TLSLLK Episode One

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Welcome to Episode One of Train Like a Saint, Live Like a King. This podcast features Advanced Yoga and Meditation Teacher Sanjeev Shivananda, hosted by his student Ali Fazal. Why did Sanjeev decide to name this podcast “Train Like a Saint, Live Like a King?” It all relates to the fact that a “saint” is typically very disciplined in approach and trains his/her mind and body consistently. A king lives a life of prosperity, success, wealth, and happiness. One does not need to be a saint or a king, but rather, absorb the lessons from both aspects of the terms in order to lead a successful, healthy, and happy life.

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Find the transcript below if needed.


Ali (00:00):
Hello everyone. And welcome to a very special introductory podcast, Train Like a Saint and Live Like a King, featuring the one and only Sanjeev Shivananda. My name is Ali. And Sanjeev, thank you so much for joining us today, it’s a pleasure to have you on the show.

Sanjeev Shivananda (00:17):
Thank you Ali. It’s a pleasure to be on the show and talk about my experiences and the work that I do and how I help people. So thank you, Ali.

Ali (00:28):
Of course the pleasure is all mine. Sanjeev, I definitely was drawn. Actually, one of the big reasons that we wanted you on the podcast was because of the name that you decided to call this podcast, which would be Train like a Saint and Live Like a King. What made you actually come up with this name? And what is the significance, Sanjeev behind Train like a Saint and Live Like a King?

Sanjeev Shivananda (00:55):
Thanks again, Ali. That’s a very good question because before we go any further, we must explain what is the reason behind the title Train Like a Saint and Live Like a King. In this title, the two key words are saint and king, and they’re very symbolic, these signify a lot of things. Saint signifies a person who’s disciplined in their practice, who’s doing either yoga or meditation or any spiritual practices, but in a very disciplined and a really regular manner. And king is a symbol of success, happiness, wealth prosperity. So this title signifies that to become successful like a King, you need to train like a saint and you can make your life and lead your life like a king.

Ali (01:44):
Wow, that is super allegorically deep. And that’s what I was assuming that it was in the ballpark there, but that’s very deep and very strong explanation there Sanjeev, thank you for that one. Sanjeev, as the world is now changing and we are going through, of course, a pandemic, there are so many things out there, so many people out there rather that are going through a little bit, maybe even a lot more stress than they previously were. I feel like based off what I know about the work that you do, you are out here to really make a difference in people’s lives. The question that I wanted to lead off with here for you would be, a lot of us face fears when we have these stresses occurring in our life. These fears, we’re overcome by these fears and we feel like there’s nowhere to turn. My question to you, Sanjeev, is why is it important for us to face these fears and tackle them head on rather than to just sit there and hope for things to get better?

Sanjeev Shivananda (02:51):
Ali, the reason why we must face our fears, a very simple first explanation is that running is not an answer. You cannot run away from anything and be successful. Anybody who has been successful, he or she has stood up to the fears, faces the challenges, overcome the challenges, overcome the fears, and become successful. Before we go any further, we must understand what is fear because if we do not know what fear is, then how are we going to stand up to it and how are we going to face it and how are we going to overcome? So fear comes from only one factor, and that factor is that unknowingness, what is going to happen in the next moment? What is going to happen in the next hour? What is there in store for me in my life tomorrow, in a year, in six months? Will I be able to keep my job? Will my children be successful? Will they grow up to be happy? Will they have a good education?

Sanjeev Shivananda (03:54):
All these unknown factors are the reasons which causes fear. Because whatever I cannot see, say, you go into a dark room, people are afraid, they have a fear, why? Because you don’t know what is in there. So the best way to overcome the fear is to face the fear and understand the fear. Only once you understand what fear is and only when you understand where the unknowingness is coming from, then you can work on it. And using different tools, you can totally remove that fear. It’s like walking into a dark room, you’re afraid of not knowing what is in there. But if a light turned on and you could see everything very clearly what’s in the room, your fear is gone. You find that it’s a beautiful room and it’s got a lot of comfort, you can sit there, you can relax there. Similarly in our life, we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, and that’s why we are afraid, we have this fear. But if we knew what’s coming up, then the fear is gone.

