Interview with Nityanand Charan Das, Author of “Epic Tales of Wisdom”Dive into the wisdom with Nityanand Charan Das, the author of 'Epic Tales of Wisdom.' Explore exclusive insights in this interview on Frontlist.
on Nov 11, 2023
Nityanand Charan Das is a practising monk at the Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Temple, ISKCON Chowpatty, Mumbai, and a visionary who wishes to revolutionize the current urban scenario by aiding people to lead a life of purpose, fulfilment and satisfaction. He also specializes in guiding today’s youth to reconnect with their roots and lead a simple yet happy life.
Coming from an army background, Nityanand Charan Das’s childhood desire was to become an army officer. However, Krishna had other plans for him and orchestrated his life beautifully. Life led him to fail the NDA interview, despite being one of the best in the group; he took up engineering instead, and eventually became a monk when he was just twenty-four years old.
Nityanand Charan Das focuses on making the sacred teachings of our holy scriptures simple so they that resonate with anyone and everyone. His message is simple: ‘Spiritual life is not a life of rejection. It is a life of connection.’ He says, we do not have to give up anything, we simply have to add this valuable dimension to our life.
His divine radiance can be felt far and wide: his discourses are heard in every major city in India and in more than fifty countries across the globe
Frontlist: Swamiji, your personal journey, from a childhood desire to become an army officer to becoming a monk and author, is remarkable. How has your unique life path influenced your approach to writing?
Nityanand: It's the learnings from the journey so far. When I look back now, I can connect all the dots and see Krishna's hands in the setbacks and disappointments that came into my life. And it's these setbacks that helped me grow my faith and brought me where I am today. If those things had not happened, I would not have come to this path and would have never been an author. So what I'm feeling is that the effect and the entire journey has been the cause.
Frontlist: You place a special emphasis on guiding today's youth, including children and teenagers, to reconnect with their roots and lead a simple yet happy life. Why do you think it is important for youngsters to stay rooted in their culture and heritage?
Nityanand: For happiness. Childhood and youth are the ages of learning, and along with learning how to make material advancements, it's essential to focus on spiritual advancement as well since we are spiritual beings and not just material bodies. We are different from the body. The soul is the real self and is spiritual. Simply keeping the body fit and fine won't make us happy. We must also feed the soul, and it must be spiritual. A spiritual environment is our natural environment, and as long as we stay in touch with it, we shall stay happy and find it easier to deal with life's inevitable challenges that pop up occasionally.
Frontlist: "Epic Tales of Wisdom" introduces children to the timeless wisdom of Indian mythology and epics. Can you share the inspiration behind creating a book that combines spirituality and children's literature?
Nityanand: As I said, this is the age of learning and where we create a strong foundation for life. And most importantly, it's a very, very impressionable age. Whatever children learn at this stage will stay with them forever. So it's important to teach them values at this stage so that they grow up to be well-balanced, responsible individuals and make positive contributions to society. And stories are the best way to teach values. They stay with them once heard. It has been an Indian tradition. Grandmothers would daily narrate stories to the children of the family, but nowadays, this tradition has been forgotten. So it's a humble attempt to bring back that tradition.
Frontlist: Stories have a unique way of conveying spiritual lessons. How do the stories in your book bring the world of gods, goddesses, and sages to life for children while imparting valuable spiritual insights?
Nityanand: All these stories are related to values taught in our scriptures, which are the guidebooks for humanity. And being spiritual, we have an eternal connection with the personalities mentioned in the stories. They are our history and deeply rooted in our culture. They are there somewhere in our subconscious mind. So naturally, when children hear these stories, from the subconscious mind, they come to the conscious part of the mind, become alive, and a part of their thought process.
Frontlist: How do you think the visual elements and illustrations in your book resonate with children and contribute to their engagement with the stories?
Nityanand: I think illustrations are the most important part. One picture is worth a thousand words. As I said, it's a very impressionable age. Children might forget what they have read, but they don't easily forget what they have seen. So even if sometimes they don't read a story, the picture can give them an idea about what is there or help them remember what they have studied.
Frontlist: Can you share any future projects or themes you plan to explore in the realm of children's books?
Nityanand: A lot. I wish to make them aware of our rich spiritual heritage, and in that, the sky is the limit. There is so much to be done. There are a lot of ideas in mind that shall unfold at the right time.