Only recently I read an article by Swamiji titled ‘Make Hay While The Sun Shines’, written in February last year, wherein Swamiji talks about his kind father, and how he took care of Pitashree in his last moments. It is an article like no other – needless to say, it would move anyone, who reads it, to tears.

However, there was another big lesson that Swamiji indirectly taught through that article.

Despite being a Sanyasi, Swamiji always makes sure to be there for the family members and friends of his purvashram as and when he is really, truly needed, especially his parents. This is the biggest lesson anyone can ever learn about the importance of Dharma in one’s life, whether one is a renunciate or not.

With the aagman of Swamiji in my life around 8 months ago through his book ‘Kundalini’, my spiritual journey received a major push, and I developed major confidence to pursue the path. Before him, I had no idea about what Sri Vidya was, and always considered Tantra like people usually do –associating it with Indian voodoo. Once some years before the TV channel I was writing a TV show with wanted me to include a ‘tantra’ story track in a mythological show, and the first thought that came up in my mind was ‘Tantra means chudail, black magic and all?’ Uff! What ignorance! All that changed, and is gradually changing even more, thanks to Swamiji.

However, there were other matters too that got affected when I started paying more attention to the spiritual path. My friends, some okay-okay religious and some not-at-all-religious thought I was being crazy. ‘Who is Om Swami? And why would you wear this huge rudraksh mala and pray every day? Instead, focus on work, no! God will bless you. Don’t become a Sadhvi please.’ Okay. I was focusing on work as well, writing 2-3 shows at a time, since Swamiji, like any legit Guru, never lets us stray away from our own karma, but still, people never stopped judging, which is fine, since ‘kuch to log kahenge.’

However, what amused me more was the reaction of my spiritual friends. It reminded me of Newton’s third law of motion: for every action in nature, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

My focus on my karma and my household responsibilities – my dharma –  bothered a couple of spiritual friends, both of whom are aspiring renunciates.  Okay now vairagya is not an easy bhaav to feel, and in fact, only a person with the highest level of thought process and self-knowledge can feel and accept vairagya, and become a sanyasi! It’s not an everyday feeling. At times, one doesn’t really understand the difference between the feeling of ‘vairagya’ and that of being tired of life. I too wish to reach that level of detachment, and love, someday!

But aspiring to become a renunciate doesn’t mean one gets to judge others who have karmic dharma to fulfill, and who are probably not that spiritual. That is as good (or worse) as unspiritual people judging the ones with a religious/spiritual bent.  My spiritual friends thought I wasn’t worth their precious time, because I was too busy running around to make ends meet, and take care of my mother and my work, instead of just leaving it all on Swamiji and God. 

This made me feel bad. 

Of course, Swamiji takes care of everything, God fulfills every single wish! But don’t we have a saying that ‘God helps those, who help themselves.’? That Guru and God help those, who do not turn their backs on dharma in the name of vairagya. Vairagya is not a route to escape from worries, it is a more arduous path toward one’s deepest self.

A balance between the two worlds – that of Karma and Dhyan – is my birthright as a human being. Earlier, I too was of the same judgmental frame of mind, but certain experiences during my recent Sadhana made me look into this ‘judgmentalism’ of my being. If one is spiritual and religious, judging others who are not that spiritually inclined, in fact, hating them because they are too ‘involved’ in ‘Maya’ is another kind of arrogance, which probably adds more harm to one’s spirituality.

This reminds me of an anecdote that Swamiji shared of Swami Vivekananda, and I remember reading it in a book too: Once the King in whose palace Swami Vivekananda was a guest, invited a courtesan to sing in the Darbar. But Swami Vivekananda was appalled – he was a sanyasi, what is the King doing bringing the courtesan to sing in his presence? So, he stood up and announced that he will not be attending the program since as a sanyasi, it’s bad to attend this kind of program. Hearing this, a learned sanyasi who was sitting right opposite Swami Vivekananda, said only one thing to him: ‘I thought you were a sanyasi of the highest order, then why do you entangle yourself in this tiny bandhan of ‘what is good’ and what is bad?’ Realization struck Swami Vivekananda like lightning, and he sat back down. The courtesan sang the most beautiful bhajan, which brought Swami Vivekanand to tears, making him apologize to the courtesan for his lapse in judgment! How wonderfully active was his conscience!