Ali (05:04):
What a way to put things into perspective. I feel like a lot of us need that and that’s why it’s one of the biggest reasons I respect what you’re doing out here. And coming from someone like myself, who’s just a tender age of 29 right now, having gone through some challenges on my own. Sanjeev has definitely been more than a big, big support for me. And once again, that’s one of the big reasons why we’re here and a training like a saint and living like a king, this is a way of life. Sanjeev, if you can explain to us why the things that we do, let’s say the training, the yoga, the meditation that you teach, and the tools that you, as you like to call them, that you provide to us, how can they help us train like a saint and live like a king?

Sanjeev Shivananda (05:59):
So, Ali, going back to the same title, Train Like a Saint and Live Like a King, removing that fear of unknowingness, how we can do that is by creating my future. If I know what a future I want and if I have the ability to create that future, then there is no fear, then there is confidence. But to do that, first of all, you do need those tools of transformation and second, you have to develop the resilience and the discipline of a saint, to practice, use those tools. And once you start using them, and once you start seeing the results coming into your life, it gives you more trust, it gives you more faith. As you bring in this discipline more and more stronger in your life, the more and more use these tools, you find that you have the ability to create whatever you want in your life. And that’s why we say you are the creator of your own destiny.

Ali (07:08):
No, 100%. I’m actually personally living by these rules myself, as I am a follower of Sanjeev’s teachings. I will say to all listeners today that I’ve actually tried to look for answers out there for quite some time now. And there are a plethora of different resources out there that offer you or offer us change. However, Sanjeev, as he likes to really put it, and I love the way he puts this, “Change is transient but transformation is lasting.” And Sanjeev, if you can just elaborate on that quote, which I love from you very much, and explain why it is that change is so prevalent and so available out there but transformation is much harder to attain and find.

Sanjeev Shivananda (08:03):
Yeah, that’s a really good question, Ali. First of all, at the offset, as you said, and I must clarify when you said that my teachings and my methods and I must explain and say that these are definitely not my own methods that I have created. They have been passed on to me through a lineage. It was passed on to me by my guru and he received from his guru and so on. We can trace back our lineage of gurus right to the beginning of mankind. They have been tried for centuries and several, several numerous people have used them and completely transformed their lives and suddenly have seen that they are the creators of their own destiny. So this is one of the most important thing that I wanted to clarify.

Sanjeev Shivananda (09:01):
So changes are many, it’s like changing clothes, you change clothes everyday and then you change again. But a transformation is not of clothes, transformation is of you. This is what we do in our work, changes can… You put on a pair of clothes and tomorrow you change them or you can change them within five minutes. Changes will be happening all along in our life, and once you start controlling that change in your life, it can lead to transformation. Transformation means bringing those changes in your life which are permanent, lasting, and making a big difference in your life.

Ali (09:49):
It’s crystal clear the way you explain it. A lot of times, I know we’ve spoken about this in many of our sessions, the irony of these things, a lot of times our problems, they seem much more, they require much more of a larger solution than what we seem to be able to provide at that time. But the truth is that it can be as simple as we make it, as you say. And if we actually utilize the screwdriver to take the nail out of the wall, or the screw out of the wall rather, then it would be much easier and we won’t have to bleed out our fingers.

Sanjeev Shivananda (10:27):
That’s true. You’re using the same analogy that we have used together so many times. It’s about each problem is as easy and as difficult as you want to look at it, it’s always the perspective, it’s always how you look at things. Say for example in this analogy, if I said, “Ali, there’s a screw in the wall, please remove it.” And you try to remove it using your fingers, your nails, your nails are going to break, your fingers might bleed. Then you might try your teeth and damage your teeth as well and the screw will still not come out. But if I gave you a screwdriver, within a few seconds you will have the screw out of the wall.

Sanjeev Shivananda (11:19):
Similarly, any challenges, any problems that come in our life, they are like that screw in that wall. If you do not have any tools, that task of taking the screw out of the wall can be a big, big task. And in spite of your sincere attempts, you could still face failure. But if you had the tools to manage, to tackle these challenges and issues, then you’re not afraid. Let the problems, let the issues, let the challenges come because I have the ability, the tools now to handle this problems. And this is what I call a game class formation. It’s only when we bring ourselves to a state of transformation by using these tools, learning these tools, and practicing like a saint on a daily basis, that’s when we slowly start making our life and live like a king.

