Khurshed Batliwala is the Founder and Director of World Alliance for Youth Empowerment and also Founder of the Youth Empowerment Skills (YES+) workshop at the Art of Living Foundation. He has a master’s degree in Mathematics from IIT Bombay.
YES+ has been organizing workshops all over India for over 6 years now. Its presence in the institute has been growing increasingly in the recent past.
The EML which took place on 17th January titled “Crossing chasms, realizing dreams”, which was full of inspiration coupled with a lot of laughter.
Bawa started off with claiming that the biggest chasm a person faces is his own mind because it is the mind that stops one from achieving what one really can. He said there are three states a person can find himself in: activity (or rajas), rest (tamas) and a balance between the two (satva). Rajas he said when uncontrolled, leads to restlessness, frustration, or even violence. Tamas takes the route of laziness, procrastination, depression and in extreme cases, to suicidal tendencies. Satva is a balance of activity and rest, which is enthusiasm, peace, and joy, and one way of achieving this state, is through meditation.
Before proceeding, he pointed out the misconceptions that people have about meditation and spirituality. One, for instance, that people who pursue spirituality do not end up poor, and that business and spirituality do go hand in hand. He quoted Mahatma Gandhi as having said, ‘I’m so busy today that I cannot meditate for an hour. I have to meditate for 2!’. Meditation brings deep relaxation to the mind and a relaxed mind is the most intuitive and efficient one. The greatest inventions happened when great scientists involved let their minds relax – Newton sitting under the tree, Kekule’s dream and Archimedes having a bath in his tub are the most popular examples.
The next part was something rather unexpected for an EML. Bawa guided us through a simple meditation, which lasted for over 23 minutes! And many in the audience were surprised to know it lasted that long, having felt like ten minutes. This demonstration was used to convey Bawa’s point that the idea of meditation is not about knowing its merits, it is about experiencing it.
He then carried over to the second part i.e. realizing dreams. He said, “If you have a dream and you know how to get there, it’s not really a dream anymore. You need to dream something so big that you wouldn’t know how it could possibly happen. ” As an example, he pointed out: “Getting into McKinsey should not be a dream. To own McKinsey?…Now that is more like a dream”. He claimed that when you are committed to achieve something, you get the most creative of the solutions. He claimed that creating jobs is much more challenging than getting a job, and inspired everyone to think in the direction of entrepreneurship. He gave several examples of several areas that we Indians can make businesses out of.
Tourism: He said that India has one of the richest heritages, one of the best beaches in the world, some of the oldest architectural buildings, etc., which hasn’t been cashed in for business. Yoga and spirituality: He said how we have disowned our yoga and that 99% of the yoga business in America is owned by American locals. Ayurveda: He also pointed out how Ayurveda is not being used to its potential. Food: He pointed out that although Indian cuisine has one of the most delicious and healthy foods, Pizza outlets are found all over the world but not dosas. He said coming to our own country, we don’t get good aloo parathas in Chennai, or good pani puri in Bengaluru, or good idli sambar in Delhi.
The talk ended with an inspirational song which had a similar idea as the topic. It was a brilliant experience for many of us indeed.
Click below to watch some of his recent talks:
The next session by YES+ will be held between 28th March and 1st April according to the announcements made at the end of the lecture.