Journey of dreams

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Om Swami’s If Truth Be Told: A Monk’s Memoir recounts the life of a millionaire who gave it all up in search of spirituality

In the 1990s, an eighteen-year-old headed to Australia to realise his worldly dreams. With little money or support, he strived to make ends meet. Two years later, he was earning an annual income of $250,000; by the age of 26, he was a multimillionaire. Yet, worldly success was merely a way station on a journey that began years ago. As an eight-year-old, he saw a vision of God in a dream, an experience that left him with a sense of deep joy and peace. The dream triggered off his desire to meet God, to see a manifestation of the Divine.

He practised astrology, intense meditation and tantra, yet God was nowhere in sight. Deeply frustrated, he dived into materialistic pursuits to distract himself from the restlessness within. After years of living the good life, he found he could no longer ignore the old restlessness; worldly pleasures just couldn’t fill the void within. He moved back to India and finally did what he had always yearned to do: renounce the world and become a monk.

In the Himalayas, in terrifying silence and solitude, Om Swami practised intense meditation. Death was always close as he confronted starvation, the fierce elements and wild animals. Finally, his sadhana brought him to the ultimate realisation, ‘I am what I have been seeking.’ Om Swami recounts his life in If Truth Be Told: A Monk’s Memoir, an astounding memoir of the making of a spiritual life in today’s challenging and often confusing times.

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