Ali (12:23):
One could only imagine what the-

Sanjeev Shivananda (12:27):
[crosstalk 00:12:27]. If you don’t have insurance, then God bless you.

Ali (12:32):
All right. Well, very well put Sanjeev as always. Moving on to the next question here, I would like to ask this question, especially for our listeners here, just to give a little bit more of in-depth look into who Sanjeev really is. More specifically Sanjeev, what made you have this desire to bring this change, or transformation rather, to the world? And what sparked Train Like a Saint and Live Like a King for you in your heart?

Sanjeev Shivananda (13:06):
Well, to be honest, Ali, I got into learning spirituality at a very young age of 14. I’ll be fruitful, why I was attracted towards a spiritual path at that age, I don’t know. Now where I stand you look at it, it has to do with a lot of your past Karmic Influences that you have created yourself. So I got interested… I was born in a very religious family but I was a rebel from a young age. It’s not that I hated religion or I threw out religion, but I was definitely against all the superstitions and all the rules and regulations which did not make any sense. And I was always asking questions and never got answers, so I decided to turn towards the part of spirituality, and I always was a seeker seeking answers to my questions.

Sanjeev Shivananda (14:14):
At that young age, I had no teacher or a guru or a mentor, so I took to reading books. I was very fortunate once again that I found the right books right from the beginning, which would help any beginner to start, at a very basic level understanding what life is and what life challenges are. Then as I grew up a little bit, in my late teens, I had my first guru, and then I had several gurus after that. And I kept on learning and even today I’m learning. In fact, the last seven, eight years or so, my learning has been the most intense as compared to any other part of my life, and I don’t think it’s ever going to stop.

Sanjeev Shivananda (15:05):
It was only about 20 years ago when I had brought in a lot of changes in my own life, I had seen the benefits, and I was absolutely having a complete faith and trust in these methods that I decided that I should help other people too. It was not that I just went through one life situation, I learned something, and I said, “Okay, I’m going to become a teacher.” No, it took many, many, many years of hard work on myself first and bringing in those transformations within my own life that I decided that it is time now that I think I have the ability and the tools that I can help people. Then when I started working with people, as I was learning constantly all along, since I’ve been teaching for about 20 years, but I’ve been learning for 20 years. So as my learning grew, my way of teaching kept on changing, kept on evolving, and becoming better. Because if I look back what I teach now, I was not teaching the same maybe three years ago. Three years ago, what I was teaching was not the same 10 years ago and so on.

Sanjeev Shivananda (16:24):
What I have found that as I learn more, as I transform more myself, the benefits that I can pass on to people I’m working with, they are becoming more stronger, more powerful, and much faster. That’s what you have seen while working with me. How long did you too experience those transformations happening in your life?

Ali (16:49):
To be quite honest with you, almost instant.

Sanjeev Shivananda (16:53):
And that’s, Ali, what a lot of people say to me while working these days. That the changes, the transformation that they see happening in their lives using these tools and bringing discipline in their practice that their life starts changing towards what they want very fast.

Ali (17:17):
Yes. And Sanjeev, I would like to thank you on behalf of all our listeners and personally. You’ve actually mentioned this to me yourself, there are people out there that have this wisdom and not everybody is willing to go out there and take in other people’s problems and try to help them solve it. This is something that I highly, highly respect in you and I would like thank you for doing this.

Sanjeev Shivananda (17:52):
I am very happy with you Ali, to the way you took up these tools and brought in those transformations in your life. I am really, really, really happy and proud of you, so thanks to you also.

Ali (18:06):
Thank you. Thank you very much, that’s much appreciated. I wanted to ask you, in regards to when you say working hard, when you say hard work is required in order to get to these places, what is your definition of hard work? And why is it so important for us to outline what it is that we need and why we need to work so hard to achieve it?

Sanjeev Shivananda (18:35):
Because again, a very simple thing, Ali, there’s no free lunch in this world. If you want to be successful, if you want to be happy, if you want to be healthy, you have to put in the hard work. For a simple example, you can say that if you want to be healthy, you want to be fit, it’s not going to come by reading fitness magazines or watching fitness shows on your mobile apps or your TV, you actually have to go to a gym. And not only that you have to go to a gym, you have to go on a regular basis. You cannot go for five days and then skip for two weeks or you go for two weeks and skip for three months. Nothing is going to come out of it. Hard work and discipline and regularity are the key. So without hard work, nothing can be achieved.

