I only strive to do one thing: make a difference. I am a life coach, storyteller and motivational speaker, travelling around the world to help people live a life less ordinary with the wisdom I have learnt. I have been a monk for nearly 25 years and with the wisdom I have learnt, I serve. After getting an electrical engineering degree from the College of Engineering, Pune, I worked for Hewlett-Packard and quickly found out this wasn’t my calling. Much to my parent’s dismay at the time, I gave up my suit and tie, for some saffron-colored robes. I wanted to find myself, make sure I can maximise my contribution to the world. My grounding is in daily meditation, yoga and the study of wisdom. This gives me the impetus to keep working to combine the antiquity of the ancient texts with the cutting-edge of modern research, thus coming up with innovative advice on problems relating to the human condition. Relationships, education, motivation and focus are a few of the topics I speak on worldwide. By the encouragement of senior monks in my Ashram who spotted my ability to inspire, I started speaking at college campuses all over Mumbai. It was here I tried to help the youth with weekly seminars. However, I noticed that the youth tended to have their heads in their devices! Fascinated by the social media revolution, I decided to start making short clips for them to watch. I didn’t expect the result to be exponential. In a matter of 3 years, I gained 4 million followers on Facebook and over 500 million views across all platforms. This led to a widespread demand for me to come and share my thoughts all over the world. I am passionate about sharing knowledge on a mass scale as I feel topics relating to the heart, but explained logically by the head are important for everyone to hear. At times I will be speaking at a corporate conference on one side of Asia, and by evening be on the other speaking at a University in another. From speaking with the Dalai Lama to delivering a keynote at the British Parliament, I believe the future is exciting for those who want to lead extraordinary lives. This doesn’t have to be boring. I am known as the monk who can make people laugh, whiost sharing universal messages we all know to be true. I believe education and entertainment together help people grow, which is why my humor has endeared me to my fans.
I am grateful to be honored by a host of laurels from ‘The Gold Play Button’, as recognition by YouTube for being one of the most popular channels, ‘The Extraordinaire Spiritual Leader Award 2019’ by Brand Vision, NexBrands and an Honorary Doctorate (D. Litt) by KIIT University in recognition of my contribution to society. Late in 2018, I decided to put my thoughts down on paper and launched my first book: ‘Life’s Amazing Secrets’ which became an Indian national bestseller and sold 200,000 copies in 4 months. It’s a motivational parable of my journey through Mumbai with my friend Harry, as I discuss the difficulties we might face in our own journey through life. I am eager to serve others and have only just started my own journey in doing so. My greatest pleasure is meeting and inspiring others to find their purpose.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your success?
Success is never down to one thing. It’s always a blend of thousands of factors to get us where we are. This is amazing, because then we get thousands of reasons to be grateful and humble for which leads to thousands of reasons to be happy. A few things: I could name are my family, friend, mentors and definitely the power of spirituality. More tangibly, social media has giving me the opportunity to connect to all of you! It’s because of my motivational videos that I am known today as the urban, motivational monk.
What are the few achievements you are grateful for?
I am grateful to share my message online through video and all the plaudits I have received through that, but also on paper from my debut book, ‘Life’s Amazing Secrets’ which was published by Penguin late in 2018.
It’s sold 200,000 copies in 4 months, which really encouraged me to keep producing entertaining, educational and spiritually nourishing content.
What are few difference makers for listeners and viewers globally?
Discovering your passion and leading a life of purpose.
What advice would you give to upcoming leaders locally and internationally?
I believe there are three things to make a great leader.
· Daring: leaders need to have the courage to rise above personal insecurities and should train future leaders,
thus creating a legacy of leadership.
· Caring: leaders need to practice compassion and empathy and need to be
especially caring towards all those who strive and work hard to make them a success story.
· Sharing: leaders need to share their financial success by not only benefiting all stakeholders,
but also by using what they have to make a social difference.