Om Vel Way by Seval Seer, self-help book


“Om Vel Way: Be Happy and Make Happy” by Seval Seer

Posted on November 22, 2023 by Reader Views

Om Vel Way: Be Happy and Make Happy

Seval Seer

Tellwell Talent (2023)
ISBN:  978-1779410658
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Reader Views (11/2023)

“Om Vel Way: Be Happy and Make Happy (Self Actualization)” by Seval Seer, is the perfect choice for finding happiness for yourself. As we all know, happiness is a goal we’d all like to achieve, but finding it can be elusive for some people, especially if they have problems or obstacles that prevent them from attaining it. This book explains how what we do in life goes toward making us happier, so we make our choices based on that.

The happier we are, the better we feel. But what is the quality of your happiness? Is it rich and bold, does it last a long time? The author’s message of evolving and bringing more happiness to your life speaks of an inward journey, but it also helps you see that you can bring happiness to others. If you’ve ever noticed, you feel happy when you help someone else.

Seer breaks down the process of finding happiness in a way that you can understand and use.  “OM” means the Spirit. And “VEL” means the Sport. “Way” is the method of the Spirit playing the Sport. OM holds that we are awareness that is constantly evolving. The author explains that there is much more to us than the things we own or what we take in through our mind and body and that each experience can help us evolve even further. If we can combine and channel the three powers that motivate our search for happiness, Verity, Evolution, and Love, we find it much quicker and feel more satisfied.

The search for your authentic self has never been greater than it is today, and it’s books like this that can help you find out who you really are while leading you to discover happiness in yourself and others. I like the author’s simple yet profound idea that love drives us further into our journey of evolving. Sometimes the things that hold us back may seem insurmountable, but the author suggests that ignorance about our true nature is really at the heart of what keeps us stagnant.

If your actions and choices in the world are based on who you say you are, then you may be limiting yourself. This book encourages you to expand your definition of who you are so that you can be free to pursue happiness and freedom, instead of being that person who has self-prescribed limitations. Basically, the author is saying,

Only you can set you free. You are the only one who can change things in your life.

I like the author’s description of “sailing across the sea of life” where you can sink or swim. This book is filled with so many interesting ideas that the author deftly explains, from letting go of self to strivin for self-actualization and setting aside some of the things you’ve learned early on in order to embrace new ideas and your new evolution.

My favorite part of the book is the author’s personal story and journey, how life was idyllic until about the age of fourteen, and then political upheaval, ethnic riots and civil war in Sri Lanka changed all of that, creating a catalyst for evolution. The images and charts are also very helpful in understanding the wisdom in this book. If you are ready to examine your idea of happiness and perhaps approach the sea of life in a different way, “Om Vel Way: Be Happy and Make Happy” by Seval Seer, can be a beacon of enlightenment on your journey.

Om Vel Way

Be Happy and Make Happy

by Seval Seer


The author was born and brought up in South Asia but has lived in the US, Europe, and Australia since his early adult life. He went through a period of existential crisis in his late twenties, seeking answers to age-old questions that few people ask, and even fewer find answers to. These questions include, “Who am I?” “What drives my life most fundamentally and ultimately?” “What holds us back?” and “What is the way forward?”

Through intense study, practice, and application of progressive methods of meditation evolving over 25+ years, the author developed a framework for life, a mental seal that he wishes to share with his readers. This framework draws on ancient sources and is augmented by modern psychology.


Reviewed by Amy Raines for Readers’ Favorite

Om Vel Way: Be Happy and Make Happy is a self-help guide by Seval Seer. Realizing that you can do anything you set your mind to is an unmatched kind of confidence. Confidence goes hand in hand with faith, which helps you to set and reach goals. As humans, we have very different needs. These needs are what drive every aspect of our lives so that we can be happy in every area. Self-actualization is one of the most important aspects of understanding who we are. Self-discovery leads to self-evolving. Evolving leads to happiness and fulfillment. Not only do you make yourself happy in the process, but you make others happy, too. Self-actualization brings with it self-realization, which helps you along this path of personal discovery.

I genuinely enjoyed everything about Om Vel Way. The level of motivation in this book is sure to help anyone find their own path to happiness, fulfillment, and success. I love how the author dips deep into the spirit and the human psyche and shows how personal evolution, self-actualization, and building confidence can help us find happiness in everything we do. I recommend Om Vel Way by Seval Seer to anyone who wants to find a deeper meaning in life and learn new ways to empower themselves through self-growth. This book would be a wonderful addition to anyone’s self-help library. I hope Seval Seer has more books like this that will help others find themselves and discover new ways to live more positively.

Review: Om Vel Way

by  Seval Seer

Eye-opening, mind-expanding, and relentlessly hopeful, Om Vel Way: Be Happy and Make Happy by Seval Seer is a well-crafted guide for the journey of self-actualization.

Part memoir and part spiritual textbook, the author patiently explicates much of what he has learned over decades of study and presents practical techniques for readers to apply those lessons in their own lives. With the pursuit and expansion of happiness as the book’s overarching goal, the intuitively structured narrative leads readers through the steps of increased awareness, self-actualization, and the elimination of suffering. Deeply rooted in a myriad of spiritual and religious traditions, but also delving into psychological, social, and philosophical sciences, this is a comprehensive introduction to self-improvement and enlightenment.

From a tumultuous early life in Sri Lanka to an international school in India, university in the UK, marriage, divorce, and an eventual move to the United States, readers are given a quick backstory of the author, and a compelling explanation for why and how his spiritual search began. This introduction helps to establish necessary credibility for the text, and Seer’s authority is consistent in the prose, without ever preaching a certain path. The vulnerability that comes across in the more personal passages of writing is immediately engaging, while the author’s boundary-defying exploration of ancient ideas is unique and spiritually creative.