Sanjeev Shivananda (19:30):
But that is one factor only, Ali. See, it depends upon the tools you’re using with your hard work. Say for example I give you a huge mountain to break and I give you a hammer to do that, it may take you several lifetimes to that. So with your hard work, but if I give you a much, much powerful machine to work on it, that will be hard work to getting on the machine, driving it there, and manipulating it. But you’ll be able to break that mountain. So there is not just one factor but it’s several factors which have equal importance, and hard is absolutely one of them. But without hard work, the results are not going to come, there’s no free lunch in this world.

Ali (20:20):
That’s definitely a great way to put it. The machine itself needs to be learned how to be driven as well, so that’s another thing. I actually never took it to consideration myself that, “Hey, yeah, now you have a machine, but you’ve got to learn how to use it, you’ve got to read the manual.” And for this one, there’s really no manual, you need a leader, you need somebody that has gone through it. What’s the difference between experiencing, Sanjeev, and learning something through material? What is the difference between actually experiencing it in your life?

Sanjeev Shivananda (20:56):
Say for example there’s a huge lot of different. So you go into the deepest parts of a forest, say in Africa, where the tribals are living who have never seen electricity, they’ve never seen a light bulb, they’ve never seen a telephone, leave alone a cell phone, and you teach them all about the cell phone, teach them all about the light bulb. What good is it going to be for that person? Or how much believe or trust those people will have in it unless you show them the light bulb, unless you show them a telephone and make them talk to somebody sitting thousands of miles away.

Sanjeev Shivananda (21:42):
Similarly, I can tell you, Ali, “Oh, this pot is so beautiful. You do this and try this for six months and maybe your life will change.” How much faith and trust would you have? Probably very little. But if I was able to make you experience all these things with the work that I do with you or with the tools that I provide to you, that experience is meaningful, that experience gives you faith, it gives you trust, and it helps you for your motivation to bring that discipline that is needed, to put in that hard work. When you see that if I do this I will definitely get the results, then you will be motivated more to be more disciplined and keep on working on it and then finally achieve what you want in your life.

Ali (22:36):
And that’s exactly the reason why I asked that question. Because it wasn’t until I went through the experiences myself, as I said. Actually, you told me yourself that, “Hey, look, I’m giving you these tools. But when you experience everything, that’s when you’re going to have faith in these tools.” That’s exactly what happens, so you’re definitely right about that.

Sanjeev Shivananda (22:56):
One thing that, example, that I use in such cases when people come to me, as you came to me, and almost everybody, that I have tried meditations, I have done this, I have done that, I have this app, I have to this, that, and I still find it very difficult to stop my mind from working, the thoughts just keep on pouring. And even when I’m trying the hardest, the mind doesn’t seem to stop. If I tell them, “Oh it’s okay, and just work for this and work for a few months and then one day your mind will slow down, your thoughts will stop.” No, I don’t do that as you experienced yourself.

Sanjeev Shivananda (23:37):
In my very first session, as I did with you, I do with other people, we go through this process using these tools, which we call the pronouns and pancreas are ones. You expedience yourself in the very first session, within half an hour, that your thoughts completely cease to exist, your mind becomes empty. So that is something. If I told you one day Ali it’ll happen, then the chances of you having trust and faith in this work will be very less, and that holds true for many other people too. But when you experience that, oh my God, like within half an hour, my mind is so peaceful, so quiet, then you would have the trust and you would have the faith to continue and do more hard work and then finally achieve your goals in your life.

Ali (24:34):
I can attest to that. Sanjeev, it sounded too good to be true in the beginning when you told me that, “Believe it or not, by the end of our session today, you will have a very large glimpse into what it is that you can benefit from.” And I’m like, “What? In one session?” He’s like, “Just trust me.” And guys, listeners, I am going to say this with all honesty, it was that very first session with Sanjeev where I actually had felt a relief from all these thoughts, these 86,000 on average thoughts that we have a day, according to statistics. And Sanjeev brought it down to zero for me, for that few moments. And that was probably one of the highlights of the year for me, for sure.

Sanjeev Shivananda (25:17):
One of the factors, Ali, that you brought a doubt yourself. I am not a specialist in hypnosis or any other thing that I would make your mind stop, but you did it yourself with the tools that I gave you. So that is the power of things, that I am not the one who’s doing anything to you or anybody who works with me. I’m empowering people, I’m giving them the tools so they bring their own transformation. They are not becoming dependent on me for the rest of their lives, no. They take those tools, they go home, and then they can use those tools for the rest of their life and keep on bringing transformations they need.

Ali (25:58):
And that’s such a selfless goal, and it’s something that, once again, I highly respect about you, Sanjeev. And Sanjeev, one of the strongest, actually one of the biggest questions rather. In terms of meditation and yoga, is this something that one should consider necessary for them in their life? Is this something that everybody should be doing? And if so, why? And if not, why?

Sanjeev Shivananda (26:27):
Well, that’s a great question, Ali. That is yoga and meditation necessary for everybody? I say no, yoga and meditation is not a necessity, it’s a privilege. I will bring in that same analogy that we have used before when I was discussing with you in other earlier sessions about taking a flight to go somewhere. Say, for example, you need to really go somewhere. You have to travel, say a long distance from here to Thailand, India, it’s a 13 hour long flight non-stop. How would you travel Ali, if I asked you? Most people, as most people would travel, we would say economy class. But this travel is a necessity, you really have to go, and the cheapest way to go is economy class. That is a necessity because if we have to do the travel because there is no other way that is cheaper than an economy class.

Sanjeev Shivananda (27:33):
What happens in an economy class in a 13 hour flight? the seats are cramped, and they’re getting more cramped by the day, and there’s no leg space. And God bless if you’re a tall person with long legs, then even more difficult as the flight takes off, as the time progresses. It’s a jam packed flight, there are kids behind you pulling your hair, screaming in your ears. The person sitting next to you is falling asleep on your shoulder and hopefully not drooling on you either. And even the flight crew is getting irritated by every passing hour because they’re human beings too. And every hour you’re getting more tired and tired and tired, and by the end of the journey, when you get off the plane, you’re like a broken piece of machine that you really have to drag yourself out of the plane.

Sanjeev Shivananda (28:30):
But then you have the option of flying business class or first class, and that is a privilege. Economy is a necessity if you have to travel, but business class and first class is a privilege. What happens in business class or first class? Your legs are not cramped, you have enough legs space, you can extend your legs, you can take a good sleep, you can listen to your music, you can watch movies, and the food they serve you is so much better in the business, in the first class than you get in the economy class. And you really, really can enjoy the journey, you’re not getting tired every minute, in fact, you’re getting more relaxed by the passing hour. And God bless if you were traveling first-class, there are many flights which offer the privilege of a shower too. So at the end of the flight, when you get off the plane, you get off like a brand new person.

Sanjeev Shivananda (29:34):
And same holds true in our life, that you can choose to either fly economy class, which is a necessity. You’re born and it’s a necessity that you have to take the journey of life. The cheapest and the easiest way is to lead this life economy class, which most of us are doing it. You don’t have to do anything to live your life economy class, but if you want your life to be business class or first class, you have to pay an extra price. That is why if you look at any airline, any plane, what do you have more, economy class or business class? Tons and tons of economy class and a handful of business and first class seats. Because the airline knows that most people will not pay the price for a business and a first-class and they will travel economy class.

Sanjeev Shivananda (30:35):
Similarly in this life too, a lot of people will live the life economy class. Challenges here, there, passing years, every decade getting older, sicker, more irritated, more angry. And at the end of their life, they’re standing like, “Okay, let be over.” Whereas if you put in the hard work, the work that I teach, the tools that I provide, that allows you to go to the journey of life in business class and first class. And every year, every decade that goes by, your life is getting better and better and better. So again, this work is if you want to live your life business class or first class, you don’t have to do anything if you want to fly economy class.

Ali (31:30):
Wow. And Sanjeev, I’ve heard this example from you a few times throughout our sessions. I will say that till this day it hasn’t gotten old for me, it is such a true statement, it is such a true example, and it definitely resonates with the title of this podcast where you train like a saint in order to live like a king. Because really in truly having first class and business class is living like a king because you trained like a saint. Won’t you agree?

Sanjeev Shivananda (32:02):
Absolutely. That’s the whole meaning, you put it very nicely, of this title that we have today. This is what I help and teach people to achieve but it’s only if somebody is willing to put that hard work, the discipline like a saint. Then this much I can promise you, your life will be like a king.

Ali (32:29):
Sanjeev, I do know that you are working on actually bringing your teachings out to the whole world. I wanted to actually ask you maybe if you can give us a little bit of a sneak peek in regards to what you have cooking up for us. Are there any specific teachings or maybe a course or something like that that you are cooking up for us?

Sanjeev Shivananda (32:59):
Yes. I’m offering a bunch of different options depending upon what suits you, in fact I call it a buffet offer options. The most powerful way that you have worked with me is one-on-one sessions.

Ali (33:19):

Sanjeev Shivananda (33:21):
Having said that, it is difficult for me to accommodate tons and tons of people for one-on-one sessions, there is a limit to how many people I can work with in that format. Then I offer group sessions as well, so it makes it easier for me and many others to benefit. Then people can benefit in the group session about the progress each and every person is having in that group. On top of that, the icing on the cake, which will be coming out soon and I’m working on it, to bring my course, Yogacharyas, to bring it online.

Sanjeev Shivananda (34:07):
And once that is there, then there are so many people who can just go online, register for that course, and absolutely learn these tools of transformation and bring in those changes in their lives. And of course, after doing this course, providing many other benefits attached to that course like having a community of Yogacharyas, having a support network, having mentors for the rest of your life. So this is how I am planning to bring out my work in different formats. It just to help because everybody has a different way of learning, everybody has their preferences and choices. So I’ll be offering various, various options, to make it easy, to make it simple so that more and more people can learn.

Ali (35:02):
Honestly, Sanjeev, that sounds so exciting, and I genuinely mean that. I’m definitely going to be signing up. In regards to that actually, on that note, is there… Let me rephrase that question, are people of any age able to begin? Is it necessary that you have to be a specific age in order to start this work? Is it ever too late or is it ever too early?

Sanjeev Shivananda (35:29):
Well, no. In fact as the saying goes in our [foreign language 00:35:35]. That Hindi background, a very ancient saying, I will say that in Hindi and then I will translate it for you. [foreign language 00:35:46]. Means, whenever you open your eyes, whenever you wake up, that is the time the sun is rising, that is the time when the day is beginning. It’s never going to happen that when you wake up, when you open your eyes, the sun is setting, no, it’s not that. So that is why it doesn’t matter where you are in your life, how young or how old you are, everybody will benefit. But definitely the sooner you start, the more you will reap.

Sanjeev Shivananda (36:19):
Say for example you start saving for your retirement when you are 20 years old, when you retire you have a lot more money. But if you started saving at age 40, but then what if you were at age 40 making so much more money that you saved only for 15 years, you will still have enough. So it is definitely more reasonable to start earlier, the better, but it’s never too late, never go early.

Ali (36:52):
So essentially you’re saying that there is no age limit to starting this work, we are the ones that make the choice rather. And based on how badly we want to achieve our goals, then we dictate whether it’s worth the price or not.

Sanjeev Shivananda (37:08):
Absolutely. It’s also that when two people get an opportunity in their life also, whenever a desire also grows in their life. So there are so many factors that there are people who would not be inspired to bring in this transformation even if an opportunity arose in front of them. And then there’ll be people who are wanting to grow, wanting to transform, but the opportunity is not presented. So there are so many factors that come into play, so that’s why I said the external factors are not in your control. So that is why whenever you wake up, whenever you become aware that I’ve had enough of this economy class life and I want to lead my business class life, then it’s never too late. You can start anytime you want to, whenever the desire grows from within you.

Ali (38:01):
That actually is definitely going to be encouraging to many of our viewers out there, Sanjeev, because there are a lot of people out there, including family members and loved ones that I have in my life, that feel like, “Hey, you know what? It’s a little bit too late for me.” They pack the bags and they say, “What’s next?” It’s quite sad to know that there are solutions out there. And unfortunately some people just cannot, as you put it, wake up to the sun.

Sanjeev Shivananda (38:32):
Like I said, it is again without again judging anybody because have a huge amount of respect for everybody and anybody no matter at what stage of their life they are in.

