I grew up in a vegetarian family with a strong belief that meat is cruel. When I was a small boy, I even refused to use leather products. I often discussed the cruelty behind silk with my parents only to shockingly learn that even my parents are socially conditioned not to accept that blatant fact.
"Vegan" – The magic word hit my ears for the first time during the first year of my bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. Thanks to my friend, Krishna. I quickly googled, started getting into specifics, and it suddenly made sense why Leo Tolstoy had refused to consume diary, something that I always wondered.
Did I turn vegan over the night? No. But this got me thinking to a lot. I realized that all the people in the world are slaves of habit, personal well-being, comfort and ego, including myself, and that is the sole reason for the suffering for humanity.
It took another four years to build courage and go against society for something that I knew for sure was the right thing to do. Yes, I went vegan! After which life has never been the same for me.
I started seeing things differently. I used to follow what the majority of people are following. Because that is what my society had taught me since my childhood. It turned out to be the other way around. If everyone is doing that, I realized there must be something wrong with that. Be it food, education, healthcare, finance, government, media and many more.
To explore more about myself, I kept switching jobs after jobs. I met many people along the way. My thirst to find meaning for all societal problems increased. Hence, I travelled.
I turned to eastern philosophy for answers and started reading J Krishnamurti, Osho, only to realize that all answers lie within: to change the world is to change yourself.
I began to get to know the self. And I used many tools to look within like Vipassana, Zazen, Theatre Arts, etc. Yes, finally got the message.
Its Love. It's as simple as that. All I had to do was understand my fear around the societal norms and replace it with Love. Life became so much better and beautiful. I'm grateful to a lot of fabulous, lovely people I have crossed paths.