Interview with Author Guru Shri Siddhartha Shiv Khanna


Book Title: Shiva’s Grace
Author: Guru Shri Siddhartha Shiv Khanna
ISBN: 978-9356739512
Page: 813

About The Book:

Discover the transformative power of yoga with ‘Shiva’s Grace,’ a captivating journey that transcends the boundaries of time and space. This comprehensive book invites readers to embark on a life-changing adventure of physical, mental, and spiritual growth. Through the wisdom of yoga, explore the depths of self-discovery and unlock the hidden treasures of ancient wisdom blended harmoniously with modern-day insights. Delve into the profound teachings of sacred texts, unravel the mysteries of yogic philosophy, and embrace the transformative potential of dedicated practice. From the majestic Himalayas to serene ashrams, embark on an enchanting voyage filled with heartwarming stories of yogis and rishis, alongside exhilarating personal anecdotes that inspire and uplift. ‘Shiva’s Grace’ illuminates the path to inner harmony, bliss, and transcendence, guiding readers toward their highest potential.


Akhila: Did you envision writing “Shiva’s Grace” from the outset, or did the idea come to you later?

Guru Shri Siddhartha Shiv Khanna: Namaste, I had never thought of even writing an essay let alone writing a series of books based on yoga. What you see today has taken over 6-7 years to put together as a book format and is knowledge gained over 12 years through applying it. The beginning of this book was very humble. The Indian version of this book has 815 pages, and it began its journey to become a book from just a bunch of randomly written notes that I used to have while giving seminars because there wasn’t sufficient information available in one place when I was giving my yoga education programmes. My students would make notes from each seminar, compile them together and give them to me so that I could further elaborate on them. The students were the main driving force behind this book and it was at their behest the full writing process took place, so in a way we should thank them more than me for this book.

Akhila: Could you share the inspiration behind your book, “Shiva’s Grace”?

Guru Shri Siddhartha Shiv Khanna: There are at least a few reasons behind the book. One is what I mentioned earlier, that is surely one of the main driving forces behind the book. But there were another few significant reasons also. While I was interacting with various yoga professionals who had done their yoga teacher trainings to become yoga instructors and teachers, I had an unexpected surprise waiting for me in the form of what little knowledge they had upon the subject of yoga when it came to authentic practice and teachings of yoga and this was a very worrying sign. Truth is simple, and it is already out there, but sometimes in this world which is overwhelmed by information overload at every corner, it is becoming harder and harder with each day to find what is genuine and what is not; I took it upon myself to put a systemized version of knowledge together hoping that through this both teachers and practitioners of yoga can get hold of the authentic path and teachings of yoga for themselves in their quest and search for self realisation.

Akhila: How did you approach the creation and development of your book? What motivated their distinctiveness in “Shiva’s Grace”?

Guru Shri Siddhartha Shiv Khanna: Sometimes even reading a book is difficult due to the complex nature of the book, and in most cases these books are available in Sanskrit. The ones which are available in English, I have noticed that many times the interpretations of words is wrong and many times the commentary does not justify the expansive nature of that single idea which was being given. So the main principle was to keep it as simple as possible and make the language as accessible as possible. Beyond this, the book had to be written in a manner that each word, sentence, paragraph as well as topics and chapters of book seamlessly merged with each other just like the practice of yoga itself while the essence of the book did not compromise even by the slightest of margins. The development of book was very difficult in all fairness, what topics to include, in what order should they be, how much knowledge is enough, what knowledge should be kept out, how to manage writing in a language which a 8 year old child will understand aswell as a 90 year old person enjoy without compromising.

Akhila: What themes and messages were you aiming to convey through your book? Did “Shiva’s Grace” provide ample space for expressing your ideas?

Guru Shri Siddhartha Shiv Khanna : The book is based on a theme that Yoga essentially is a timeless and eternal cosmic knowledge which begins as a dialogue between Shiv and Shakti, therefore it transcends the boundaries of time space and causation and is relevant for each and every creature of this the universe regardless of their age, sex, origin. Within yoga there is something to be found that can help a person overcome the obstacles of life, including transcending their own ego and becoming self realised. I have used logic, stories and the help of various other wise yogis and rishis who have come before us to pen down on how to achieve yoga.

Akhila: Do you believe that “Shiva’s Grace” extends its relevance to universal issues and current events?

