ravi is just the body, like the shirt I wear. It’s not who I am. Therefore, that I am Ravi is a lie — I am Atman in Ravi. In other words, the word ‘Atman’ means the Soul. Atman in Ravi means the Soul in Ravi. For example, consider that your name is Johny. But are you really Johny? When you were born, you were not Johny; it was the name given to you. And when Johny dies, Johny’s body will be on the floor, but you will be gone. So, who are you? You are not the body, you are not the mind. You are the Soul. Hence, in reality, you are the Soul in Johny. This is what Atman in Ravi means. The body may be something I am encapsulated in, but I am not the body, just like I am not my car, I am not my house, but I am the one who lives in my house. I am also the one who lives in my body. That’s the meaning of Atman in Ravi. I am the Soul that is alive, the Divine energy alive in Ravi, the body. 

6.Do you have a teacher who made you reach this stage? What's the importance of a guru in people's lives?

Yes, I am eternally indebted and grateful to my mentor, my Guru, J. P. Vaswani, Dada as we fondly called him. Though he is free from the mortal coil, from his earthly existence, I remain ever-connected with him. Without his guidance, his help, his teachings, and his exemplary life, I would not be where I am today. He nudged and inspired me to go on a quest, my spiritual quest. He compelled me to introspect, contemplate, and ask questions till I could put together the pieces of the spiritual jigsaw puzzle and realize the truth. For a seeker, a Guru is a must. A Guru takes us from ignorance to enlightenment, from ‘Gu’ to ‘Ru’, and from darkness to light. Without a Guru, it is almost impossible to evolve and move ahead on the spiritual path towards Enlightenment. To become an expert in any subject, we need a coach. In spirituality, the Guru is our coach. Of course, while the Guru can guide us, realization is an individual experience.

7. Please throw some light on the books you have authored.

To begin with, I must say I have not authored these books — I am but an instrument of the Divine, of God. It is God’s words that are being expressed through my pen. Having said that, these books are on several subjects related to spirituality — on suffering, happiness, death, life, Karma, Rebirth, Moksha, Yoga — everything that can help one realize the truth, help one live with bliss, joy, peace, meaning, and purpose. I strive to make these books simple to understand. They are written in simple words, with anecdotes and stories to illustrate my point. Scriptures and spiritual books can be complicated, and difficult to understand. I present the gist of our spiritual texts, like that of the Upanishads and the Vedas, in simple words — spirituality should be accessible to all. It must not be an esoteric subject.

8. Do you believe in Karma? How does it work in the real world?

There is no question of me not believing in Karma. In fact, it is for all of us to realize that life is Karma. Can mangoes grow on apple trees? Or pineapples on a papaya tree? Of course not. As we sow, so shall we reap. What we give, we get. We can accept the existence of the Law of Karma through inference, just like the Law of Gravity. We know that there is a force called gravity because when we throw something up in the air, it comes down. So also, we infer the existence of the Law of Karma. Karma is a universal law, like the law of cycles, the law of opposites.  As per Karma, what we do will come back to us, if not in this lifetime, then in another lifetime. Nobody can escape from this law. There is no doubt about that. That explains why people suffer or why an infant is born blind. It’s not because God is cruel or because it’s a matter of luck. It is because of Karma. We have to put two and two together.

9.  Is there a difference between religion and spirituality?

Indeed there is. Religion is only a kindergarten. It introduces God to us. It creates faith in God. It makes us believe in God. It makes us trust and have hope. It teaches us the basics, the ABCs of God. But that’s it! Ultimately, because of our religion, we get caught in believing in myths, fairy tales, stories, dogmas, and superstitions. And all through life, we remain in this kindergarten. We have to go and grow beyond religion to spirituality. Spirituality is the university — spirituality helps us realize the truth. Spirituality helps us realize who we are and who God really is. Spirituality holds the key to a life of eternal peace, Divine love, and everlasting bliss.

10.  Is there a thing called hell and heaven?

Hell and heaven do exist. But they are not geographical places located in the sky far away. Hell and heaven exist right here on earth and we experience them right here in this world when we are born. Our sufferings are hell, and our happy or fortunate circumstances are heaven. Whether we will experience heaven or hell depends on us — our Karma, our deeds. Why is one child born with disabilities while another is born in a loving family with all comforts and blessings of life? It is because of Karma – the former instance is an example of hell, the latter of heaven.

