Exclusive Interview with
Ananta Ripa Ajmera
When did you start writing?
Ever since I can remember, I have wrote. I used to write in multiple journals that I would track my days and deepest thoughts in. I still have the habit of allocating different journals to documenting different kinds of written reflections, thoughts, and ideas.
What makes writing your passion?
I have always found the process of writing to be profoundly clarifying, and transformational. It allows me to get to the root of things, to understand myself and others better, and to discern the truth of situations. In Ayurveda, the world's oldest healing system, and the sister science of Yoga that teaches you how to live a healthy lifestyle, in harmony with Mother Nature, digestion is considered the key to health at all levels. I always find that writing is one of the most optimal ways to 'digest' information, my emotions, experiences, and wisdom I have learned or heard from others. In writing, I feel I have the opportunity to rewrite my deep subconscious scripts and patterns, to transform ancestral karma and reveal to others a path to this kind of profound spiritual liberation in the process.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing professionally since I was a college student. I wrote for the college newspaper, and then joined a marketing communications firm, followed by writing articles for online magazines. That then turned into authoring a book at the request of a publisher who sought me out based on my articles. After releasing my first book, I wrote a lot of content to develop a community on Instagram. Then I worked on writing my second book over the course of four years. In that process, a third book concept is emerging that I'm looking forward to finding time and space to fully 'digest', download and write.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
It was such a joyful and fulfilling feeling to write my first book, and to know that I could translate and transmit my own experience of transformation with Ayurveda's life-changing lifestyle via my words and photos that were in it.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
So far, in my first two books, I have been the main, non-fiction character in my books : )
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
We all have off days when writing, so I would say the pressure to complete writing projects within a tight or strict deadline can be a little annoying, since art tends to reveal itself in its own divine timing.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
It helps me a lot to take breaks to revive my inspiration, to go outdoors, take a walk by the beach, listen to music, go inwards and simply sit in silence, ready to receive once the inspiration is ready be channeled through my being.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
What makes me keep going is surrendering to the divine calling I feel in life, to be an instrument of service to the divine in all beings, and to leave behind something that will outlive me, which writing has the power to do. I would advise new authors to be patient and persistent and unafraid to go deeper within to give birth to their best expressions.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
I would tell my younger self to always trust that, by putting my full faith and trust in the divine, that I would be protected by that. And to never succumb to feeling like we have to do what others strongly feel we should just to get their approval, as that often comes at the cost of betraying our own soul, which never leads to happy consequences long-term.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Yes, I read my book reviews. I always take into consideration any negative feedback to first see if there is anything true in it. If there is, then I take that as my catalyst for improvement in the future. If I discern there is not truth in the review, then I understand it more as a projection of someone else's feelings and reality onto my writing and don't take it personally. You can't please everyone, and there's no point wasting precious time in life trying to do so.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Appreciation for the fact that the goodness in the reviewer prompted them to express their kindness through leaving a review. I feel very grateful for each good review I receive, and know that it ultimately is not all due to me, but to the unbroken chain of people and events and karma that allowed me to have my work published in writing. It is humbling and important to always remember that when receiving praise.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
I don't write novels, but I 100% have incorporated much of my own life transformations into my writing, especially into my second book, The Way of the Goddess, which is partly memoir, partly mythological storytelling, and partly inspired rituals you can try in your life that have transformed my own life.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
I play myself in all my work so far : )
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
I don't think we should ever judge a book by its cover, but rather we should judge it by the quality of its contents.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I love connecting with my readers! I do so primarily via Instagram right now, and truly appreciate each time someone shares my work, reaches out to share what reading my book has meant for them via DM, etc. I look forward to connecting with more readers of The Way of the Goddess through my organization, The Ancient Way's new Circle of Life Community Program, where we'll be focusing on embodying each of the 9 steps featured in The Way of the Goddess together.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I feel grateful for appreciation of my work. I feel bad sometimes when people seem to know me or recognize me in public, but I don't know them. It's something I'm slowly getting used to.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
My favorite author is Lord Krishna, who is said to have been revealed the ancient text, The Bhagavad Gita, which is one of the greatest books I have ever read. Its verses have transformed my life in countless ways. I am especially grateful for Swami Parthasarathy's translation of The Bhagavad Gita, and other ancient Vedic spiritual texts.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
My dream is not to be big. My aspiration is to be deep. I aim to be the message that I transmit through the books, and to create world wherein people can safely and patiently embody the ancient wisdom teachings I share. My vision is that we can create a world full of spiritual leaders who walk their talk, and become truly trustworthy guides who can empower people to transform pain into power, and serve others authentically without sacrificing their own well-being.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
There is, of course, more one could add to what they've already published, but I am very satisfied with what I have written in the past.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
I have no desire to be anyone but my true Self.
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
This is what I say to all trolls and predators out there who try to destroy me in different ways:
“I am the Self, seated in the heart of all beings - including Yours.
In trying to break me, you are only breaking your connection with your Self.
I cannot be broken.
I am the beginning, the middle, and also the end of all beings.
I am ANANTA of Nagas (snakes)…when I meet adversity, you better bet I will eat my own tail - and grow a new one! 🐍
Of beasts, I am the lion…I will no longer pretend to be a meek little mouse because that’s what society would prefer. 🦁
Of seasons, I am the flowery season (spring)…I grow beauty out of darkness. 🌺
I am victory, I am determination, I am sattva (purity) of the sattvika (pure).
