My Journey of Self Exploration
Being a student of life writing and autobiography, today I have learnt to see the story in every small bit of life around. Actually everyone in this existence has a story. Every stone, every mountain, tree, even a dust particle have story of their own. I am also a small speck in this large existence. My story may not hit the walls of every heart but surely shall make some space in some heart.
I remember one beautiful thing in my life that I have always dream big. Specially being a child of a well off family there was not any story of being in street as Abraham Lincoln did, or there was not any situation of me being predicated to become monk by seeing the “Dukha” of this materialistic world like Buddha. So there was no need of kicking out all the sick, old and dying people out of town. It was an ordinary home with desire of being rich, desire of being well known in society, my parent too dream of making their child greater than them, a great man, a big man, a man who will make them proud. So I was sent to a private boarding school, which is believed to give quality education. May be there was a quality education, but I couldn’t grasp any of the knowledge from the book. Yes of course book of Social studies, Nepali literature, and English literature’s book affected my mind much. Stories, pictures, poem, were the stuffs that entertained and fascinated me. But enjoying the text is one thing and getting good marks is totally another thing, which I never got. I was the ordinary boy, who never stole, never created trouble, never fought, never bullied. In spite of that sometime I think to myself that, have I done anything meaningful in my life? Not being bad boy have I become a good man today? Have I become a good human? Good child? Good friend? In this writing I will try to dig deep into my own life and try to excavate my true self.
There are so many stories of childhood, youth and of adulthood. Each stage of life must have contributed some bit of effort to make “Me.” That “Me” who is writing this text today. Sitting in front of the screen of my pc, I am reminded of that 1st of September when I was born, my father still tells me, a bright glorious sun appeared in his dream and when he wakes up with that dream mother in his side was in labor and I was born at 7:05 am. Since I appeared in this earth beauty have always attracted me. Specially the beauty in the tune of music, beauty of nature, beauty of literature, art and many more form of art. Unknowingly art appeared in my life. My father and other neighbor decided to make a temple in the center of Bardaghat Bazaar which still stands there as a center of spirituality of that area. I am said that my father use to keep me in his shoulder and took me to the evening “Satsang” a communion of peoples coming together to sing some chants and spiritual songs called “Kirtan”. Some old people of my village still say that I use to dance a lot there at the age of three or four. Today being a music professional I believe the music in my heart probably have taken over me from that evening “Satsang”. There is a sacred river site called “Triveni Dhaam” which carries the historical story of “Ramayana” when Sita the wife of Lord Rama lived for several years raising her two kids along with Sage Balmiki who is said to be the writer of Ramayana. Balmiki wrote his Ramayana there at the bank of Triveni river. I was raised on that sacred land which was irrigated by that holy water of Triveni.
I went to school called Daunne English Boarding School at Bardaghat, Nawalparasi District. I was not that fortunate to have many great sage-like teachers or visionaries or philosophers, in spite of that there were some teachers who really inspired me to write poems, songs, and dream big. Once a teacher told that “I always take it easy while eating, because all we do in this earth is just to eat. So why to hurry.” That saying really struck me because I have never ever thought in that way that all we do here is just to eat. We work to make money and to eat or for the basics that we need to live. But there was also some teacher who told “we must eat to live and not live to eat” that again gave another strike. But I still was confused or was in dilemma about what to do by living this life. My passion to music went on rising to the level of being a professional musician later after my school leaving certificate examination I started to learn music from a local teacher later the depth of the music and the growing passion for literature, acting and classical music give a different world view about life.
