Our guest on today’s podcast is Arul Dev – an Author, Radiant Universal Leader coach TM and Integral Educator, has been in the field of leadership, education and human resources consulting for the last 23 years. He is the author of the new book Into Great Depth of Being. An engineer from BITS Pilani, he founded People First Consultants, a human resources consultancy in Chennai, India in 1995, where he plays the role of Founder CEO.
Arul Dev is a specialized Radiant Universal Leader Coach ™ with an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) ™ certification from the International Coach Federation. He coaches select hand picked Radiant Universal Leaders ™ who are a) nearing a state of Universe Centeredness, b) aspiring to create purpose & value centered organizations/ communities that can create some global contribution to humanity through their work and c) intending to accomplish this agenda through transformation of collective culture at micro and macro level. The prerequisite to begin this coaching journey with Arul is that the leader is already at a good degree of competency in their personal mastery and self-awareness.
He is the author of the book ‘Into Great Depth of your Being’, which facilitates an inner experience and exploration in Self Awareness and Integral Development. A visionary himself, Arul Dev is committed to inspiring the purpose and seed potential for visionaries he comes across.
Nitesh Batra: Hello and welcome to the new episode of The Mindful Initiative podcast. Today we are very privileged to have amongst us Mr. Arul Dev, who is the Founder and CEO of People First. He graduated back in ‘94 with a Chemical Engineering Degree from BITS Pilani and he switched over into a new domain and he has come up with a new book which was published last year. And we will talk about all that. Welcome, welcome to the show, Arul.
Arul Dev: Thank you, thank you for the opportunity. Look forward.
Nitesh Batra: I think it’s an interesting journey; I have gone through most of the book. I have read it. And we will talk about your book in a while. But about your journey. You were a Chemical Engineer and you decided to go in a different space. So, can you give is a little bit about your background, your history, what prompted you to go to BITS and how come you have landed to the place where you are.
Arul Dev: Ok, so, till my 12th, I was,….you could practically call me a bookworm, really exploring into books, books, books. That was my world and I figured out that anything I read I could get interested and I could get deeper into that. College was more getting away from home, from a comfortable space into something very new. So, I just went to BITS and in the second year I realized that I actually didn’t like my subject which was Chemical Engineering. So I did study well because of the fact that have been there but it was not a joy. And towards the 3rd or 4th year we were doing a project in Chennai and I happened to go into couple of firms which were doing training. I liked some of the work, I was volunteering. Suddenly one day, the trainer didn’t come in for a program. They were looking for somebody who could just talk to the audience. So, I put up my hand and I figured out that training was coming very natural. I was good at it and I was enjoying it. So even before I finished my last semester, I had practically decided that I am going to switch over to training. So that’s exactly what happened. Took about six months to be really sure on the decision, jumped and started the firm in 1995, 6 months later. That was the transition. I feel I was being guided right from that time. I don’t want to get into the details of it but several things that was happening was kind of moving me this direction.
Nitesh Batra: I think that’s very interesting because back in the ‘90s, it wasn’t that easy to leave the kind of work or the studying that you were doing. And jump completely into a different field. And now it’s becoming a norm but that point, what was the guiding force? What is that inside thing that you were talking about that led you to make that decision?
Arul Dev: Ok so first thing. To put another context into the background, I think I absorbed a lot of, you could call it, something inner, from my grandfather. I did not necessarily have anything like an inner guidance or intuitive in the beginning. I was just a normal, good student but I always used to figure out that something, I was a different human being around my grandfather and, at a young age I mean. When I say young, 8th standard / 9th standard– I practically used to go behind him everywhere. So later on, when even the application of college was coming in, I started noticing that at points of key decisions I used to go inner and I used to pray. And I used to wait upon a time till all that confusion—this, that or the other settles it. Suddenly, there will be a clarity and alignment of will. This inner language was familiar to me from 1990 onwards and one way or the other I always used to wait for it and only with its synch, I used to move forward. So, the same thing happened with this training. The moment I did that, finished, just about 15-20 minutes, brief thing, inside I felt very different. Inside I felt very fulfilled. So that language from 1994 onwards is always been my guiding path. I just follow it.
