From the moment HH SwamiGuru’s first book was published and the printed books were delivered to the Centre, all of us have been eagerly looking forward to the official launch of ‘Making Miracles for the Self’. The moment our guest of honour, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye agreed to launch the book on 10 January 2020, all our plans began to take shape.
The e-invites were sent out, the venue was booked, an order was placed for the unique gifts we would give our guests, the food was ordered, the flow of events decided, the launch gimmick was decided and all other details were discussed in detail.
We were deeply honoured that a whole host of VIPs consented to grace this event, namely:
- YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Azlanni Dr. M Mahadevan – Senior Consultant Psychiatrist and Founding Father of Modern Mental Health Services in Malaysia;
- YBhg Datuk Seri Azman Ujang – Chairman of BERNAMA, Malaysia’s National News Agency;
- YBhg Datuk Ramli Ibrahim – Chairman of Sutra Foundation;
- YBhg Dato’ Ong Eng Bin – CEO of OCBC Bank Malaysia Berhad.
- YBhg Datin Paduka (Dr.) Mother A. Mangalam – President of The Pure Life Society
- YBhg Datin Poonam Kukreja – Vice-President of The Pure Life Society;
- YBhg Dato’ Dr. Andrew Mohanraj – President of the Malaysian Mental Health Association.
Then, the morning of the official launch dawned. Amidst the excitement of the day, the mood was upbeat. We were all incredibly proud to finally see the fruition of everyone’s hard work. Most especially, we wanted to honour the book and HH SwamiGuru, as it was His first book, and it represented the many more yet to come. There was a sense, throughout the day, that there is so much more that we can achieve.
Incidentally, we have uploaded video recordings of some of the events of the day. If you are minded to watch them, here are the links:
- Cathy Lim (Sharing Her Story): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl5Cuf9Xgxs&t=4s
- HH SwamiGuru’s Speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EP9Nve4Zqic
- Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye’s Speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqZDjnBm-vk
- Recitation of ‘Gratitude’ by Sharran Nathan:
Here are some highlights from the speeches of the day.
After offering his salutations to all the guests present, HH SwamiGuru gave a brief explanation of the two sides to his persona – the corporate side (Dr. Sekar Jaganathan) and the spiritual side (HH SwamiGuru). He then provided a history of 7C Life and a brief outline of the work we do and the programmes we run. Then came the explanation of how he created the book. Here is an edited version of what he said:
“The adventure of writing this book started about three years ago. We went through many iterations of the book. When the manuscript was first complete, I wasn’t satisfied because it was about me writing a book. That’s not what I wanted it to be. I wanted it to be a book for you, by you and that empowers you. The book talks about everybody’s life. There are 11 chapters there. It shares some of my counselling sessions there – of course not real names. The sharing there is how they came, how they understood, how they failed and how they changed and how each one of them has led to a successful life.
When you read this book, when you have a situation like that, you’ll feel the book is written about you. And it connects with you. The whole idea of it is a timeless book. So, no matter when you, how you read it, it will always speak about you and empower you.
What I have gathered is that a lot of people today are quite common. The problem is that they don’t know that it’s common and they think it’s personal. And they don’t speak out about the problem. And that’s where they have this mental trauma. And the recent data by the Malaysian Health Ministry says that the number of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 years who have suicidal thoughts has increased. In 2012 it was 7.9% and by 2017, it had increased to 10%. (Health Ministry: Increase in suicidal tendencies among teens. The Star. 23 October 2019.) And WHO reports that suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 – 29-year-olds. (https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression)
So, when I came to prepare the manuscript for ‘Making Miracles for the Self’, I wanted to include some aspects of these problems into it. So the hope is that the first step a person who reads this book is that they will realise that they are not alone. It allows them to open up for help.
So, when the manuscript was ready, there were a lot of people who came and helped me. One of them was the combined ‘Father-Daughter’ effort. The illustrations in all the chapters were created by my daughter, Divya.
When it came to the cover design, I am very grateful to MPH Publishing. They helped us and accommodated us to put in the colours. The colour purple is supposed to be soothing to the mind.
When the time came to write a Foreword, I was deeply touched that Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Vincent Tan agreed to read the manuscript and write the text for it. He took a week to do this. I’d like to thank Eugene for making that connection. His contribution has also helped bridge a more meaningful connection and impact with the corporate world.
Then there was my Director of Corporate Communications, Aneeta Sundararaj, who edited the manuscript for me. She also demanded that I sent the book to UK for editing. One of the reasons that we sent the book to the UK was to make sure that the book doesn’t only have a Malaysian elements. They did some edits. We had to make some corrections so it becomes much more of a global book. Sam Jordison was one who edited the book and you’ll see the acknowledgement in the book.
When we were planning this event, we came up with the idea of the unique gift of the table calendars you’ll receive. In the design, you’ll see that it contains 12 of Divya’s illustrations. The thoughts and passages that accompany the illustrations are by the many people who have walked through our doors. And I must commend our designer, Prasath Balagee, for his excellent work in creating this unique gift.
When the book was ready, we saw how many people appreciated it and we realised that we need to put the book forward to help many more people. So, we kickstarted a project called ‘Project Making Miracles Happen’. It simply means that if anybody has read the book and it has changed their life, then they will buy the book and gift it to somebody. And if that person’s life changes, they buy another book and gift it to somebody.
