Saturday, October 23, 2010

Nakul Dhawan - Art of Living Experience

Engineer, Art of Living Teacher

Why I did not want to do the Art of Living Course

The simple reason I did not want to join the Art of Living was that it was my mom who asked me to. It was considered against the teenage code of conduct to listen to mom, especially if it was good advice. I had just cracked the engineering entrance, seemed as weird as youngsters are supposed to be, had a healthy circle of smart and directionless friends and no remote intention of finding a deeper purpose to life. No way was mom going to force me out of my paradise.

As such stories often end, I was forced to attend the course.

But I liked it a lot.

I grew more and more inclined to Guruji’s talks and found both depth and simplicity in his words. What drew me was that even though not all of what he said was very evident to me at the time, it still had the ring of truth in it.

 “Wake up and see, there is no misery in this world.”


There are aspects to this world that can easily drive you to despair, suspicion, mistrust, fear etc. And everybody, for some strange reason, was showing me all that can go wrong in life. Such perspectives only served to make me more and more timid. But here was somebody telling me in his tender voice that there is no misery in this world. It was just beautiful!

After I finished my engineering course, I started working at a multinational corporation in Bangalore and started visiting the ashram on weekends. This was a phase when, because I was living outside the protection of my family, I had to learn to be independent. I had to lead life on my own. There was nobody I could immediately turn to for advice. So far, I had just been following the current. I had never really taken charge of my life. Playtime was over.

It was during this time that I found Guruji’s knowledge invaluable. I can say, after all these years, that whatever challenges one can face in life – relationships, facing unpleasantness or hostility, betrayal, personal loss, confusion about life’s direction and other mind games, Guruji ‘s knowledge preemptively educates you about all this. The refinement of thought in our ancient texts, whose names even I would probably never have heard otherwise, I had the privilege of contemplating over.

After a few years, I took the Teachers Training Program. Teaching the Art of Living courses, where people come from various backgrounds and experiences, gives a panoramic view of our society that is just not available in the papers or on TV. Our service projects are spread over such diverse fields of activity, that they offer innumerable opportunities to learn as well as contribute. I got interested in our education initiatives and have been involved with children and parenting workshops.

I quit my job to join Art of Living full time after working for six years. The day I sent my farewell mail, a number of seniors at office came and confided, “We also wanted to do something like when we were your age. All the best.” I have since been living at the beautiful International Campus at Bangalore and have been loving it. There are hundreds of other people, many of them youngsters like me, here who are growing and learning under Guruji’s love and guidance.

I never thought it was possible but its playtime again. Muhuhuhuhahahaha (looks at the mirror smugly)

1 comment:

  1. Dear Nakul ,

    I met u at bangalore last month during my YES+ course. it was jus fantastic .. i mean kinda magical to see ya all so happy. infact happiness was jus over flowing from the faces of people like yourself, Bawa, Dinesh, Manal, Andrew, I met at the aashram and of course GuruJi.
    i envy you and everyone at the ashram for the peaceful lives u r blessed with. I mean the words when I say that I cherish the 4 days stay I had at the aashram.
    Unfortunatel while I was in the second day of DSN, I got a call from my office tht I hv been laid off. i had to immediately rush bk to chennai as the process required tht i come and mail them my resignation (else I wud have been terminated which technically means a full stop to my future career in corporate world).

    I realise now tht it was the meditation I had learnt at AOL which helped me stay calm. else i wud hv just broken down. life indeed has been quite dramatic. from becoming the country's one among youngest VIce Presidents in HSBC India, and in the next 5 months getting thrown out....hmm.

    I met up with the Chennai YES + team (Snehil, Priyamani, Abhiseh, Prabhu, aishwarya and many others ) at besant nagar last wk and it was fun.
    warm Regards
    Vikash Srivastav


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