Ali (38:45):
Yes, of course.

Sanjeev Shivananda (38:45):
Because there are so many factors that control, which are so different from one person to another. Even in the same family, there’ll be two siblings, three siblings growing up with the same set of parents, same environment, but the circumstances still can be different for them and they would grow up to be very different people. One may become very spiritual and other may become a criminal. So you have no idea, we have no idea, in fact, that what are those factors doing to those people’s minds. But then the only thing that we look at is that when is the time and which person is going to get inspired and say enough is enough, I’ve had enough of this economy class life and I want now to live my life business class and first class. So that inspiration, that motivation has to come from within. Without that, it’s like saying you can drag a horse to the water but you cannot force him to drink.

Ali (39:49):
To drink, right. No, that’s very well put, Sanjeev. I had another question for you as well before we wrap up here. In a nutshell, Sanjeev, when it comes to yoga and meditation, we could all go and type something in on Google and find out what yoga is and what meditation is, you get some tips from some practitioners. However, I personally have tried all that in my earlier years. But it wasn’t until I had met you and seen the tools that you had to provide and seen how unique they are in comparison to what’s out there. And Sanjeev, to reiterate in a nutshell for our listeners, why is Sanjeev’s yoga and meditation teaching so different than what we can find out there?

Sanjeev Shivananda (40:40):
Very simple, because when you Google something or you find on the internet, what are you going to find? It all again begins with the desire that comes in, that I want to transform. And when the need, when the desire, when the situation is that strong, it’s like… Say for example you have a common cold or a cough, you can Google, what should I do? Or what kind of over the counter medications I can get.

Ali (41:11):
[inaudible 00:41:11].

Sanjeev Shivananda (41:13):
Anything, I’m not selling here any product. Anyhow, but say somebody had a big major problem, like a really high blood pressure or arrhythmias in the heart or any big thing. Or say a person says like, “I just cannot stand up in the morning, I’m so weak. There’s something terrible happening.” Would you now go online and search or would you go see now a specialist to do that? So again, it all depends. If you want small little changes in your life, fine, go online and search and try them, they may work or may not work. In terms of common cold, one thing works fore another, another thing doesn’t work for another.

Sanjeev Shivananda (42:00):
But when you are inspired to bring big transformations in your life, then that Google search or small little measures are not going to change. If you have to break a small stone, that’s fine. You can use tiny little tools available online and maybe, sure break them. But if you have a mountain to break, then you need very special tools, very special trainings. That’s where my work comes in, and none of what I teach will ever be found online because it’s very, very specialized, it is very, very ancient, tried for centuries successfully over numerous, numerous, numerous people. So a big difference, again, not in terms of what I offer but also in terms of what you’re looking for.

Ali (42:51):
Wow. Sanjeev, actually I had a very, very unique request for you today. Please end this podcast for us with a story, one of your famous stories.

Sanjeev Shivananda (43:04):
Do you have one favorite of yours?

Ali (43:06):
I was actually thinking of the 99 story.

Sanjeev Shivananda (43:11):
Yeah, that’s really good.

Ali (43:12):
I think it’s very relevant to what we’re about.

Sanjeev Shivananda (43:13):
Very relevant today, what we are talking. So this story is called the 99 Club Story. In old times in India, there was a king. A very caring person, once in a month he would put on a disguise and he’ll go and walk amongst common people to see how the people’s lives are going on, if there are any challenges, any issues. Not just relying on what his ministers were telling, but he actually wanted to be in the ground and see for themselves. Often he would see families facing challenges, some good times and bad times.

Sanjeev Shivananda (43:53):
But there was one family that every time he went past their house there was always joy, there was always happiness, there was always laughter. The husband and the wife and the children always happy, satisfied. All you could hear from that house or see was just joy and fun. One day he couldn’t stop himself and he asked his minister who was accompanying him, the king asked him, “Why is this family so happy and they’re not like the rest of the families?” The minister was very wise, he said, “Sir, it’s because they haven’t joined the 99 club.” And the king was curious, he says, “What is the 99 club.” He says, “Rather than explaining it to you, I will show it to you.” If you have trust in me, give me a months time and please give me 99 gold coins. And he said, “What does that going to do?” He said, “No, just have trust in me and give it to me. And I’ll show you what’s the 99 club and what it does to people.”

