This is my first post on the prestigious os.me platform. I always wanted to write a post here since The Big Decision but never found enough inspiration for a story that held a meaningful message; my own life is all about what not to be and do, however today, I have just the right amount of inspiration to talk about someone’s life, which is all about What to be, How to be, What to do, How to do and much beyond. No karma points for guessing, the one and only, our dearest and beloved; Om Swami Ji 😊
Before we delve further, please ask yourself these two questions; How much do I give and how much I can ever give?
Just think, can I part with 10% of my rightful earnings (as per Sanatan Dharma Shastras, watch Meaning of Daan), can I part with more than that, or am I comfortable doing some charity here and there as I see fit. Do I give away my old possessions? Do I give away anything at all OR, am I someone who can give away everything? Yes E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. (100%), literally every single penny. Chances are, all of us will fall in the former category, because it takes unimaginable dispassion and courage to part with all the money you’ve worked so hard to earn and start from scratch again.
While it may sound impractical to give away everything because of our needs and desires, Swami Ji still does exactly that at the end of every year and not only at the end of the year, he actively and anonymously donates during the year as well. Quoting from A prayer that Never Fails, “Meditation retreats and royalties are his only sources of income, a negligible amount for someone from whose personal account over Rs. 1,00,000 are auto-debited every month to support children’s education, pensions to ageing couples and run homes of families that have little to no financial support. Then there are donations made anonymously to individuals and organizations. At the end of every financial year, he gives away all the excess in his account and starts all over again.” That’s Swami Ji.
We all have a fair idea of how rewarding it is to be an author (sarcastically speaking!), from How I lost 600,000 in 18 months. We know that a Rs. 350 book only leaves him Rs. 28 in royalties and that also is taxable, you do the math. On top of that, there are only so many people who buy spiritual books, go a step further, people unethically download books for free these days (he lost approx. Rs. 18,00,000 since 2014 due to free downloads), so we can imagine how much he must make from royalties. He still gives!
If this is not enough, there are sadhaks who leave home and come to the Ashram to tread their spiritual paths, Swami Ji supports them as well with their living expenses (easily above 60-70k per year per person). He even pays for Sri Hari Abhishekam donation, if this does not speak of his dispassion and giving, I don’t know what does.
We never get tired of complaining about our unfulfilled desires and how less we have and here he is, the one who is one with Sri Hari and has all the siddhis mentioned in the shastras, who still works harder than anyone I know to make his minimalistic ends meet, who earned millions of dollars before renunciation (Read If Truth Be Told), who gives away everything he earns to others. It is unfathomably astonishing. I know that he does not like to be glorified, but at the same time, he doesn’t leave you with another choice but to glorify him and him alone, and all I have written in this post is about the material giving, there is no end to how many people he mystically heals, who come to him with their pains and sorrows (Read Om Swami: As we Know Him and The Book of Faith). As it’s famously said:
“If all the skies were paper,
if all the trees were pens,
if all the seas were ink, and
if Ma Saraswati were a scribe,
they would not suffice to expound
the greatness of our Lord, Sri Hari Om Swami Ji.”
When I read in Revenge postscripts about Swami Ji giving away even the os.me earnings, I could not stop myself from expressing his greatness and magnanimity. As is the way of a lineage, I pledge to donate back all the money that I receive from os.me karma points, back to Sri Badrika Ashram and Black Lotus (because Swami Ji doesn’t accept any material offerings). I urge you to do something similar if you can and give back to the charity of your choosing, those who will (even a portion), please comment “I Pledge” in the comments section of this post and let’s collectively pay forward Swami Ji’s infinite kindness and goodness.
p.s. Please read Hungry Baba and the New Normal for some fun perspective.