Introduction to the Author:
Ananda Karunesh is a newly published author. His debut book, A Thousand Seeds of Joy, has been published in April and because of his innovative style of writing, conversation with Goddesses, he has been receiving recognition and appreciations from critics as well as the readers. In this conversation with Alok Mishra, he reveals about the book and about his writing. You will find this interview very interesting.
Alok Mishra: Dear Ananda, first let me congratulate you on the successful publication and recognition of your book, A Thousand Seeds of Joy! You have been a spiritually awakened person for long, no? How did the idea of translating your own experiences into a book originate?
Ananda Karunesh: This book is not so much about my experiences (only a few pages out of 400 are) though my experiences led me to discover a new path of joy with ascended Goddesses from different spiritual pantheons of the world. Partly, it is just divine timing and unfolding of a divine plan already set in place. After all, why could such a book series with the ascended Goddesses not have unfolded say, a 1000 years ago or any other point in history? It is not that we have a shortage of enlightened beings who could have channelled the words of the Goddesses. It is simply “divine timing” of our transition from one Yuga to the next.
My collaborator, Jade Devi Kamala, and I feel very fortunate to be involved with this divine work and being guided with the blessings of Mahadevi Lakshmi, Mahadevi Saraswati, and other ascended Goddesses. The book began in October 2009 and since then we have been guided by Lakshmi Ji every step of the way. You could say that Lakshmi Ji is overseeing this project from the heavenly realms. Jade has been assigned to work with the ascended Goddesses from the western pantheons and I have been assigned to work with the ascended Goddesses from the eastern pantheons at this time. As we bring all of the Goddesses together, their teachings will create a profound opening — bringing more enlightenment for humans and a great harmony between the eastern and the western religions. As the spiritual essence underlying these religions is revealed by the Goddesses in richer details and multidimensional perspectives, it allows us to awaken and embrace the divine feminine – creating a new path of joy for humanity.
Alok Mishra: A Thousand Seeds of Joy cannot be digested by many people at first because it directly involves the words of Divine beings. What were the early reactions of the publishers and readers on seeing your script?
Ananda Karunesh: You are right! The information is so rich in content and wisdom that it is hard to use human languages to express it. I say this with as much humility as possible, but I believe that the knowledge here is so vast and deep that it actually joins the different religions of the world into oneness. Every religion has a masculine “protective” aspect and a feminine “wisdom” aspect. The Goddesses remove the masculine shields to reveal the insights that create oneness between many spiritual paths.
Also, I am an avid reader of contemporary spiritual books and I have read many great masters from J. Krishnamurti and Osho to other enlightened gurus. Yet, you will find the spiritual wisdom channelled from the Goddesses in this book filled with so many new and subtle insights that no one (including myself) can make these up simply by using a “thinking mind.” For example, Saraswati Ji introduces a new word/concept called a “soul feeling” which is different from an “emotion.” In her own words, a soul feeling is, quote:
“…a feeling that dissolves one’s ego and expands the awareness of one’s soul. Unlike emotions which get us stuck in the finiteness of our mind, soul feelings expand us into the infinity of our soul.”
She says that joy, compassion, love, gratitude, forgiveness, freedom, and peace are examples of soul feelings, though these words are often confused with positive emotions. The soul feeling of love is very different from the positive emotion of love. Soul feelings are infinitely large, multidimensional feelings that we experience in the heavenly realms as “souls” without the limitations of the mind and the body. Positive emotions are only finite and limited experiences of these feelings on Earth unless we are highly realized beings.
