Most of us see him as a leading industrialist and philanthropist, but we were intrigued to learn that Yashovardhan Birla has a deeply spiritual side. The ardent fitness enthusiast happens to be a fascinating conversationalist, and gave us a glimpse into his early life and authoring journey. Taking a trip down memory lane Yash recalls how his family background and values shaped his perspective on life. “I have grown up in my house with the Birla family, with elders. My great grandfather was alive when I was born and there was always a cultural background given to everything we did, where he said, everything we do is a service to the divine, to the society.
“Simple things like Indian culture, respecting your elders, doing Pranam and greetings with Hari Om and Jai Shri Krishna. These are things which have been taught to me from childhood and go on till today because they are engraved into my entire being and conscience."
“Rajasic food makes your personality more aggressive, not bad or good but just makes you more aggressive or more proactive. And then the third category of food is Tamasic which is a stale or fermented food, and intoxicants which make you Tamasic and causes lethargy, negativity, and regression. So, I try to stay away from Tamasic food. I do indulge sometimes in Rajasic but mostly stick to a healthy vegetarian Sattvic diet.
Tapping into his philanthropic side and charities he has been invested in, he says, “I believe that the Birla family has always been in the education sector post-independence and we've got a lot of charity trust running schools, charity schools to give a better education. I corporatize the education sector and gave it a touch of holistic and spiritual education, which is required for our professional success in life.
Intriguingly, the businessman and philanthropist has also turned author. He shares, “The person who inspired me into writing was Mrs Shobaa De, who approached me a few years ago, declaring that I must write a book on fitness. While talking to her, I said, ‘I can talk, I can't write’. So, I had a ghostwriter and the book she ultimately supervised and published by Penguin was called ‘On A Prayer’. It was a biography of my thoughts. But that's where my latest book started. What we discussed about fitness came into- "Building the Perfect Body".
Touching upon the importance of well-being and how he practices self-care, he divulges, “I think when you neglect your health, you are not only neglecting bodily health, you are also neglecting mental and performance health. So, self-care for me is practising fitness, gymming, some cardiovascular yoga, pranayama and meditation. Furthermore, introspection and reading spiritual books plays a part. I think I do all these regularly, as much as I can, and I keep reminding myself that the human mind unless regularly taught, can always be distracted. And I try and prevent myself from getting distracted because I think this is the most important essence in life,” he concludes with a smile.