The second half of the book is dedicated to expounding on the eight qualities that contribute to mindful living, and some of the pitfalls we encounter when we start binding our identity to worldly things, career paths, or simplistic definitions. By stripping away societal facades or false expectations, and helping readers uncover the deepest desires of their heart, this part of the book expertly but gently coaches readers towards greater satisfaction and clarity. The author then takes a closer look at the Four-Fold Path, and uses the lives of Buddha, Jesus, and Krishna to illustrate the power of personal evolution, worship, and the union of Individual Self and Ultimate Self. The author’s encompassing philosophy therefore has a much wider appeal than the narrow lens of dogmatic thinking, reaching beyond the cultural, historical, or religious origins of these concepts, and broadening the book’s target audience to anyone seeking clarity and comfort.

Given the nature of the subject matter, certain passages and pages can feel abstract and heady, and may be difficult to grasp for readers who are unfamiliar with these ideas. That being said, the prose is written to be accessible and thorough, and the text has been meticulously edited, making it easy to immerse in the elevated language and nuanced existential concepts. The section on mindful vs mechanical living particularly stands out as one of the most relatable portions of the book. In general, the writing flows naturally between stories, anecdotes, sutras, mantras, and tantras, with key ideas illustrated in parables, and then closely analyzed in successive sections.

A rewarding deep dive into topics that are both down-to-earth and ethereal, this is the type of book that can shift your thinking, redirect your energy, and set you on the path to all-around improvement, making it a thoroughly conceived and powerful work of spiritual self-help.




Source: Publishers Newswire | Fri, 08 Dec 2023, 16:22:39 EST

TEMECULA, Calif., Dec. 8, 2023 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Publishers Newswire (PNW), a news publisher covering books, music and software launched in 2004, has announced its latest semiannual “books to bookmark” list of 8 new and interesting books from small publishers and self-published authors in North America published over the past year. These books are often overlooked due to not coming from major traditional book publishing houses.

Image Caption: Books to Bookmark for Dec. 2023.

“To cap off a great year in publishing, we’re proud to amplify some great new books across multiple categories,” says PNW editor and publisher, Christopher Laird Simmons, who has worked in the publishing world since the late ‘70s, and is also CEO of the website’s parent company, NEOTROPE®.

Herewith are 8 interesting reads from 2023 worth a look (alphabetical order, based on book title):



Seval Seer has unveiled an enlightening book, “Om Vel Way: Be Happy and Make Happy,” (IBSN: 978-1779410658) which delves deep into the essence of human existence and the pursuit of true happiness. With a focus on the theme “Be Happy and Make Happy,” Seval Seer’s book offers a powerful and insightful perspective on the human journey. Learn more:



Learn more about additional books you’ve probably never heard of here:


Publishers Newswire™ is an online publication founded in 2004, part of the Neotrope News Network, covering books and publishing, music and software news. Publishers Newswire does not endorse, “recommend,” or review any of the book titles mentioned, and the specific books mentioned are for informational purpose only. No fee or other consideration was paid for inclusion in this list.


Neotrope has been in the publishing business since the late 1970s, when then teenage founder Christopher Simmons published first “The Comic Collectors Comic Checklist” sold at the San Diego Comic-Con. The company went on to publish “The Galaxy of Fandom” a one-off entertainment magazine, and later “The Adama Journal” a fanzine for “Battlestar Galactica.” In 1982, “The Unicorn Hunters Guidebook” was featured in Playboy magazine. In 1987, a fanzine for “Star Trek: The Next Generation” called “Galaxy Class” launched. In 2008, the company published “FRACTOPIA” a coffee table art book by Simmons (ISBN: 978-0971055506; Neotrope Press).

The company publishing unit was originally called Silver Unicorn Graphics (S.U. Graphics and Marketing), became Mindset Press in 1987 and Neotrope Press in 1997. The Neotrope News Network was launched in 2004.

The company is also a leader in online advertising and marketing, public relations, music/video and multimedia. Neotrope is based in the Southern California wine country of Temecula. Neotrope® is a registered trademark in the U.S. and Europe. The company celebrated its 40th anniversary Jan. 2023.

Christopher Simmons has been a working journalist since 1984 when he sold his first article to POLYPHONY magazine. Later writing for diverse pubs including Computer Player, Digital Imaging, Micro Publishing News, Spazz, the Graphic Artist’s Guild newspaper, among many others. He has been widely interviewed on topics related to technology, marketing, health and entertainment.

Learn more about Neotrope at: (website under reconstruction 2024).

NOTE: NEOTROPE does not publish any of the books mentioned in this press release nor represent any author or publisher in an agency capacity. For questions about any of the books mentioned contact the author or publisher directly and not

Publishers Newswire

Publishers Newswire is an online publication founded in 2004, part of the Neotrope News Network, covering books and publishing, music and software news.

OM VEL WAY: A Self-Help Book Review

Admin November 28, 2023

Om Vel Way by Seval Seer, self-help book

Embark on a Journey of Self-Discovery and Happiness with “Om Vel Way: Be Happy and Make Happy”

In the pursuit of happiness, we often find ourselves on a quest for fulfillment, a journey that author Seval Seer beautifully encapsulates in the insightful book, “Om Vel Way: Be Happy and Make Happy (Self Actualization).” The author presents a compelling guide that not only helps individuals discover happiness for themselves but also empowers them to radiate positivity to others.

Happiness, as a universal goal, can be elusive, particularly for those grappling with challenges and obstacles. Seer delves into the intricacies of life choices and their profound impact on our well-being. The underlying message revolves around the concept that our actions contribute to our happiness, influencing the quality and duration of our joy.

The author invites readers to reflect on the nature of their happiness. Is it vibrant and enduring? The book advocates for an inward journey, emphasizing personal evolution as a means to not only enhance individual happiness but also to spread joy to others. It draws attention to the fulfilling sensation derived from helping others, highlighting the interconnectedness of personal and communal happiness.

