Hi there, I am Vighnesh Viswanathan from Bangalore. I am a commerce graduate and I work for an accounting firm in Bangalore.
My journey started with MRA in June 2012. I was told about MRA-LMAD from my friend Sudarshan Suresh who had attended the June Youth Conference twice already. He described MRA to me as a “self-realization camp”. I initially refused to come for such a conference as I was not fully convinced about it. But, after a lot of coaxing and persuasion I agreed to come. The June 2012 conference was one of a kind and was different from the normal conferences and workshops I have attended. It was here that I got introduced to the concept of “quiet time”. It was very hard for me to be quiet for a long time. But the quiet time taught me a lot about myself. It made me look inside and introspect. I never thought that introspecting could be so liberating. I poured out everything in my Diary. I was also told about the values of MRA- Purity, Honesty, Unselfishness, Love. At first I doubted it completely. This was the core substance of the conference and I did not take these values seriously. I let the doubts inside win and have their day. However, as the conference progressed I learnt new lessons with every session. I even wrote down the changes I wanted to make in my life and the things I wanted to do. On leaving Asia Plateau in 2012 I decided to apply the changes and see the results for myself.
I will be very honest here. I was very inconsistent in applying the new habits and following up on my commitments. I did not have a quiet time properly and over time I slowly slipped into my old usual routine and I got back to the way I was before the conference -a regular neighbourhood boy who was selfish, disorganised, unfocused and careless. I had no direction in life, no clarity of thought and I was completely disconnected from the Universe. Yes. This is true. I was even bitter towards my own country. I constantly viewed the developed countries like USA, UK, Canada, etc… as better than India. I took life for granted and I was not doing well in anything. I was also a negative person inside. I had not followed my commitments that I had made at the June Youth Conference. Eventually, my life got into a mess.
Then one day in January 2013, while I was looking through my cupboard, I found my MRA diary. I immediately stopped what I was doing and I read my diary all over again. It was for the first time I began to look deeper and I did some soul searching. I felt enlightened and I realised that I was responsible for not changing. I decided to start focussing on my life and vowed to start all over again. I started by doing things with more concentration and energy. I took baby steps towards changing my thinking. I must admit though, that I was not working hard enough towards changing. I was determined to change and I decided to come again for the Youth Conference in June 2013.
When I came for the June 2013 conference I decided to go with the flow and surrender myself completely to the program. I was focused this time and I absorbed the lessons in each session. My quiet time yielded good results and I opened up more in the group discussions. I also realised that the 4 values of MRA- Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness and Love has a lot of significance in our lives. I decided to apply these values in my life and I also decided to measure my life against them. And this time I made sure that I don’t let the lessons I learnt go away. I took this conference more seriously unlike the conference in 2012. This time I decided to take action and stay focussed.
After I left Asia Plateau in June 2013, I started consciously make changes in my life. I started off small but eventually after a lot of hard work I could feel the change. I became far more disciplined and organised. I started doing very well at work and the things around me began to change. I started communicating more with my mother and I began to connect more with her. I stopped taking life for granted and I stopped being bitter towards India. I realised that the more I talk bad about my country I indirectly insult the freedom fighters and armed forces personnel who have fought for India. I started caring more for my country. I realised that India is a land of opportunity and that we youngsters have a big role to play in its growth. I finally realised how important it is to make a difference to the society. I also stopped thinking about what people think about me. I always used to bother about what other people think about me but I have learnt to stop letting such trivial things bother me. This conference also revealed to me my dreams. I had a dream slumbering inside me which was awakened in this conference. I decided not to let this dream die. I had written down my goal (dream) with a timeline and a concrete action plan. And I am now taking action to achieve this dream of mine.
So I did change as a person after the June 2013 conference. But the changes that I have mentioned above were small and I did not think about raising the bar. I did not aim for perfection/excellence. I thought that this was it.
But when I got a call for the 2013 December Coordinators Workshop from Viral Bhai, I realised that there is still some more. I decided to go with the flow once again. The December 2013 coordinators workshop was more intense than the Youth Conference. This workshop re-enforced my commitment to change. I realised that I was a mediocre person and I vowed to move from being a “mediocre” person to a person of “excellence”. I realised that I have infinite potential to do great things and achieve high standards of excellence in whatever I do. I also know that this is going to take a lot of hard work but I know that in the end it will be worth it. I did a lot of reading in this work shop and I listened to myself more in those long quiet times. I focused more on being a man of quality and I set standards of excellence in terms of conducting my life.
I know that change is a continuous process and I will have to work hard every day to grow. When I look at myself now I feel that I have changed as a person compared to how I was in 2012. But there is still a long way to go. The journey never ends.
All the teachings of MRA will be with me forever and it will serve as my guiding light should I lose track in the future. The changes that I explained above are all because of the teachings of MRA- Viral Sir, the coordinators and the amazing speakers who have spoken during the conferences. The essence of quiet time has had a big impact on me and I shall continue to practice this ritual in order to find solutions to the questions that are bothering me and also to build a connection with the god within me. I want to be seen as a person who embodies the values of MRA and conducts his life in such a way that is consistent with these values and principles. I see myself as an ambassador of MRA.
I strive to be an individual of quality and high moral values. The journey never ends and each day is a new beginning. I conclude my story with the following quote-
"Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein