A Peek in the Life of A Mahatma



After relishing an excessive number of gulab jamuns to heart’s content, there comes a time when one says no more. The law of diminishing return applies uniformly to all the Bhogya padartha. However, on the path of spirituality, the law works a bit differently.  “सत्त्वं सुखे सञ्जयति, Bhagavad Gita 14.9” – a shishya is never satisfied inspite of endless service to his/her guru. The mind enjoys ultimate joy in Satsanga, and in the process, we find ourselves, at times, becoming more selfish and possessive, acting contrary to the teaching.

The core Vedantic teaching of “tattvamasi, That thou art” has its roots in selflessness. Swamiji, often gave the example of his own guru, that when Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati met someone, his first thought is how can I be useful to this person. And when we observe our Swamiji, we find that every act of his echoes the same sentiment. It is this “walk the talk” of Swamiji that touches the seeker pushing her/him to introspect one’s own actions/reactions. One such incident, I’d like to share with you–

Oct 2019, Rishikesh – Vivekcudamani camp. My goal was to cherish every moment I can get with Swamiji given the short duration of my trip. The after lunch Satsanga sessions with Swamiji are precious in Rishikesh.  All the seekers look forward to clarifying their doubts and getting short yet effective bursts of emotional nourishment. One such afternoon, Swamiji’s kutiya was packed with all seekers; I was sitting in a corner listening to the questions and answers, enjoying thoroughly how Swamiji responded to each one keeping their background in mind. Just then, a new guest (not attending the camp) entered along with his 30+ year old son. It appeared that they were canvassing the area (Rishikesh-Hardiwar) and had come to meet Swamiji for the very first time looking for the solution to their problem.  Their question, “Swamiji, my son is unable to sleep at night, what can we do?” I flipped inside reacting, “You’ve got to be kidding me!  Using Philosopher’s stone (parasmani) to make chutney! What an utter waste of everyone’s (my) time, what an utter waste of Swamiji, a Mahatma’s time!”  Showing no empathy, I was annoyed.

Their conversation went on and on. The guest took his own time to explain with excruciating detail their problem and Swamiji listened to him patiently. Not a sign of annoyance but pure compassion flowed as Swamiji inquired into the matter, exploring possible solutions. There was no rushing them out or cutting them short. All the while, I was getting impatient, ready to show them the door.  But Swamiji so naturally connected with this person. In the end, Swamiji even shared his contact info so that they could reach him if they need any help.  I was amazed, and kept wondering at what I had just noticed! “Is it really possible to be this way? So much compassion karuna for a stranger? This is where I have to reach!  I have to grow this large!”, I said to myself.

Swamiji’s karuna is spontaneous, He is karuna!  He cannot but be any other way!   While we have to make deliberate attempt to be so.   In Swamiji’s words “Fake it, till we make it”. Opportunity to be a contributor is present every moment, if we learn to look beyond our own wants and needs and make an effort to put ourselves in other’s shoes!


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