Seer breaks down the process of finding happiness into a comprehensible and applicable framework. The title itself carries profound meaning – “OM” symbolizing the Spirit, “VEL” representing the Sport, and “Way” elucidating the method of the Spirit engaging in the Sport. The exploration of Verity, Evolution, and Love as the driving forces behind our pursuit of happiness offers readers a holistic approach, facilitating a quicker and more satisfying journey towards fulfillment.

In a society where the search for authenticity is paramount, “Om Vel Way” emerges as a valuable resource. The book guides individuals in unraveling their true selves while uncovering the path to happiness within themselves and in their interactions with others. The author’s assertion that love propels us further along our evolutionary journey resonates, challenging the notion that obstacles are insurmountable. Seer contends that ignorance of our true nature is the primary impediment to personal growth.

The narrative urges readers to reevaluate their self-defined limitations and embrace a broader definition of who they are. A central theme emerges – the power to set oneself free lies within, and only by challenging and changing one’s perceptions can genuine transformation occur.

A metaphorical “sailing across the sea of life” is presented, where one must navigate the waves, deciding whether to sink or swim. The book is a treasure trove of compelling ideas, skillfully explained by the author. From relinquishing self-imposed constraints to striving for self-actualization, “Om Vel Way” encourages readers to discard preconceived notions and embrace the evolution of ideas and self.

The personal story and journey shared by Seer add a poignant touch to the narrative. Life’s idyllic moments abruptly disrupted by political upheaval and civil unrest in Sri Lanka become a catalyst for evolution. Visual aids, including images and charts, enhance the reader’s understanding of the wisdom embedded in the book.

For those ready to reexamine their notions of happiness and navigate life’s seas with renewed perspective, “Om Vel Way: Be Happy and Make Happy” stands as a guiding light. Seval Seer’s work offers a beacon of enlightenment, encouraging readers to embark on a transformative journey towards happiness and freedom. In the author’s words, “Only you can set you free,” emphasizing the profound truth that individuals possess the agency to reshape their lives.

You can find OM VEL Way on

Author Seval Seer releases ‘Om Vel Way’

  • Wire Reports
  • Nov 8, 2023 Updated Nov 9, 2023

Wire Reports

VICTORIA, British Columbia — Author Seval Seer has unveiled an enlightening book, “Om Vel Way: Be Happy and Make Happy,” (IBSN: 978-1779410658; Nov. 2023) which delves deep into the essence of human existence and the pursuit of true happiness. With a focus on the theme “Be Happy and Make Happy,” Seval Seer’s book offers a powerful and insightful perspective on the human journey.

In “Om Vel Way,” Seval Seer introduces a profound concept, with “OM” representing the spirit, “VEL” symbolizing the sport(i.e., life as a sport), and “Way” depicting how the spirit engages in the sport. The book is grounded in the belief that, at our core, we are evolving awareness, transcending our possessions and experiences. Through this awareness, we can lead authentic lives, guided by the three powers of Verity (to be aware of the higher truth), Evolution (to evolve based on this awareness), and Love (the driving force behind our progress).

The book navigates the obstacles that hinder our path to happiness, primarily our ignorance about our true nature. By embracing evolving awareness and shedding the fixed notions of self, the book reveals a transformative journey toward progressive happiness. It emphasizes self-actualization as the key to becoming our true selves and finding refuge and ultimate fulfillment within.

By  Angela Polchat-Ferris

Nov 7, 2023 4:00 AM PST 

Author Seval Seer has unveiled an enlightening book, “Om Vel Way: Be Happy and Make Happy,” (IBSN: 978-1779410658; Nov. 2023) which delves deep into the essence of human existence and the pursuit of true happiness. With a focus on the theme “Be Happy and Make Happy,” Seval Seer’s book offers a powerful and insightful perspective on the human journey.


The book navigates the obstacles that hinder our path to happiness, primarily our ignorance about our true nature

Author Seval Seer has unveiled an enlightening book, “Om Vel Way: Be Happy and Make Happy,” (IBSN: 978-1779410658; Nov. 2023) which delves deep into the essence of human existence and the pursuit of true happiness. With a focus on the theme “Be Happy and Make Happy,” Seval Seer’s book offers a powerful and insightful perspective on the human journey.

In “Om Vel Way,” Seval Seer introduces a profound concept, with “OM” representing the spirit, “VEL” symbolizing the sport(i.e., life as a sport), and “Way” depicting how the spirit engages in the sport. The book is grounded in the belief that, at our core, we are evolving awareness, transcending our possessions and experiences. Through this awareness, we can lead authentic lives, guided by the three powers of Verity (to be aware of the higher truth), Evolution (to evolve based on this awareness), and Love (the driving force behind our progress).

The book navigates the obstacles that hinder our path to happiness, primarily our ignorance about our true nature. By embracing evolving awareness and shedding the fixed notions of self, the book reveals a transformative journey toward progressive happiness. It emphasizes self-actualization as the key to becoming our true selves and finding refuge and ultimate fulfillment within.

Author Seval Seer has embarked on a remarkable journey of self-discovery, having lived across different continents. His exploration of profound questions about existence and the fundamental drivers of life culminated in the development of the mental framework presented in “Om Vel Way.” This framework seamlessly blends ancient wisdom with modern psychology, offering readers a powerful tool to unlock happiness and authenticity in their lives.

“Om Vel Way: Be Happy and Make Happy” is a thought-provoking masterpiece that guides readers toward a deeper understanding of their true selves and the pursuit of happiness, not only for themselves but also for those around them.