Nitesh Batra: That’s amazing. So, you were connected to yourself right, from the very beginning, it seems. And your grandfather maybe, he maybe an influence or may have been someone you looked up to. Was there anyone else in the family or outside that that made you feel that I should be listening to myself, my voice?
Arul Dev: Yes, I think two factors here and in fact very interestingly speaking, around that time there was a book called Celestine Prophecy was very popular around that time. And there was an exercise that said, look on your mother, look on your father. Take whatever is the highest and deepest both are holding and try and see where it converges together. That’s the exercise I did when I was my doing my project which got me the clarity. So, I picked up the essence of spirituality from my mother, very deep rooted in faith and I picked the aspect of excelling in anything from my father and I kind of thought that my whole life was an alchemy of the two. So I think that also, that moment of clarity –that the highest of my father and mother– from my mother it is spirituality and my father it is the material excellence and that marriage of it constantly was another movement where the light of what my life should be, became clear.
Nitesh Batra: Got it. That explains a lot of how and what helped you move in that direction. The sad story in India I feel, is that once you have picked a direction, you unfortunately, have to go into it. After 10th, if you pick Science or Commerce or Arts, you are almost stuck with it. It is like a hierarchy thing. The best is science and I don’t agree with it but that’s the hierarchy. And now you say in 2nd year you had consciously at least thought that Chemical Engineering is something that you don’t want to pursue, or you don’t want to pursue life in that direction. And you spent another 3 years at the college after that. Do you remember those 3 years? What went through your mind during those 3 years that you had to study or was it wasted. In a certain way, it may have been a waste of time as well. But what are your thoughts about those three years that when you know this is something I don’t want to do and nowadays you do coaching and some sort of counselling as well, probably. So how do you relate the 2?
Arul Dev: So here’s a good question. Because I always have an insight that if you are in a successful space, it easier to connect to your inner and be guided. It is a hypothesis or an insight that I am carrying. For example, in the first year I didn’t have to study much. Ok? And I just sailed through because I had already prepared for IIT and I could sail through. 2nd year: since the reality struck me hard that I did not like it, I slipped in my grades from practically say, it is a 10-point scale. From 7.5 or close to 8, to 4.55 –it was that bad. Lost complete interest. In the 3rd year, it was more like you know, I know the difficulty my parents were going through to put the money in there. So I said no matter what, I am going study really well and I literally slogged it out in the third year. Interest, no interest, good grades. I again came back above 7. That’s when I feel a shift. That means, inside there is this disturbance where this is not the right thing. So first I hit frustration. But then I say but that’s not ok. No matter what you succeed at but I did not lose that thing that something is wrong. Something is wrong. So I let that flame be there. Somehow I feel that that is what would have made me apply to this particular ….and interestingly you know, I was doing a project in a company in Chennai itself. A four and a half month project. In the first few days we realized that the company was shutting down. So we had no work. So they used to send us away in the lunch time. So I used to go home and read, read, read and reflect. That formed all this, in a way.
Nitesh Batra: All right. You got time for yourself and you thought that of course we should listen to our parents and they have lot of trust in us, so you should stick around and finish this. And do it in a good way. And that happens a lot in, not just in India but I think world over, it is a phenomenon that when are growing up, our parents or our loved ones want us to be something. What the society thinks is important at that point of time. So, let’s say for example in India, at this point of time, being a doctor or not so much for engineering. But being a doctor is considered one of the most important things and you can look at the grades, you can look at the entrance examination–the number of people who sit through it. And once you get into it and sometimes you do get the realization, once you get to the successful state, as you were talking about that, that hypothesis. That when you are there, you feel that alright I have achieved it but is this something that I really want? But before even we get there, is there something that you can tell our listeners that this is something that I want, should I really pursue it? Not get influenced by whether this is going to get me a better salary or this is going to get me more materialistic things? Or help more inside and probably get into the space of happiness?
