The purpose of life
In February 2020, MICKEY MEHTA shared his thoughts with MAMATA VENKAT at Kanha Shanti Vanam, the Heartfulness headquarters near Hyderabad, India, just before the pandemic hit. Mickey is known as India’s premier fitness guru, holistic health guru and corporate life coach. He has worked with the government, the army, the navy, the air force, and the Mumbai police. He has served many A-listers on their fitness journeys and is now associated with the Fit India Movement, partnering with the Government of India. He also does his regular rounds of workshops and consultations for the international corporate world. What keeps him motivated? Commitment to growth, introspection, and spirituality.
Q: Dr. Mehta, tell me a little bit more about your life and the steps that have brought you to where you are now.
MM: I think the culmination of my entire fifty-eight years, sitting with you, giving this interview, has been like a flash – the entire thing. This is my journey from Harlem to Harvard. The journey, like a roller coaster, has been full of fun, joy, anxiety, pain – everything. It has been a mixed bag of ups and downs, upheavals, states of joy, moments of happiness, bliss, and, trust me, every bit of it has been fun in hindsight for the simple reason that we always grow out of it. For the simple reason that you get polished like a diamond. It is like what coal goes through. Steel has to be tempered, also, and goes through so much heat. And it’s not easy being coal, either. You need to be dug out. And there are processes before the coal becomes ready to use.
Q: Everything worked out the way it was supposed to.
MM: Yes. And who cares if it didn’t, as long as it happened.
Q: My friends and I often talk about how things aren’t right or wrong, they just are.
MM: They just are, because right and wrong becomes our perspective. Each perspective is so different. When the angle changes, the view changes completely. Like stupid people, we keep struggling to prove our point of view. And this struggle strains us, gives us pain, gives us stress. And the answer to that is Heartfulness.
Q: Was there an event in your life that, in the moment, felt “wrong,” but ended up being “right,” the best thing that could have possibly happened to you?
MM: As we said, there are no right and wrong moments. Nevertheless, if I were to choose some moments in life: I was supposed to be a car mechanic, a steward, and a security guy. Instead, I chose to get into fitness, martial arts, nutrition, Yoga, body building, swimming, meditation – deep into meditation and spirituality – in the last few decades. Now I am championing the cause of age reversal, challenging ailments, and bringing about success stories with terminally-ill people, adding lots of life force into them with the laws of nature.
This has been a thirty-eight-year journey. I’m all of fifty eight. I still believe that I started just yesterday. And it is fun. It is exciting every day.
Q: What initially led you to fitness?
MM: Emulating my cousins doing exercise. Going home and working out. Seeing them do martial arts. Emulating them quietly in a corner. Sweating it out; a pool of sweat in the room. And I used to carry a lot of water to drink, and my mom and sister used to think that I was taking that water and throwing it on the floor to show how much I had sweated. But that wasn’t the case. I literally sweated.
I have seriously given my blood, bone marrow, and sweat to this. And I think it ain’t enough yet. There’s lots more to come. We haven’t yet started.
Q: Do you think that getting into fitness early on in your life taught you a work ethic, diligence, and perseverance in every other arena in your life?
MM: Perseverance. Diligence. Sense of commitment. Sense of responsibility. I think fitness, health, wellness, and well-being gives you perfect discipline. It puts you on the path of evolution. So we have all the Ashtangas of Yoga – Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi – as opposed to the forces of entropy, which kill you.
So time, matter, space, life, motion, mass, causation and effect, gravity. Right from the point of time that you were a speck of life on the rim of a volcano, a few million years back, to the point of becoming a superconscious human being.
When animals stood upright, as chimpanzees, the forces of life went upwards to the brain, and the brain opened up.
So humans became sensitive, humans became poets, humans became writers. Humans invented the wheel, invented fire. Humans knew what love is. And they settled from being nomads. They became sensitive. They refined. They evolved. And from cannibals, they became very refined persons. So they grew spiritually. A human became a Krishna. A human became a Buddha. A human became a Mohammad. A human became a Christ. Humans on the ladder of evolution have the potential to rise above gods and fall below animals. Humans can choose to go upward or downward, but the ladder is the same.
And of course, humans became so many Devis: Saraswati Devi, Durga Devi, Lakshmi Devi, countless Devis. And I certainly endorse the importance of the feminine within spirituality. The valley who knows how to receive. The valley who knows how to surrender. The valley who can seduce with absolute subtlety, no aggression and no violence. The valley which is biologically stronger, emotionally, mentally stronger, psychically stronger – who knows how to give, knows how to forgive, knows how to bless, knows how to create, and certainly knows how to destroy.
Q: It sounds like spirituality is a large part of who you are.
MM: Yes. Philosophy and spirituality have been the main state of my being, having understood Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, having understood Vairagaya, having understood Santara, which are about the laws of attachment and letting go in life, surrendering to life – icchamrityu, iccha jivan, iccha siddhi – and now learning more about the Seven Sins of pride, anger, lust, envy, gluttony, avarice and sloth. We succumb to them.
How do we evolve out of that? After almost four decades of meditation, I understand that Heartfulness is a very good discipline of meditation, which makes a lot of sense.
Q: How has the Heartfulness practice positively impacted your life?
MM: It has brought me one good indicator in life: When we carry a lot of grudges, a lot of resentments in our heart, we can clean them and replace them with love and compassion. Remove the junk, empty the junk, and fill yourself up with love and compassion. Let go, let go, let go, breathe out, breathe out, breathe out. Settle, settle, settle. Get set like yogurt. Just settle, settle, settle. Yogurt karma.
And you keep evolving. As you settle deep down inside, as you stay rooted, you start fruiting, as well.
Q: If you could take a 30,000-foot view of your life, and you could take one lesson that you could share with any young adults who are trying to figure out what they want to do with the rest of their life, what would you tell them?
MM: The only purpose of this life is to evolve, and once you evolve you realize the purpose of life. And try to understand that when nature reached its highest creativity, when God reached highest creativity, human beings were born. And when human beings reach their highest creativity, God is again born.
So don’t be complacent with life. You are God in seed form. Start nurturing that seed. Wait for your blossoming. Wait for your fruiting. Become fragrant, Become sweet. Get rooted, get fruited.
My message to people is this: The excellence of fitness, health, wellness and well-being is the ladder of evolution. Get energized. Get maximized. Get optimized. Get supersized. Get revolutionized. Get eternalized. Get internalized. Get hypnotized. Get mesmerized. Get regularized. Get revitalized. Get specialized. Get initialized.
Interviewed by MAMATA VENKAT
Illustrations by GAYATRI PACHPANDE
April 01, 2021
April 01, 2021
April 01, 2021