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om swamiIn 2010, Om Swami left renounced his wealth to begin his spiritual journey. Almost a decade later, he describes himself as a non-traditional, simple sadhu in a complex world. How does one achieve happiness? How does one overcome fear? Happiness is a state of mind. But how does one achieve that state. The paths are many. One has to let go of one’s fears and stresses, and create their own happiness. And not just for yourself, but for your kids and family too. Detailed answers can be found here.

Is there a path to happiness? Is there a path to living stress-free in this world?

One of the greatest mistakes is to think that somehow, something drastic needs to change in your life for you to be happy. Happiness is a habit. People often think something big is going to happen before you can start feeling fulfilled. But the truth is, if you can’t find fulfilment in your current life, it’s very unlikely, you’ll find it later on in any other lifestyle. You know, the mountain echoes back what you say. If you say, ‘I’m sad’, the mountains will say back to you, ‘I’m sad, I’m sad, I’m sad, I’m sad, I’m sad . . .’ If you say, ‘I’m very happy,’ the whole universe will laugh with you. Happiness is a commitment. It’s not dependent on what you have or don’t. It’s simply: I’m determined to be happy. When you open up, you sprout, you blossom, you bloom. And then you spread the fragrance. Your happiness is in your hands. People will make you feel good for a little while; people can give you pleasures. But ultimately if you choose to be not happy, nobody can make you happy. If you choose to be happy, nobody can do anything to you otherwise.

How can one let go of one’s fear? 

There are two types of fears – instinctive and conditioned. The fear of the loss of one’s own life is instinctive fear, as nobody wants to die. Nature has made it that way. So if outside suddenly we hear a blast, everybody will shake, no matter how enlightened you are! You will suddenly tremble for a moment. Next you have conditioned fear. This is the fear your parents or the society have instilled in you. For example: You must get married. Why? Because you need somebody to look after you, if there is nobody to look after you, you will be all alone on your own and life will be tragic! You must have children because you should have someone to take care of you in your old age. It’s just a fear. Who can guarantee who will take care of whom? But that is conditioned fear. It is a fear that is intentionally created by oneself and by society and religion. It’s a fear we don’t know, we are not born with it. It’s a fear we are taught. You can let go of it once you realize this reality. 

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How can we change our outlook towards the world?

You have to come to a complete stop! Then you’ll see the world for what it is. If you look at a wheel painted with spectral hues, seven colours of the rainbow – if it is spinning, it looks white. All is hunky dory. It looks pretty white. We think that’s the reality. But when it stops, suddenly you will see the seven colours that were always there, but because it was spinning, they were not visible. So unless you stop, you won’t be able to examine your own life. Where am I heading? It’s a golden question you have to ask yourself. There is a difference between stopping and slowing down. They are not the same.

How can I make my kids listen to me and help them find their path?

You should always, always keep in mind what your thoughts were when you were twelve or thirteen or fourteen or twenty. Today you are thirty . . . forty . . . fifty and you want your kid to think like you but it is never going to happen. You are at different stages. Your confusions are different from theirs. The best you can do and I can almost promise you this, the best way to teach without preaching is to do. If you let them grow, they will grow. Just make them follow your own actions. If you are watching TV till ten, till eleven and expect them not to watch TV, forget it. It’s not going to happen. Sooner or later they will follow you. They will rarely ever follow your words but they will follow your actions. You can almost be certain about it. Just when you think they are not listening, that is the only time they are listening. READ MORE

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