We published this book in partnership with The Write Place, which is the in-house publication arm of Crossword Bookstores, the biggest bookstore chain in India with 100s of retail outlets all over India. We also created an organization named Path of Joy for spreading the teachings of Goddesses to those who may benefit from these teachings, but who would ordinarily not buy this book due to financial or other reasons. Path of Joy has already announced a donation of 5,000 copies of this book to uplift disempowered girls, women, and mothers, elderly living in old age homes, handicapped people, young adults with challenges, patients in hospitals, and numerous NGOs all over India (see www.pathofjoy.life). One thousand copies have already been donated to non-profit NGOs including 600 copies to the active volunteers of RENEW (Respect, Educate, Nurture, and Empower Women – http://renew.org.bt/), another 100 copies to the volunteers and interns of Apne Aap Women Worldwide (http://apneaap.org/), and 120 copies for the nuns at the main nunnery in Punakha founded by the Queen mother of Bhutan (goo.gl/G7yNzx). In fact, anyone can send an email to [email protected] to join our team of volunteers to distribute about 4000 remaining copies.
Now to the final part of your question, the reactions of the readers have been overall very positive.
Some readers have been literally transformed with one reading of the book. Overall, one tends to have a profound, life-transformative experience if one stops doubting that this is indeed a conversation with the “Goddesses” and continues to read the book despite the intensity and the depth of the messages that require one’s full attention. Many readers have not finished reading the entire book but are writing to me about their wonderful experiences with the chapters they have finished reading.
Alok: So, how does talking to the Goddesses work for you? How do you establish a connection with the Goddesses? How do you summarise in your book the entire conversation that you had?
Ananda: Even though I had explored spiritual paths with highly realized enlightened Gurus, such as Jiddu Krishnamurti and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the most beautiful part of my life started when I turned 44 and had my first conversation with Lakshmi Ji in October 2007. The actual book project began two years later in October 2009. The best times to connect with the Goddesses is in the early mornings, though I generally connect whenever I am called to write their messages. Surrendering in deep devotion and emptying the mind are two ways to receive their messages. Contrary to what most people think, we all have our guides, angels, ancestors, and even enlightened beings like Buddhas and Gods and Goddesses around us and can receive messages directly if we simply choose to. In fact, many do, but unlike us, they have not been assigned to write a book to share their messages with the world.
My journey evolved over time. Initially, I would ask more “mind questions” since I had more of an intellectual mindset by nature, but over the years I softened and began asking fewer questions and focusing on those that resonated truly from my heart. Lakshmi Ji would often answer my “mind questions” with a sweet laughter and just a few words to relax my mind and get me back into my heart. Overall, divine beings are interested in answering the questions that we are really passionate about, and not so interested in our “mind questions” that arise out of superficial curiosity.
Alok: I am curious to know that out of different Gods and Goddesses we worship, why did you choose to talk to Lakshmi and Saraswati?
Ananda: You can think of Lakshmi Ji as the organizer of this Ascended Goddesses Series from the heavenly realms. She has invited all other ascended Goddesses and divine beings into this book series. Soon after we began receiving her messages, she introduced us to Saraswati ji, who not only gave her own messages but also guided the organization of this book. We have also spoken with Parvati Ji, Mother Mary, Brigid, Mother Gaia, and Kuan Yin. Lakshmi ji has said that Goddess Tara, with her different manifestations, will also be coming soon. If you think about it, these are some of the greatest Goddesses who are worshipped on Earth by humans across different cultures and nations.
Lakshmi Ji, Saraswati Ji, and Parvati Ji are the main Goddesses in Hinduism. All three of them have also incarnated in Buddhism, as well. Parvati Ji will be giving her teachings through the next book in the Ascended Goddesses Series.
Mother Mary is not only associated with Christianity as the mother of Jesus Christ, but also highly revered in Islam.
Goddess Brigid is perhaps the most well-known Celtic Goddess and while she was not “Christian” her fame spread so far and wide that the Romans canonized her after her death and made her into a Christian Saint. Great Britain is named after Brigid.
Mother Gaia or Mother Earth is a conscious enlightened being serving as a means for humans and other sentient beings to incarnate in the physical realm to experience the contrast and blossom into enlightenment.