Book Review │OM VEL Way: Be Happy and Make Happy


Name: Seval Seer
Book title: OM VEL Way: Be Happy and Make Happy
Genre: Non-fiction (Self-Help, Spirituality)
Published: October , 2023

The OM VEL Way” talks about finding happiness and understanding yourself in a way that’s different from typical self-help books. If you’re someone who enjoys thinking about life’s big questions and doesn’t mind taking a bit of time to explore deep ideas, this book is for you. It’s not a quick-fix guide rather, it’s more like a companion for those wanting a meaningful journey.

Filled with deep thoughts and a book about self-discovery, “The OM VEL Way” is a spiritual and philosophical literature. It’s the first of a series that focuses on self-actualization. It is a collection of valuable ideas on spirituality and personal growth to help you become the best version of yourself.

Now, this book is no light read. If you’re after a quick and easy read, this might not be your go-to book. It’s something that you need to watch and reflect on.

Inspired by various fields like psychology, philosophy, religion, and spirituality, Seval shares his own life experiences and what he has learned.

This book has a unique approach. It dives into Tamil masterpieces like Thirukural and Thirumandhiram including invocable representations like mantras, tantras, visualizations, sutras. It brings in wisdom from Tamil stories and blends it with practical insights.

The exploration of happiness is presented from three lenses—external ease, internal peace, and blissful synthesis. It taps into your emotions, talking about happiness from different angles that makes you think about yourself and life. Seval acknowledges the challenges in interpreting ancient texts evoke a sense of introspection and emotional resonance.

The language is in formal style and uses specific terminology. However, ideas are carefully explained.

The book is like a map, guiding you through two main things: understanding concepts and truths, and then actually living them in your daily life. incorporates diverse sources, follows a four-fold path, and focuses on evolving awareness to thoroughly explore its theme. This one shines with its mix of ancient wisdom and practical applications. Plus, there’s a mix of ideas from Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and even some Western psychology. It’s a unique blend that offers a special experience for those exploring spirituality and self-help.

This book is a valuable resource for those on a quest for deeper understanding and fulfillment.


A Conversation with Seval Seer, Author of “Om Vel Way: Be Happy and Make Happy”

Posted on November 30, 2023 by Reader Views

Om Vel Way: Be Happy and Make Happy

Seval Seer
Tellwell Talent (2023)
ISBN:  978-1779410658

I was born and brought up in Sri Lanka, but I lived in the US, Europe, and Australia since my early adult life. I went through a period of existential crisis in my late twenties, seeking answers to age-old questions that few people ask, and even fewer find answers to. These questions include, “Who am I?” “What drives my life most fundamentally?” and ultimately, “What holds us back?” and “What is the way forward?” I then was able to practice this for over 25 years and developed a framework rooted in ancient wisdom, augmented with modern science, weaved thread by thread with every experience, and synthesized as a unified outlook and a way of life. I am now looking forward to sharing it with others with the view that it might increase happiness in their lives.

Welcome to Reader Views, Seval! Could you tell us about your book, “Om Vel Way: Be Happy and Make Happy” and its overarching message?

This book is a result of over 25 years of iterative exploration, living experience (practice), and evolution. I call this a spiritual seal (outlook and way of life). It is not a prescription–for someone to follow mechanically as a to-do list with microinstructions. It is not an academic paper either. Instead, it is a practitioner’s guide, i.e. a proposition for others to explore, experience, and evolve.

The overall message has two elements. “Be Happy and Make Happy” and “OM VEL Way” as the anchoring theme and the title of the book, respectively.

“Be Happy and Make Happy” is both the foundation and ultimate theme of our lives. Everything we do (consciously or subconsciously) is to increase the quality and/or scale of our happiness. Quality refers to richness and intensity; Scale refers to scope (in our life and that of others) and longevity.

The title “Om Vel Way” encapsulates a unique philosophy. Could you elaborate on the significance of each term in the context of your book?

“OM” is the Spirit. “VEL” is the Sport. “Way” is how the Spirit plays the Sport. Let’s look at each term in more detail.

OM refers to who we are, in an intrinsic and ultimate sense. We are not our possessions, what we relate to, how we are recognized by others, or anything in terms of body-mind experience. We are an “evolving awareness”. We are that which occupy the body and the mind; we are aware of body-mind experience; and we acquire any outcomes (possession, recognition, etc.) through body and mind. But we are NOT the body or mind, defined in terms of their experience or the acquisition through them. We experience through body and mind and evolve as an awareness.

So, it is constricting to define our “self” as a fixed profile (the notion of “I am This”) in terms of the faculties, and experience of outcomes related to body and mind. It is like defining the journey in terms of a given set of stepping stones. As opposed to recognizing the self as an evolving process of awareness (“I am that I am”) and we evolve with each experience towards our ultimate nature (along the process called “self-actualization).

Here is a quick summary. OM (aka AUM) as four states of awareness. A state is represented by “A,” “U,” and “M”. The fourth state is represented by their synthesis, collectively called an OM (aka AUM).

  • – Physical and physiological awareness: that which is aware of the external world.
  • U – Psychological awareness. Emotions, intellect: that which is aware of the mental/internal world.
  • – Meditative or intuitive awareness, i.e., revelations: that which is aware of one’s nature and that of life as a whole.
  • AUM (aka OM) – Wholesome or sacred awareness: This state is a synthesis of the above states applied to each moment, here and now, as a whole organism, not as an isolated capability, in other words, as a living awareness.

This is detailed in Chapter 6.


VEL refers to our self-actualization tendency to drive our unfoldment.

  • Verity: The power to be aware of our true selves – lead a progressively authentic life
  • Evolution: The power to evolve toward our ultimate – life is an evolving process toward its ultimate state
  • Love: the power to love that fuels our evolution toward our Ultimate Self – lead a progressively benevolent life

This is detailed in Chapter 7


The way is how we, as evolving awareness, swim across the sea of life and avoid sinking along the way. It is an interplay of five elements. Here is the summary. This is described in detail in Chapter 8.