Guru Shri Siddhartha Shiv Khanna: As I mentioned earlier, Yoga essentially is a timeless and eternal cosmic knowledge which begins as a dialogue between Shiv and Shakti, therefore it transcends the boundaries of time space and causation and is relevant for each and every creature of this the universe regardless of their age, sex, origin. Shiv and Shakti being the very embodiments of time space and causation create this dialogue of yoga which is based upon various mechanisms available to all or any living creatures. It has been carefully combined keeping in mind the diverse kind and types of individuals. it’s perfect for every human, it’s for people of all ages, it’s for people of all times, those that have lived in the past, those living presently, and even those that are yet to be born. it’s suitable for people of all characters and every temperament. There will be at least one aspect of the practice, in which the student will identify with, and through that one aspect of the practice he or she will become self-realized and god realized. Such is the nature of this practice that it has the power to liberate the soul and provides freedom from all kinds of suffering.

Akhila: Could you elaborate on your writing process and how you structured “Shiva’s Grace”? Did it involve frequent revisions?

Guru Shri Siddhartha Shiv Khanna: Writing a book is a full time process and there is indeed a systematic approach to it, as a matter of fact, there are various combinations of processes that go towards writing a book. For example, I used to wake up daily at 3:30 AM so that I could finish my own yogic Sadhana and start writing the book or editing it by 5:00 AM and wouldn’t leave the laptop till lunch time. You need a basic idea of the book in your mind and then you need to envision that on paper in front of you. You have to read the sentences again and again in the mind and out loud to see if they sound alright to yourself. You have to have lots of books in front of you to verify any fact you are writing or making sure that the quotes are correct and that’s the easy part. I just checked the basic script of the book after reading the question and realised there were as many as 774 times I opened and edited the document before sending it for approval.

Akhila: How do you anticipate “Shiva’s Grace” impacting readers, and what do you hope they learn from it? Were there specific objectives you aimed for while writing it?

Guru Shri Siddhartha Shiv Khanna: The hope is that one day there will be a kingdom of enlightened yogis taking the world ahead in a direction which is harmonious with nature and in synch with each other but for the moment I am hoping to keep the knowledge of yoga alive as in times of Kaliyuga the knowledge is bound to disappear leaving us defenceless in front of Adharmic forces. Another aim which is the main aim is to provide a full roadmap to both practitioners and teachers of yoga on how to practice and how to teach someone to practice, and it was a very conscious decision to give the education to public for the benefit of yoga and humankind while making sure that this great treasure chest of knowledge will be available to the genuine seekers of truth and authentic practitioners of yoga much long after I am gone.

Akhila: Are there any discernible literary or artistic influences evident in “Shiva’s Grace”? How did you ensure distinctiveness while employing a popular literary style?

Guru Shri Siddhartha Shiv Khanna : I am not sure to be honest, I think this is a collective voice of the great literary works of all of India. I am proud to be from a country where the greatest minds were born before me and I didn’t have to go outside my country to seek inspiration in search of truth. I am grateful to all those who came before me and all those who will come after me, yet since you asked, I have taken many, many wise things from the list of the following Devi, Devatas, Avatars, Maha Rishis, Maha Gurus, Maha Yogis, Sants and Swamis who I would like to pay my respects and homage to: Bhagwan Shiv Ji, Mata Adi Shakti, Bhagwan Ram ji, Bhagwan Krishan Ji, Bhagwan Dattatreya ji, Maha Rishi Ved Vyas, Maha Rishi Valmiki, Maha Rishi Vishwamitra, Maha Rishi Markandeya, Maha Rishi Dadichi, Maha Rishi Patanjali, Maha Rishi Vashisht, Maha Rishi Kapila Muni, Rishi Ashtavakra, Maha Yogi Matsyendranath, Maha Yogi Gorakhnath, Maha Yogi Vasugupta, Maha Guru Abhinavgupta, Maha Guru Adi Shankaracharya, Sant Tulsidas, Swami Vivekanda and any other noble soul I may have accidentally forgotten to mention.

Akhila: In what way do you see “Shiva’s Grace” fitting into the broader literary canon or genre?

