Interview by Angie Gray
Vik went to USC and holds a Masters Degree from the prestigious American Film Institute.
However, at the age of 26 he fell into a mysterious trance while ill from food poisoning and began hearing a powerful, ethereal, female voice which began speaking through him. Following graduation in 2009 he launched a Production Company and started practicing divination and working as a clairaudient, with the aid of the same entity. The following year after suffering an illuminating near-death experience he was selected to be the subject of his cousin Vikas Malhotra’s PhD study on spirit possession in South Asian religions at UC Santa Barbara.
Vikramadithya Ikshvivek is a spirit-oracle/clairaudient/jyotishi. He was offered a recurrent astrology column at the Huffington Post, but there were some political complications involved which held him back. He now works with clients privately and at the Liberate Emporium in Los Angeles. He uses both Western (Tropical) as well as Vedic (Hindu) astrology.
You don’t like to refer yourself as an astrologer?
I prefer using the word Jyotish since it doesn’t have all of the negative/pseudoscientific connotations of an astrologer. Jyotish is Vedic or Indian/Hindu astrology, and in Sanskrit literally means SCIENCE OF LIGHT.
I like using Vedic Astrology the position of the planets may be a little different but in a nutshell: Tropical Astrology emphasizes the personality of the individual and Sidereal or Vedic astrology deals more with a person’s destiny and Karma.
Actually I don’t like to use the word “psychic” either, not as a noun. It should be used as an adjective , like someone would say so-and-so is artistic or so-and-so is psychic
as in having psychic ability. Every individual has the potential to be psychic with Kundalini arousal.
When did you first get interested in psychic or paranormal phenomena?
Although I was brought up in a very conservative traditional Hindu family – my Grandfather was Prime Minister of India, my mother was spiritual- in the classical Hindu-Buddhist sense and conversation about spiritual matters was encouraged. The great majority of people in India have an affinity with the ideas of Karma and reincarnation.
I was living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but was highly influenced by Yogananda, whose Californian organization the Self Realization Fellowship, my elder brother turned to in 1986. I started to meditate at age 11 and began to feel the electric currents of the Kundalini ascend my spine at 13.
While my brother veered more towards the Vedanta discipline I decided to follow the less orthodox tantric course, Vedanta and Tantra are not really opposite just different roads. In the West, we think of “tantra” mainly as” having to do with sex”, but it is really a disciplined occult knowledge. Tantra went underground to escape persecution by the Brahmins or the conservative intellectuals of the times. A similar fate occurred to the Gnostics in Christianity, who were almost exterminated by the 4th or 5th century. In all different religions the secret branches suffered a similar fate – persecution. In Judaism, the Kabbalah became a super secret society, in Persia it was the Sufi poets. Tantra can be compared to any of the schools of occult knowledge. The characteristic nature of one’s personal identity or sense-of-self is fluid and permeable in Tantric philosophies, though it implies great discipline.
What does it feel like when you channel a spirit?
I don’t have to go into a trance. The voice sort of seems to be there all of the time.
His breathing changes slightly and his neck begins to twitch a tiny bit, as if there was too much energy going up towards the head. He says a word, then his breathing goes back to normal, back to neutral. The first time must have been terrifying, especially because he said that he couldn’t breathe. Then, this female voice seemed to be coming out of him, and she introduced herself and told him that she used to be a German opera singer.
She told me to stop being self centered, to get off my butt and go help others. She’s funny at times but she really just wants to help with whatever it is people need to get the answers for. I’m literally being possessed by a spirit or an oracle, in academic circles it’s actually called oracular possession. He describes it: People who are locked within their left brain cannot ascertain what other people have experienced. When someone sees a ghost and tries to tell you their experience you cannot tell what it’s like, if you’ve never seen one.
Why are you going through all this trouble?
Because I ‘d like to show others especially young kids that they shouldn’t be afraid of it. That they should trust and experience who they really are, trust and experience the self they are meant to be.
Was there a time in your life so far where you’ve felt reborn? If so, what were the circumstances surrounding this event and what was the outcome?
