Interview with Leena Kumari

About the Author

Lenaa is an award-winning actressclinical psychologistscriptwriter, and entrepreneur renowned for her impact on Indian cinema over a career spanning more than 25 years. She has won numerous awards, including the Filmfare AwardsSIIMA AwardsIIFA AwardToronto International South Asian Film AwardsKerala State Film Awards, and Kerala Film Critics Association Awards. An active advocate for mental healthemotional well-being, and self-awareness, she is a transformational speaker on a mission to empower with self-realization through infotainment. Her TED talk has been viewed more than 850,000 times.


TLT: Your book, “The Autobiography of God,” is your debut work as an author. What inspired you to venture into writing, particularly on the topic of self-realization, mental health, and personal growth?

Lenaa Kumar: The inspiration to write came from intuition and a very compelling inner calling. In keeping with the book’s 5Ws, I would call it the “Why I am.” That is to say, it is my life purpose.

TLT: You emphasized that your title, “The Autobiography of God,” is for a specific audience—the rational, the logical, the seekers. Can you elaborate on the approach you take to appeal to this demographic?

Lenaa Kumar: This book presents 5 Practical steps to Self-realization using the 5Ws technique of inquiry: What, Who, When, Where, Why am I? This method is specifically aimed at satisfying the logical and rational brain, which is the gatekeeper of our sensory and cognitive input. Once these 5 questions are dealt with in the way prescribed in the book, Self-realization is a purely cognitive and intellectual understanding of the answers to the nature of “I” or Self. Now the being is ready to deal with the illogical and mystical experience of Self-actualization, which is the ‘Living of one’s realization.’

TLT: Could you share with us how your journey in the film industry, spanning over 25 years and across multiple languages, has influenced your perspectives on life, spirituality, and the human experience, as reflected in “The Autobiography of God?”

Lenaa Kumar: Cinema is an illusion within this illusory world and hence is the best playground for a seeker of the truth. For me, the make-believe world of films became my home, my refuge, and sustenance while also becoming the platform from which my Life purpose could take off too.

TLT: The book is described as a roadmap for a lifelong expedition of self-discovery. How do you envision readers engaging with and applying the principles outlined in your book throughout their lives?

Lenaa Kumar: The feedback I am constantly receiving from readers in the form of emails and phone calls thrills me to know that the book is doing its job of helping bring clarity and direction to seekers and curious souls alike. I believe that an art form outlives its creator and satisfies its purpose as an independent entity once it has become part of the world. And I am proud to see “The Autobiography of God” do exactly that: Be a Practical guide to Self-realization.

TLT: You mention that the book demystifies self-realization by addressing logical and rational questions. Can you give us a glimpse into how you approach these questions and guide readers toward understanding the nature of introspection?

Lenaa Kumar: The 5Ws; What, Who, When, Where, and Why Am I? If wholeheartedly explored, will lead to spontaneous enlightenment. This is the method I personally used to explain my waking-up experience to near and dear ones, and it has helped many to realize the nature of Self in a simple and practical way.

TLT: In a world filled with complexities and distractions, “The Autobiography of God” serves as a transformative guide. How do you navigate the balance between offering practical tools for personal growth while acknowledging the inherent complexities of human existence?

Lenaa Kumar: Human or otherwise, Existence is the true nature of Self. This book offers practical tools to realize that One is Existence Itself. The complexities and distractions end in the spontaneous realization of One’s true nature. “The Autobiography of God” is a glimpse of stark reality without any filters.

TLT: Given the evolving landscape of mental health awareness, in what capacity does your book contribute to the ongoing conversation surrounding mental well-being, especially in today’s fast-paced world?

Lenaa Kumar: “The Autobiography of God” contains my struggle with the rigidity of the psychiatric system and alternate methods that helped me overcome the limitations of the mind and those imposed by the mental health system. The book teaches one to start with the basic questions and learn to thrive instead of survive.

TLT: This is your first published book. Do you have plans for future works that build upon the themes explored in “The Autobiography of God?”

Lenaa Kumar: Self-realization happens in the mind, while Self-actualization happens through the body. One is understanding; the other is practice. The illogical and mystical experiences on the path from Self-realization to Self-Actualization will be covered in the next and upcoming book, “The Autobiography of Goddess.”

TLT: Finally, what message do you hope the readers will take away from your book, and do you have any particular message to share with our audience?

Lenaa Kumar: The message is simple. Self-realization is knowing the meaning of the word “I.” I = LIFE. “The Autobiography of God” guides the reader to this realization. Happy reading.

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