THE PATH OF DHARMA: An Interview with Rati Hegde, the Author of ‘Stories of Bharat’

I came across Rati Hegde’s Linkedin profile and began researching her. A columnist, a storyteller, a writer, and other such titles. I continued reading about her and learned about various aspects of her life. She began her writing career 20 years ago and claims to have been inspired by her Guru, the Shankaracharya of Shree RamchandraPura Matha.

As not everyone could read the Kannada script in Mumbai, Rati Hegde founded and ran a monthly magazine called “SETU” with another lady from her community, and her first article was about the value of cows.

She writes on spirituality, politics and current events, and she also encourages today’s youth to do more and more charitable work.

“The mind is a monkey,” one of her blogs, piqued my interest. An amazing blog that includes examples from past lives and how someone’s past can haunt them in the present. She also discussed various methods for remaining calm and dealing with anger issues, and she summed it all up in one word: meditation.

She mentioned that during meditation, we encounter all of our past thoughts, good and bad. And coming face to face with old memories allows a person to move on. Meditation allows you to move on from your violent thoughts for a person, bringing peace into your life

Rati Hegde’s responses to a telephone interview with Aryan Bajaj

Could you please tell me what made you choose writing as the medium of expressing yourself?

It happened quite naturally. I started by reporting on my Guruji’s speeches on the value of Cows in our lives and realized that I was able to report with ease. I also loved writing poems and original stories.

You write about various topics and all of them are so vast and different from each other. How do you decide what to write at a given point of time?

I feel like writing about what is important at that point of time and I want to inspire the youngsters of today. To do that, I use various social media platforms, including the new social media app clubhouse, where I interact with people on topics like communalism and show them both sides of it.

Your book ‘Stories of Bharat’ published by Indus Scrolls has been a widely accepted book and a best seller too. Could you please speak a few words on it?

I was invited to speak on Equal Rights for Hindus at a forum. When I spoke on how Hindu children were not exposed to our scriptures in our educational system, parents commented how they did not even know our stories. I was surprised since Bharat must be having the largest collection of stories, all of which are very interesting. This made me put up our stories on Facebook on my page, “Stories of Bharat” and Indusscrolls approached me to convert it into a series of books. I am extremely happy with the way children and parents have welcomed my first book.

You’ve written in your linkedin profile that you encourage people to do more and more of charity. So, in what way can one convince the youngsters of today to do more of charity?

I feel like youngsters of today don’t know whether money is reaching the right person or not and this is the main reason that youngsters are not that charitable. When they know that money is reaching the right person or cause, they do help financially.

You have been in the field of social work for a few decades. Could you please tell me how it helped you to define what you are today?

Believe me there’s nothing more important than seeing a smile on the face of another person or animal. Whether it is feeding cattle and hearing their moos or helping an injured cat get treatment on time or seeing the relief on the face of the parents of a girl who has understood the repercussions of Love-Jihad or hearing a child’s cry of delight on hearing a story – the ultimate effect is the same – a glow in your heart. It makes one gentler and stronger, both.

I read this blog of yours which is entitled as “The mind is a monkey” and I personally loved it. Would you like to say anything about it?

It was one of my own experiences and that everyone in this world goes through a similar experience at least once in their lifetime and this is the reason why we don’t like to remember our past. Everyone in this world is afraid of his/her past, our past haunts us and we should try to make peace with it to succeed in life.

Meditation was something that caught up my mind in this blog. Why do you think meditation can help in ego and life related problems and how?

We don’t like visiting that past of ours in which we are not the hero. There will be many times in your past where you will find yourself on the bad end of the story and we feel that we should have done this or we should have done that. Meditation helps you revisit this area, whether you like it or not and that is what helps you figure out that where have you gone wrong and that is how meditation helps you become a better person.

I would like you to mention 3 things a person can do to achieve success and peace in his/her life?

“Face the Truth:- Don’t ever become enemies with Truth. Never give up on the truth. Don’t see what you want to see, see it how it is.

Awareness- Be aware of whatever you are doing. Focus on what your next step will be. accept your mistakes and move forward with awareness.

Anger issues- One should not get angry about unnecessary things. Youth gets angry very fast and it’s very wrong. You need to learn how to channelize that energy into better things and not getting angry. Looking at things and situations positively is a need.”

As a writer, what are the projects at hand? What are the long term plans for the future?

I am still contributing into understanding various aspects and rituals of Hindu Dharma, via my various articles. Also, my second book on “Tales of Bharat” will be released this year by Indusscrolls, my publisher. I look forward to publishing more of these books in the near future because it is imperative that our children learn from our tales and grow up to be youths with a strong moral and fearless characters.

What would be your advice to the upcoming generation on what an ideal life is and how to make it more meaningful?

An ideal life is one where you never give up the path of Dharma. Dharma is what connects you to your roots, your ancestral knowledge, righteousness and also a sense of what it is that one is born to achieve. Choose your idols wisely to understand the importance of fortitude, courage, truth, acceptance of success and disappointment with equanimity and the wealth that having good health embodies.

Interview by Aryan Bajaj