On Tuesday, April 4, West Chester University’s chapter of To Write Love on Her Arms hosted world-renowned author, lecturer and monk of the Krishna Bhakti tradition, Devamrita Swami. Swami is the author of “Searching for Vedic India,” “Perfect Escape” and “Hiding in Unnatural Happiness,” all of which were on sale at the event Tuesday evening.
During his second visit to WCU, he discussed what it takes to move beyond stress and anxiety to achieve higher consciousness.
With finals week quickly approaching, this is something that is incredibly relevant to all of us here on campus. Over 100 students filed into Mitchell Hall to hear Swami’s teaching, and some students even sat on the floor just to catch a minute of the wisdom Swami was sharing.
Swami began his lecture recalling his college days at Yale University. Like many of us, he was in search for the greatest knowledge as well as the greatest pleasures that this life has to offer. In his search, he realized that it is impossible to find these things on the materialistic level that our society exists on today.
That is what initially drew him to Bhakti yoga texts. This was his journey, and he has dedicated his life into sharing his passion with people all over the world.
His next major point—which hits home for many of us as college students—is the idea of social comparison. This is what Swami argues is the largest source of stress and anxiety that exists in the United States today, “the idea of ‘they have and I don’t’ or ‘what if I had chosen that path instead of the one that I am on?’” It is impossible to achieve any level of happiness if this is the mindset that we carry around with us.
The first step in moving away from the stress and anxiety is to challenge that mindset and understand that superficial solutions will only bring temporary relief.
At the end of his lecture, Swami received many questions about how we can achieve this level of happiness. Swami answered these questions with a chuckle and explained that this specific lecture is more of an introduction to what it takes to move forward on the path of happiness. He described that it takes a great deal of commitment to the Bhakti text to begin to achieve true happiness.
McKenzie Scott, president of To Write Love on Her Arms, put together a vegan dinner following the lecture.
“The event had an amazing turnout and had to be moved to a larger lecture hall. We are extremely grateful to To Write Love on Her Arms and Devamrita Swami and his team for this great event. His message moved many students that were in attendance,” said Scott.
Rachel Spurlock is a first-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at RS874054@wcupa.edu.