It is a time where we humans are living a life that is not only devoid of happiness but also one that leads us away from what we truly are. To change this scenario and to re-introduce us to ourselves, spiritual guru Archna didi spreads awareness for meditation and explains to mankind, the importance of it in India and abroad.
She has established a foundation named, ‘Celebrating Life’ and through this foundation, she does multiple activities for the betterment of the society and of people, selflessly.
When Archna didi accepted our invitation and blessed us by visiting Cocktail Zindagi’s office, she also shared her views on the importance of meditation and explained its importance. Here are some excerpts from Cocktail Zindagi’s conversation with her.
Cocktail Zindagi: Tell us something about your spiritual journey.
Archna didi: I was five years old when I embarked upon my spiritual journey. Since then, I used to spend hours practising meditation. I found happiness in the peace and solace that meditation gave me. The empty mind that one achieved after meditating was a blessing. I didn’t know that what I did was known as meditation as I was a child but the process of sitting in complete peace, doing nothing and focusing within, brought happiness. As I grew older, I delved deeper into meditation.
At the age of 17, I took diksha after meeting Sadguru. After taking diksha, my meditation got a goal. It is while meditating that I sought inspiration from God and blessings from Sadguru to make more and more people aware of meditation and offer them a chance to experience what I experienced during the process of meditation. That is when I decided to walk on this path and guide people towards meditation.
Cocktail Zindagi: You always talk about Sadguru. Who is Sadguru? How did you meet Sadguru?
Archna didi: Every teaching, every teacher is Sadguru. The soul that every spiritual teacher has is Sadguru. This soul has taken birth on Earth to act on behalf of God and to do Godly acts. Sadguru is such a teacher.
I met Sadguru when he was talking with a lot of people during a program. On seeing him, I experienced something very different. Call it a reward of the past life or a blessing of this life, but after seeing him, I knew that no one else in the world but him is my Sadguru. The same day I went to him and conveyed to him that I wished to take diksha. And the very next day I took it with his blessing. I realised that it may be that I met him that day but it was a bond that had transcended lifetimes and I had always been his disciple. I pray to God that for all my births to come, God makes me his disciple so I could reach my destination.
Cocktail Zindagi: How did your parents react towards your wish to walk on a spiritual path? Did they worry that their child was walking in a different direction than all the other children?
Archna didi: Yes, they worried a lot when I spent hours practising meditation in my childhood. On one side, children my age made played and made a lot of noise while on the other side, I would sit in silence. They tried for a very long time to make me behave like normal children but all their efforts were in vain. I never stopped meditating. They also took me to the doctor thinking that something was wrong with my health but when the doctor told them that I was mentally and physically fit, it would take them by surprise.
As a child, I often explained to them that meditation brings me utmost happiness and they should let me dive deep into myself. They continued to worry about me until I took diksha and they met Sadguru. That is when they understood my wish to undertake a spiritual journey.
Cocktail Zindagi: Many philosophers and karmayogis define meditation as any act done with concentration. Is there a difference between concentration and meditation?
Archna didi: Yes, there is a huge difference between concentration and meditation. Yes but you can say that concentration is the first step to meditation. Meditation is when our consciousness is present but we are not. When we sleep at night, along with our body our mind also goes to sleep. In case of meditation, our mind is conscious even if the body is inactive.
The first need or condition for meditation is to be able to calm our mind, to be able to focus. This is one of the greatest difficulties – to calm our extremely restless mind. It is due to this restlessness of the mind that we are unable to live in the present. Even if we are physically present in a place or a situation, our mind wanders and is not present. That is why it is important to focus our mind at one place, to concentrate. Thereafter only we can meditate and obtain peace.
Cocktail Zindagi: Is there a fixed process of meditation? What is the aim of meditation?
Archna didi: Like there are different ways to reach a certain destination, similarly there are different ways of meditation. We can reach the state of meditation through japyog. We can also reach the state of meditation through yog asans or vipassana or through colour therapy. once we reach this state, we don’t have to reach anywhere else. The last phase is samadhi.
After achieving the state of meditation all our materialistic desires, pains and unnecessary needs disappear. It is a state of utmost contentment and this contentment is the aim of meditation. The aim of a person who has achieved the state of meditation is to share and guide others so they can also experience the feeling of contentment and happiness. It is this spreading of happiness that makes the world beautiful. It is necessary to be happy.
Cocktail Zindagi: Wouldn’t sitting for hours in meditation decrease the importance of actions?
Archna didi: No, not at all. Walking on the path of meditation or undertaking a spiritual journey does not mean that you sacrifice everything and take sanyas. Meditation does not teach you to escape from the world, it teaches you to survive and live in this world. Today, we all are in a blind race to achieve success. Most people believe that only by being successful are we asserting our presence on Earth. But mediation teaches you that success isn’t bring meaning to life; meditation teaches you that making life meaningful is success.
Meditation does not teach you to accumulate ways to happiness but teaches you how to be happy even without a reason, a way. It teaches you to worship your work and to do it with complete consciousness. It never takes one away from actions.
Cocktail Zindagi: Today everyone is busy in their life and career. How important is meditation for them?
Archna didi: Most people complain today that they do not have time. Today’s human cannot even take out time for themselves. When a person stops conversing with oneself that is when they fall prey to stress. And I will say this with emphasis that a human being who does not have time, is the one to whom the importance of meditation is maximum. The human who has time for themselves is already happy and does not need meditation.
Like I said before, meditation makes a person work with consciousness. So they are able to do their work in half the time than before as their mind is focused. Even a 5-10 minutes meditation helps a human being in numerous ways. It makes them calm to be able to manage multiple tasks together. Today’s human opens the wardrobe in the morning and finds it difficult to decide even petty things like what colour clothes to wear or which body spray to use. But should they practice meditation, even big life decisions can be taken with ease and without hesitation because meditation brings clarity to life.
Cocktail Zindagi: Tell us something about ‘Celebrate Life Foundation’ that you began. What is the mission of this foundation?
Archna didi: I believe that today we are only surviving in life, not living in life. This is why I always say, ‘Give life to your life.’ To ensure that the human being of today does not go far away from happiness and is able to enjoy every moment of life is the reason why the organisation was established. The mission of ‘Celebrate Life Foundation’ is to simply to maintain the smiles of the face of every human being and to keep them stress-free.
(Gujarati Interview By Dipak Pawar, Translated Into English By Heer Khant)