Arul Dev: Yes, I think I get your question in a different light and perhaps clearer light, right now. It’s good to look at this what I term it as a choiceless state. Ok? Now, yes, even at that time many people, including my own friends and relatives were saying that you wasted a premium college degree. And to be honest with you, I was not necessarily socializing much at that time. I was at home because I knew wherever I go, this bombardment—”You are really not working, what are you doing” ..Because I took 6 months’ time to get settled on this. But I have experienced then, and several times later is you do come to a point where you have no choice. Interestingly, people feel that a lot of choice is good. It is true in the beginning. There is a lot of choice…you explore this, you explore that. But I have also felt that there comes a time when it’s a perfect synch and there’s no other choice. If any other thing you do, you are off synch. It’s not fulfilling, you know. Something you are doing just for the society or the outer but it is not necessarily what you can contribute there. That narrowing of the choice to a point where well, this is exactly what I need to do now, do I have the choice of jumping in or not is a very interesting poise. This has happened at several other instances in my life. Coming to that point and jumping in is a joy. It is a risk that is different thing from an external perspective but from the inner perspective, it is a tremendous joy.
Nitesh Batra: I think risk is a fear. And so yesterday night I was driving back home and there was a snake in our, right on the road across our house. And as I was driving by, I just stopped and watched the snake go by. And I was trying to take a picture, right? That’s what people do– take pictures of snake at night. So I was taking that picture and as the snake passed through and I was driving again, parking the vehicle and I was thinking why am I fearful of this snake? It is after much thought I understood that from childhood I have seen in films, I have read at places that snakes bite and I should be fearful where I see them. But in reality, most snakes are not dangerous at all. They would just do their thing, unless and until you provoke them and most of them are not poisonous either. So I think the same risk comes to our mind when I believe the risk you are talking about is that people inculcate in our lives that there is a risk if you don’t do this, how you’re going to survive? I think most of us survive and most of us get by. And I think you found out what really gave you happiness in terms of going out and maybe do training to start with and venture out in other things. And the other thing that, after that, because you had a degree in a completely different field and you’re doing something different, what all did you do to prepare yourself better to teach people what these trainings were about. What were some of the steps that you took?
Arul Dev: It is a difficult question because what I actually did most of the time was jump into the well. But as I said, jumping into the well should have that choiceless poise. And most of the time I jump in and then as I am jumping in, I am figuring out this is what is needed, this is what, let’s say, this training. So, I had one principle. Any training I do, I should be authentic. Which means I should be at least practicing it and have some degree of, you know, something that’s working there then I go and share. So, that principle always held. Rest of the time, jump, figure out what competencies needed, what am I supposed to do and I built everything let’s say, as I was driving my car. I was not a guy who built my car by parking it in many different places. I have always been on the go, most of the time. I also had a lot of time for reflection. Most of my reflection was through like, just sit down, write something. In those periods where I write or read at the end of the day or during the weekend. Weekends mostly I would step out. I was a bachelor, I got married only at 34. I would step out at 8 o’clock on Sunday and used to come back at 8:00 p.m. I had 12 hours to myself. I will sit on the beach, watch a movie, whatever. All those times things that’s happening used to settle in. It will tell me, Arul this is not ok for you, you gotta work on this, this you got to teach better, train better, do this work better. So I always used to follow the clarity that used to come from inside. So I would say 60% inner clarity, 40% was coming from outside as a feedback etc.
Nitesh Batra: And I think you are in a great place in Chennai where you have the beaches and you can go look at the ocean. I think it’s a great place, where you are. Others may or may. And you live here. So it’s fine. I think that clarity is very important. And how have you evolved as an individual? Since you graduated and since you started looking more inwards and you mention that writing is one process that you look for self-reflection. What changes have you seen in yourself over the years?
Arul Dev: That’s a difficult question to answer. Because if you ask my wife, to be honest, I never thought I could remain married. Not because of any other reason because I used to change quite frequently. And it’s not something that I decide as such but the moment I go into something and figured it out, something used to happen in me. And once I change, I will stick by it. So it is very difficult to put, like this is a change. So, to put some kind of generalization, it was always an inward movement. It was always more a wider movement. Which means, whatever you are getting, you want to reach out a certain wide space and a wide heart. You are connecting more to people, you are contributing more. The space of contribution happened much earlier and I was always in that space. I wanted to give out more. So such inner changes were always happening. Most of the time, it will be like you mention now fear as an example. As I grew up each part of my being had its own challenges. From the beginning I had to go through years where I discovered my health was not perfect. I had to work on that. Then I figured out that I had a lot of challenges as a youngster in the domain of senses etc. I had to work on that. Then I figured out that I was not too emotionally sensitive. Then I learnt that I swung the opposite side of the pendulum. I had to work on that. I always looked upon my life as work and you know my personal life as one continuum. Whatever I am working on, I used to bring that into work, into my personal life and such was the change. The other principle I had was whatever changes was happening inside me or whatever I am working on, I go share and teach. So that way if you see, my teaching kept changing. First it was skill based, then it was you know, I was for a long time into NLP, real inner processes to make changes.