It was the age when radio used to be friend of us. I still remember at my tenth grade listening to radio quite often. Especially stories about tragedy, romance and program related to literature did attract me; on the other hand All India Radio broadcasting from Gorakhpur or Luck now too attracted me. Rather than Bollywood music semi classical genre of Ghazals music and spiritual music had special effect in my heart, which gradually leads me to become a ghazal singer in Nepali music scene. Well, the journey of being a ghazal singer was not that easy. Coming from a middle class family where the mentality of successful person is to become doctor or engineer. Else then that would be stupid or dumb. I still remember when I used to sing or dance in the parent’s day at school. My father would be sad and would scold me for not coming in good position in class. That would surely not inspire me to write poem or sing song. But the burning desire for being a singer never died. The dream of being a nationally renowned singer never died. I went on searching the karaoke (Music Track) of old songs and performed in many stages at the age of 18. My parents never allowed me to go and sing in local concerts which made me decide to sneak out of home silently at night after my parents slept. I use to sleep on the room which had its opening on the outside of our home and I use to put oil on my bicycle and at door so it will not make sound when I sneak out at night. It would be great adventure to go out like that. But it would be really rewarding after I perform at concert with a great cheers. In the cold winter morning I would wake up at three thirty and sneak out of room similarly to visit Suraj Dai, who would teach me how to sing classical music. I believe this little name and fame what I have got today have paid me back what I did on those beautiful but hard days. Radio too became a part of my life since 2003 when I took training of journalism in mass media from Radio Lumbini in Butwal. Later after completing my intermediate in English literature I came to Kathmandu and started doing radio program at Nepal FM and Gorkha FM till 2008. Being in radio helped me to know the fake and superficial media.
The melting pot environment of Kathmandu Valley offers everything to you. It depends on what you are searching? It was Kathmandu where I got a great opportunity to get initiated to Osho’s world of spirituality. That brought a great turn in my life. That Suvas who was in search of name and fame took a U-Turn and started the journey within. It was like a new birth. Because all my old friends thought now Suvas is no more. He doesn’t exist as he uses to be. I couldn’t eat meat or drink alcohol with them. I couldn’t get any point of running behind money and fame in that fake world. I slowly understood that the main purpose of life is to attained bliss from within. No matter what. Situation may be good or bad but the main thing is to stay calm in each situation. Because all what goes around is mind game. And spiritual seekers should see and be friend to mind and stop fighting with it. Rather be friend to it and play with it. Slowly life and my music became soulful, meaningful and spiritual. I here after thought and acted to write, sing or broadcast meaningfully. I felt to make a conscious change in myself and work to make change in society. Because without changing myself, without making myself happy I wouldn’t be able to make other happy. I came to know a person gives what he has. And one cannot give what he or she doesn’t posses. So the journey of inner transformation begins.
With the flow of life I happen to go to Denmark and Sweden. The journey to these European countries has impacted my life in subtle level. Especially I came across the music of English Band Beatles and their famous song Imagine performed by John Lennon just changed my entire life and thinking process. Though the philosophy of “Vashudhaiba Kutumbakam” which means this world is one family always did exist in our eastern philosophy but it was never that clear or it never did hit my being as that song did. Being in Europe with many “Hippies” friends, who couldn’t fit in the traditional notion of the society. Who thought there cannot just be the one way of living. There cannot be human life manipulated by the politics and politicians. There couldn’t be truth told to you by media. Which lead them to create small community. They grow their own food; they don’t believe in media and don’t easily get influenced by brainwashing news propaganda. They never supported war, rather said “Make love no war”. They were inspired from Indian gurus like Osho, Prabhupada, Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, Yogananda, Vivekananda, Cinmayo, Gandhi. They chanted mantras from Vedic scripture and also did chanted aayat from Quran; they too chant the gospel from Bible, and chanted Buddhist mantras as well. They were not of any cult or community. They didn’t belong to any culture. Rather they were starting a new culture of multicultural harmony. They were the people of multi-color. I happen to live and grow a bit with them. My music too got new horizon and prospective by being with them. These “Hippies” were the happiest people who got the name from word “Happy”. Which made me decide that I will no more sing song of tragedy, rather I will sing for love, compassion, peace, love, harmony, brotherhood, and world uniting concept.
