Could you be truly happy? Yes, Om Swami tells you how
Bestselling author, mystic and siddha Om Swami says one could achieve a state of bliss by practising kindness. The good news? The act of kindness doesn’t have to be out of the world. It is as simple as appreciating someone. He discusses the ‘kind’ road to happiness and his book, The Book of Kindness.Updated: Feb 03, 2020 11:09 IST
We are all looking for one thing — happiness. There might not be a truer statement or one more universal in nature than this. But is it achievable? More importantly, is it achievable, like they say, without going to the Himalayas and renouncing all things material?
Yes — that’s the answer to all of the aforementioned questions. And the road to “near-constant bliss” in our daily life is unbelievably doable, according to bestselling author Om Swami.
In fact, the monk who sold his Porsche gives out a shortcut to happiness; one word — kindness!
It all makes sense. That warm feeling that washes over you when you have done a kind deed, is indeed happiness, you will all agree. Helping others is a pat on the back we give ourselves. It’s a boost to our self-worth. We all know this. But in his book, The Book of Kindness, Om Swami goes beyond the obvious in an accessible manner. He offers a step-by-step guide to cultivating kindness, explains the evidence-based science behind it with anecdotes, citing international research findings and weaving it all beautifully.
But what inspired the mystic and siddha to write this book? “After sharing my teachings on meditation for nine years, I realised that meditation alone doesn’t give people the peace of mind and happiness they so desperately seek... Whatever you share, it grows – this is the fundamental law of the universe. You share rage, it grows in you. You share love, it grows in you. You share knowledge, wisdom grows in you. You share your time, peace grows in you,” says Swami, who will be discussing his book at the Jaipur Literature Festival, on Jan 25.
“ You share what you have, and you grow as a person. Kindness helps you evolve like no other spiritual practise does. This is the rationale behind writing this book, “ says the MBA graduate from Australia, who founded a multi-million dollar business in his 20s. By the time he reached 30, he had already renounced it, moved to the Himalayas, to seek the goddess. He now resides in an ashram in the Himalayan foothills.
Can kindness be acquired or taught? “Kindness can be demonstrated by our actions,” says the author of 14 bestselling books, including If Truth Be Told; A Monk’s Memoir and The Heart of Success. In the book, he cites a study from the Public Library of Science One that indicates that it can be learnt in the same way as a musical instrument or a sport.
The thing about kindness is that it doesn’t require you to be rich or go out of your way to make someone’s day. “A random act of kindness needn’t always be a material offering”, even a kind word, a compliment, a patient hearing could do the magic.
However, it is important to find out “what the other person actually requires”. “Kindness is in being sensitive and open towards others,” says the man behind the Black Lotus app, a platform for people who are out to make this world a kinder place, one random act of kindness at a time.
But if you have to make a choice such as — To be fair or kind? Well, to be fair, being kind trumps all. Because “kindness is fairness”. However, should we put kindness above us? “We should first put the oxygen mask ourselves and then help the co-passengers,” says Om Swami, who writes regularly on os.me
“A kind act is a special one” but we aren’t doing anything special by doing so, “kindness should be our first response anyway”. He adds, “I hear all the time from most people going through difficult circumstances, ‘I have never done anything bad to anyone, and yet I am suffering. Why?’I feel somewhat amused by their question and ask in return: ‘Why? Should you be doing something bad to people?”
Swami has collected several real-life stories in the book to demonstrate that kindness is magical and it lights up the same areas in our brain as love. He illustrates that it can be made a way of life and our nature, thereby bringing us closer to a permanent state of happiness. When you perform an act of kindness towards someone, you are actually improving your own life.
Well, kindness is the magic you are seeking (unless you are also seeking god and are ready to dedicate at least 15,000 hours to intense meditation for it, like Om Swami).
Interact with the author @ Twitter/MedhaShri