11.  The mind wanders in several different directions. How does one control it?

The mind is a thought factory. It produces 50 thoughts a minute, which can amount to a staggering 50,000 thoughts a day. Like a monkey, the mind jumps from thought to thought, from the past to the present, from regrets of yesterday to worries of tomorrow. There is no peace of mind because the mind does not let us be in peace. It creates thoughts of fear, dread, and misery. It fills us with negativity. Therefore, we have to discipline the mind. How can we discipline it? To begin with, we must sharpen the sword of our intellect to discriminate thoughts. We must do away with negative thoughts. Then, we must bring down the Mental Thought Rate, the MTR, from 50 thoughts a minute to one thought per minute. This quietens the mind. To do this, we have to observe the mind. We have to watch it, catch it and latch it. When a thought comes, we must watch that thought, just like we watch fish swim in the ocean. We have to become the witness, the observer. We have to make the monkey mind a monk. We have to stop it from wandering. We have to stop its constant chatter. If we look at the word ‘MONKEY’ carefully, we will see that it has EY at the end. What is this EY? The EY is the tail that is Ever-Yelling and Ever-Yearning. We have to cut it. If we cut the EY from the MONKEY, it becomes a MONK. We have to make the MONKEY a MONK.

12.  Does one have to be God-fearing?

Such a question, unfortunately, only reflects our ignorance. It shows that we don’t really know who God is, what God is, and where God is. God is not a school-master of whom we must be scared. God is not a person or a saint. God is a power. This Supreme Immortal Power has blessed us with this beautiful world, with uncountable blessings — what is there to fear? What kind of a relationship thrives and evolves on fear? God is the source of love. We are a part of this Supreme Immortal Power. If at all we must fear or be cautious about something, it is our deeds, our Karma, what we do, and our actions; we must be wary of our mind, body, and ego — this is the cause of our suffering, our problems. Don’t fear God. Seek God passionately. Love God passionately — there is nothing more beautiful, more fulfilling, peace-giving, and joy-giving than our relationship with God. Don’t fear God. Realize God!

13.  5 tips to remain stress-free in life.

One – realize that Success is not Happiness, Happiness is Success. So, just be happy. Find out what makes you happy. Stop chasing wealth and fame — it will not give you true happiness. And remember, this comes from my own experience. Two – live in the moment, moment by moment. Everything is peaceful in the moment. Three – discipline and tame the monkey mind, stop it from jumping from thought to thought; meditate, still the mind, and make it silent. Four – eliminate desires or rather transcend desires– desires cause suffering, and create expectations and disappointments. Fifth – learn the art of detached attachment, live and love without expectations. Finally, to experience seamless, uninterrupted, endless bliss, peace, and joy — Realize the truth! Be enlightened. Realize your true self!

14.  How do we remain calm in a crisis?

With acceptance and surrender, to start with. Have faith in the Supreme Immortal Power we call God. Accept adversity, in fact,  rejoice and accept it as a settling of some bad Karma. Surrender to the Divine Power we call God — if you do, there will be no need to worry. If the situation can be handled, handle it — in that case, don’t worry. If it can’t be handled, then why worry? Then, it is beyond you! Learn to control the mind. It is the mind that creates panic, stress, and worries. Sit in silence. Make the mind still. When the mind is disciplined, the intellect takes charge — the intellect helps us discriminate right from wrong, it shows us the way.

15.  How has your life changed since you became spiritual?

My life has completely changed since I became spiritual. I have undergone a metamorphosis. I no longer get angry or experience the agony of the ego, the misery created by the mind, or the pain of the body. I no longer suffer. I live in a state of Satchitananda— in the consciousness of the truth that is bliss. I experience a Divine ecstasy that cannot be even described, it can only be experienced. My mission is to help people realize the truth, and be enlightened. I live as a Yogi, in union with God. All that I do is as an instrument of the Divine. I look at everyone as a manifestation of the Divine. There is no he or she, me or you – we are all one. We are the Atman. Every living being, every inanimate object is a Divine manifestation.

16.  Is it tough to become spiritually inclined?

Anything we seek in life needs commitment, drive, passion, and yearning. So yes, you have to be very sincere in seeking to be spiritual. Remember that spirituality is not about complete renunciation or about living an ascetic life. It is not about fasting or rituals either. It is about realizing the truth. You need discipline, dispassion, discrimination, and, of course, the desire for the Divine. A spiritual seeker will face challenges, no doubt, from the outside world, and from his own mind, but if he is passionate about it, he will overcome all obstacles and grow and evolve on the spiritual path.