  1. The Fettered Self a notion based on the view of “I am This”  i.e. something defined in terms of fixed features (faculties  – body, mind; acquisitions – resources and skills; experience through body and mind)
  2. Self as evolving awareness. Here self is viewed as an evolving process of awareness based on the notion “I am that I am”. I am not a fixed product but a process
  3. A notion of our Ultimate Self.  Some may call it God. Others may call it the enlightened self or a concept of the highest potential we can realize. It is the Goal and the Refuge for the evolving Self It provides the potential for the Self to evolve
  4. Concealing Grace – the flow of ignorance forced into craving and resentment. This, in the short term, may be useful as a protective shield when we confront an overwhelming occasion. It triggers a way of self-preservation. But in the long run, what may appear as a scaffolding may itself become a prison and impede further evolution [Na].
  5. Revealing Grace – the flow of intuition that reveals the higher truth of our ultimate nature. This is often a progressive revelation of who we are and the truth about our lives.

The way is how we as evolving selves become increasingly aware of our ultimate nature and evolve towards it – self-actualization. In the process, we progressively overcome ignorance which is the root cause of its fettered nature.

In short, the Way outlines how we can Swim across the sea of life and not sink. The measure of progress is increasing the quality and scale of happiness in our lives and that of others – with “Be Happy and Make Happy” as the True North.

Happiness is often sought after, yet elusive. How does your book propose individuals can better understand and achieve lasting happiness?

Let’s look at the definition of happiness as an experience that results from fulfilling needs (across the hierarchy of needs). The higher the need, the higher the quality and scale (scope and longevity) of happiness. Hence the fulfilment of the highest need provides the highest quality and scale of happiness.

Abraham Maslow outlined the hierarchy of needs – ranging from Physical, Safety, Love/Belonging, Esteem, and Self-Actualization. While the sense of urgency (or pre-potency as he called it) goes from lower to higher, i.e. starving person will first want food before looking at safety. The quality and scale of happiness are the least physical and increase along the hierarchy, i.e., As we pursue and fulfill higher needs, the quality and scale of happiness increase.

The first four needs are called deficiency needs. i.e., the more we fulfill the need, the less the drive to have more. As we largely fulfill our physical needs, we become motivated by higher needs (in this case safety needs) and so on. They are also deficient needs in the sense that they refer to our deficiency in terms of something external. Happiness here is more of the pain relief of filling the deficiency we feel in ourselves with respect to something external.

The last need for self-actualization is called a growth need. Here, the more we fulfill, the more inspired we are to pursue. They are also growth needs in the sense it is evolving with respect to our notion of the ultimate self (the self that we truly are). Happiness here is an increasing bliss as we align more and more with our true nature.

So, the quality and scale of happiness depend on the primary need we are pursuing to fulfill.  As we evolve, we recognize that Self-actualization is the most fundamental and ultimate need.

Hinduism views this via Sheaths of Experience (Kosha) from the outer to the innermost. The first four are experience related to each faculty and correlates with first for needs of Maslow’s hierarchy (physical, sense of preservation emotional intellectual, etc.). The last one is called the Sheath of Bliss.

Aligning modern science (Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) with ancient wisdom (Sheaths of experience of Upanishads), one can see that self-actualization is the only need that leads to bliss. Others are more of a pain relief or transient joys that depend on others.

Kurt Goldsten (a neurologist and a psychologist) who first coined the term self-actualization, states that self-actualization is the only real need. Other needs are subservient needs to this primary need.

These are covered in more detail in Chapter 3 (discussing the Hierarchy of needs and Sheaths of Experience) and Chapter 4 where multiple perspectives are discussed (across multiple fields of studies ranging from Psychology, Neurology, Spirituality, Philosophy, and Biology)

 How does personal evolution contribute to happiness, and can you provide practical steps on how readers might begin this inward journey, including overcoming barriers like ignorance?

Let’s unpack each part of your question

How does personal evolution contribute to happiness?

Is our life defined based on what happens to us? Or is it based on how we see it, interpret it, respond to it, and evolve from it? Most people agree that it is the latter. “Who we are” is the cardinal factor that determines “what we experience “(suffering or happiness). Sickness, illness, death of a relative, loss of legacy these are all events. But how we look at these (threat or opportunity to evolve), engage them, reflect on them, and evolve from them is what determines if we are leading a life of suffering or happiness overall.

Buddhism calls it dependent arising- “It is what it is because you are who you are”. For instance, we see sickness, aging, and death all the time. But when one young prince saw this, he became Buddha. Not only leading a happy life but many not just during his lifetime but a millennium later.

Again, the first point to reflect to become aware of is that our progress in self-actualization (as Soren Kierkegaard says “to be the self which one truly is”) has the highest contribution to happiness in our lives

Life is a holistic journey –  a synthesis of inward and outward. 

It is not an exclusive inward journey. But a synthesis of external journey (of the body – physical, physiological) and inward journey (of the mind – psychological emotions and intellect) as a unified journey (of the spirit – as an evolving process of awareness)

Practical Steps

As they say, “The way out is the way through”. There is no escaping from the reality of the rising moment and running away to a fantasy land. We eventually need to return to reality, one way or another. To be open to each occasion, engage it fully, experience it fully, then meditate on it, discover more of your true nature, evolve, and then engage the next movement as a more evolving being. This is the fastest and most effective way. Everything else is to take a detour or slow down the process. The direct path requires clarity and genuine relentless practice.

There is a four-fold path to this way where we use every occasion to engage, experience, become aware, and then evolve beyond it.