Nitesh Batra: Can you tell little bit what NLP stands for?
Arul Dev: Sorry, ok. So that’s a method call Neuro Linguistic Programming. And there are many different schools about it. But I learnt from a person called Dick McHugh. Who is no more. His method of NLP is more mindfulness. Like his 2 favorite things was Vipasana and NLP. And he was a Jesuit priest. So I picked all that up and we used those methods or techniques to go inward and make changes. And I was in that for a while. But then realized was not giving satisfaction. That’s when I hit upon works of Sri Aurobindo. Which I felt was far more deeper, far more inclusive, nothing is left out and you have got to bring out every bit of your transformation into the real life. And that’s what I loved. So as I progressed, I changed, as I changed I thought differently and this became a continuum.
Nitesh Batra: So to put it or to summarize, it is, you of course went deep within. And for me, going deep within is realizing what your consciousness or what you really want from inside. And your thought process changes. So you are trying to connect your thought or your inner being to your thoughts and then putting it out there in action which is Karma Yoga. And that’s the course you teach at IIT as well?
I forgot the topic of the course—it is called?
Arul Dev: So there are 2 courses I teach along with another professor called Devdas Menon at IIT Madras. One course is called “Self Awareness” which this book is—it is a textbook kinds—it works on the 8 parts of the being.
Nitesh Batra: And I think it’s the right time to tell the name of the book. The book is called “Into Great Depth of Your Being”.
Arul Dev: So what is book actually does is deeper domain of one’s being which influences what you are doing. Your competencies, your behavior. But there is an inner aspect- the mind, the emotion, the energy, the body and the deeper self. So the self-awareness is about that. We also teach another course called Integral Karma Yoga. He brings the Bhagavad Gita. I bring some portions of Renaissance in India, getting in touch with your deeper self, identifying with your purpose and expressing it into your real life. Culture change to some extent, those are the aspects I touch on that.
Nitesh Batra: And when you teach these courses, you know, its yourself being there 20 + years ago. And you might come across some of the students who are going through the same turmoil that you probably went through. Do you come across those kind of students still at IIT when you teach?
Arul Dev: See, let’s take IIT out of the picture. Just look at students, OK? There’s an observation that I have been having is that the kind of challenges they are going through is something we never went through at our age. It’s very different. At the same time, they have a far greater capacity that we accessed at that age. So it is a combination of that. Most of them are lost. And that’s a pretty standard phenomenon you can observe. But the lost is not because they don’t have the potential. It is because some of the potentials are extremely high and you know, also at the same time, the distractions are equally high, the opportunities for going off track is also high. So it creates a very interesting challenge. And what I am also seeing is that younger students, say about 7th standard, 8th standard,9th standard, they pick this work much faster. Because they have no map that says self-awareness is difficult. But the moment, let’s say, I go to college students, the map is already there. And for some them, it is dry. I mean, it is not so great fun. For some them, yeah, it is good to make some inner changes. When I take this work to adults, it is a little bit more challenging because they do feel that understanding something is great. They feel making changes is really very difficult. But if you don’t accomplish inner changes, there is no real change or growth. So, coming back to your point, it is a very interesting phenomena we are in with students. Great potential, great challenges.
Nitesh Batra: I think within that question you bring up a very interesting point about change. And I feel change is ever happening. And as we all know, it is ever happening. And when adults, you are absolutely right. Adults do say mostly that it is very difficult to change because we are going through so many things in our lives and if one thing changes, something else has to come about. Most of our listeners are adults. What are some of the suggestions that you may have where they can at least begin the journey to change themselves, to be more connected to themselves?
