Rohit Ingle, a professional who continues on his bicycle journey across India to create awareness about animal cruelty, opens up about his inner spiritual journey along the way.
It’s been over six months since I left Mumbai, oh boy, what a journey it has been so far. Physically challenging and emotionally exhausting, a complete dissolving of ego. But the last three months were the real game changer. I have experienced the things like never before in this body. The change has been so drastic I didn’t know how to deal with it, the information was too much to handle. I died three times in three months and born back in same body, sounds metaphorical eh?
The Journey Begins
Yes, I’m reborn! But this journey had not started six months ago, but almost three year back, the day I decided to go vegan. Coming from the food industry, managing cafes, restaurants, food has been very close to me. From five times meat/dairy/eggs eater a day to overnight shift to Veganism. That was the first time my consciousness took a charge over my ego and told me, it’s time to give up on it. Let me remind you–had never heard of the word vegan before that day or knew about the movement. I was too naive to understand it till a couple of months ago. Truth of equality, I seek for all beings including myself throughout my life. My heart/consciousness/higher-self whatever you call it was always on right side, but my actions weren’t aligned. That instant acceptance of my wrongdoing has made me the person I am right now.
Few months later I lost my job, couldn’t find another one and I was forced to return to India–I wasn’t ready or happy to back. I was happy living a materialistic lifestyle, every weekend I went to buy things that made me happy temporarily. I sucked at maintaining relationships, I still do, I guess. After a few months of coming back to India, I settled for a job, which most of us could say was “a dream job”! My office, boss were kinda cool, I had liberty to work from home at times and there was pool table right across my desk. I did not hate my job but there was an emptiness inside me.
At the same time, I got into vegan activism, being an introvert, I rarely spoke, but here I was stopping strangers on the streets, trying to bring change desperately. And something inside me was not happy about the way things were going, I realised just like me most of the people in India have never heard the word ‘Vegan’. And if that’s the case in metro city like Mumbai, I wondered how things were across the rest of the country!
Which brings us back to this journey. End of July 2017, I was desperately researching on how to bring change in scene of animal rights and global warming in India. One day out of nowhere, the idea of this cycling campaign came (inspired from James Aspey’s campaign). It was an instant approval from consciousness, even though the last time I had cycled was nearly a decade ago–I had zero experience with a bicycle. When I told my friends, they either didn’t believe in me or thought I had gone nuts. But all this just made stronger; I had no hard feelings!
And I started this journey on 26 October, 2017. I peddled for months, all by myself. I have slept in tents, dhabas, hosted by people, spoken to 1,000s of people, reached out to millions through different forms of media–basically tried everything to put light on trillions beings suffering unnecessarily, and trying to save our dying planet. I had created a mountain of pressure for myself, nobody but myself! There comes my first moment of realization, a complete dissolving of the character I was playing out (within myself)–I was no longer Rohit, I was in a pure state of consciousness. Which made me question my own beliefs, the reality of my existence.
The Final Connection
Let me remind you, I grew up as atheist (I have tattoo..lol) for almost my entire existence, influenced by my father. I did not have any doubt that there is nothing apart from this body, but this experience just changed everything about me. I just cannot say “no” to what happened with me; I died that day and was reborn again in same body. I had my second experience just after 2-3 weeks, again this time I was not me, but everything and everyone around me, I was connected with cosmic energy, I had no identity for almost an hour. I died once again, came back in same body.
And finally, there was complete breakdown a month back when I was in Varanasi. I finally gave up, I was not on a break from cycling, I was on break from this character. Last one month I was nothing, nobody!
” I didn’t know I was dead already”
Unsure about the campaign or my life. Thoughts of ending my life were constantly haunting, they were always there throughout my life, but this time it was more than just thoughts (don’t panic, I’m good now). I didn’t know I was dead already, until we did #kathmanducube , this time I was there with my full consciousness. I was just there in present, no past or future; just the present, where life exist. Only difference from past activism and this time was I was not playing the character of Rohit. I was present for animals, I was in bliss.
And finally couple of days back, I was trying to analyse what really happened in past one month. I had major identity crisis, and there was instant acknowledgment from consciousness for who I was! I was Rohit once again, and there was downpour of tears. I came to realisation, life is perfect the way it is, the only way to go ahead is to evolve towards empathetic human being. Empathy towards everything and everyone, including yourself. I was just too hard of myself, created unrealistic expectations but that’s not how nature works, you cannot go against law of nature. Today, I had choice again from accepting the truth or keep running away from it, I accepted life, not the character, it was selfless.
‘I was lost, defeated and dead, each and everyone brought me back to life”
I understood life isn’t complicated if we don’t want it to be, just be present in the present. Life continues! Don’t seek approval from people or your ego–no one can fit in your shoes. The only approval you need is from your consciousness, it’s ‘always’ the right decision. Our entire world exists in the form of our reflection–if you make peace with it, it’s peaceful or we can choose misery! Don’t analyse your future with your past experience and loose the true essence of life–be present in the present, don’t get affected in web of callous thoughts, just observe and return back to present. We often like to think if there was more or something was different in current situation, life would be better. How do we know that? We don’t, that’s the ultimate truth!
There were many people involved in this journey of realization–everyone gave me a good reason to get back to where I was. I’m forever thankful to each and everyone of you for saving me, I was lost, defeated and dead, each and everyone brought me back to life. And there are few special people (you know who you are), you just make instant connection, that’s how nature manifests to pull you out of darkness. When you see the light, leap for it no matter how far it may seem, you’ll reach there, just have faith with clear consciousness in whatever you believe. I also apologies to everyone if I had hurt you intentionally or unintentionally, I was lost, it wasn’t me, it was ego!
I choose to see clearly now, my journey to human evolution (veganism) continues. I will continue to promote Veganism and help others out of darkness. I’m not bound to any conditions, always here lend my help hand whenever/wherever/whoever needs it. I’m still unsure about few things, I feel light now, I know, I’m home!
(Text & Image Courtesy: Rohit Ingle)