Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mind reading.. Premonition or Chance?

I thought a lot before deciding to post this because it is a bit too personal. But then I figured it is something worthwhile to share and might help others - especially those who know me enough to not doubt my integrity or my sanity. And maybe the whole incident happened so that I might share it. So here goes..

This happened a few weeks back after I listened to this morning lecture by Swami Nithyananda on exploding the brain's potential and about how the Ajna Chakra in between your eyebrows is sort of like a cosmic internet where one can download any information if properly trained.

He was telling in the talk how the modern education system was based on the myth that everything has to be fed into the brain via the senses and hence students spend inordinate amounts of time learning facts and knowledge that they don't really need.

He talked earlier about one incident in his early childhood where some of his friends challenged him to a knowledge contest and asked him what the idol on the pavazhakundru hill in his home town was. Though he nor anyone else in the town except the priest and his family had been inside the temple (and the popular view in the village was that it was a Muruga temple) he could clearly see in his Ajna that the temple was an Ardhanarishwara temple.

Taking inspiration from that, I felt like doing a number guessing game. I went to Surya and told him that I could read his mind. I asked him to think of a number from 1 to 10 and focus on his Ajna. Which he did. I then, to his delight, guessed the number correctly as 6. But being smart kid he said that I was possibly lucky and that I had 1 in 10 chance of guessing right. I asked him to do it once more.. and again guessed it rightly - the number I guessed now being 8. This time his jaw dropped as he figured out that an odds of 1:100 was decent enough to trust me. At that point I no longer felt like guessing more and stopped.

The incident both delighted and freaked me out. Not because I haven't seen it before. Swamiji regularly has given me answers to questions the moment they pop into my head. I have a number of friends at the ashram who constantly have such mystic experiences and Siddis like levitating on cue. But I was never one of them. I always felt that it was because I did not have the ability to handle the power in some way. Which is one of the reason I didn't try to continue the guessing game. I have read enough times that these powers are not to be used frequently and that their only use, if any, is to give inspiration to people on the inward path. So I stopped the moment we felt it was clear enough for us. Surely, there would be skeptics reading this who might think an odds 1:100 is not a big deal. They would, I guess, have to wait for something that is tailored to their degree of skepticism.

One thing that I didn't tell Surya at that time so that I don't scare him out further was that the numbers actually came into my head before I asked him to think of a number. Almost as-if the whole incident was a orchestrated drama! I don't think this involved me suggesting numbers to him as a couple of years back just after my inner awakening course I had a similar incident involving 3 rolls of a die that I could correctly predict. Then too, I got the feeling that I could predict the roll before I started rolling. I had then stopped when my odds reached 1:216 which I had thought was good enough for me.

Given that I did not try this prediction stuff in between, that gives a combined odds of 1:200,000. Your own personal odds could be got by multiplying this by your trust in my integrity, sanity and 1 minus the probability that you think I am smoking something. And of course you need to further reduce this by how much this would shake you from your current belief system and ideas about the universe we live in .. and the amount of your investments based on that belief system :)

Happy wondering...

Send me your comments. As always, send me any personal abuses via email.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


A few nights back I had the weirdest of dreams. I wake up from sleep inside my dream in a strange building. And in front of it is a huge and very ancient multi-storied temple with the ground floor housing the temple pond.. unlike any I had seen before. I wonder why I am there. I look around and find a number of others waking up all through the building that I am in and asking each other the same question. They are all bewildered as to why they are here and how they got here. Someone suggests we contact Swamiji Nithyananda but we are not able to reach him.. and someone else says that the rumor is that he is on the way to here as we speak.

I then walk through the temple and suddenly a thought strikes me that perhaps this is a dream. I try to find out some anomaly around me but can't find any. I meet someone in the temple and ask him if this is a dream. He tells me that it is. And I ask him, "If it is a dream, why does it feel so real?".. and he does not reply and says, it is just so. I continue on my unsuccessful quest to figure out why this is a dream and not real. I touch the walls of the temple and everything around me and they feel solid. I can feel my breathing. This can't be a dream I say. I spent a bit of time after that wandering around and feeling the reality of the place. I then get home and meet my son Surya. I ask him the same question and he too replies that this is a dream. I ask him for the reason and he says that it just felt so. Then I sense someone enter the house and suddenly in mid sentence, I wake up!

