Yoga ….. Union of the Self to the Divine

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Two days ago, if someone had told me that an Indian guru’s mere presence could move me to tears, a skeptical smile would have been my response ……. I should know better, that just when I start feeling like I know so much and that nothing can surprise me totally, a curve ball will find its way, leaving me in a state of humble gratitude …. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, or known as just plain Swamiji around the Parmarth Ashram, did just that last night. He did indeed keep his earlier promise and met with our yoga group right after Ganga Aarti on Friday ….. By then, we had shrunk to six, as many left earlier in the day to either drive or fly home. Shortly after every Aarti ceremony, Swamiji meets with various groups, often politically involved sorts, for satsang, a sitting together for a dialogue based in truth …. always figure that is a tough call for politicians 🙂 Our turn finally came … Indu had requested this for us even though he is one busy guru but he somehow manages to fit everyone in …

There were about twenty or so other people allowed in the room in addition to our group of six. His American female right hand lady seems to field and answer most of the questions …. they appear to work as a very efficient team on more formulaic questions. After she addressed issues from these various people, the Swamiji took the microphone and graciously welcomed our yoga group into his circle, asking if we had any questions for him (he is well educated and speaks many languages fluently) ….. after far too long a delay, I realized incredibly, that no one from our group had a question for him or were too shy to ask! … I had two seconds to think of something, not wanting such an opportunity to pass us by and quickly asked him if he was ever overwhelmed with such a demand on his time, for appearances all over the world and where and when did he have quiet time for himself? Nothing in my life could have prepared me for my reaction to this rather simple question …. He has the most intense eyes I have ever ever ever seen ….. they were like warm beams of light shining through and piercing into the softest, most vulnerable parts of me. I felt totally exposed, with no where to hide. He held my gaze completely and would not allow wavering. I do not know for how long, as I totally lost track of time ……. his eyes, his whole demeanour were so full of kindness and love as he spoke …. tears gently started falling ….. somehow I held the gaze, despite these happy tears ….. he softy spoke about the silence that is inside him always and in all of us and that it is just a matter of accessing it, regardless of our outer circumstances, noise or congestion … the rest of his words are a blur ……. It was like truth was staring deep into my soul and words became unnecessary and cumbersome …. the kindest, most loving kind of truth …… I tear up even as I type, remembering …….. words always seem inadequate when it comes to matters of the heart, of love, of purity, of truth.

I came to India to learn about yoga and so I did. Yoga is really all about becoming good kind people ….. I just had no idea that perhaps the most important part of the lesson would come from the gaze and grace of an Indian guru, Pujya Saraswatiji, a small humble man, draped in sadhu orange and saffron robes, Rudraksha beads around his neck ……

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