This is a very very bold attempt on my part. I am trying to share my view of what Swamiji expects of his followers. I might be banished from this platform forever for my audacity, but as they say, its better to have written and banned, then to have never written at all!!

The trigger for this was when I was at Swamiji’s discourse session at the Ashram and the first question was for Swamiji to narrate the instance when he had the divine Darshan and how it was like. His answer prima facie to that, was that it’s something he has talked about multiple times in the past and one can view the video recording of the same and he need not narrate the same. But the other point was, more than the darshan, please delve into and focus on the ‘shram’. Focus more on the ‘tap’ and the hard-work that lead to the darshan. The key is the process, not the destination. The divine darshan is once in lifetime effort, but the sweet result of sincere hard-work, done with a focus in mind, can be experienced many times over in multiple different acts in a day, a year, a lifetime.

The real leader is not the one who has maximum number of followers. A real leader is one who has the maximum number of leaders following him. Leaders whom he has groomed. People who quietly observed the boss and studied the process behind each of the decisions that the leader took, and inculcated that in their own learning system and became leaders themselves. The most important task of a leader is to make himself redundant at some point of time, so that the organisation can work in an autopilot mode, even if he is vacationing in Hawaii, or closer home in Goa. He does not feel threatened about being usurped from his position for doing this, as his focus is for bigger goals and he is always looking ahead to the next one.

Similarly, Swamiji’s aspiration is for the followers to learn from his learnings, his books, his videos and BECOME INDEPENDENT. Not just independent doers, but more importantly, independent thinkers, who can then propagate their own theories and ideologies. It’s very easy to read someone’s writing/learnings and quote them. Whats difficult it inculcate those learnings in our daily life and have someone ELSE quote you instead. 

Just like it was told by Buddha, that we need to discover the Buddha in us, I also believe that we should seek the Swami within and not the swami outside. Because the Swami outside is at his ashram and you get only 3 minutes of his personal time. But the Swami within is with you, 24*7*365, at your service, at your beck and call, willing to guide you, help you, to show you the light and direction. All that you need to do is give the respect and importance and not ignore it as we say ‘Dil to Baccha hain ji’. 

Swamiji’s sense of humour and is trademark style of sharing a joke or having a lighter moment is another great source of learning for me. Its for us to realise that however serious our lives might be, we should always have room for laughter, for the lighter moment, to see the sillier side of ourselves and what goes on with us. It’s just not possible to maintain a positive frame of mind at all times, hence  always try to take a pause and look at the situation from a fun angle and laugh about it. 

The best skill of Swamiji is his story telling ability, which helps people get the context much better and makes the discourse more relatable and easier to understand. I try the approach even in my PhD classes, where I take a very rudimentary and layman-type example to understand the most complex of theorems and principles. So it should be with life in general. One should look from a third person perspective, rather than taking the onus of decision making completely on ourselves.  

Patience is another very important virtue. One needs to realise that we all have a lot of time to do everything. If we become tough on ourselves and try and do everything in half the time, whether we succeed or not, either ways we are the loser. Because even if we accomplish the goal, we would have missed out on the journey, the experience of going through the task ; the simple difference between eating food nicely, enjoying the taste and texture of the food, vs gulping it down in a hurry.

The line I love to quote very often ” Everyone in our lives, every person, every object is there for a purpose. This includes the desk you are working on, the pen you are holding, the door to your room, parents, friends, teachers, the watchman, the vegetable seller, everyone. If you can realise the same, its your gain, if you cannot, its your loss.” 

So rather than seeking Swamiji’s guidance as a purpose of life and relying on him to solve your problems or give you guidance, appreciate the role he plays in your life already, just by BEING there and you will be able to achieve far more in life and it would be a hugely fulfilling experience.

As I said earlier. these are extremely personal thoughts and I have purely shared my own version of the way I gain confidence from Swamiji. I just hope he will comment on the post if I have made grave error or blunder in writing this.

 

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Hetal Sonpal

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