My entire dream and the quest is so fresh in my memory - as was the realization of who I was and the fact that I had indeed been dreaming. That moment of waking up is strongly etched in my memory. A mixture of amazement and unexpectedness - almost an anti-climax. I was trying to figure out in the dream whether I was dreaming or not.. but I could never imagine what waking up would be like. I wonder if this is what the enlightenment experience would feel like.

I wonder...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Inner awakening - Rude Q&A.

All the rude questions you wanted to ask about IA but never found the words to express..

If you know me personally, it is quite likely that I have mentioned this course (Inner Awakening) to you. Let me start with a strong testimonial and go into the why, what and hows later on.

If there is one thing that you want to do for yourself or anyone you know - take this program! It will take you to the next level of whatever you want to do - be it money, health, relationships, career or spiritual growth. It is amazing. It is too good to be true. And I am not exaggerating. Don't miss it!
So, now that I have gotten that out and have you all either excited or puzzled (or maybe revolted in the case of individuals who don't know me well enough and feel they are listening to a car salesman), let me tell you what this is all about. Again, this is purely my opinion and experience. If it differs at anypoint from what you read on the official site (, please rely on the facts mentioned there.

This is a 21 day transformational retreat. It is happening in Bidadi near Bangalore in India. The dates are from the 1st to 21st of December, 2010 8th May to 28th, 2013. And it is about awakening and about transformation. It is conducted by Paramahamsa Nithyananda who, in my opinion, is the greatest expert on the human mind and consciousness in the world today. In the 40 years of my life, I have had my share of spiritual courses, books, teachers and what not. So I don't make that claim too lightly or in ignorance (well not too much ignorance at least).

Here is Swami's introduction to the first IA in 2008 that I attended and testimonials from some of the folks who did the course with me.

So, what is this course about?
It is about making yourself complete. What it is to you will depend on what you find lacking in yourself and it is different for different people. Some people become healthier, others get out of depression, addiction or other emotional problems. Still others find success in the outer world and a some get meaning in life and answers to questions they have about themselves and the world they live in. And more likely you will find improvements in all these areas.

This sounds like one of the fake medicines that are advertised to cure all diseases from common cold to cancers.. How does that work?
It is more like a broad spectrum antibiotic and addresses all dimensions of your being. The course has intense physical yoga to tune your body, deep meditations techniques to still the mind, processes that will balance and clear your emotionalal blocks, very powerful lectures that will remove many fundamental misconceptions we have about life, the universe and everything and so on. It is a one stop integrated course that will put you ahead in your quest within. If you haven't started, this is a great place to start. If you are already on the path, this will lead you further ahead in the places where you are blocked or need help.

That's still a lot of mumbo jumbo. What (tf) *exactly* does the course do?
All of our problems - even the ones we think are caused by the outer world and by other people - have roots inside us. Transforming those roots is the best way to get rid of your problems. Most of us have a blueprint that drives our lives. If you are on the other side of 30, you have possibly seen yourself run into the same kind of problem over and over - with different situations, people or organizations. We have long standing issues like phobias, chronic fatigue, relationship problems etc. The blue print limits your possibilities in life and soon enough you feel the world to be constraining and hence depressing. The blue print comes from our past through wrong learning codified in the memories which have strong emotional attachments to them (called Samskaras in Sanskrit). These are stored not only in the brain, but also in our body - in the way we move, our physical postures and so on. Clearing out of these limiting patterns in a large part of what happens in this course. And this will directly expand what the world can offer to you.

Here is an amazing introduction to the NSP (Nithyananda Spurana) program where he talks about engraved memories or engrams and the different layers of the being where the different kinds of memories are stored. This is the first talk of the first course I did with Swami.. so it has been very special to me.

