Book Extract : In Love, At Ease: Everyday Spirituality With Pramukh Swami By Yogi Trivedi

Chapter -2 In Love: Bhakti Personified

Part I: Loving the Divine in All of Creation

Loving in silence can be a powerful articulation of love. Swamishri illustrated the existence of a love that could be shared in silence, by hearing unspoken requests and fulfilling them quietly. It was the first time Swayamprakashdas Swami (Doctor Swami) was sitting on an airplane. He was travelling with His Holiness in the February of 1965. They were going to invite the second President of India Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan to the centennial celebrations of Shastriji Maharaj, Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s guru. The young monk sheepishly tried to glance over Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s shoulders to steal a view outside of the plane. Swamishri noticed the glint in Doctor Swami’s eyes as he looked towards the window. After a few minutes, he quietly stood up and directed the young sadhu to move to the window seat. Doctor Swami was shy and hesitated. Swami smiled and insisted with his fingers. Doctor Swami hopped into the window seat and curiously stared out the window for the entire flight. Swamishri did not say a word about the shift during or after the flight. When Doctor Swami tried to bring it up and thank him many years later, Swamishri simply smiled. More than five decades later, Doctor Swami still savours this memory as his most memorable experience with his spiritual master.

Swamishri exhibited an essential skill of parenting by persuading with love, rather than breaking, demanding or forcing the child in a way that undermines the parent–child relationship. He delicately displayed and shared these lessons with parents to help them strengthen the bond with their children, and thus build a bridge between generations. A father had brought his son from South London to meet Swamishri at the Neasden Mandir in 2000. Upon entering the room, the father started yelling and shouting at the teenager in front of Swamishri and the dozen other people in the room. Swamishri signalled to the other people to leave the room. He ignored the father and asked the teenager to sit near him on the floor. Swamishri asked the child how he was doing, what he was studying and if he had any troubles with his friends. The boy immediately started speaking about peer pressure and trying to fit in with his friends, who all had vices and enjoyed activities that were considered inappropriate in the community. Swamishri listened to him patiently. The father tried to interrupt several times. Swamishri urged him to wait his turn.

After almost fifteen minutes, Swamishri turned to the father and said, ‘You have nothing left to say. He has told me everything he does, and why he does it. And if you give me the chance to speak to him, I will make sure that he tries to get past these distractions and focus on his choolwork.’ The father again shouted, ‘Swamishri, but he does not respect us.’ Swamishri retorted, ‘Do you respect him? I have been watching how you speak to him in public. It does not warrant a sense of respect or consideration. You have to love and respect in order to earn it back.’ During his exchange with the boy, Swamishri did not mention or advise the boy to give up his vices and the use of illicit drugs. But as the boy walked out of the room, he turned around and said, ‘You get me, Swamishri. I want to make you happy. I am going to stop using. Bless me.’ Swamishri smiled and said, ‘I will pray for you. I will love you.’

( Extracted with due permission from author, publisher)

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