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Posted at: Jan 9, 2015, 12:28 AM; last updated: Jan 8, 2015, 10:34 PM (IST)

A wise man’s word

Om Swami left the luxuries of material living and adopted an ascetic’s life. Now, he has captured his journey in a memoir If Truth Be Told, which amazes even as it captivates
A wise man’s word

Different Take: Om Swami

Somya Abrol

This monk sold his Porsche — a Carerra 4S, to be precise. But, what else does one do when success is at one’s feet at the age of 26, and he’s had everything a man lusts after all his life? That state of mind, married to a dreamy vision of Shiva at the age of eight — and practicing meditation since 12 years of age — Om Swami knew his true calling much before he earned the tag of a millionaire.

Having moved to Australia at the age of 18 with no financial backing, Swami built his IT consultancy firm from a scratch and was rolling in millions by 26. His search for the Almighty, and the belief that he exists, made him transfer the company to his business partner, renounce all worldly pleasures and take up an abode in the Himalayas.

Having spent a few years in patience, Swami had a vision of ‘mother divine’ at 5.30 am on the 40th day of his 150-day sadhna, on February 13, 2011. After another vision and some more months in isolation, Swami returned to civilisation, met his father after 18 months and heard him say, “What message do you have for us, Swami ji?”

Now launching his first book, a memoir – after running a successful blog about life teachings and mental peace, and having 120 YouTube video uploads – Swami is not one to evade questions. On why a monk needs to renounce civilisation to find answers to it, he says, “One doesn’t have to, necessarily. I did it because I thought it right. For me, to renounce the world was just to take a break from it. It’s something like a spectrum wheel. As long as it is in motion, the only colour I’m going to see on it is white. The second it stops, or slows down, I’d be able to see the rainbow colours on it. That’s why, to understand what constitutes the civilisation and have a different perspective on it, one needs to slow down and take a break. Renouncement was my break; yours can be anything you want it to be,” says Swami

He adds, “In this hurried life of keeping everyone around us happy — for some reason — and complying with society’s conventions of material gain, we forget to stop and question our actions and behaviour. For instance, who decided that we needed to get married and be responsible for one person, and further our genes? Marriage wasn’t made for me. I couldn’t dedicate this life to just one person. I needed to do more with it. And, most importantly, how many of us are truly happy, doing what we do – job, wife/husband, kids, relatives? Can you keep your hand on your heart and say you’re truly happy? But, what amazes me all the more is the fact that no parent can do that, and yet, they push their children towards marriage, ‘being settled’ – a path they know hasn’t given them fulfillment.”

Now, Om Swami owns an ashram — the land for which he purchased much before he renounced the civil world — in a village called Giripul, ahead of Solan in Himachal Pradesh. His book, If Truth Be Told, published by Harper Element, is available on the stands for Rs 499.

somya@tribunemail.com

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