Kuan Yin, the feminine aspect of Avalokitesvara (also known as Chenrezig) is one of the most important Buddhist deities worshipped in China and surrounding countries. She is associated with the Mahayana path of Buddhism, based on compassion and emptiness. Almost all of Chinese people worshipped Kuan Yin until the Chinese nationalists began destroying religious and ancestral temples after the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911. The intensity of the war against Buddhism was fuelled with the Marxist-inspired contempt towards all religions after the communist government came into power in 1949. The worst years were during the Chinese cultural revolution from 1966 to 1976. Yet, despite a century of a systematic assault on religion, almost 1/3rd of the Chinese people still believe in Kuan Yin.
Tara is the most worshipped feminine deity in Tibet. She is also seen with great devotion in Bhutan and Nepal and known as the mother of all Buddhas. She is associated with the Vajrayana path of Buddhism and has 21 manifestations. Interestingly, despite the widespread destruction of monasteries and the anti-religious stance of the ruling government, virtually 99% of the people living in Tibet—including even the Chinese people who have settled there—worship Goddess Tara. It is hard to miss the vibrations of Tara anywhere in Tibet.
So, while the first book is with Lakshmi Ji and Saraswati Ji, many other ascended Goddesses shall be coming in the future books of the Ascended Goddesses Series. These ascended Goddesses are moving forward all over the world for the enlightenment of humanity.
Alok: You have given the book a rather human touch with your phrases like “Namaste Lakshmi Ji.” “Laughter.” And many other things which make the readers believe that everything being read by them is just as simple as that… readers might be curious – is it that simple?
Ananda: Paradoxically, it is so simple that it is easy to miss! Humans expect their spiritual journeys to be more difficult and complicated. But those who were simple like Meera or Ramakrishna, would connect easily. Divine beings are like light posts, and all they want to do is to love us and awaken us. In fact, simplicity is a great virtue when desiring a divine connection. It is because we expect our connection with the divine beings to be difficult, it actually becomes difficult. Humans who are too analytical and complicated have a hard time connecting and feeling the energies of divine beings. Humans who live from the heart like our ancestors did have a much easier time connecting with divine beings.
Alok: I have read the book, A Thousand Seeds of Joy. I read it in one go and I re-read some of the chapters with special emphasis. Why did you include some of the new concepts which look either odd or too outrageous at times? Ordinary readers might think that you are trying to fool them. Like calling Ravana the soulmate of Sita; how would you reach out to the ordinary believers in Dharma, the people who won’t care much about arguments like Law of Attraction?
Ananda: Think of truth as a long journey to the top of a mountain. Sometimes you must change your direction on a mountain in order to climb towards the peak. This does not mean that you are turning back from your path – you are only ascending closer to the truth. You go left, then right, and then again left to climb even higher. The concepts are not at all outrageous if you open your heart. But yes, to an analytical mind that is steeped in beliefs about right and wrong some of the information will seem new and challenge their old beliefs. For example, the analytical mind from its limited vantage point may decide that only going left on a mountain is the “correct” path. That is how the mountain path to the peak may appear to the mind from a distance. But, how would one climb the whole mountain if one can only go left and not right? So, this book invites us to consider more vantage points and more paths, which at first might seem contradictory based on what we are trained to consider due to our cultural and religious conditioning.
Ravana was a highly realized being with only one issue – his big ego. This is the downfall of many people, even highly realized beings. Like the many faces of Ravana that kept springing up even as Rama battled with him, our ego keeps popping up in many forms, sometimes like a bad person, and other times pretending to be a good person. I personally know many “good” people who are on spiritual paths but all of their “spiritual” efforts are going into making more name and fame for themselves without them realizing this. These people are not evil. They may be doing much good, but like Ravana they are struggling to go beyond their egos and their personalities.
Alok: Many other lessons are in the book which can be used to make one’s life better. So, were you also aiming at making A Thousand Seeds of Joy a self-help book with spiritual concepts?