  1. The Way of Service: Where we use every physical and physiological engagement as a steppingstone toward self-actualization, this is an “outside-in” process where we discover who we are in the experience and evolve
  2. The Way of Worship: Where we use our psychological experience (Emotional, intellectual) as a stepping stone toward self-actualization. This is an “inside-out” process where we reform ourselves toward a notion of the Ultimate Self and engage the world with a reformed state of Self each time
  3. The Way of Witnessing: Where we are primarily a witness of the unfolding of our life. Just meditating on our life helps us evolve. Worldly engagement and psychological evolution are byproducts. The unfolding of our ultimate nature is the primary phenomenon
  4. The Way of Unity: This is meditation in action where we are in continuous union with our ultimate

Using every experience as a subject of meditation leads to progressive awareness of who we and using this awareness engages the next encounter as a more evolved being. To continue to progress towards left actualization towards our ultimate nature as our way of life.

This is covered in detail in Chapter 9.

But how does one overcome a barrier like ignorance? The only antidote to ignorance is awareness. If one needs to dispel darkness, what one needs is to light a lamp. Similarly, with each experience, one needs to reflect on it and become more aware of the higher truth about one true nature and purpose of one’s life. With the progressive increase in awareness, the barrier of ignorance is lowered. But this needs to be experiential or living awareness, not just book knowledge. So the emphasis on practice, meditation, and evolution are reinforcing and evolving factors.

Love is often portrayed as an emotion, but in your book, it is one of the three powers driving our pursuit of happiness. How does one harness this power effectively?

This is a great question. Goes to the heart of spiritual development and progress along with self-actualization. You put it so eloquently as love as “emotion” vs. as one of the “powers” of evolution. Let’s discuss this a little bit more.

Love as an emotion is with respect to deficient needs (i.e. first four needs of the hierarchy of needs as discussed before – physical, safety, belonging, esteem). I love you (or love this) because of the fulfillment of my deficiency. My way of expressing such love is typically gratitude or a return of favor. This emotion then becomes a longing it may become a clinging (either as a dependency or as controlling)

Now let’s contrast this with Love as one of the powers of evolution. The highest need (in the hierarchy of needs as we have seen) is self-actualization (“to be the self-one truly is”, as Kierkegaard says). The highest experience (in the sheath of experience is bliss). Here the need is not in relation to something external but one’s own notion of ultimate self. This is called the growth need. The more we fulfill this need, the more inspired we are to pursue it even more.

Here, love is really the power that fuels us to continue to evolve towards our ultimate nature. Let’s now look at what the other three powers are and their interplay. Then let’s look at what Love is in this context. After that, I can answer the last part of your question.

The three powers are

  • Power to be aware (Verity). This is the inherent power to be aware of our ultimate self
  • Power to Evolve (Evolution) is our intrinsic tendency towards self-actualization (as we overcome our fetters). An intrinsic nature of every living this is evolution. Preservation or clinging is a response towards threat (that we feel conformable to lead a mechanical life based on memory and habit, i.e. comply with what we are told)
  • Love is that power that fuels evolution to evolve toward our ultimate self

As we become progressively aware of our ultimate self, we increase love to evolve towards it. There is nothing we need to do. Simple awareness inspires us to evolve towards it. As we evolve, we develop further love to become more aware. This becomes a reinforcing cycle. As one of the ancient Tamil works (thirukural) it says that love not only gives the strength to become aware but also the courage (of conviction) to live by that awareness.

As we become happy, we scale our happiness to make others happy. Here Love is not an emotion as in the case of deficiency need (as gratitude, longing, or returning the favor). Instead, it is a natural evolution of scaling happiness  – from being happy to making others happy. My being happy is scaling out to making others happy.

In this context, Love is defined as follows in Hindu and Buddhist Scriptures

  • Benevolence (mettā or maitrī): A general sense of wishing well.
  • Sympathetic joy (muditā): Being happy about others ’happiness.
  • Compassion (Karuna): Being empathic toward the sufferings of others.
  • Equanimity (upuekkhā or upekṣā): Not being attached. Love is not clinging; love is freedom.

So back to the second part of the question, “How does one harness this power effectively?”  The answer is to become more aware of who you are. That sends the reinforcing interplay of the three powers that help us progress along with self-actualization.

In the process of self-actualization, how does one balance letting go of old self-concepts while embracing the new evolution of the self?

Letting go of the old self-concepts is not an artificial and forceful act. In some sense, it is as natural as the tree letting go of old leaves and snakes shedding its dead skin, i.e. letting go is a natural process of evolution. It is clinging or self-preservation that is an artificial and deliberate act.

Kurt Goldstein (Neurologist and psychologist for first coined the term self-actualization) called clinging or self-preservation as a pathological/unhealthy state of a living being in the face of threat. Self-actualization is the most natural process when one is in their natural state and free to flow.

So we need to look at the root cause of clinging (self-preservation). It is ignorance of our true nature. This ignorance is forged by a sense of cracking and resentment. We cling to what we like and blackout what we resent. The antidote to ignorance is awareness. Awareness sets self-evolution in motion through the interplay of the three powers (to know, to evolve, and to love). Letting go (of old self-concepts) is a byproduct of embracing the new notion of self, not a separate act.

Awareness starts with being open to what the next moment brings. Encounters resulting in experience play the role of catalyst or steppingstone. One does not evolve in a vacuum.  So being able to live fully (without prejudice and pre-conception) is important. With these two, the next step is the ability to stand apart and reflect (meditation). When one is open to experience, lives existentially, and reflects on the experience, one is able to live as a fully functioning person (as described by Carl Rogers, an imminent psychologist)

As we experience, discover and evolve, we also build more confidence in our own judgment as an organism as a whole. With this comes a progressive increase in courage, conviction, and confidence. With that, we learn to let go of fixed notions and ignorance.

Some of the above ideas are detailed in Chapter 4 (Multiple Perspectives of Self-Actualization) where various views across psychology, biology/neurology, philosophy, and spirituality are discussed.

The metaphor of “sailing across the sea of life” is powerful. How does this imagery help in understanding the concept of self-actualization?


