One of the reasons I love Swamiji is because of the intrinsic honesty and simplicity reflected in all his writings and videos. He has emphasized the value of measuring progress on the spiritual path based on small milestones. Besides, he has also focused on the value of patience and discipline in everyday practices. These two things may seem really simple but are immensely powerful.

A question had gripped me for a few months: was Mira Bai born a devotee or had she transformed herself into the eternal “jogan”, suffused in the fragrance of Lord Krishna? This question was important to me. My guru had merged with the divine,  yet my reverence for him was not at the level I desired.

Akin to honey bees, human beings are always looking for nectar. I was fortunate enough to taste the sweetest nectar from an inexhaustible source and still, the desired level of reverence evaded my heart.

I knew the easiest way to resolve such an existential question: go to YouTube and type “Om Swami + Relevant Keyword”.  Consequently, I found a couple of videos where Swamiji explained the virtues of being patient and sticking to one’s practice.

Sadhana is a lot like gardening:  you have to plant the seeds of devotion, water them religiously with faith every day, consciously remove the weeds of doubt, and then wait for the flower to bloom. While everyone admires the beautiful flowers they are unmindful of the nourishment that everyday rituals provide.

This realization strengthened the foundation of my practice; it dawned on me while I was reading “If Truth Be Told”again. Interestingly, during the past 3-4 readings, it had always felt like an unbelievable story of a mystic. This time, however, the story felt really personal. Every scene flashed in front of my eyes. The pictures shared by Swamiji in his blog and by Sadhviji in her books helped me visualize the entire book. It had moved on from being a book to a live experience. My guru was now inside me.

The intent of sharing this with all of you is twofold. Firstly, all of us are at different milestones in our spiritual journeys. I wanted to call out this milestone so that anyone who faces similar struggles knows there is hope. Secondly, Swamiji has emphasized the role of creativity in life. Writing frequently helps me connect with all my guru sakhas and keeps me away from the rabbit hole waiting on my mobile phone.

Thank you Swamiji for your presence in our lives and for opening this wonderful platform to us.

Jai Sri Hari

Akshay

PS: I had read Swamiji’s Last Gambit a few months ago and I could see how he modeled Vasu’s chess teacher on Professor Sharma. The Last Gambit is the only fiction written by Swamiji and is a delightful read.

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Akshay Iyer

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