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Puneet Sodhi

Spiritual Musings - Part 7

Acquiring Mindfulness 


It had been over a year now since I had started learning from the Ocean of mystical knowledge, Reverend Saint Sukh Sagar Ji. I could see positive changes in myself and was able to trace and keep in check the waywardness of my Mind in a better manner than before. I was trying sincerely to imbibe the norm of ‘Unconditional Happiness’ in my life. Our vacations had become more fulfilling. First, we used to go for holidays, in a hope to find rejuvenation, but came back more tired…sapped of our energy. Now, however, the whole concept of holidaying changed for us. We did not necessarily, have to spend fat sums of money to “buy” happiness from home or abroad…we could find it knocking right at our doors. Every occasion was now an occurrence for celebration…. Every dish cooked in our kitchen was sumptuous enough to please even the Royal taste buds! Each bush, shrub or a blossom outside seemed as if belonging to the proverbial Garden of Eden, and to our surprise, we started receiving hundreds of winged guests in our courtyard, which we perhaps had never noticed before! Yes, our household was loaded now, with beautiful shades of joy, melodious songs of the myriad colored birds and fragrances of desirable delicacies! The world had not changed…it was still going on with its successes, failures, joys and sorrows, but our perception to all this had definitely changed. And my humble admittance- I was thoroughly enjoying the changed landscape of my Life!

After implementing the first two ideologies to remain “unconditionally happy” and “to be fair in my dealings”, my Guru led me on to follow the next Code of conduct, which was equally important to take my Spiritual journey ahead. It was to enhance my “LEVEL OF MINDFUL AWARENESS”. I have mentioned about this Principle in my earlier chapters also, but mastering this art was a rigorous training .Swami Ji referred to this practice as living in constant “SIMRAN”. By this he did not mean the repetition of any hymns or prayers. By “SIMRAN”, he meant mastering one’s consciousness level…living constantly in total.

“Every person, in order to tread on the Spiritual path, must learn to live in perfect Mindfulness and total awareness, “he explained. This Mindfulness should become such a compulsive habit that it be exercised all the times-walking, talking, eating, drinking, working, singing, sleeping and even doing nothing…!

During one of conversations with him, the topic turned to the concept of ‘Sin’ and ‘Virtuousness’. The explanation he gave, was an altogether novel idea for me as he went on to the extent of saying that anything, which is done without Mindfulness, is a sin and an act which is undertaken with total Awareness, is virtuous. It made sense to me. If one is ever watchful and remains in constant Mindful awakening, one can never indulge in any wickedness outwardly or inwardly, so no question of committing any sin! No awakened person can ever commit any such deed which will be injurious or spiteful to a fellow creature. If ever an awakened person has to raise arms against someone, it would be purely for one’s own defence; that too if the other party is bent upon causing harm. The intension, in this case will also be self-protection and not any kind of vindictiveness, because, an awakened person knows no maliciousness, no ill will!!!


In order to make me understand as to how to grasp this idea of living in Mindfulness, Swami ji asked me some simple questions, which I am conscripting here:

Pointing at my hand he said, “Is this hand YOURS or YOU are this hand?”

“Of course this is MY hand…this is obviously not ME.”

“Is this YOUR head or YOU are this head?"

“Well, this is MY head… this is certainly not ME

“Will YOU still be there if your hand or foot is taken away from YOU?” he asked me looking at me very

“Yes, I will be there if my hand or foot or fingers or ears or eyes are taken away from me,” I replied

“Have you ever thought if you are not your body parts or BODY, then who are YOU? You are not your mind either as the same laws apply to your mind also, i.e., your mind is YOURS and YOU are not MINDWHO THEN ARE YOU?”

I tried to find answer to this apparently simple question. Well, the answer was not as simple as the question was!

I was not MY NAME


I was not MY BODY

I was not MY MIND either….

And still there was something which was totally ALIVE in me, speaking of its PRESENCE above the BODY

“Recognizing this PRESENCE and living in its BEING is MINDFULNESS,” he told me.

This discussion took place, while we were trekking a mountain in the lower ranges of the magical Himalayas…

I was feeling breathless because of the exertion and needed to stop occasionally…

“Know mindfully that it is YOUR BODY, which is feeling tired and not YOU”.

That was the first time, when I became consciously aware of the GAP between MYSELF and my BODY.

That was the first time, when I understood what was required of me when I was asked by him to grasp the idea of MINDFULNESS or of living in ‘SIMRAN’.


During that walk, he asked me to accelerate my speed and then to stop suddenly…again quicken my pace and again to stop abruptly according to the instructions he was giving. The idea behind this “game” was to sharpen my awareness of my bodily movements and to make me realize that it was my body, which was getting fatigued, “Not Me” and that I WAS WITNESS to this whole process of how my BODY and my MIND were functioning without affecting ME. This walk, which I have mentioned in my earlier chapters also, is referred to as the BUDDHA WALK- the walk undertaken in total AWARENESS and MINDFULNESS ...

Swami Ji also mentioned some simple practical ways to master the art of Mindfulness. If in pain, for instance, remind yourself that the pain is affecting your BODY and not YOU. ”Learn to distinguish between pain and sorrow. Body pain or suffering, by no means should be confused with sorrow!” he reinforced. 

Watching a movie, he suggested that it should be watched passively, with complete awareness that YOU are separate from the characters, from the theme…and YOU are not perturbed if the protagonist is suffering, which generally disturbs you if you let yourself be a “part” of the plot. In the beginning, start practicing this art by taking out “Daswandh”, i.e. try to be mindful at least for the tenth part of each of your activity. If you are eating and it takes you thirty minutes to consume your food, at least be completely conscious of eating your food for the ten percent of your time, which is only three minutes.

Apply this principle to your walking, talking, laughing, cooking…every activity you undertake and then move on to gradually increase the ‘consciousness degree or the percentage ’, till it becomes a perpetual habit. In the olden times, taking out a “Daswandh” of your monetary earnings was considered to be a charitable practice. This encouraged voluntary or mindful help extended to the financially weaker brethren. I can now relate to the validity of doing so in the present day world in more than one context.

Carrying the practice of deliberate acquisition of AWARENESS further into life, you progressively begin mastering the REAL ART that YOU are a spectator of this movie of LIFE. Nothing in this life can harm or affect YOU. You start living this life as untouched by its adversities, as the Lotus blossoms…not affected by the fact that the water where it is growing is muddy….

Mastering the art of living in MINDFULNESS enables you to understand an important aspect of Spirituality that you are not BODY or MIND, but you are SPIRIT and this practice eventually results in the acquisition of MINDFULNESS, which becomes your powerful tool to take you beyond this mortal world to the world of ETERNITY….


Puneet Sodhi

Associate Professor


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