He kept dodging. Looking at Sakshi, a two year old baby, he said, “She is distracting me. She is looking at me and that is distracting me.” I replied, “Swamiji, she is merely a Sakshi – an observer. ”
But Swamiji, still at his evasive best, retorted, “You know, there Is someone who just by BEING can be so distracting. He doesn’t need to do anything. Just BE and that distracts you.”
I caught this line and twisted it back. “Swamiji, exactly this sort of feeling must have happened to you with regard to Gurudev who just by BEING could be so ATTRACTING. ” With that, the key shot home and the door unlocked. Swami Tejomayananda unfolded…….. Love cascading from his heart in an unbroken stream of thoughts towards his reverential lips…,…..A well hidden tear peeped out of the curtains of his eyelids and danced in an ecstatic revelry at the rememberance of the Great Master.
“How can I say what is best about Gurudev? His presence was most appealing. His presence spoke more than his words and taught more than his lectures. I see his presence in his pictures also. Just to be with him was a great joy and an experience in itself. I specially used to love to dine with him and I had plenty of such chances. Because he used to be relaxed at that time, he made fun of all those who were working. Once, we were invited to have Bhiksha at a Rajasthani house. They were making idlis for Gurudev. But they didn’t know how to make them. Somehow or the other, they made the idlis which were looking quite strange. When Gurudev saw the final product, he looked at me and remarked, “See, the cartoon of idii is coming.”
Gurudev’s greatness went beyond his presence and he showed it in every little thing. In big things everybody shows off. But Gurudev showed it even in small things, e.g. When I was studying Vedanta here at Sandeepany, Bombay, I used to teach Sanskrit also to the Brahmacharis and Brahmacharinis. There was a small hall where I used to hold the class. Once, Swamiji was here and he wanted to discuss something with a group of people. He just arrived here and saw that I was teaching. He could have asked me to finish the class. But he humbly requested, “May I use the hall for sometime?” That is his greatness. He did not say get out, let me use this place.
I also had the great fortune of learning from him. Many a time, he would take me along with himself to Uttarkashi. At that time, there was no regular Vedanta training course, so Gurudev used to take the classes on the Vivekachoodamani and the Geeta. While other Mission members would come off and on, I was nearly permanent and I used to sit right in the front. Actually, I felt that Gurudev used to teach me alone. Every now and then, he would ask questions and, if out of ten questions I didn’t answer even one or didn’t answer quickly enough, he would say that you don’t know the answer or that you were sleeping during the class. Or, sometimes, he would speak and leave the sentence half-way and leave me to complete it. And if I spoke softly Gurudev would ask me to go out on the banks of the Ganga and speak so loudly that the man on the other side could hear me.
Discipline was one thing which Gurudev loved. Not only was he himself a very disciplined person but he also enforced it. The beauty of his discipline was that it was not dry and harsh but accompanied with compassion. For instance, once, during a Geeta Gnana Yagna, all the Brahmacharis were not present for the meditation class. That day he ordered, “Brahmacharis will not be served lunch today. But, at tea time, we were given special upma along with the tea. Otherwise, we would get only tea. Thus, he punctuated discipline with compassion.
Gurudev’s whole vision for the Mission was essentially two-fold. One, External i.e. activities – wise or project – wise and the other, Internal, viz. the unfoidment of the personalities of the members while undertaking those projects. So, as far as the outer activities started by Gurudev are concerned, they have expanded, grown and benefitted the society. Unfoidment, by itself, is subjective and each worker will have to honestly and sincerely evaluate himself or herself. But the very fact that thousands of people have been working for such a long period of time shows that they have been getting something or else they wouldn’t work. So, we have succeeded to a great extent.
Really speaking, there is no final goal.
Outwardly, the sky is the limit. Inwardly also, one can improve. There is no room for complacence. There is more room for expansion outside and refinement inside. Thus, there is no full stop. Even in our Guru Dakshina – our Offering unto him – there is no questioin of fulfillment. Whatever you do is little. It is not even equal to what the Great Master has done. So, never can our Guru Dakshina be enough. Supposing we say that we have finished, then what will we do? So we keep on GIVING only.
And in the performance of our daily activities, I can only quote the words of Krishna in the Bhagavad Geeta, “Remember Me and do your duty !”