I was born as Vikas Suri, but since 2016, I have taken on the spiritual name of Vir Bhagat.
Why Vir Bhagat? Did I presume to call myself that?
To answer these questions, I have to tell you a story first.
I was the middle-class boy next door, happy to be playing cricket with my friends, eating out, and going to movies. However, an element was spirituality was always present in me. Similar to all middle class parents, mine also expected good marks. Luckily, I was intelligent and good marks were never a problem.
My father was an engineer from IIT-Kharagpur, and it was expected that I would become an engineer too. (In those days, people did not think much beyond medicine and engineering.) I was not a nerd, so IIT was not in my line of sight. But as I said, good marks were not the problem. I got into Manipal Institute of Technology and sailed through my four years of engineering with a first class degree.
I started working in Delhi when I graduated but could not stomach the corruption in the field. So, I decided to emigrate and got Canadian citizenship. It was very easy in those days. I joined a Master’s course in Robotics at Queens University and passed out with an A. I was placed in a government nuclear power station while finishing my course. It was a prestigious job, termed a Golden Handcuff, because it guaranteed security for life.
I worked there for some 15 years, but was pained to see the institutionalised racism and the highly individualistic behaviour of the people. Warmth was sorely lacking, and I turned deeper to spirituality and Yoga.
Finally, I had had enough. I returned to India in 2010. I continued exploring spirituality. I roamed our country and took sanyas from my engineering. I had not come back to India for money.
My deep dive into spirituality happened by accident (as have most things in my life), when I took the Yoga-Vedanta course offered at the Divine Life Society at Rishikesh in 2012. My learning was done sitting at the feet of highly realized masters, the truly genuine ones you find but rarely in today’s world.
In religion and spiritual matters, real progress is gained when you do not think of the benefits. Then, religion, mantra, tantra, and astrology grows on you. It becomes who you are – or you become what they are. You adopt it full time and that is the only way you see everything around you. There is no effort – all paths lead you to that direction. You may be trying to become someone else in your life but life happens. As it did in 2012.
You do not think of benefits when engaging in spirituality. That would mean lack of devotion since you are putting material gains from sacred ceremonies as your expectation. The Holy Bhagwad Gita says one should have no expectation of one’s karma. If you have expectations, the results would be disappointing. I can assure you. You engage in spirituality because you have a childlike faith in God and want to surrender to His will. As long as you want even an iota of control over your life or even have the slightest expectation, then spirituality will yield little or no result. Instead, one must surrender to the will of God.
As I mentioned before, in my case, the spiritual immersion was noticed when I was very young; around 10 years of age, in Kolkata. I asked my mother as to why poor children did not celebrate their birthdays. My mother told me as their parents did not have money. I said OK, I will also not celebrate my birthday. I have not celebrated my birthday, new year, etc., ever since then. I celebrate this life and everyday is my birthday and every new day is a new day, month or year.
With time, the belief grows stronger. In my case, I developed a childlike faith in Durga. All the time, my father did astrology as a hobby, and used to visit many astrologers, priests and tantriks all over Kolkata and Delhi. I used to see how devout he was. But alas, the predictions and the rituals did not get him the desired results. Maybe that was his karma. Predictions were made about me too that did not turn out to be correct. Till that time I was only involved with my compassionate behaviour towards the poor and my deep faith in Durga. That was what spirituality was to me – imbibed by watching my pious mother do her prayers at home as a faithful Hindu wife and mother. That was her religion, that was her highest mantra. She did not care about herself. Getting into Astrology/Palmistry or theoretical Hinduism and reading the texts did not enter my mind. The pressure was to become an engineer and earn money.
But the turning point came in 1989 when I went to an astrologer/palmist during my college days. His prediction was that I would die by way of a road accident by the age of 24 years or in a few years. My world fell apart. I thought then what is the use of doing engineering – I am not going to work or get married. I also felt angry and asked Devi why this was hapenning to me. But this was all her divine plan for me.
I saw this as a message from Goddess Durga to investigate. Hence, along with my engineering, I started to discover about astrology and palmistry. I wanted to find out how such a sweeping statement could be made by another human being. By the time I passed out with my engineering degree, I was also an astrologer and palmist in training and was already seeing a lot of palms and charts. I did quickly discover that sudden deaths cannot be predicted and that there is a link between your thoughts and the lines of your palm. These would follow your birth chart; though by way of your will power, you may deviate 5 percent up or down. I also made it my mantra to not bother about death. In fact I overcame its fear and started to enjoy my day-to-day life. I decided to die that time itself and not want more life. It was much later that I realized that this was also in line with the holy Hindu scriptures.
Which brings us back to 2012 – the year which was transformational for me as I took a deep dive into spirituality and Hinduism via this course that is offered with a lot of love. It was three-month course in Yoga – Vedanta at Divine Life Society or Sivananda Ashram. It was fee of cost.
After that, what I had learnt took so much hold over me that I felt that the purpose of this life had been revealed to me by way of the scriptures. This included initiation into mantras and tantras. As a result, I stopped worrying about my life or palm or chart. I had become above my chart or palm in the sense that I had surrendered to the will of Devi Ma and hence did not worry about my life. I started doing consultation in astrology and palmistry full time.
I took mantra deeksha in in 2015. My guru gave me the name ‘Vir Bhagat’, saying it aptly suited my fearless spirit.
As destiny would have planned it, the next year I started consulting.
It is not something that is planned.
I have a very optimistic outlook towards life. I have always felt that Durga is communicating with me directly. Whenever I need help, she sends people to help me or guide me. This I have felt all the time, since a very early age. I just have been fortunate enough to recognize the people who she has sent and the message too. I have also noticed that once their purpose is over they go away from my life.