Guru Shri Siddhartha Shiv Khanna :  “Shiva’s Grace” integrates into the broader literary canon and genre by addressing key aspects of contemporary yoga literature and spiritual texts, such as making traditional yoga teachings accessible, tackling the modern challenge of information overload, serving an educational purpose, using narrative techniques, emphasizing universal relevance, preserving knowledge, and providing a practical guide. Its contribution lies in continuing the tradition of disseminating authentic spiritual and practical wisdom in an understandable and relevant manner for today’s audiences as it simplifies complex concepts and ensures accurate translations from Sanskrit, aligning with the tradition of making esoteric knowledge comprehensible and usable. “Shiva’s Grace” endeavors to provide a reliable and structured source of knowledge. By offering a systematic version of yoga teachings, it counteracts the fragmented and often misleading information prevalent today. The book serves an educational purpose, aimed at both yoga practitioners and teachers. It seeks to correct misconceptions and provide a comprehensive guide for authentic practice and instruction. This educational intent might come across as a spiritual genre, but I would call it a manual of life which teaches practical applications of yoga, ethical living, sustainable life, mindfulness and meditation. The theme of yoga as a timeless and universal knowledge, transcending boundaries of age, sex, and origin, places the book within the tradition of spiritual texts that emphasize the universal applicability of the yogic teachings. The aim to preserve yoga knowledge for future generations and protect it from dilution or disappearance is also in harmony with the eternal goal of all Indian authors who codified oral traditions into written form. In my humble attempt to preserve and transmit knowledge, I draw inspiration from great texts like the “Upanishads” the “Mahabharata”, etc but in the same speech i recognize that I cannot match their greatness.

Akhila: Could you discuss any challenges or obstacles encountered during the writing process of “Shiva’s Grace”?

Guru Shri Siddhartha Shiv Khanna: Where do I begin, many! The absence of sufficient funding posed a significant challenge in my pursuit to recruit a team of exceptional editors who could have given the great work the justice it deserved. Once the students handed me the notes taken from the seminars given by me, I had to do everything myself, from coming up with the idea and writing it, to making critical edits and ensuring a smooth narration throughout the book. Not only did I have to handle revisions and fact-checking, but I also had to take on tasks such as editing, graphic design, and photography for the book. Reflecting on it now, I can’t fathom how I managed to take on the roles of foot soldiers, general, navy, airforce, and army. The fact that this book exists is nothing short of a miracle.

Akhila: Out of curiosity, could you briefly outline your future writing plans after completing “Shiva’s Grace”?

Guru Shri Siddhartha Shiv Khanna: Shiva’s Grace is not a stand alone book. It is a part of a 7 series of books all based on yoga which deal with different aspects of yoga. We have created a comprehensive series of books on Yoga. We have divided the book into seven parts to make it easier to read. To truly grasp Yoga, one must explore these parts as interconnected sections, rather than separate books. This work is a journey towards self-discovery and transformation, offering foundational principles and advanced practices. Each part provides a unique perspective on Yoga, guiding readers towards holistic wellness and spiritual enlightenment. Whether you are new to Yoga or an experienced practitioner, these 7 books will help you find inner peace and spiritual growth. I plan to release one new book each year in all formats, so the next book available successively will be –

#2- Shakti’s Grace: Sounds of the Universe (A book about Mantra Yoga)

#3- Ram’s Grace: Enlightened Bodies, Quiet Minds (A book about Karma Yoga)

#4- Krishan’s Grace: The Song of the Soul (A commentary on Shrimad Bhagawad Gita)

#5- Siddhartha’s Grace: The Guru Within (A book about applying the Guru’s wisdom)

#6- Patanjali’s Grace: Threads of Consciousness (A commentary on Yoga Sutras)

#7- Gorakhnath’s Grace: A Celestial Union (A commentary on Hatha Yoga)

Akhila: It’s intriguing how you maintained objectivity regarding each chapter in “Shiva’s Grace.” How did you manage to preserve this impartiality?

Guru Shri Siddhartha Shiv Khanna: The most difficult part of this task is to set aside your own ego and write the book as a flow of consciousness. The book must be written in such a manner that it is not seen, heard, or understood by the ego; rather, it should allow one to transcend their ego. To achieve this, you must become nothing more than a tool in the hand of consciousness, which pens down all the knowledge that comes through you. I believe my own yogic Sadhana and achievement of yoga have been crucial in this regard, enabling me to switch off all my desires, attachments, and expectations at the drop of a hat and fully walk the path of liberation, and express it with complete freedom.

Akhila: I wish you all the best and hope “Shiva’s Grace” achieves remarkable success in its royalty collection.

Guru Shri Siddhartha Shiv Khanna: I want to express my gratitude for your support. Beyond the financial gains, I truly hope that this book can make a difference in people’s lives by guiding them towards achieving yoga. If that happens, we will consider our goal accomplished.

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