In one of the world’s largest software companies, an Indian-born senior software engineer finds solutions to technical situations. He holds a Ph.D. degree from the prestigious Columbia University and has worked at two of the world’s top investment banks, namely Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch—but still this Seattle based techie has a very positive and simple outlook to life. Talking to NTD, he shared how Falun Dafa, an ancient meditation system, touched his heart with its universal principles of Truthfulness–Compassion–Tolerance.
Hailing from Chennai, India, Suman Srinivasan belongs to a successful family that has produced four engineers and a doctor. Growing up he was more of an intellectual kid and loved reading books—and this was probably the first step he paved for his future ahead.
In an interview with NTD, Srinivasan said, “I spent most of my time reading books, both fiction and nonfiction. I loved reading encyclopedias! I didn’t really enjoy sports that most of the other kids enjoyed, instead I preferred staying in my room and reading.”
In 2001, Srinivasan moved to Florida to pursue his degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Florida.
Arriving in the United States, wasn’t easy he explained. “On one hand, I was excited at a fresh start for my life, but on the other hand, I felt I wasn’t ready to leave family and go to a strange new place. My family had always taken care of me, and I grew up in a protected environment. So all of a sudden, I had to take care of myself.”
Within a few months, things took an unexpected turn for this young lad. It was like something higher above found a heart that was yearning to discover “the true meaning of life.”
“For about a year before I left for the U.S., I had been interested in spiritual books, and trying to understand the meaning of life,” he said. “When the Falun Dafa student club of Florida gave me a flyer, I decided to try out the exercises and then read the Falun Dafa books. After a few months of practicing Falun Dafa, I realized that this was what I had been looking for all my life and it answered all my questions,” he added.
But Srinivasan shared that it did not just stop at that as he benefited greatly from the practice, both physically and as well as spiritually. He said, “I was able to sleep like a baby almost immediately after I started practicing. Also, the migraines and headaches I had since childhood just went away. Another benefit I experienced was that my stomach was very sensitive and I used to only be able to eat simple and standard food. But after I started practicing, I was able to eat rich, delicious food without any issues.”
“I was also less stressed out about life and more peaceful, but at the same time, my life became better and better in all aspects,” he added.
After finishing his master’s degree at the University of Florida, studious Srinivasan applied for a Ph.D. program in Computer Science at one of the most prestigious Ivy Leagues – Columbia University. He was admitted and started his Ph.D. in 2005. It took him 6 years to complete the program.
He said, “A Ph.D. is tough for various reasons. At the beginning, it was the workload. Towards the end, it was the pressure to produce something new and innovative. I also understood why lots of people quit when they are halfway or further along in their Ph.D. I feel fortunate that my spiritual background and outlook on life enabled me to persist to the end and complete my Ph.D.”
While Srinivasan, was studying at Columbia University he co-authored two U.S. patents. For someone to be so focused on the path ahead it was only natural that he ended up starting a successful career. Over the last few years, Srinivasan worked at two of the world’s top investment banks at Wall Street, namely Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, in Manhattan.
Being a professional in a competitive world definitely comes with its own ups and downs. But Srinivasan shared that his spiritual faith gave him the inner courage and confidence that helped him to excel in his work
“The meditation of Falun Dafa helps me to be more grounded, spiritual, and calm at work. I’m able to think through problems, including technical problems, with a clear head and come up with solutions.”
Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) was introduced in China in 1992 and grew immensely popular due to its profound health benefits. It is estimated that by the late 1990s more than 70-100 million people were doing Falun Dafa’s peaceful meditative exercises in China alone. But on July 20, 1999, the former leader of the Chinese communist regime, Jiang Zemin, announced an illegal, nationwide campaign of persecution against the peaceful practice of Falun Dafa.
Srinivasan had first heard about the persecution that Falun Dafa faces in the hands of the Chinese communist regime from the mainstream media even before he started practicing. He said, “But after I started practicing, I became more and more aware of exactly how brutal the persecution of Falun Dafa in China was.”
“I started getting involved in local activities to raise awareness about the persecution and I also started organizing events. I got involved more and more with the online efforts to let people know what was happening in China.”
While being asked about the perfect “code” of life, Srinivasan said, “As a software engineer you’re taught to build systems that scale, are functional, robust, and provide a delightful or at least nice user experience. I feel life is very similar, as a moral person, you try to help others by making yourself scale, be functional and help delight the people around you.”
Amidst all the complexities that the technical world brings, this software engineer aims at translating it into a simple code of life one click at a time.
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Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) is a self-improvement meditation system based on the universal principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. It was introduced to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in 1992 in China. It is currently practiced by over 100 million people in 114 countries. But this peaceful meditation system is being brutally persecuted in China since 1999. For more info, please visit: falundafa.org and faluninfo.net.