And also I am that which is the seed of all beings, O Arjuna.
So if I trigger you, I am glad my presence planted a seed for something new to grow within you, in your own divine timing, in this or some other lifetime yet to come.”
What would you say to your readers?
I would say to my readers that I would love to meet you in my Circle of Life Community Program, so that we can live the message of The Way of the Goddess book together!
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I live in Southern Florida. I am not married and do not have kids, despite tremendous pressure from others in my life who feel I should be married and have children! I feel grateful that I have uncovered true happiness through my over 12 years of deep spiritual study. For the last 12 years, I have embodied a self-created monastic lifestyle while still living in the world. While wearing regular clothes, and not going by any special titles, I followed the conduct of a monk, continuously disciplining my mind to master the art of detachment and control over my senses. I spent as many days as I could in complete silence, making mantras and nature, the goddess of the Ayurveda tradition that my biological ancestors are very renowned in, my dearest friends.
But it was the experiences of life that truly taught me how to let go of all that is not pure or true. I openly share the profound transformations I have had, of overcoming eating disorders, betrayal, codependency, and narcissistic abuse. I learned in the process how to feel my feelings fully, and to let go of all that is not in service of the pure love that is our true nature. To grow beauty out of darkness, like how a lotus flower emerges from the mud.
Today, I lead my own spiritual organization, The Ancient Way, to carry forward the mission of my educational and biological ancestors, and the many teachings I have received, using my own words and with nothing but gratitude for all that I have learned from teachers who taught me, through both darkness and light.
The word guru means “remover of darkness,” and awakening your inner guru is the sole purpose of a spiritual quest.
I continue to learn and study, because the more we learn of spirituality, the more we realize how much we do not know.
My mission in everything I do is to empower empaths to awaken their inner guru so that they can lead, serve, and love with integrity. And thereby create a safe space for people to grow spiritually, in a world filled with scandals in the name of spirituality.
What is your day job if you have one?
I am the Co-founder and Director of The Ancient Way, an organization that serves as a bridge between ancient wisdom and modern living. The Ancient Way is a global community full of spiritual wellness seekers who come together to awaken their inner guru and live a life of true happiness that comes from deep within. We offer 3 primary programs: a Circle of Life Community Membership Program, a Wellness Ambassador Program, and a Spiritual Warrior Certificate Program.
Our Circle of Life Community Program is the perfect place to start getting introduced to ancient healing modalities, and deepen your own healing as a healer and/or teacher. You can deepen your practices with the support of a global community through Power of Practice Circles, receive seasonal Ayurveda recipes to support your wellbeing and get introduced to ancient embodiment modalities (like yoga, dances, martial arts, etc.) to easily incorporate movement into your daily life. This Program also features inspiring guest speakers across a variety of ancient holistic modalities and offers you the opportunity to connect with others through a community buddy system for greater support on your journey.
Our Wellness Ambassador Program is rooted in Ayurveda, and draws upon other aligned holistic health modalities. It is perfect for anyone seeking to really live and embody the ancient wisdom of how to be well, in all ways: physically, emotionally and spiritually, as a foundation for sharing profound wellness wisdom with your community.
Our Spiritual Warrior Certificate Program is a double certification program in your own personal transformation and to become a spiritual coach with the Association for Coaching. I created this unique training program out of a powerful personal transformation journey I undertook to release pain from the past, heal old trauma and thereby prepare myself to lead with integrity. This course takes you, step-by-step through my process of spiritual transformation, as featured in my book, The Way of the Goddess. It is the perfect training program for anyone who wishes to lead, write books, teach, parent and/or otherwise live a life of service with deep integrity.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I love to read! There is so much to learn by reading. I also love practicing yoga, classical Indian dance (I am training in a style I first learned 13 years ago - I'm amazed at how much easier it is for me now!), gardening on my balcony, cooking and creating new Ayurvedic recipes, walking on the ocean where I live in Florida, and listening to music.
Did you have a happy childhood?
I had a very challenging childhood, and it has become the fodder of inspiration for a lot of my writing and contributions as a spiritual teacher. I write about my process of healing from childhood trauma in my book, The Way of the Goddess: Daily Rituals to Awaken Your Inner Warrior and Discover Your True Self.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Meeting a young girl named Lakshmi in India who went through a lot of abuse and yet was named after the most widely worshipped goddess in India prompted me to ask why can we not find the same goddess in the young girl as we do in the temples, and in all women, girls, and living beings? It was the catalyst for my book, The Way of the Goddess.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
I do have an unpublished book that I'd love to invite time and space to write, about how to approach all relationships as a path of spiritual awakening, no matter how they go, whether they are lifelong or come for a reason or a season. This book will help you navigate all different kinds of relationships by becoming the person you keep looking for in someone outside of you.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
I believe that children should be educated to question everything, to develop their intellect, which will empower them to apply reason and judgment to everything in life, to evaluate everything before jumping into things. I believe we lack critical thinking and take too many things for granted in education, and that this approach could significantly change how life unfolds for the next generations.
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
What is your favorite music?
Share a secret with us 🙂