A few months after I had turned 14, on October 11th, I had a full-blown ecstatic experience of samadhi, transcending all aspects of duality, my consciousness raised to an awe-inspiring internal peak of mystical unity where the entire concept of an *external world* (Time, Space, Causality) was blissfully destroyed, along with my sense of ahamkara, ego-identification or “I-ness.”Nothing but Awareness remained.
It was much, much more than an “out of body experience,” or even “out of mind.” Samadhi is analogous to what is termed satori (sudden enlightenment) in some Buddhist traditions.
I experienced an annihilation of my small sense of “self” as I experienced a total immersion in the “Self”.
Yet the next morning after waking up into regular body consciousness, I had a complete nervous breakdown. My fragile 14 year old self wasn’t able to handle all of the electric energy of the Kundalini flooding into my brain’s nervous system. As I was in the bathroom getting ready for school I kept asking myself “am I…am I still ME?” as my entire sense of individuality was shaken and challenged by the samadhi experience. Imagine filling a 60 watt light bulb – if that’s what we say the typical human brain is experiencing, consciousness-wise, with thousands of volts of energy. It set off a near- decade of asking this philosophical, ontological question in my spiritual search: How does the concept of moksha (the transcendent state attained as a result of being released from the cycle of rebirth) deal with individuality?
I struggled with this very human fear of annihilation, of Death, for the next few years, and had a few more subsequent nervous breakdowns between ages 15-17. Mentally I recovered by 17 & a half/ 18 – moving to a spiritual center such as Los Angeles, where my brother had lived a few years earlier, and where Yogananda set up his ashram – but emotionally it was tough, as I had a lot of karmas to burn off. I came out as gay to my friends at 19, knowing my conservative Indian family wouldn’t accept me, especially considering what happened senior year of high school. Thank god I eventually *stopped* meditating after that Samadhi experience!!
But by age 21, in 2001, after Jupiter crossed my ascendant, I felt reborn – Jupiter is the great planet of spirituality, happiness and healing in Vedic astrology, which uses the sidereal zodiac (and differs significantly from the tropical zodiac-oriented Western astrology); us Indians have been practicing it for thousands of years! I knew by then that the Self – whether the smaller or larger one – never really “died,” just transformed into different forms of consciousness, or energy.
Have you ever had any glimpses of your own past lives?
I had extensive past life regression work done at age 23, to try to clarify some strange phenomena I was experiencing at the time. Yet even long before that I had sense impressions from previous lives, related to Kundalini rising and knew that I had to work out some karmic experiences from existences in the past. I will be going into much more detail on this subject in my upcoming memoir “I’m Breathless.”
In my late teens, a remarkably astute clairvoyant gave me a past life reading explaining how I was once a Tantric Shaivite yogi in the Himalayas, and other eerie details about my spiritual path; like other sadhus, ascetics, or mendicants, these folks frequently forego clothing. Indra and particularly Shiva were my favorite gods growing up – as a boy, how could one not think those snakes were cool? I also used to have strange past life memories of being a courtesan, or dancing girl as a very young child. The past-life regressionist when I was 23 confirmed this when excavated that I was “an exotic dancer” in the ancient Near East, Mesopotamia or Persia.
In your own life, have you been able to turn destruction into creation? If so, how have you done this and how to do you continue to do this?
In Hinduism of course all these concepts are related. Time exists in cycles and so we cannot have new creation without periodic destruction. That’s why we have some so-called “destructive gods and goddesses” like Shiva and Kali. But we must remember these are highly philosophical, abstract concepts instead of mere anthropomorphic figures. For example:
In 2010 in her “hometown” of Calcutta I had an explosive “near-death experience” with Goddess Kali as my Kundalini Shakti. Kali represents three things: Death, Time, Transcendence and my experiential consciousness was altered in regards to all three of these aspects after this terrifying climax.
All of which eventually led to renewed creative energy that I am pouring forth into my book and documentary films, in addition to of course the fantastic benefits I experienced in the divinatory work I do as a spirit-oracle. It did take me a while to process and internally come to terms with these transformations, yet regardless of how long it took I feel so blessed to have undergone these highly unique experiences!
Vedic Astrology: A Guide to the Fundamentals of Jyotish
Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation – Dr. Ian Stevenson
Many Lives, Many Masters – Dr. Brian Weiss