Arul Dev: So I will answer it slightly different. So, one of the things about me, I am fundamentally an engineer at least in my thinking process. So, you give me something, I like to go into the subatomic parts. What’s inner kind of a thing. One of the things for any human being to make a change, you got to understand that when we say 8 parts of a being, these are actually different substances that exist within. For example, we say, one part is your physical. So that’s your body. But it’s not only your body. It has a nature of repetitiveness, it is its inherent nature. Now if you don’t understand that nature of repetitiveness, people very intelligent will struggle making change with small habit changes and they will hit themselves on the head not understanding that they are dealing with a different substance inside them which nature is just repeat, repeat and circulate. That’s the habit formation. Now if you take your sensory and enjoyment- the domain of sensors, it has a substance of vibration. It vibrates, it moves, you know. There’s the current of movement, seeking of the pleasures and avoiding pains. So, it’s a different thing that happens inside us. If you take for example the dynamic energy which is the third part, its substance is different. It’s circulatory energy, you know, it is like your breath. You breath in, you hold and your breathe out. You take money, it is the same thing. You earn money, you hold money, you express money. So that very simple, subtle understanding that that energy flows only in movement and there has to be sufficient movements and large movements for you to have that impact. Such a very simple thing but till you don’t know that you will just say things like you know, I should take risk, I should have courage, I should face the whole world. But will find only some people having that true capacity. Leadership capacities need that today but if you just do it theoretically, you don’t really build that substance or do its right movements. If you take for example, emotions. Emotion is a substance. It feels like a tiny melting of your heart inside and then it feels like a widening of your heart. So there is a substance that works inside. When you connect with that, it becomes a joy because no matter what up and down emotions you have, you can get into that real substance of the emotion, for example ok? So I have touched four. Then if you look into the mind, you again deal with different substances. Thought is real. Like a solid is real, thought is real. Now, your thoughts actually come in the way of your real scene. Because whatever is inside circulating as thoughts, it cuts your real scene. That’s what you are hearing inside. Your word is another reality. Lots of things are embedded inside your word. Now people have not understood there is a domain called image processing. Like you have word processing, you have image processing. That’s the domain of idea force. Then you have a capacity called the pure mind which is mere centering of thoughts. It is like the helicopter view. You can center the core thought inside that. The moment you get this simple clarity and then you have the deeper self, which has a language of resonance, then when you are able to observe this inside, change becomes easy. Because you know that for a particular movement you want to go along . You make a decision in your business work of family or whatever, you will figure out that sometimes your mind goes along, your energy pulls back. Sometimes, your energy moves but the mind clarity is not there. It is wooly, cloudy and you do not know how to figure that out. Sometimes, both are in synch but you have not repeated it sufficiently for it to become an implanted habit. So, it as simple as understanding these nuances and then making good choices for yourself.
Nitesh Batra: Now these 8 different parts of being. So when I read the book, the way I understood is that we take any one part and at least get started and start applying these transformations in our life. Now, one of the things I understood or at least really liked was the rungs of transformation. I will read something from the book: “Once the transformation is realized, in a particular rung, we can then raise ourselves up onto the higher rung to which we will be more anchored and make it our new base station.”
So that’s the change we are talking about, right? But as these changes are occurring, some new thoughts are evolving. How do you find that ground for ourselves that this is something that I am ok with rather than going and exploring like you know, I need to go explore more. Does that make sense?
Arul Dev: Yes, that’s a good question and there are a couple of questions inside that one question. So let me try and focus and you tell me if I have answered that fully. So let me take one by one. For example, the first question is, you don’t necessarily have to go at all the 8. It is very difficult. Unless you are adept at it. In general, what we say is, go with your strengths. For example, among the three parts of your mind which is, Objective, Creative or Synthetic/Pure. See which is your base station and go with that but pull the other along. Generally, we have been doing a lot of work with people for last 8 years. If you go down, you find that some are emotional, some are really dynamic or some really like that fun. You will always have a leader among the three. Play to your home station. When you feel if you play differently you become a little different and that doesn’t feel good inside. But you gotta pull the other two.