17.  How much has the concept of spirituality changed in modern times?

Spirituality is spirituality. It cannot change because the truth is the truth. For ages, saints and wise men have been proclaiming the truth — that God is not a person. God is a power. God is energy and we are a part, a manifestation of that immortal power. For centuries, we have been told that this world is Mithya, an illusion, nothing is real. This is the ultimate truth. How can it change? In fact, science has evolved and changed to accept that we are not the body that we seem to be, but energy.

18.  How can spirituality help the youth of today?

Spirituality can help set things in perspective for the youth of today. It can help eradicate the ignorance that all young people live with. It can guide them to prioritize their choices. For instance, our goal is not to go on and on making money as most of us seem to be doing now. Is that why we are born — to become billionaires? To have multiple homes and mansions? Of course not. How much do we really need? Contemplate! Life has meaning and purpose and we have to find that purpose. Let us not go beyond our need to greed. Spirituality can teach young people how to be happy — the art of being happy. What school teaches us this? Spirituality can help reduce negativity, anxiety, and stress, which seems to be a modern-day malady. It can help combat depression, sorrow, and grief. It can help today’s youth to be more disciplined and mindful of the choices they make. It can make them more tolerant, reverent, compassionate, and loving. Spirituality teaches everything that is, unfortunately, not taught in schools and colleges. Our educational institutions only give us knowledge, but they don’t help us to overcome the ignorance that we live with.

19.  Suggest us some easy ways to strike a balance between corporate life and spirituality?

We must all work, and if you have a corporate job, so be it. Do your work. But let go of the urge to chase money, name, wealth, and fame. Do what you do, as an instrument of the Divine. If you realize the truth that we are all the Divine Soul, then naturally, your ego will cease to exist. Your mind will no longer be stressed or worried and your body will transcend desires. This will change your paradigm of life. You will remain calm and peaceful. You will be altruistic and treat everyone, your peers, colleagues, and family with reverence, realizing that they are the Divine Soul and that we are all one. But you cannot be in this rat race and be spiritual at the same time. You may be surrounded by such people but you cannot become one of them. You have to live like a lotus in the pond, beautiful and Divine, despite the murky and dirty waters all around it.

20.  Do you believe success and spirituality co-exist? Typically, society tells us we can only develop one or the other.

Well, we live in this material world, surrounded by wealthy people, successful people, and achievers  — in that sense, success and spirituality coexist. But yes, we cannot ourselves be running after wealth, money, name, and fame and hope to be spiritual. In fact, if we are spiritual, we will realize the meaninglessness of being successful materialistically. What is the point? All this doesn’t even give us true happiness. On the contrary, it steals our peace. Everything that is material is actually immaterial. Don’t we leave everything behind? Such a simple truth yet we are caught in the race to be an ace.

21.  What is your message to people for establishing spiritual connections?

A spiritual connection indicates our connection with our true self, which we attain through self-realization and then, our connection with the Supreme Immortal Power we call God. To establish a spiritual connection, you must turn to spirituality and you must be earnest and sincere in seeking spirituality. It cannot be a fad or a statement. You shouldn’t be carried away by saffron robes, a rosary or a long beard to establish a spiritual connection. You cannot become a recluse and hope to be spiritual. No, you must really yearn to be a spiritual seeker, a seeker of the truth, a seeker of God. You must want this passionately, more than anything else. Then, you must ask questions – questions about life, death, Karma, God, and our true identity. Subsequently, you must investigate your findings. Then, you will realize the truth. You must also seek guidance from a true Guru. It is a Guru who takes us from the darkness of ignorance to the light of the truth. You have to learn to live with discipline, dispassion, discrimination, and the desire for the Divine. If the Grace of God is upon you, you will establish a spiritual connection, with your true self, with the Divine. You will be in yoga with the Divine, ever connected with the Divine like a SIM card is connected to a satellite.

22.  What’s one exercise or activity you would recommend we do start today to lead a more positive, happy and fulfilled life?

Live in the moment and be happy moment by moment. Don’t let the monkey mind jump from thought to thought, from the regrets of the past into the worries of the future. Make it silent, make it still. If it wanders, bring it back. Discipline your mind. And just be in the moment. You will be peaceful and happy. Begin with this simple exercise of living in the now, and sooner or later, things will begin to fall in place. As I have said earlier, the realization of the truth is the key to the ultimate happiness, but as a first step, make this small change in your life. This is only the beginning, though. Evolve in your life journey. Don’t just go through and groan through life; grow through life!

Read More:

Back to Top