The Loyal Subjects (Ashram Visits)
Ever since Swamiji opened the doors of the Ashram to His devotees, the three of us, Mani di, Manik and myself tried to frequent the Ashram as much as possible and His divine grace blessed us with regular visits. We soon realized that apart from us the place had other regular visitors some of whom became permanent residents later.
A playful cat outside the Old Ashram door.
Kalu, Binny and Shangri, the Ashram dogs and the cats of the Ashram neighbors who would come to laze around every now and then. Kalu the grizzly grey and black colored male, naughty but never notorious; Binny the brown one, a young and shy female and Shangri the fair lady, wise and composed.
The old Ashram was just a mud hut with three small rooms and a door that was normally open, the kitchen being right at the entrance. The interesting thing was that none of them ever step-in despite the inviting aroma of the food.
They were fed by the resident disciples, by us on our visits and more often by Swamiji himself. Their joys would know no bounds when Swamiji would himself step out to feed them. As if they sensed the divinity in Swamiji too, they never threw themselves at him, just jumped around playfully or lay around in sheer bliss when their Master would caress them lovingly.
Shangri was probably the most attached to Swamiji. She would accompany Him in His early morning walks where He recorded His discourses, walking along as if assimilating every divine word that her Master uttered. We can see her in some of Swamiji’s old video recordings.
Binny, on her Morning walk.
The harmony with which all the animals lived at the Ashram intrigued me and was nothing less than a miracle. The unusualness was in the tamed behavior of the untamed, the friendly behavior of the rival species and the harmony with which all the odds would live together in an even and blissful manner.
I never saw these dogs run after the cats at the Ashram, never saw the cats and dogs chase the early morning or evening birds pecking food at the Ashram and never heard anyone including myself complaint of an insect bite, which in the hills can be so poisonous. Though I admit to have seen the most different and complicated 🙂 insects ever, at the Ashram.
All I have ever observed and felt at the Ashram is the joy and bliss that engulfs everyone visiting there. It makes the wildest dogs to laze around strangers, kittens and cats mischievously play around without inhibitions and us grownups basking like little toddlers in Swamiji’s loving presence.
I lost my fears of the wild and felt my soul become one with theirs at my beautiful Ashram. So many times one could hear me laughing at them, talking to them and also scolding them, trying to get some civic sense in them. And they too accepted me and treated me as their own for when hungry they would actually nudge me to get up and give them something to eat.
Everyone who has met Swamiji has felt divinity, tranquility, joy and peace within. And this is exactly what Swamiji has filled His Ashram and all those living there with.
While Swamiji was away for almost nine months this year none of them survived as if they couldn’t bear the separation.
Many Pranams in the Lotus Feet of my Mystical Lord!
Your humbled child…
This post was originally published on Swamiji’s fan club website which no longer exists, to know more about that, refer to my intro part of the archives series here.
Original Screenshot :
Click to zoom