Nitesh Batra: And is there a particular way that you find out which amongst all is something that I really like or gravitate towards?
Arul Dev: Two ways. The most simplest, if you take page 22 of the book. It has a summary of all the different parts of being. When we do this work shop, we say, open Page 22. We will ask each individual to self-rate. For example, 1 to 10. What’s their inherent strength. Where do they find the joy? And very easily you can narrow down and say this is my leader. That’s the most simplest way. We of course have a tool as well. But I would still recommend self -reflection. So that’s the first answer.
The second answer about moving from stage to stage is a little tricky answer. Because if one is just moving from here and there because, like I have seen people who are workshop hunters, you know, for 40- 50 years and actually do not make a progress. So, for this I do feel that if you are taking those decisions from the analytical mind, it will be very confusing. Or if you are making those decision which are governed by emotions, it will be very confusing. Two ways which will really help is first with a deeper sense. That’s the language of resonance which means that when I have to choose a particular path if it feels spontaneously clarifying and spontaneously joyful, then it’s the right track. And that sensing is just be done in the couple of seconds. Following that, doubt will come, confusions will come, fear comes. Then it gets distorted. So that’s one clear way you can check –this direction: does it feel right or not. Ok, that’s one. The other way is pure mind. Which is like, when you say, essentially, what am I standing for? Like for me, I clarified and said I want to live a life which is spiritually and materialistically evolving. So I will put everything around that. So, these two ways, you can hold your direction with some continuity. Not flirting from here and there.
Nitesh Batra: Makes sense. I think that’s a very easy way but also very difficult way for a lot of people. So, both have to be taken into account for. The first time when I came across the book, I started reading it and the 8 parts of being. What came to my mind– I’m not sure if you are aware of the Yoga Pancha Koshas. And I saw some similarities between the Pancha Koshas and the 8 parts of being. Can you throw a little bit light on to your understanding of it and the similarities or some differences?
Arul Dev: Ok, so one of my attempts was to take it to a point where it is universal, applicable by anybody, any age, any nation. You also have this corresponding to Chakras. It will correspond. It will correspond not just to the Pancha Koshas but to anything under the sun. And by the way, these are not the only 8. There are more. I wanted to arrive at the essence of what these are. For example, if you take the Vital. You have an energy sheath around you. You have a physical sheath. You have a mental sheath around you. Understanding to go a little deeper, we need to understand that for example, senses or fear. We use the term fear. Now fear is not only individual. But it is also collective and universal. If you take emotion. I am in a particular emotion but I move into a room where people have a certain emotion, there is emotional contagion.
So there is individual, there is collective and there is universal. Always intermixing and that’s what forms your energy field. Your mind field, so to say.
Now the challenge with any of this work, if you go a little bit deeper, it will not work with only the individual and completely disregard the family. It will not work, it is not possible. Because you could have clarified something at your senses. You could have refined it but you may enter a space at a family or at a workplace, let’s us say, where it is very crude, so to say. That would intrude back into the purity you have had and it will spoil it a little bit. But, in a way, I feel that’s how nature or evolution has set it up. Where finally, if you look at it, your evolution is not about yourself. It is about a certain rung of consciousness that we are able to hit as humans. So each time an individual progresses, they will be pulled down. And that’s the beauty of the whole thing. Because they will process other people’s challenges through them.
Nitesh Batra: I think you are absolutely right. Nature puts it in such a way, it is a puzzle and it is a puzzle for each generation, I think and we solve it in our own ways. And I think this book, at least for me, makes it easy for our generation to relate to. Because most of the other things, the Pancha Koshas or the Chakras that have been written 1000s of years ago and we still are able to relate to them and these are all energy lines that we are talking about and trying to understand ourselves. And this is what it is more related to, I particularly feel, when I was reading it. I am not saying it is easy or difficult. It is something we are able to relate to and I think that’s what the intended purpose has been.
