Bijay J Anand | December 16, 2015
At the airport today morning, I met a dear friend after many years. After the usual pleasantries, he asked me what I was doing in Hyderabad. So I told him that I had taken up an acting assignment, and that I was here for a shoot. To which he said, “What? You switched your profession again? When I last met you, you were an art dealer. You went on to become a Yoga Guru, and travelled the world to teach your philosophy, and now, you’re back to acting?”
My friend was actually quite incredulous at the alacrity with which I had changed professions since we had last met.
This is not the first time I have befuddled someone with my crazy way of leading my life. It has happened on numerous occasions before, with many actually finding fault with my unplanned, uncharted career decisions.
I started my life in abject poverty, and my career began at the ripe old age of 9 when I started selling soap in Mumbai’s local trains. Around the age of 13, I started a garments business that went on to thrive. It actually showed me the meaning of financial stability and independence. I started modelling at around 17, and switched to doing television shows from the age of 22. At 27, I moved on to doing feature films, the first one being ‘Yash’, which was a major musical hit (it’s still available for viewing on YouTube). My second movie, ‘Pyar to Hona Hi Tha’, was an even bigger hit; it ran for more than 25 weeks, a real ‘big deal’ in India, also known as a Silver Jubilee.
At the peak of my acting career, I abruptly switched professions to become an art dealer. The whole world and their grandmothers thought I was mad to give up on a career that millions of Indians can only dream, about not to mention giving up the fame that came with it.
As an art dealer I did exceptionally well. I advised corporates, High Net Worth Individuals and dealt with the top auction houses and galleries from around the world. My friend Dinesh Vazirani, who owns the biggest art auction house in India called Saffron Art had labeled me “The Big Bull”. At most of his auctions and a few others, I would be on a rampage, bidding, buying and paying record prices for the artists that I believed in. This continued until the year 2012, when I gave it all up, again.
This was when I turned to spirituality. First learning Kundalini Yoga, and then, travelling the whole world to teach it. London, Toronto, Jamaica, Mexico… anywhere and everywhere I was invited to teach, I would go.
Anahata is what I like to call my gift to humanity. An organisation that is committed to spreading the message of love and of an organic way of life. A company that promotes the ideology that only if you are healthy can you be happy, and only if you are healthy and happy can you realise the divinity in and around you. Which gave us the tag line, Health, Happiness, Divinity.
When I was approached by Nikhil Sinha to essay the role of King Janak, who is Sita’s father in the Hindu mythology Ramayana, I was ready to turn down this role, just as I had turned down countless others over a 17-year period. Except that this time what happened was that the dialogues that Janak speaks throughout this show is exactly what I teach in my class every day. All the theories and philosophies of love, compassion, integrity and peace that I have been espousing across the world come through radiantly through this particular role. I simply had to say yes.
Now here’s where I present you with my theory, which I call, “Many lives within a life.”
Most, if not all, of us are born either rich or poor, and remain rich or poor our entire lives. So that would be one life. If one lives both a life of poverty as well as one of opulence, that would be equivalent to having lived two lives in one life.
Similarly, you could live one life being in the same profession your entire lives, or you could live two by changing gears. When you join a music band after being a doctor your entire life, your demeanour changes, your circle of friends changes, your lifestyle changes, EVERYTHING changes. So you live two lives in one life.
I, on the other hand, have lived through so many different professions, that I have had the pleasure and joy of having lived so many varied lives in one lifetime.
From being a pauper whose family could not afford a loaf of bread at one time, to making millions and traveling to 46 countries. From having broken bread with strangers on the streets to having dined with presidents, royalty, billionaires and rock stars. From having dealt with actors, artists & businessmen to discussing philosophy with yogis, gurus and revered saints. How many lives do you think that I have lead?
And if this sounds or looks crazy to some people, I really couldn’t care less. In fact, not living intelligently is one of the most important philosophies that I espouse as a teacher. Everyone that you look at is trying to live an intelligent and well-planned life, with a hope for a beautiful career and a successful life. So why are most of the souls in this world unhappy? Are they not intelligent enough?
I think it is only because you are not supposed to live life by the book. Throw the book out and live it like a crazed, passionate and beautiful soul. That is the only path to happiness.
Let the intelligent people laugh at your craziness with their own emptiness intact.
“Live your life like a feather. Be light. Be free. Free to fly wherever the winds of life take you. Free to live an adventure. Free to live in tune with the cosmic vibrations of love and harmony.”
“I don’t decide what happens in my life.
I let my life happen to itself”