Om Swami ji’s book , ” If Truth Be Told ” is an autobiography but reads like a fiction in the sense it is an absorbing read. The book has many twists and turns which keep the reader engrossed. Swami ji has a masterly literary style . If he had not chosen to be a monk, he would have made a name as a gifted writer, his blogs show his writing acumen.
His story, to begin with, is a meandering flow of events till they converge in Varanasi like the rivers Ganga and Yamuna merging together to bless the people congregating on its ghats for seeking salvation from the drudgery of life.
Swami ji’s mother is a religious person, a kindly soul and very affable to those she came in contact with including her maid servant. If any person who has a lasting and deep impression on Swami ji, it is his mother. A saint once happened to visit his home. He surprised her by saying that a ‘ special soul ‘ would be born to her who would renounce the world. The very thought of a mother that her son would be a sanyasi would upset her greatly but she accepted it as the wish of God . She , however, kept this prediction of the mystic to herself until Swami ji attained self -realization. Similar prediction was made for Gautam Buddha before his birth but his father, king Shuddhodhan, tried every trick to confine Buddha to the pleasures of the palace to dissuade him from taking the path of sanyas , but both Buddha and our Swami ji had their way though in the process of attaining enlightenment they had to go through tremendous hardship. Both have somewhat similar reach and profundity in their discourses and articulation bases on intense meditation, tapasya and rational approach except that Swami ji has adopted bhakti path for purification of mind, heart and soul. Compassion, kindness and non-violence is their common creed and welfare / uliftment of the masses their aim in life. Both have a mesmerising and cheerful personality . Buddha formed a sangha of monks and nuns but Swami ji has eschewed to do so as such sanghas get corrupted over time as the original message is often lost. Undoubtedly Buddha has a wider reach and influence in South Asian countries as his influence has accumulated over ages-over 2000 years.
Push factor or pull factor works in the case of those who take to sanyas. Push factor for those who are disgruntled with life due to various reasons like failure in business, broken relationship, frustration in love, miseries of life etc. Such people are generally glum, serious , angry, rebellious even as a sanyasi. Pull factor in the case of those who have inherited through sankars inclination towards god or godly things since child hood like Dhruva. Our Swami ji comes in the latter category. His love for books even to the extent of forgetting his meals, his mother’s rendering of stories from epics and scriptures invariably made him question about God and a searching inquiry whether he could see the god in person. His mother’s assurance that ” He is every where. Those pure of heart see him, those who worship him see him “, sowed the seed of passion and search for God, as the future events tell. Even as a child , Lord Shiva came to his dream but he insisted on Him that he should also meet his mother. He craved to see God again , not in dreams but in full consciousness. In his search for answers about God , even in a young age of 10-12 years, he turned to numerology, astrology and other esoteric disciplines, hoping they would bring clarity to questions troubling his young mind. This helped him to gain insight into the minds of the people who interacted with him , ” just as a flash of lightning illuminated the dark sky for a moment and you see very thing around you in its full glory, these flashes of intuition revealed to me information about the person sitting before me that I simply didn’t know “. ” I began to diligently practise the tantric method in my sadhana…I slipped away at every opportunity to meditate in isolated places, did many yajnas, fire offerings, chanted various mantras and performd sadhanas of all different forms of tantric feminine energy”. ” Gradually, it dawned upon me that I had embarked upon on a lonely and difficult journey towards self-realization. It would require great tenacity, disciline and time if I wanted to succeed…moving from ephemeral pleasures to a state of constant joy , rising from worldly emotions and being able to live in a state of eternal bliss was going to be a personal affair. I was my best friend and worst enemy on this journey. I had to create my own way , for the weeds of time had long covered the divine path trod by the ancient sages “.
Swami ji gave up the lure of astrology ” because it mostly dealt with the outcome ,not the journey. It could predict from a chart whether a person would be a saint or a sinner but it was quiet on how one could go about it. It could show a moment but not the movement leading up to it. My horoscope said that I would achieve self- realization , but it couldn’t tell me how “.
Swami ji had endearing relationship with two persons. One person was his mother’s brother, RK Modgil. He was an ardent Shiva devotee who visited the cremation ground regularly for sadhana. He gave Swami ji consecrated ash from the cremation ground and foretold , ” you wll be travelling all over the world and I don’t want to tie you down with a mantra that you must chant every day. Be free. Go live your dream. No power in the three worlds can stop you “. The other person was prof Sharma, a scholarly figure, who had a passion and mastery over English literature. He questioned Swami ji about his girl friend. Swami ji replied that he had none and does not wish to have one as this would distract him from his pursuit of sadhana. He suggested to Swami ji to marry some day as his palm reading and horoscope clearly mentioned marriage. ” I thought about this for a while , and decided I wasn’t going to let a certain line on my palm dictate my future for me. I was determined to write the script of my own life.”
The next few years were barren years for Swami ji in so far as his spiritual growth was concerned. Life was preparing him for another dimensions. He dabbled in stock trading as it helped him to understand business and financial transactions. This helped in somersaulting his career in business world which would take him to Australia, Canada, USA, UK and other European countries… More of it later in second part.