I am perfectly fine as I am. Why do I need to transform?

I would ask that to the people around you. In all likelihood they would disagree. If you are married, in all certainty they would disagree :) Jokes apart, it is great that you feel you are fine. And thats the best time to learn. Life is expansion. And whichever dimension you are expanding in, you can always use the extra energy that comes from having a thorough spring cleaning of your body and mind that the course offers.

I am already developing myself in the gym, going to a shrink twice a month and taking a personality development classes. Why do I need any old world stuff?
Whenever you learn something, it makes sense to learn from the best authority in the world. If you want to learn computer science, go to MIT, Stanford or Berkeley.. or maybe even Wisc Mad :). Learn martial arts at the Shaolin temple. Likewise, the Vedic schools in India have spent thousands of years understanding the human mind, its problems and solutions to those. Each generation has hundreds of researchers analyzing, re-verifying and updating the knowledge. As such, it would make sense to at least look into some of this before you trust your local shrink with your mind and life.

I have tried many of these before and they haven't worked for me. Why should I believe that this one will?
Well *something* has to work at some point. There is a good likelihood that this will work for you. If you are so certain that nothing will, you wouldn't be hanging around. Personally, I went to the course thinking exactly this - that this is going out to be one more failed attempt. But I was pleasantly surprised. And I have found this to be true with all the 100 odd people who did the course with me. Everyone one of them felt it was awesome and almost all of them said they would bring their relatives and friends for the next course. Thats a darn good success rate by any standard.

Can you be more specific as to what you personally got out of the course?
If I were to do a diff between my state before and after, here are the biggest changes I see in myself. I used to be very fearful of the world and others. I now genuinely like most people I meet and I seldom worry constantly about things. I also realized how a lot of my fatigue and lack of energy was related to fear and have been able to be free of it for most part. Like I said before, many people may not have this problem and hence their changes would be in different areas. During the first couple of weeks of one of the courses I lost 20 pounds of extra weight that I had put on! Not that it matters as an achievement, but I can touch my head to my knee when bending while sitting or standing up - something I could never do before and burnt me up when whenever I saw others with nimbler bodies do. Oh.. and the biggest change is that after the course I can sit quiety for and hour or more without needing to jump up and run or scream out :) It is surprising how much of healing the power to do that alone does to a person. I quit my job and parodoxically made more money in the process.. Something I would never have had the courage to do before. And there is more.. But maybe I'll do a separate blog post on this where I don't have to skimp on the poetry and keep it all so terse.

How does this course compare to other similar courses? Should I shop around?
By all means do. But personally I haven't found one that is comparable. Many of them require you to go through numerous preliminary courses spanning months or if they are honest even years. Or they address just one aspect of growth - either spiritual, psychological, materialistic etc. And hence the benefits they offer are limited and easily reversed by the problems you have stored in the other parts of youself. Again, I am not putting down any other course. Clearly I don't know all the ones that are offered in the world. If you do have someone you know who can vouch for them, please go ahead and give it a shot.

This course is taught directly by an enlightenened master and not his disciples twice removed. Those of you who are in the know would realize that this is a very rare opportunity. The course is not just a set of techniques that you can learn out of a book but a process where your problems are cooked in the intense energy of the master. This might sound too mystical to those of my friends who haven't experienced such things. But I would request you to take it on my trust and give yourself a chance to experience what it means..

All this is great. But seriously .. 6000 dollars? Your'e kidding right?
For most of us in the modern world, the cost of trial and error far exceeds what it costs to go to the best one around the first time. I have recommened this course to my brother, cousins, my mom and many friends. All of them who took the course have the highest praise for it and thank me regularly for the referral. My cousin had just finished an MBA from Wharton and he said that he got more from this course for 21 days and 6000 dollars than he did during the 2 years of his MBA spending a 100,000 dollars. Even if you are in India where the income levels are not as high as they are in the west, the course costs a lot less than an average car.. and is much much more useful than a car is (and less polluting to boot).

