He has mastered the art of ‘human engineering’

Swami Pragyapad, a teacher with Art of Living, says he helps people repair the mind and body to take on challenges of the world

Archana Phull

“Spirituality is scientific. I have not given up engineering. For me, it is just a shift from chemical to human engineering. I help people repair their minds and body so that they face the challenges of the world.”

This is how a graduate from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mumbai, Swami Pragyapad, 41, describes his 17 years association with spiritual world as a part of Art of Living, a volunteer based humanitarian and educational NGO, in Bangalore.

He was in town for informal interaction with volunteers.

“It just happened naturally. I had attended one session of Art of Living with a friend in 1993. I was not clear about my course after graduation. In 1997, I went to Bangalore. There I realized that I can also contribute for positive development of society,” Swami Pragyapad, who hails from Pune, shared with Daily Post.

He said he took the decision with the consent of parents and did all the duties towards my parents, simultaneously.

A full timer with Art of Living, Swami Pragyapad gives spiritual lectures all over the world and handles programmes relating to women empowerment.

Cool and smiling, he said his journey has been very fulfilling. “Most of the IIT pass outs go abroad. I have also travelled across the world. I am happy that I am carrying the message of India abroad, not vice versa,” he remarked.

Asked why the spiritual gurus of India have more following in foreign countries, he said, “We have vast knowledge, but we have disowned it. We don’t respect what we have at home. Still, the Art of Living has 15,000 teachers in all, out of which 12,000 are in India, who go to remotest of villages for various activities,” he said.

On the basic difference in mindset in the West and the East (India), he said, “West has hardly anything to show case. But whatever it has, people there are proud of it. Here, we have rich heritage, but we don’t take pride. I blame the education for this,” he said. He added, “We need to appreciate what we have. Only, then we will have confidence in doing things.”

Swami Pragyapad said the message of Art of Living is “make life a celebration.”

He said everyone wants to be happy, some see happiness in money, others in job or relationships.

According to him, materialism and spirituality are like two legs, which should be equally strong to get going. “The quest is to find happiness.”

On vitiated poll environs, he said, “Negative happenings are seen everywhere in the world. A good sign is that this time there is record polling everywhere in the country. The Art of Living also contributed to encourage the people come out to vote, despite a feeling of despair in them.” He said the Art of living did not enter into active politics and did not take official stance for any party. “We encouraged every person to be politically aware and make right choice as per his/her own prudence.”

On spiritual leaders (reference Baba Ramdev) jumping into poll campaign politicians, Swami Pragyapad said, “There is a freedom of choice. Everybody has the freedom to see life from different perspective.”