With his persona, he enthuses power. With his words, he infuses hope. With his attitude, he wins fearsome battles. Tarun Om Kathuria, is commoner like all of us, but one thing that separates him from the rest is his will and commitment to see a happy society. One look at his schedule can take us for a toss. Juggling office and personal life along with conducting youth empowerment seminars in all over the city, Tarun bases it all on his commitment towards society. A friendly figure, youth is automatically drawn towards him, and look up to him in their times of troubles and achievements as well.
Q. TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND FAMILY?
I am from a big joint family and we have a family business of manufacturing automobile products. I completed my 12th from a very small school and did my graduation in Bachelors in Social Work. Later on I completed my MBA in 2006.
I was always a shy guy till I was in school. I was low with confidence and had no communication skills at all. I used to always daydream about a dreamy life. But the shift happened after I completed my schooling. Life taught me many important lessons at all steps and I believe I have learnt well…
Q. WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO APART FROM TAKING ART OF LIVING COURSES?
I am a businessman by profession and a musician by passion….I compose and write songs and jingles for myself and for radio and ads and I am a part of several bands as a guitarist. I am a theatre lover and write and direct plays. I have directed few plays for some awareness campaigns as well.
Q. WHAT IS YOUR PASSION IN LIFE?
Life itself is my passion. It’s the best gift that God has given to me and I am not going to waste it cribbing, crying or trying to understand it. I am here to live it fully for myself and for others…
Q. DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO BE an AOL TEACHER? PLEASE ELUCIDATE YOUR OWN JOURNEY AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU WHERE YOU STAND TODAY? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH AOL?
When I was a kid my grandmother used to tell me….”What belongs to you will be given to you, whether you want it or not”.
Its not that, I always wanted to be an art of living teacher, but yes, I always wanted to help others and wanted to contribute to the society to be able to bring smiles.
But when I did my first Art of Living course, I found that here every one shares the same dream and that’s when I thought of becoming a teacher myself. I started my journey with Art of living on May 19, 2008 with my teacher “Atika Dhandia” and within a year I became a teacher. The dream that I have to see everyone happy I think is one of the main reasons for this step.
Q. TAKE US THROUGH YOUR INITIAL JOURNEY AS A TEACHER…YOUR VARIOUS EXPERIENCES WHICH HELPED YOU GROW IN THIS FIELD.
It was not easy in the beginning as everyone in the family was expecting me to finish my studies and take up all the responsibility of the family business…
And it was difficult for them to digest that when everyone else was talking about my marriage plans….I was planning to become a spirituality teacher….
But later they understood that whatever I am doing is something that has a Bigger purpose and better results.
And then I always have HIM at every step to guide me
Once I asked Guruji …”what does success mean? I want to be successful teacher”
He said,” there is no question of success if u have nothing to gain…there is nothing to gain if you have come only to give and serve. Success implies non supremacy; it indicates that there is a chance of failure. If something is supreme, there is nothing to lose”. All your achievements can only be smaller than you…”
Q. WHAT ABOUT A NORMAL YOUTH’S ASPIRATIONS LINKED TO MONEY, POWER AND FAME… YOU NEVER HAD ANY?
Till the time it’s an aspiration, it’s absolutely fine but the moment they become your obsession, it creates problems….as far as money is concerned, I feel one should carry it in one’s pocket all the time and not in mind….and I am happy that all my pockets are full. And as far as power and fame is concerned…I believe the “power of love” is far more “powerful” than “love for power”.
Q. SO WHAT KEEPS YOU SO INSPIRED?
The person who has inspired 30 million people on this earth is enough a reason for my inspiration. The inspiration comes from the founder of this organization “H.H. SRI SRI RAVISHANKAR JI”. The amount of love that he has for the entire creation is worth experiencing. He is a true example of being complete in all aspects of life and existence. He is the force behind everything that I am able to do today…. I am grateful to have a master like “sri sri”.
Q. WHAT KIND OF PROJECTS HAVE YOU UNDERTAKEN FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT?
Apart from taking youth empowerment and skills workshops (“YES! +”) for the urban youth. I take “navchetna shivirs” – which are the free courses offered by art of living for rural and semi urban youth. I also take free workshops in prison for inmates….Apart from conducting workshops, few other projects that I was associated with were Clean Delhi Drive , India Against Corruption, Mission Green Earth , Voter Awareness ,Don’t Drink And Drive, Meri Dilli Meri Yamuna and few more…
Q. HOW DO YOU APPROACH PROBLEMS OF YOUTH WHO COME TO ATTEND YOUR WORKSHOPS?
I don’t consider them problems, they are just events that happens in almost every body’s life…it’s just that they get Entangled in it…I just make them look at it as just an event….and I make them realize that it’s not going to be there forever…
Life is not all about “EARNING”, It’s also about “LEARNING”.
Q. ANY SPECIAL EXPERIENCES THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WHICH SPECIFICALLY TOUCHED YOU AS A TEACHER / OR A SITUATION WHEREIN YOU COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO SOMEBODY’S LIFE?
Being an art of living teacher is itself an experience to be experienced…..You get to meet all sorts of people on this earth….I will share one beautiful experience with you -
Once I was taking a course in Tihar Jail for prison inmates and there was a young teenager guy who was convicted on murder charges. On the first day of the course when I asked him his name, he said “naam toh badnaam hain saab” There was so much of hatred in him towards himself and towards the world.
On the third day, I noticed in him a little interest towards the course. After the 3rd day session, he came to me and asked “aap kal bhi aaogey kya?”.
And then it came to me as a pleasant surprise when on the last day of the course, he came to me with tears in his eyes…he was so grateful that this workshop happened in his life…he promised me that he will leave this path forever.
I was so touched and grateful to my guru that he gave me this opportunity to be able to make difference in people’s life this way…. And this is just one of the hundred’s of stories that keeps making me more and more grateful to HIM…
Q. WE ARE LIVING IN THE TIMES WHERE, the YOUTH IS MORE DRAWN TOWARDS MATERIAL DESIRES, HOW CHALLENGING IS IT TO MAKE THEM UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF SPIRITUALITY?
That frees you from all concepts is spirituality….
That frees you from all Botherations is spirituality…
That makes you natural is spirituality….
We in these workshops don’t make them understand what spirituality is…We just make them experience its essence….And if I share my personal learning than for me spirituality is something that works as fuel to run the vehicle called “life”. And it’s not challenging at all…rather its fun.
Q. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF 5 YEARS DOWN THE LINE?
In a world full of love, peace and belongingness
Q. A MESSAGE YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONVEY TO YOUTH TODAY?
Wake up and see….You have everything that you are looking for…..you just need to go little deep and experience the vastness that’s there inside you…
Don’t think of being lucky…you are the luck…
Don’t think of being powerful you are the power…
Don’t think of being happy you are happiness…