Let me first give credit where it’s due. The notion of life as a sea is an age-old notion in Hindu/Buddhist spirituality. From there, an ancient Tamil work (thirukurtal) states “Those who unite with the ultimate swim across the vast sea of life; others sink.”  I actually put a quote in my book, along with the chapter title (#3)

Imagery helps in understanding the concept of self-actualization?

From the perspective of this book, it helps to think of life as a sea. Sea with waves of needs and experience – need described by the hierarchy of needs (by Abraham Maslow) and Sheath of experience (Koshas in Taittiriya Upanishads)

While there is a direction to the journey, there are no set paths like roads. It is a fluid path to navigate through the waves. True North is to “Be Happy and Make Happy”. There are maps for various paths, but each of us needs to navigate our ship. There is a sense of sense of journey, a sense of discovery, and a sense of navigation towards the destination. The destination is the idea of the “Ultimate self” and the journey is self-actualization.

To sink is to cling to a fixed sense of self. One suffers in suppressing one’s awareness of one’s ultimate nature, a bit like drowning in the sea and being desperate for a breath of air. To swim is to progress toward the “Ultimate Self” along the path of self-actualization. Each day brings a new set of waves. With it, a new engagement, experience, awareness, and evolution.

You suggest expanding our definition of who we are. How does one begin to redefine their sense of self?

First to start by answering the question of what we are NOT – first conceptually and then as a living experience. Then an urge arises in us to find out what we really are. It is this “cognitive dissonance” between a way of life (which is founded on the view of who we are) and an awareness of who you are not (which shakes that foundation), that builds up the urge to know your true nature. The concept of “who am I” is the most foundational and ultimate question. From there is our outlook on life, how we process events, how we respond to those events, and how we evolve from these encounters.

So let’s start with the question “Am I the body” or is “Body” something I occupy? From there, “am I defined in terms of experience of the body” or that which is aware of such experience. Then continue to question with “Am I” the acquisition that helps me lead a safe life (money, healthy physiology, etc.). Or am that which is aware of it? In the same way, we continue to question about mind (emotions, intellect). Then we begin to loosen the grip of the notion of “I am This” i.e. defining oneself with physical/physiological, emotional, and intellectual capability, experience, and/or outcomes. Self is not a fixed product, an evolving process of awareness.

Conceptually, this was proposed millenniums ago. The most comprehensive treatment that I have read is in Thirumandiram and Mandukya Upanishad (Ancient Hindu scriptures). The word “OM” is the most sacred word in many religions that originated from India – Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.  Self is described in terms of awareness via four states of awareness (as described earlier)

Yet each of us needs to realize this experientially in our lives, not just as a compilation of knowledge. That is a lifelong practice along the “Way” and the fourfold path I described before.

Could you provide an example of how someone might limit themselves through self-prescribed limitations and how they might overcome these?

We limit or evolve ourselves primarily with our own definition of “I”. Each of us at any given point in time need to have a definition. We cannot live based on someone else’s definition, even if it is more profound. We can only genuinely live by our own definition.

So far, so good. It becomes a limitation if we cling to a given definition and refuse to evolve even in the face of discovery of higher truths, i.e. when we live our life based on memory and habit (a mechanical motion). We do this first, by blocking new insights (suppression or psychological defensive mechanism) and then we try to force fit reality into a fixed definition of self. This may be in the form of implosion/neurotic tendencies (where we force-fit ourselves into external definitions) or explosion /psychotic tendencies where we try to force our outlook on others. In day-to-day living, we all do that one way or another to a lesser or greater extent. But the question is not about any given moment but an overall trajectory of life. Are we progressively living a life of self-actualization (swim) or self-preservation (sink)? Each moment then offers an opportunity to calibrate or to further progress. A bit like navigating our ship in the journey across the sea.

How do we break out of this cycle?

The visual elements like images and charts play a role in your book. How do these aid in the reader’s understanding of your message?

Invokable representation – Visualisation, condensed phrases or representative sounds (Mantra) , carefully selected routines – physical and psychological (tantra) are valuable and necessary aids. It is widely used in most religions originated in India, including Hinduism and Buddhism

In the scientific world, in the field of psychology, Carl Jung did a very comprehensive study including the deep study of religions, symbols, and their psychological values. He is one of the eminent psychologists who was a prodigy coached by Freud and then branched off from there. His proposition is that the human mind has conscious and unconscious aspects. The conscious mind deals with routines and simpler aspects of life. But the unconscious mind is considerably more powerful. When we are making life-changing decisions, the conscious mind succumbs to the unconscious mind.

The way of processing the conscious mind is via emotions and rational thinking. But in his view, the unconscious mind functions in terms of intuition.  With rational minds, you must “think through”. With the subconscious mind, you “see” higher truths. They are not irrational (lower than rational thinking) but superior to rational thinking in terms of processing very complex, highly subtle, and higher truths perceived as a flash of intuition, i.e. revelation of truth. The most effective way of communicating intuition to the conscious mind is in terms of invokable representations (including visualization). They offer help as devices to capture this intuitive revelation. Jung further says that one cannot make intuition happen but can only be receptive to it.  By his own admission, he confessed that yogis of Hinduism and Buddhism are past masters in this field. I have added more on this in Chapter (4).

For us to lead a spiritual life, we need to mobilize our subconscious mind (with intuitive faculty) and through a process of osmosis evolve our conscious mind. This is represented as the inner eye in Hinduism. In fact, this is exactly what is done in meditation. First, we need to still the faculties of the conscious mind – sense, emotions, and rational thoughts. This makes us receptive to intuition, which comes as a flash of revelation of higher truths. If you don’t capture it, it passes by like lightning. You need to capture that in a form that can be used to evolve our conscious minds.