Sanjeev Shivananda (45:01):
So the king, of course, gave him 99 gold coins. And this minister puts these 99 gold coins in a bag and at night goes outside the house of this family and leaves that bag at the doorstep.the next early morning, as usual, the person wakes up, the happy family person, and he opens the door and he finds a bag laying there. Curious, he opens this bag and sees a whole lot of gold coins in there. He hurriedly goes inside, closes the door, and takes out all the gold coins immediately thinking that, “Oh, somebody must have left a gift for me, somebody caring for me. And let me count how many gold coins are there.” So he starts counting one, two, 10, 20, and finally reaches 99. And he stops, “No, it’s not possible. I must be making a mistake in my counting. Why would anybody leave 99?” And he starts counting again. Again it’s 99. He calls three times, four times, every time it’s 99.

Sanjeev Shivananda (46:03):
Then he calls his wife, “Maybe I’m too excited I’m making a mistake.” His wife comes and she also counts a couple of times, says, “No, they are 99.” And now he’s worried, why 99? Why not 100? Why would anybody leave me 99 why not 100? And slowly as he is thinking, his happiness is going away, his focus is on 99. And he says, “Okay, you know what? Somebody gave me 99 but I’m going to make it 100. And to buy another gold coin, I have to save money.” So he starts cutting off as expensive, starts spending less on his wife, starts spending less on his children. But every day he will take those coins out and count like, “09, 99, and saving more money, one day I’ll have 100.”

Sanjeev Shivananda (46:54):
One fine morning he wakes up, counts the coins and they are 98. Now he counts several times, then knew what happened, but they are 98. So he calls his wife and said, “What happened? I have a gold coin missing.” And she said, “Well, I took one because we haven’t bought clothes and school books for our children for a long time and they need it.” Now he is furious over his wife, furious over his children, and now he’s angry. He said, “I had to buy one coin, now I have to save for two coins.” And this fighting starts happening between the husband and the wife and the children are stressed.

Sanjeev Shivananda (47:36):
The one month is over and the king is on his routine monthly round. He walks past this house from where he only heard the good and happy sounds, now he heard the sounds of fighting, anger. He looked at his minister and said, “What happened here?” He said, “Well, they have joined officially now the 99 club.” This is what happens in our life too, that we have 99 things that we want in our life and maybe one thing is missing. We lose our patients, our happiness, our joy in pursuit of one or two things that we do not have in the life. We do not ever sit back and enjoy the 99 things, be grateful for 99 things.

Sanjeev Shivananda (48:27):
It’s not wrong to go in for the 100th thing or the a 100th fasting thing. But first of all, we must learn how to enjoy the 99 things that nature has given to us, whether it’s good health, good family, good house, good job, some comforts here and there. We never look at a buffet of things that are available to us that nature or this life has given to us. In the pursuit of one or two things that we don’t have, we destroy the life. And that’s what we call a 99 club. Almost all of us are living in that 99 club situation, where we have 99 things but the one thing that we don’t have is messing up our lives completed.

Ali (49:15):
Wow. Sanjeev, I don’t have time for 99 things to count out right now, but I’ll count one and I’ll say I’m very, very grateful for having you be part of this podcast. And to wrap things up here, Sanjeev, thank you so much for your wisdom and for what you are doing for the world and what you’re offering for the world. It was a pleasure having you on the show, Sanjeev.

Sanjeev Shivananda (49:43):
It was my pleasure too Ali. It’s been a pleasure working with you, it’s been a pleasure being on the podcast with you. My sincere hope and wish is that more people can get something out of this. And anytime they want my help, they know where to find me. My website is sanjeevshivananda.com. And the website is provided in the titles of the show. Anybody who needs further guidance further help, I am always there. So thank you, Ali.

Ali (50:19):
Yes. And thank you listeners. As Sanjeev did put, I will repeat one more time, that’s www.sanjeevshivananda.com. You may check out the many different types of content that are available on there, including the stories. They’re actually videos very beautifully made for those stories and they really do give the moral lesson in a more visual and a more immersive way for all of you who are fans of that art. Thank you very much for listening once again. Namaste and have a good night.

Sanjeev Shivananda (51:01):
Thanks, Ali. Bless you.

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