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Gagan Malik In Conversation with Swami Mukundananda

Videos / August 12, 2021

Gagan Malik, popular TV actor in conversation with Swami Mukundananda at Worldwide Ramayan Utsav about the true definition of success, the actor's experiences playing Lord Ram and the Buddha, how youth can blend spirituality and materialism, why bad things happen to good people and a delightful rapid fire revealing unknown secrets about Swamiji! 

Swamiji Shares the True Definition of Success

Swamiji highlighted his now famous mantra for success: to do good, to be good and to feel good.

We all wish to be better children, spouses, employees and citizens because that is the compulsion of our own soul. Until this compulsion is fulfilled we will never be truly happy.

Despite any amount of worldly opulence, if one is not truly happy then that success is hollow. Therefore it is imperative for each individual to define success for themselves.

We have all been blessed with different talents and we find true meaning in life only when we utilize them to the fullest in a meaningful way to make a difference to the world at large.

Gagan Malik on his biggest takeaways from playing Lord Ram and the Buddha

Swamiji was curious about the transition of Gagan Malik's inner attitude before and after playing the role of the Buddha.

The actor elaborated that previously he had wanted name and fame in his career. However in the course of learning about Buddha's life, he had a eureka moment that sparked an inner change in attitude: the Buddha having discovered the reality of life and the sorrows of humanity, sacrificed worldly opulences for the benefit of mankind. In doing so he gained the true wealth of the path of Dhamma and he uplifted people worldwide through this priceless knowledge. Therefore real happiness lies in serving others and not in name and fame.

Swamiji also asked Gagan about his favorite pastime  of Lord Ram.

Gagan shared his love for Lord Ram's calmness, compassion and strong commitment to duty despite obstacles. He described his admiration for Lord Ram's respect for parents and their wishes, especially fulfilling promises at the cost of one's own life which is the tradition of the clan of Raghu. Gagan also felt inspired by Lord Ram's decision to only marry once and remain faithful to one woman all his life.

How Can Youth Blend Materialism and Spirituality Successfully?

Swamiji is one of those rare personalities who made the transition to sanyas relatively young. Many youth who start out on the spiritual journey wonder if taking sanyas is the right approach.

However Swamiji mentioned that for 99.99% of people who have to live in the world and do their duty, Karm Yog is the recommended way to spiritual elevation. Karm Yog does not mean that we do Karma or work for the most part of the day and then pursue Yog or uniting our mind with God for one hour everyday. While doing Karm in the world, we face various challenges which result in the mind getting disturbed. Instead the mind should be in divine consciousness, leaving the outcome of our work for the pleasure of God, even while working. Only then it qualifies as Karm Yog. Giving the example of Arjun, Swamiji mentioned that initially Arjun wanted to run away from Karm or his duty. Lord Krishna then explained to him that by nature Arjun was an administrator and it was hence more advisable for Arjun to use his natural propensity in service to God. This advice goes for people in the world as well - when we serve God with our daily work, be it academics, family duties, professional duties or play, the same work becomes purifying for us and beneficial for the whole world.

Gagan Malik on How he Stays Humble Amid Fame

The actor shared a personal story: once at a traffic stop he was seated in his car, holding an ice cream. A poor child came by the side of the car and started looking at the ice cream. Realizing the longing of the child for the ice cream Gagan Malik, handed it to the child whose eyes lit up! In that moment Gagan had a revelation that true happiness does not come from success but from serving others.

He stated that the Buddha always had one hand to the ground, indicating that no matter how high we rise or how successful we become, we must always stay humble and grounded.

How Should Parents Teach their Children to be Compassionate?

Gagan Malik raised a very pertinent question: typically parents encourage their children to follow their dreams or or to choose a career path such as engineering or medicine. However without compassion, external success does not matter. How can we teach our children to be more compassionate and empathetic towards others?

Swamiji highlighted that true education is that which makes us better human beings. People are by nature selfish, so to teach compassion to children and enable them to think of the happiness of others, requires divine wisdom. The true person of learning is one who sees others as the self and realizes - we are all children of one God and that is why we are brothers and sisters. Others also have feelings like me. Without such spiritual wisdom it is difficult to develop compassion. This will help change the inner values - children will believe that there are things more important than their own success. When they engage in compassionate activities, they will experience inner happiness which will sustain the cycle.

Rapid Fire with Swami Mukundananda

In a segment that will delight fans of Swamiji, Gagan Malik asked a series of questions designed to reveal little known facets of Swamiji. We present here some glimpses.

Favorite Book: The Bhagavad Gita

Favorite Time of Day: Brahma Muhurt (Early morning before sunrise)

Favorite character from Ramayan: Kagbhushundi ji, since he is a soul like us who attended heights of spirituality

Favorite sports: If I have a choice I will play tennis

Favorite hobby: Reading books that expand the mind and create a moment of epiphany!

Click here to watch the full interview to know more little know facets of Swamiji and discover Swamiji's answers to the incisive questions posed by Gagan Malik.

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