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INTERVIEW WITH SWAMI SHANKARATILAKANANDA
Does man have a mission?
The missionof man is to live because life is the reality that man has for simplybeing a man given that the affirmation of the “Self” means to exist, and we develop existence in life, therefore, knowing how to live isman’s mission. Learning to live life is a necessity.
There are many conditions in life. Some come from external nature and also from ones own nature, others come from society, others come from our thoughts, from our culture of being and these conditions can be a help or a hinder, the mission is in necessity. If you cover a necessity then you solve the conflict that comes from negative conditions and give potential to everything that helps us as human beings inside an ecosystem to be able to live in more harmony and resolve the sufferings that come from ones own existence, this is in itself a human beings mission.
And he who lives, he who “is”, if he doubts himself, he should share his self with others and help others to also be harmonic and happy, and therefore the mission of a human being is as the scriptures of the Vedas say, to help everyone so they are as happy as possible, and in these “everyone” are all living beings.
As the Rig Veda states, in the same way we open our hands to gold without asking ourselves where it came from,lets open our arms to knowledge no matter where this wisdom has come from.
What is the actual state of Religion in the world today?
Crisis, in all senses of the word. Religion is in itself a confusing option for technical, consumerist and emerging societies.
Forsocieties that wish to maintain their ethnic and cultural identity,religion is the refuge of this identity as well as an ideology. Religionis losing theological weight and becoming dramatically simplified inspiritualistic emotionalism that is confused with devotion.
Are we how we act?
Not always. Being incoherent forms part of our unconscious and inconsequent nature. Lets speak about Vyayam and the celebrated session that was given at the Fujitsu factory in Japan for numerous workers.
It was a program organized by thisJapanese company with the objective of helping their workers in theirrest and physical rehabilitation inside the very sophisticatedinstallations they had available for their use. Optimizing liferequires optimizing work.
It was an amazing personal experience and a wonderful opportunity to serve and share the Vyayam discipline.
The essence of what could be extracted from the course “Mystic, East-West Dialogue” of which you were speaker and coordinator?
Man becomes interested in his inner peace when he is conscious of what heloses when he actually loses it or doesn’t reach it, and when he alsobecomes conscious of how he suffers when tense, in continuous activism, etc.
May knowledge and learning liberate us from fanatics andprejudice. Knowing about the religion of others and “others” from otherreligious is a great realization for human mentality.
I am not talking about substituting one medicine for another. I mean only to include it inside the vision of medicine toward Ayurveda and any other expression of medicine that could be in itself serious and reasonable.Remember…what cures….is medicine.
Ayurvedic or traditional Medicine?
The pros and cons of both. Medicineis for curing and what cures is the best option. Healing is perfectedin the prevention of future diseases and anticipated prevention is the best medicine before disease arises.
Ayurveda is knowledge of the psychobiological connection and the learning of making ourselves responsible for our own health, as well as a way of compassion to help others to look after themselves as a way of living. Ayurveda is part of the tradition of Vedic Dharma and is a gift for humanity.
We call Modern medicine traditionalbecause Ayurveda is considered new and we think this because we haveonly come to know about it recently, but Ayurveda is really”traditional medicine” given that it is older than “Modern” or western medicine.
All over the world western medicine is practiced and is what is considered scientific and modern.
Western medicine is effective but it does not have a vision of learning but of symptomatic healing.
I am not speaking about substituting one type of medicine for another, but that it is included inside the vision of Ayurvedic medicine and any expression of medicine that is in itself serious and reasonable. Remember…what cures…is medicine.
Is it true that aggressive physical exercise, self-defence practices etc. are more popular than yoga?
Yoga is a process of enlightenment where healthy instruction with physical exercise fulfils a mission which is to help human beings to follow a path of enlightenment in their lives and this life is lived through the body and therefore thebody should be looked after and Yoga looks after the body, but because human beings also have minds, yoga also looks after the mind.
It is a mistake to think of yoga as a body discipline, this is like thinking that the hand only has one side.
A way of life with better benefits for human beings, that is assumable from a western point of view?
A western way of seeing is a cultural or consumerist way of seeing? Or is it technological? If we stroll through the West we see poverty and misery. The best way of living is a way that allows learning, emotional freedom and which teaches balance and health. I recommend that we learn from Yoga a way to live with wisdom, harmony and prevention.
Thank you Swami Shankaratilakananda, it has been a true pleasure to speak with you.
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