Before we get to the closing, the other question I wanted to ask and I think a lot of struggle that happens for a few people is differentiating between their personal lives and their professional lives. And while growing up, I had always been told to try and create a balance between personal life and professional life. And over the years I have realized that the 2 are so interwoven that it is not possible for us to do that. Now you, as someone who has been teaching this at corporates and other places and to students as well, what are your thoughts about doing the work that you want to do and separating it outand keeping it one? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
Arul Dev: So, this is where the challenge begins. In the first place, I personally feel that any human who is going to create that dichotomy is setting himself or herself for success but not fulfillment. And what will happen is, till about they are 45-50 they will be fine. But later on, it will hit them back nicely. So, it is their choice, OK? So I am speaking about those individuals who do not want to make that compromise. Now, having said that, you will find that the moment you enter into a workplace….as a student, you still have a great degree of freedom. Even though your peer pressure may be very high, you still have that freedom. But when somebody is working, you are bound by that organization’s ethics. Let me just take an example of ethics and norms. You are bound by what they are doing. Now at a certain time and I am sure every individual goes through this. Inside, they would hold certain ethics but when it comes to the collective work for example, it is not only not accepted, it is looked down upon. It is very common. Now, comes a challenge. Now, most of the people, give that attempt up. So what they do, they create a success story in the organization but inside they don’t feel good and then they learn to suppress it and they become masters at it. Few people take that risk. And I am not only saying in the earlier path what people used to do is they used to quit the organization and some of these people went on their own. One classic case was me. I didn’t even work at all, ok? Because I saw what was going there. But today I also see people who are staying at that work and taking that challenge. It is a very uphill task. Because, you still have to hold your ground and still succeed at the workplace. But there are lot more success stories today on this scene. Because some organizations are also opening up saying, that we need to honor it. But nevertheless, it is uphill. It is not only work. Most of the challenges comes in the personal life. It is with sisters, brothers, wife, husband, close family members you know. Fathers-in law, mothers-in -law and parents. Because as you evolve, you will find that things change there. Like, I will just take a very personal example. So, for me, I decided that I wanted to find my own life partner. I am a born Christian, for example. And my mother always had one important thing for me-marry a Christian. And something told me that I will marrying a Brahmin. Now, I took 6 years with my mother. Now, I could have taken an easy option of saying I don’t care 2 hoots, I will go. But internally I was not Ok with the choice. So I worked till a point and of course, some things didn’t click and it gave me the time but when it came to finally marrying, it was like my mother gave full concurrence. So, it’s up to the individual to take that time. You know, to work with family or work in a way that inner compromise doesn’t happen. It is very important in this journey but very tough.
Nitesh Batra: Absolutely right. Something that I connected with is finding that solution for the puzzle. It may take you a longer period through the Karma Yoga by doing it again and again and again and finding what works not just for you and also finding what we call a new normal so that others settle down. So when you settle down from inside, the others around you will settle down. So before we close, any parting thoughts, anything that you would like to share with our audience, listeners?
Arul Dev: I think my parting thought you said in your last sentence and I will just pick that up. As I finished my first book, I am working on my 2nd and the clarity is coming more and more solid right now in a very real sense that it’s not so much about what’s happening on the outside but it’s really about what’s happening on your inside. Ok? Really about how much of peace you can hold, how much of clarity you can hold, how much of strength you can hold. Going down to the fundamental nuances. It is really about being attuned and I am also discovering that there’s a portion of the mind which expands if we learn to tune in. You are more wide, you are listening. But your inner space of the mind also seems to widen, your inner space of the heart also seems to widen. It almost feels for me the rest of my journey is to figure out how listening to all that’s happening inside holds its delight or holds it honey or you know the best of it and actually bring it into the normal life seems to be something to be discovered. And with this I feel this is far more important and when you can do it, the rest of the stuff will be a child’s play to bring it out there. Yeah, that’s what I feel.
Nitesh Batra: That’s a great way to close it. Thank you so much for being a part of our show. I learnt a lot speaking to you today. I got much more clarity on the book which have been reading for a few months and I hope to continue reading it and keep evolving myself and we hope that someday in the future we can come back and talk about your second book as well. Arul’s book is called Into Great Depth of Your Being. It’s available on Amazon. Please go out and purchase it, if you would like to know about the 8 different parts of the being. This is Nitesh signing off from another episode of The Mindful Initiative. Thank you so much.
Research by: Pranjali Maneriker
Transcription by: Gita Venkat