Living in Europe I had a great privilege to travel many countries. And came across some great philosophers of our time like Nea le Donald Walsch, Marie Diamond, Jack Canfield, Michael Bernard Beckwith, John Assaraf but specially Eckhart Tolle and Little Grandmother have a great impression on me. I came to know about the power of thought and law of attraction and many more mysteries were opened to me there. Those philosophies and teachings of Eastern sages and seers were opening up in my heart every single day. I came to know that how much powerful thought can be. And I believe that have shaped my life, and my music. Which I felt to share with world and one can see a detail writing of mine in my blog about the power off thought. On the other hand great spiritual, new age musicians like Krishna Das, Sanatam Kaur, Cat Stephen, Bob Dylan, Louis Armstrong, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Bob Marley too made more impression on my music. Which also made me appreciate my own people and musicians of our land either from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh or Nepal. Today I am working on collaborating the music from Sufi tradition and western tradition with my original Nepali version. There are many horizons to explore and many tunes to appear in my heart yet.
Traveling became my passion after being with “Hippies”. Traveling and meeting many people opened the closeness of thought in me. And I came to know how much important traveling was. Later I traveled to India for 6 months. For the 6 months I was on the road. Being literally on the road and seeing my own culture from near gave me so many insights. In the journey specially I noticed that faces of people may differ but the happiness, love, compassion, and helpful behavior is same around the globe. Natural form may be divers but earth was same, sun, moon, star, wind, water was similar. Sun that I saw from different angel and corner of earth gave same warmth, moon gave same romantic feeling. All the spring, ocean, and river gave me cool and refreshing feeling. I tested many food made of same potato, tomato, wheat and rice. Journey gave a strong feeling that we are from same family, we all have same religion and same dharma of love, compassion and harmony. I believe there are many lands to travel and many places to explore which I shall accomplish one day.
Finally on one beautiful morning I decided to come my own birth place Nepal. With that long journey I felt to come back to my own land and share what I have learnt in this journey. There was a great pressure of friends not to leave Europe and stay there and receive permanent residency but that was not in my priority. I felt that I have many things to do, many things to share around the world. I learnt to appreciate how much precious my own country was by being with those Europeans. Nepal, the land where Lord Buddha choose to born, where Khaptad Baba, Shivapuri Baba and many other sages choose to stay and spend there rest of life. Nepal the land of many sages, rishis, and seers attracted me much then the richness of Europe. I learnt that until and unless you have the opportunity to experience all form of life you cannot appreciate which is the best. I had that opportunity to experience the glorious European life. On the other hand when I meet many Europeans and Americans who appreciate the forest, river, mountain and beautiful holistic nature of my people. When I saw that they long so much just to come and stay here for few month and need to go home because they will not be permitted to stay here forever. I started to appreciate that I have all that for free.
When I went Europe on August 29th 2008 I was studying in Bachelor third year. Dropping out that study and just enjoying the “Hippy” life I had lost or ruined my university study which I had to continue again when I came back in 2012. After completing my study again repeating graduation. This part of my life was more interesting as I had to reconnect with my musical endeavor again. This was a glorious moment of my musical carrier. Because I found that Nepali society was much ready for my new age music. Today I have created a successful YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/suvasagam ) and a blog where I write about the visions that I want to share via my music and writing (www.suvasagam.blogspot.com ). After my graduation, I got the chance to join Tribhuwan University. Being in the central University of Nepal itself was really rewarding. Being in University every class with those learned professors resembles with my dream. My vision of open universal harmonious world seems possible. I have seen so many peoples today who dream like me. Who have same vision of universal brotherhood. Tribhuvan University has sharpened my thought. And every day I am reminded of the verses of John Lennon that “you may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one, I know one day you will join us, and the world will be One”
Till this day while I am writing this personal narrative. There have been many experiences which is not possible to pour in this small writing. I will be writing, singing and sharing more of my love via my creativity in future. I thank you very much for dropping by and going through my words.
Peace, Light & Love
Suvas Chandra Kandel ( Agam )
Note: This article was written and submitted as a paper on Life Writing subject at Tribhuvan University on 31st Aug 2017.
Suvas Chandra Kandel ( Agam )
Note: This article was written and submitted as a paper on Life Writing subject at Tribhuvan University on 31st Aug 2017.