For some of the people, I personally guaranteed them their money back if they didn't find the course useful. In fact I told a couple that I would refund their money if they did not think this was the best thing that happened to them in their life. So far I haven't had any requests for the money :)

And I was debating the wisom of putting this out in a public page.. but what the hell.. If you know me personally and really need this guarantee, give me a call and we can talk.

Do you get any commission out of the fees we pay?
No. I don't.

I am interested in the course but I have a strong revulsion to anything that is religious. I'd rather go to a place that is more.. well.. 'secular'.

Religion I feel - more in the west than in India - is a subversion of spirituality by people who wanted to use it to control others by fear and greed and to some extent by others who were ignorant of the real reason why things were said. True Spirituality is all about finding joy in life. Guilt, conditioning, heaven and hell have no place in it. The organization that runs the course is a research lab where many of these ancient techniques are researched and verified before they are thought to you. So you get the best of the old world wisdom combined with modern science.

God is found in the deepest parts of the spiritual science. God is both a technique that helps you go beyond your individual programming and a goal of a state that is free of all of the wrong notions that have been fed into us. Here is a great article from a friend that talks about both God and the Guru. It explains things in a poetic way that cannot be retold without taking away its beauty.

I heard from a friend that there is some scandal that the Swamiji is involved in. Is the ashram a safe place for me to go to?

Thats a lot of bullshit by people who are scared or jealous of the popularity of the Master and the exponential growth of his organization. We could go into all the gory details of who started all this and why and how. But this article to too big already. So ping me if that is a big concern. Otherwise if you know me well enough, take my word and ignore the propaganda. There is no place on earth that is safer.

Should I wait 6 months and do it later? December May is too close.. and I don't decide on things that quickly.
Maybe procrastination is your problem. If you don't sign up now, you never might get rid of it. I did the course in a group of 100 people. The next batch had 300 and then one after was quite a bit more than that. At this progression, it would be in your best interest to do the course earlier and get more attention in a smaller group. So don't wait.

I am all excited now. But I don't have the money, the vacation time, childcare, the flight tickets and what not..
Many times, having the right intention makes things happen. Almost miraculously. All the so called rational people who take offense to mystic phenomena, please skip this part and go directly to the next question. Intentions have a lot of power. More so when they come from someone who is at very different frequency of existence. Go to the following page for more information and submit your intention to get it blessed - Get Blessings to Attend Inner Awakening

I skipped the previous question. I am all set to be there in December!
Awesome. You won't regret it. You can sign up at There is limited accommodation in the ashram so they have decided to give it to the folks who signup early. So don't procrastinate :)

If you have any further rude questions to ask, don't hesitate to contact me. I can put you in touch with people at the ashram who can give you clearer and more authentic answers. If you think the question or comment is of wider interest, go ahead and comment on this page. If you want to insult me or have some personal remarks, send me mail :)

Go to to find out more about the course. They have a great ebook that gives all the details about the course that you can download from that page..

Here is a video playlist that is a good introduction to Swami Nithyananda. It is from a talk given to a wide audience in Bangalore in Dec 2007.

.. Scroll to the end for further questions from readers..

Love you all.
Ananda Mokshapriyan

Questions from my Facebook comment stream:

Navneet Nair Why does the course cost Rs 2.5-3 Lacs? You can't put a price on inner transformation, which is why in the path I follow, teachers never charge any money for the teachings even though I would pay in gold for all the teachings I received from my masters. So it is not a question of whether or not a course is worth the price, it is a question of whether the practice is right.

Great question Naveet.

I have to admit that many years back I had the same attitude towards money and missed a lot of opportunities that I was presented. It took me many years to understand what money actually represents. I am not sure if I can consicely describe that journey without losing a large number of people. But it will help you get a more holistic answer if you look into your own ideas about money and why most people - especially Indians - have a very negative view of wealth.

In the context of this course, Swamiji has presented a number of reasons why the course is structured in this way. And I am sure that there are a countless unsaid reasons. Firstly the course sponsors the various charitable activities, ashrams, their research and the temples that are run by Dhyanapeetam ( A majority of the activities of the ashram are free. This course is specifically meant for people who cannot afford (in a lot of different ways - like time, mental setup, commitment etc.) the free offerings.