Ananda: My hope is that this book evolves more into a self-help book. It is the wish of the Goddesses that humans learn to help themselves by seeing their own “higher selves” and recognize themselves as the great divine beings they already are. Even though there are many methods, a message consistent across the whole book is that ultimately we have to surrender to our life with inner joy! Pain only creates the “threshold” from which we can take the jump. The ultimate transformation happens by falling into emptiness with joy!
Alok: You have been to different countries in the world and you have seen the response of people there on your spiritual discoveries. How does it feel being in the West with your Indian spiritual values?
Ananda: Western people, like other humans, carry their own conditioning and beliefs. The beliefs in science and materialism, while having ensured survival of many individuals, have not guaranteed the survival of the human species. We are at the brink of destruction of Earth and its delicate environment. The main lesson for the western-educated people whether in the West or the East is to recognize that “mind” has its limits. A great surrender to the “heart” is needed to save humanity. Many people in the West are opening up to this wisdom of the East at this time. Also, the ascended Goddesses in this book series are both from the East and the West so the spiritual wisdom of these books is not limited to only the eastern or only the western spiritual values. In fact, the most interesting aspect of this book series is that Goddesses of the East and the West have joined together to enlighten humans all over the world. The Goddesses are circling the Earth, holding each other’s hands and sending much light that humanity needs at this time.
Alok: What is your message to the readers who haven’t read your book yet? Why should they read your book? What makes A Thousand Seeds of Joy so unique?
Ananda: I feel this book is unlike any spiritual book I have ever read, and I have read many spiritual books by J. Krishnamurti, Osho, Eckhart Tolle, Neale Donald Walsh, Byron Katie, Sadhguru, to name a few enlightened beings. The messages of the ascended Goddesses are so deep and vast that there is nothing they leave untouched. The new concepts and teachings are quite different from most previous masters, although they complement the old teachings.
Alok: Can you give any examples of these “new” teachings?
Ananda: For example, some spiritual teachers say that that we should open the higher chakras. Many teachers have special techniques to open the Third Eye with the “raising” or “opening” of Kundalini with specific breathing methods and body movements. According to Goddess Lakshmi the upper chakras are “already open.” But because we are mired in our lower three chakras we forget how to access our higher chakras. So, there is no need to “open” the higher chakras. Moreover, trying to access higher chakras without opening the lower chakras is dangerous, and can lead to one becoming like a Ravana or a Devadatta. This is why you see some psychic people who are so full of themselves. They have attained Siddhis or psychic powers without dissolving their ego first.
According to Goddess Lakshmi we need to dissolve the mind in our lower chakras completely instead of attempting to raise our Kundalini. The Kundalini will rise automatically once the fears and insecurities in the First Chakra, the emotions arising from the Second Chakra, and the many layers of ego in the Third Chakra are dissolved fully. But many spiritual teachers do not understand this wisdom, and their teachings and methods are dangerous for those who seek them out. These teachers allow the seeker to access the Third Eye before they are ready (sometimes in the very first spiritual workshop they offer), which can lead to all kinds of mental and spiritual issues. Some of these seekers go into depression and a few even become suicidal.
As another example, almost all yoga books say that the fire element is in the Third Chakra and the air element is in the Heart Chakra. This is incorrect! According to Lakshmi ji, the fire element is in all chakras with a different role to play in each chakra. Also, the Heart Chakra is where all elements, earth, air, fire, water, and ether come together.
These are just a couple of examples from many new insights about mind, body, soul, chakras, elements, contrast, time, destiny, law of attraction, karma, sensuality, tantra, higher self, heavenly realms, expanding levels of enlightenment, ascension, and of course my favorite – a new way of experiencing the “divine feminine” within myself—that are in this book.
Alok: Dear Ananda, to conclude this conversation, I would like to thank you for your time and also wish you the best with your book and future books to come!
Ananda: You are most welcome and I hope every reader will have a transformative experience by reading this book as I did. Thank you and many blessings to you and all the readers.