From Guru-sanga and Guru-bhakti, we get everything, for a one who does not resist. From right Guru-sanga, everything will flow in, flow in, flow in, flow in. It is a fountain from which you will have a perennial spring.
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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
Our Gurudev had a totally different background. When he came, we two brothers alone were there. Our brother’s sister-in-law, that kind of a family set up was not there. That is why we could bring him and host him for such a long time. But it had the disadvantage of there being, having being no woman, female member there.
So you can imagine how imperfect the so-called family situation in the Ashram would be, two unmarried boys managing a house and what kind of a cooking we would have done! I am not able to remember all that transpired at that time. I think we did something very wrong but that was the flow of our heart. There was no opportunity, compulsion or occasion for me to discuss this kind of a haphazard, in having hosted our Gurudev with ourselves being alone in the house. We did not give him a cot to lie. He was on the floor. What we gave him in the form of food, I don’t know. I don’t think he had a tasty food any day at all! Never did he speak or show any kind of difficulty, dislike or otherwise. I think I am thinking about it in this manner only now.
So you can imagine what kind of an intimacy and fondness we had for him, also not knowing how a Guru has to be invited to one’s residence, how he has to be hosted. My brother, apparently was a little experienced or knowledgeable. I was too young to make any comment or anything like that. And I don’t think we ever thought about our Gurudev’s comfort or discomfort during his stay in our place.
Now I feel it was a very unusual level of greatness, fondness, self-restraint, a great sublimation, and you can add any number of words, by virtue of which our Gurudev was able to carry on, so far as the physical environment was concerned. My brother used to be inside with him, closing the door, so I did not know what all they talked. I believe, he was talking and they were talking only about the super level of jnana, liberation, jeevanmukti and all that. I don’t think my brother would have spoken to him or discussed with him any other subject.
I picked up my fondness and association for my Gurudev from that level and that day. So far as I was concerned, it grew in my heart with my own immature and boyish, I think, personality and all that. But all these things never interfered with my relationship with him, reliance on him, fondness. All that I can say is I liked him and I continue to like him even now.
Then before long, I also got initiated. Gradually, soon after initiation, I plunged into the meditative austerity. I said, “I would not do anything else. I would not like to read any book. This is a line which has to be austerely pursued in the form of sadhana and the sadhana should reveal whatever was to be revealed.” He said, “Yes. Whatever book you have to read, it will come to your table”. So I was averse to reading scrupulously. At the same time, I was very much clinging to the meditative absorptional level of austerity, spending 2-2.5 hours every day, on holidays, 4 hours.
Before long, we knew each other to some extent in our own imperfect way, at least in my own imperfect way and I used to go to him, his poornānanda-dhām. His life was not anything like what I am doing now. It was a lonely life and he was, most of the hours of the day, except sleeping, on his head. He would play harmonium and sitar and also sing. One cannot imagine a person so exclusively sedentary like my Gurudev. I don’t think even anybody in the forest environment would be like him. He would not walk, he would not get away from his room except for answering the calls of nature, taking a bath and having food. Can you imagine the 24 hours of the day, a man huddling himself to his seat in the room? He would put on the mosquito curtain and stand on the head inside that, pushing the top cloth by his feet when he was on his head.
Now, I am thinking, analyzing etc. but at that time, none of these questions, wonder or otherwise came to me. If at all, I can only remember admiration, admiration and admiration. And whenever we went there, we only had spiritual discussions. What was the discussion about – ‘What and when is this self- realization? How will a man of self-realization be? What marks that realization? What marks that fulfillment?’ I can stretch and give you a lot of explanation now, but I don’t think I had anything like that at that time. There were occasions when I used to ask personal questions and he use to give me some answers, very few.
Now, I became a sannyāsin from such a background. I had not visited an Ashram, I had not visited any Mahatmas; I did not have any spiritual exposure. The only exposure I had was in front of my Baba, Gurudev. Following that, the entire scriptural world in essence was exposed to me and I started reading them. Very strangely, I used to understand them and whatever I read inspired me, guided me, and enlightened me. I wonder! There was no problem of inattention, difficulty, monotony, nothing, in reading the scriptures and scriptural texts.
Because of my brother, I happened to read a book called “Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy”, by Yogi Ramacharaka, “Advanced lessons in Yogi Philosophy” by the same author. Because my brother brought them, I read them. But you know, throughout my life, 60 years of propagation and dissemination, I have never referred to one sentence of these books and I find that they were of no relevance to me. The relevance I found only in our scriptures, Sanskrit scriptures.
So there is something called Guru-Sishya relationship. This relationship has got two facets. One facet is the spiritual exposure, enlightenment and imbibing. Another is - How will a Mahatma, a Knower of Truth, live and move in this world? I was also going to be a knower of truth. As a knower of truth, how would I live and move? Where is the clue? So, one is that spiritual enlightenment. Another is that becoming. These two were the only points which transpired between me and my Gurudev. That led to my taking up sannyāsa, plunging into it so to say, but meanwhile I had read and questioned and evaluated whether this sannyāsa was in place or out of place. In what way does it become relevant? Where is the scriptural relevance, social relevance and in the present day world, what is its relevance? All these things, though I was a boy, I did think and know. So it was not a kind of a suddenness. It was a growth, right from the childhood which I knew later and it was supported by the scriptures on the one hand, and people like Ramakrishnadev, Vivekananda, they were very proximate to us.
Now, this is the background from which I started and this is the background from which I happen to set up an Ashram as an abode for me, and people started coming, before that I became a very eloquent and thunderous speaker.
So that Guru-sanga and Guru-bhakti as Mā puts it, that is the real essence of this Ashram. People who like Guru-bhakti, who want to be graced by Guru-bhakti, who consider Guru-bhakti to be the core, and everything else is a multi-faceted development from that, the nucleus is the Guru-bhakti, for them I think this Ashram is really the source as well as the terminus.
From Guru-sanga and Guru-bhakti, we get everything, for a one who does not resist. From right Guru-sanga, everything will flow in, flow in, flow in, flow in. It is a fountain from which you will have a perennial spring. I just wanted to mention this.
To which extent this Guru-bhakti will appeal to people and to which extent they will make use of it, to which extent they want to be fond of their Guru, it is a variable factor. It depends upon the seeker’s individual predilections, individual susceptibilities, individual aspiration, either flowing from the heart or guided by our scriptures and scriptural texts. I would like you to understand this because there are some new people here, I thought of mentioning this.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.