It’s in the first few chapters of the ‘Nature of Mind’ by Ram Kishan Chauhan, that I realised how the author had the courage to write exactly what he went through, what he thought and felt; there was not a single pinch of ornamentalization. To some, this might appear as a lack but to me, I see it as a great strength. The story of Prem comes to you as if a friend next door is sitting and speaking to you about his life, with all his heart; the heart which the author of the book trusts more than the mind.
The book starts with Prem’s childhood in Panipat, Haryana, spent with six family members. It traces the adventures of the boy and how from a very young age, he felt differently about life than most of his peers. A very interesting incident talked about in the book is of how after reading Siddhartha leaving the wealth of palace to find a cure for the miseries of life, Prem himself decided to walk to the jungle, with nothing except a small cloth. He sat there through the night. The little boy couldn’t make it beyond that day but when he returned to the village next day, everyone knew that there was something different about him. And so did he, at this point.
The rest of the book travels along with Prem’s rise in his career and also looks at the different points at which spirituality kept enriching his life further, under the graceful guidance of Raman Maharishi who taught Prem to question his ego, to search for his ‘I’. He led on Prem to understand how this ‘I’ is not a physical but the divine self; how it is not visible but it is the very force that drives us through.
Another important figure in Prem’s life was spiritual master, Prem Rawat. It was from him that Prem understood about the groundings of spirituality, about how the heart is where the divine resides and it is the mind which has a dual nature of a friend and a foe. The mind must be a servant to the heart, if one wishes to lead a fulfilling life. Through this very teaching and more, Prem realised how he was a slave to his mind. But eventually, he started learning how to pass the reigns on to his heart. And in there, he found the true bliss of life.
And the last and very important influence in Prem’s life was Sensei Daisaku Ikeda who was a pioneer in forming Nichiren Buddhism. It is through his guidance that Prem was able to overcome a very dire situation in his life, by changing his very own nature afterall the situation may not be in our control but our nature is. Through this experience, he developed a compassionate spirit.
After reading the ‘Nature of Mind’, you may not start heading to the jungle but you’d be forced to wonder about the role that spirituality can play in a common man’s life, to make it magnanimous.