In earlier times with the Buddha and others the Sangha was sponsored by Kings. Now that the so called secular goverments in India don't sponsor inner research and given that in a democracy each individual is to whatever fraction a ruler, the burden of sponsorship falls on individuals. (Funnily, I have only seen people who can actually afford the course complain about it. Many others who cannot afford, accept the fact and put their efforts into making use of what is available to them).

Thirdly a payment structure makes the whole system scalable and this can reach a lot more people. The choice of whether to go with a fixed price, variable price, shareware, govt/corporate sponsorship or maybe even a ad-sponsored model applies to all organizations and companies. I have seen organizations that rely on donations stagnate or grow too slowly. Again I am sure there are exceptions to the rule and each organization has their specific approach, ideology and vision of how many people they want to reach.

Finally, in my unofficial understanding, I feel that the money acts as a barrier to entry that makes sure you are earnest enough to come in. Different organizations place different pre-requisites (like time, money, habits to follow etc) for their offerings - either explicity or implicity. In my experience, I have found that the folks who pay get much more value from this and similar courses than those who came in sponsored. And to go out on a limb the reasons might not all just be psychological but more mystical and metaphysical.

And to go further, I have seen enough and more cases where people magically get the money once they set their intention on attending.

Here is a great video I found many years back by OSHO that talks about why bliss is sold and as always the masters have a great way of expressing things. OSHO on selling bliss:

Apurv Gupta AC - why don't you tell us about the free courses that you refer to?

Hi Apurv, here are some of the free offerings from Dhyanapeetam that I know of. You should check out their site at since they add new ones at times..
  • ASP - Ananda spurana - This is a 2 day meditation course on different chakras and the link between various emotions and how they block them and meditations to cleanse the chakras. Typically held nowadays on every weekend at Bidadi (and many other places too)
  • LBT - Life Bliss Technology - - This is a 1 year program and is a residential program that provides training in both spiritual and management and other skills. I think they now offer a 2 year LBT too.
  • Kalpataru - 1 day program - This is held in a variety of places around the world. The link has the schedules.
  • NSP - Nithyananda Spurama program - Goes deeper into various layers of the mind and the techniques of unclutching. Typically the ASP is a pre-requisite (though depending on the people attending they sometimes waive the requirement).
  • FIMT - Fellowship in Meditation Therapy - There used to be a free 3 (or 6?) month program called FIMT for people wanting to becomes Spiritual healers. I don't find the link on the site anymore. So maybe it has been discontinued.
  • And always, people who want to join the Sangha full time and spend their life on learning the science of enlightenment, get all their needs and their families taken care of.
  • Apart from this, there are numerous videos of talks that have been uploaded onto youtube including many from previous Inner-Awakening programs. People can go to or search for "lifeblissfoundation inner-awakening" on youtube to find them.
If your question however was "Why did you not send links out to the free programs and only to the IA one - which seems to be very expensive" here is my answer to that..

Doing the free programs requires going through the chain of pre-requisite programs and following through as and when they are announced. I was trying to get a bunch of people to go for the 2 day course.. but somehow they thought it below them to go to an introductory course and learn from one of the acharyas as opposed to Swamiji himself :) The 1 day Kalpataru program is pretty compressed and works only for people who have some degree of faith to go through the program without too much of negative questioning. It is my experience that the english educated city living people with a over supply of the "I know it all" feeling who have been thoroughly brainwashed by the media and their so called education (which is most of us) need a much stronger dose to get cleansed. Also, doing the complete 21 day program is more effective and easier for people who have regular jobs or need to travel to India (which again is the bulk of people on my facebook list). Most of the free courses are in Tamil or Kannada as many who opt for the free programs are not english literate. IA however is conducted in English since that seems to be the demographic of the people who can pay for it. That also makes it possible for them to provide better facilities and food for the course tailored to the requirement of people from outside India.