We’ve had people who have taken 10s of books and given it as Christmas gifts and all of them have had an immediate change in their lives. A resort I went to, they gave 20 books to their staff, it has changed them. It is a different person altogether. Families see them different. Employers see them different. They themselves see a difference in themselves.
We have been lucky as well. The book sales have been fantastic. In fact, one person, Dato’ Ong, CEO of OCBC bank, he bought 30 books at one go. For this senior management. Thank you, Dato’. And also, Ayur Centre, has bought 60 orders and we continue to have 60 orders. The books have gone all the way to Australia, UK, US, Indonesia, and India as well. We have also received testimonies from these people about how much the book connects to them. It has become a mentor and guide for them.
And lastly the team that has come together to organise this launch, everybody worked like clockwork. Even I had to do rehearsal with them. Thank you all and thank you Tan Sri for coming here and gracing this event. And thank you to each one of the VIPs for taking time out from your busy lives to be part of this event. And thank you to all my business associates and those from the CIO fraternity. You all have made this book launch even more meaningful.
I am truly blessed to have all of you in my life. Thank you very much.
Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye
Tan Sri Lee began by acknowledging the members of the audience and their presence at what he described as a very ‘auspicious’ occasion. He then referred to a book, ‘You Are Good Enough: Embracing Who You Are’. What captivated Tan Sri Lee’s attention was the top 5 regrets of the dying and proceed to list them. He then proceeded to list the top 5 regrets of successful people. Having imparted his thoughts, words of advice and wisdom, Tan Sri Lee then proceeded to refer to the daily headlines in our papers. He mentioned the almost daily stories of rising rates of depression and suicide among our people, living costs and obesity levels. The following is an edited version of what he then said:
Other than the dismal outlook of the state of our nation, what is more perplexing is where should one go to find solutions to these problems? There are counselling centres and helplines to guide those who have mental health issues. There are gyms and nutritionists that guide people with their health issues. And then there are financial institutions for those who need guidance on managing their finances.
What remains inconvenient is that there are many different ‘guides’ and people are likely to be put off.
This begs the question, is there one guide that could help all these people and more? Yes. It’s this book, Making Miracles for the Self: Inspiring You to Live RIGHT.
The stories in this book are based on the many people who have undertaken their individual journey of transformation. They have learnt how to break the patterns they created and transformed their lives and created their own destiny.
A classic example is Daisy (Chapter 2) who made it a habit to practice reciting one positive statement that gave her the confidence to sit for an exam and change her life.
Then there is Clara, in Chapter 3, who bore the burden of keeping a secret she had held close to herself for decades. The miracle here was how quickly she recovered from the traumatic experience and discovered her purpose in life.
Many times, when I read the stories of the people in this book, I recognise them in the people I know. For example, like Betty in Chapter 4, Sara in Chapter 5 and Terry in Chapter 6 are bits and pieces of the many people that the author has counselled over the years at a centre he founded called 7C Life RealiZation Centre in Petaling Jaya.
All these stories share one thing in common – reading them, you will never feel alone again. This loneliness can be very dramatic and disastrous. You will know that there are people out there who are going through the same situations. This gives comfort and shows you that there are people who understand what you’re going through and have compassion for you.
One of the most unique facets about this book are the ‘Guiding Points’ at the end of each chapter. They are all the important points in that chapter and reading these alone will help you be on the path of making miracles for your own self.
The author, Dr. Sekar Jaganathan wrote this book in the spiritual name given to him, HH SwamiGuru.
[Tan Sri Lee then explained the new NGO he’s started called Ikatan Komuniti Selamat or Alliance for the Safe Community.]
Dr. Sekar has taken a lot of trouble to choose examples that relate to everyday incidents that happen to ordinary people. Sometimes the stories he shares are his very own. Perhaps, one of the most interesting stories is how he used the teachings in this book to craft his own life.
Like he said just now, let me share that Dr. Sekar has another side to him. A corporate side. He is currently the Director of Digital Strategy for Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd. He is responsible for the business, technology and product expansion of Kenanga’s digital initiative, namely the setting up the first virtual stockbroker in Malaysia. He was part of the team that developed the National Artificial Intelligence Framework for the Malaysian government. He is also the Honorary Advisor to the SEGI-MIMOS Centre of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence, Malaysia. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Management, researching on the “Role of Emotional Intelligence in Digital Business”.
Now, back to the story. When Dr. Sekar was working on setting up the first virtual stockbroker in Malaysia, he insisted that all the people who worked with him meditated every Friday evening. As a result of doing this, he says, they spent the weekend relaxing with their families. So, when they returned to work on Monday, everyone was refreshed and it increased productivity. In fact, that entire project was completed on time, without a delay on one day. That is impressive.
Similar to Dr. Sekar’s hopes for this book, I too hope that Making Miracles for the Self: Inspiring You to Live RIGHT will be put into the hands of as many people as possible. The teachings in here are timeless and will be of benefit for everyone.
With that, I have great pleasure in launching Making Miracles for the Self: Inspiring You to Live RIGHT by HH SwamiGuru. Thank you very much.
The official book launch of ‘Making Miracles for the Self’ is merely the beginning of the journey for us at 7C Life. As more and more people are buying the book (sometimes in bulk to give their friends, colleagues and family), we look forward to receiving and listening to your story of how miracles happened to you the moment you read this best-selling book.
Please let us know if you’d like to take part in ‘Project Making Miracles Happen!’