This does not mean we become irrational beings or act on blind faith or hunch. Firstly, a higher truth needs to be seen. To be more accurate, we need to become receptive to higher-order truths first, i.e. being awoken to higher truth. Then we need to apply and experience them. This requires practice, discovery, and evolution. Invokable representations are critical for practice. To be able to summon an outlook or a state of being to the point of action. A collection of knowledge may be useful for becoming familiar with concepts. But to practice you need the help of invokable representations.

In Hinduism/Buddhism, this intuitive viewing is called the inner eye. It is a central part of spiritual development. There is a high emphasis on initiative revelation (experiential wisdom) compared to rational deduction or academic knowledge Thirumandhiram (Hindu Scripture) eloquently states as follows:

“Only fools limit their vision to the eyes on their face (perception & deduction)

Bliss is when you can perceive with your inner eye (intuitive revelation)

The same way a mother cannot truly make her daughter (a virgin bride)

Understand the conjugal bliss that she enjoyed with her husband” (#2944)

Sharing your personal story must have been challenging. How did you decide what to include and what to leave out?

The primary decision for me is to decide on the nature of the book. I am not interested in an academic paper. I chose to write this book as a proposition for people to experiment, discover, and evolve from there. i.e. as a spiritual seal (outlook and way of life).

Once that decision is made, for this book to be genuine, I need to share my own experience. Firstly, I need to explore and then how feel about it now. But I also need to take care that I don’t trespass on other people’s right to privacy and confidentiality. More importantly not to make others who were/are involved in my life uncomfortable. Finally, this book should not become a source of gossip or trivial entertainment about any person’s life including mine.

So the choice of what to share, to what extent, and what not to share were guided by these principles. Besides that, sharing has not been challenging for me. It was more about deciding on what is relevant to this book and respecting the rights and sensitivities of others.

How do you propose readers integrate the principles of “Om Vel Way” into their everyday lives?

Carl Rogers, an eminent psychologist, outlined a concept called “Fully Functioning Person”. This is his interpretation of self-actualization.

  • Progressively becoming open to experiences: Being open to the full richness of what life offers at each encounter, without distortion or suppression.
  • Progressively more existential living: Engaging in each event totally as an organism in the “here and now.” The person discovers more and more of their true nature in the awareness of the experience itself, rather than starting with a fixed position of the Self and fitting the experience within that definition.
  • Progressively trusting in the organism (i.e. inner voice): “Individuals can trust their total organismic reaction to a new situation because they discover to an ever-increasing degree that if they are open to their experience, doing what ‘feels right’ proves to be a competent and trustworthy guide to truly satisfying behavior.”

He goes on to summarize a fully functioning person (progressing along self-actualization)

“He is more able to experience all his feelings. Completely engaged in the process of being and becoming himself. He is becoming a more fully functioning organism, and because of the awareness of himself which flows in and through his experience, he is becoming a more fully functioning person.”

This is part of Chapter 4 (multiple perspectives of self-actualization)

Can you discuss a time when you had to apply your own principles to overcome a challenge in your life?

The most challenging patch in my life was to play a crucial role in raising my young sons soon after my separation. One was in his formative years. The other was a young teenager. The challenge I took up was not only to mitigate any lasting scars in their lives but also to use this as an opportunity to raise them with strong inner foundations, i.e., they rise above the challenge and evolve beyond this as more resilient and holistic beings. It is my view that a crisis not only brings about threats but also priceless opportunities. I wanted my sons to have the best out of this phase.

I only know one way to go about this. It should start with me. My outlook and my way of life should set an example. That is the core message to my sons. The rest are just logistics and mechanics to deal with specific functional needs. But for my sons to receive the best from me, I needed to evolve. As they say, seeing is believing. The rest are words to elaborate and tactics to go about.

For this to be a lasting experience, I need to be driven by inspiration and not fear of threats. This provided (or should I say demanded) that I become my best self from everything that I learned to that point, but also evolve with each experience, to the extent I can. In this process, I was able to give the best of myself, to the extent I could. It had two impacts. One, my sons received the best they could from their father. They also received a living example, the best their father could.

My focus was not so much on how far I succeeded. But how best I could try. That was the primary measure. The only thing I can say is that I evolved in a much faster and richer way than I have ever done before. With that, I find my peace.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of sharing your philosophy with others through this book?

There are two aspects to this. First sharing one’s happiness with others is a natural way of scaling one’s own happiness. The second is to share one’s view with others one develops a level of clarity that is much higher than to practice in one’s own life. While writing this book, I had to choose among various aspects of my outlook and use words that make it easier for 3rd party to understand. This, in turn, brings a lot more clarity to one’s own mind.

What do you hope the world would look like if everyone adopted the “Om Vel Way” of life?

The intent of this book is to be happy and make people happy. So, the purpose of this book is to add more happiness to more people – even if it is a little bit more happiness for a few more people.

What’s next for you, Seval? Are there plans for another book or a continuation of the themes explored in “Om Vel Way”?

A bit of both. For the book published, there are some responsibilities that lie with me to make it visible and accessible to people. Beyond that, the receptivity will guide the natural continuation of this effort.

This book is part of a series. It is one of 4 books. It is an inner calling that will guide the timing and nature of such effort as it has been with this book.

Most importantly, both my sons are in their transitional stages. One from school to university. Other from university to workplace. Over the next 2 years, being there for them, to the extent needed, will take priority over other things.

Is there anything you’d like to add today?

Yes. I would genuinely like to thank you for this opportunity. The quality of the questions indicates the effort that had gone into understanding my book and providing a good opportunity to get the core messages out there. It also made me revisit and think through. It was one thing to practice in my life, and another to write a book. It is yet another experience to respond to interview questions. I really enjoyed it. Thank you.

To the reader, my final suggestion today is to recognize that life is a journey, and we are a process of evolving awareness, not a fixed product. I hope my book helps, even if it’s in a very small way, to increase happiness in your life and that of others around you.


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