9 Dec 2014

The Coolest Guru

This article is the first one in a series of five posts, introduced previously in the article “The Amazing Grace of meeting Sri Swami Vishwananda – Aspects of a living Guru”. It is based on a testimony shared by David from London, during the last Darshan of Sri Swami Vishwananda, held at Shree Peetha Nilaya, on the 29th of November. One very important aspect of the Guru related in this testimony is how the Guru creates the unique circumstances which lead to the first meeting with Him. Sri Swami Vishwananda revealed during His commentary on the Guru Gita:

“The Guru is seated into the Consciousness and into the Consciousness He perceives everything; not only in His devotees, but everywhere. Even if He has a form, He is not limited to that form. He can tap into any form and manifest Himself in many forms. He is not limited only to one aspect or one way. That's why I always say, ‘I always have my ways. If plan A doesn't work, there is always plan B. If plan B doesn't work, C will come. If C doesn't work, we create D. If D doesn't work, we create E, and so on.’ So, the Guru is not bound by the way people think.” (see information below about the book release)

“I decided to share a story with you of my own path with Guruji which is a lesson of stupidity of my part and pride and arrogance. But in spite of this, Guru's Grace is just unconditional Love. Sai Baba appeared to me in a dream, in 1996 and told me to come to see Him in India. And I thought, ‘Okay why not?’ So I went there to the ashram and there in the accommodation office, when I joined the queue, there were two  guys from UK I was chatting to, and I end up sharing the apartment in the ashram with them. We got to know each other very well and one started talking about this young spiritual teacher that was in London, called Visham. And he was saying so many amazing positive things about Him and how He was manifesting things and creating miracles. And I was going, ‘Yeah, yeah, okay...’ I was just not interested, crazy you know, because I always wanted a Guru since young, and so my reaction to this opportunity is completely crazy. Then fast forward to 2002, maybe 2003, I end up going for a Darshan with Sri Swami Vishwananda (Guruji) and realised that this was the guy I could have met all these years ago, if it was not for my own stupidity, pride and arrogance saying, ‘Oh, so what? He is just another teacher.’ So it's really a lesson that these sort of things hold us back in the spiritual path and in spite of all our failings and... still Guruji loves us so much and just creates opportunities, no matter of how many obstacles and things we have been – in our path for Him to love us and bring Him to us. Because looking back at it, He went to the trouble to get me invited to see a teacher in another ashram, and meet two people to share apartment with, that I had never met before, to find out who He is, to give me an opportunity to be with Him in this life. And that to me looking back to it, it is the most amazing Grace you can imagine; and even then the patience, that He sow the seed, but still this stupid devotee was thinking, ‘Oh whatever...’ When I met Him it was just like, ‘Wow!’ And I didn't even connect with Him immediately, that it was Him that Visham. And then, “Oh my God! All these years I could have been with Him, if only I had an open mind, if I had not judged and had not been arrogant and full of pride. This was such a humbling experience. Then, being with Guruji – the first interview I had, it was everything that you can possibly ever want from a Guru, in like a very short time. It was the most amazing experience happening in my life. And there have been many others, with Guruji's Grace since then. And still I am full with arrogance and stupidity and pride, but I think I have changed a little bit since then, thankfully! At least, I have had the intelligence to hang out with Him a bit more.

David with Guruji at a devotee's house after going to a rock concert earlier in the evening. David says, "Guruji loved it so much I was wearing this rock gear and had worn my malas during the concert." (London, 20th March 2013)
And I just wanted to say, ‘He has been the coolest Guru you can ever possibly imagine.’ In many things, but one of them He is so accessible to us. He is just... okay surely we know that He tests and pushes us; tests us to see how we react to things, all the time, but comparing with Gurus from the past He is just – He makes it so easy for us, if we only knew... and we don't really know. And even these last couple of weeks He has shown us His Love for us by tweeting to us. It is just... how many Gurus would do this?

Sri Swami Vishwananda wet and covered with colour during Holi in Vrindavan, India, 2014
There is also another story I just have remembered. In Steffenshof there was an Hindu festival of Holi. It's an experience where they throw all colours on people. There was kind of a plan to get Guruji really heavily with the colour, and they planned it carefully. I was clever enough to find a way to see this, but without getting covered in colour (as I was using some expensive white trousers). Guruji was in the centre and everybody got around Him and then suddenly they bombed Him with colour. And He was just – it's unbelievable that a Guru can allow His disciples and His devotees to do this, and He was cold and He was wet, covered in all these colours, looking like a rainbow; and He was standing there shivering. Then, all of sudden He just got into the spirit of the experience and just started dancing and singing. And to me this was such a lesson in – He offers, He allowed us to do this to Him, even if He was experiencing the discomfort from the experience. And then He showed us even more, by showing that even when you go through unpleasant experiences you can transcend them and celebrate and take it somewhere else completely.” - David, London

The Sri Swami Vishwananda Sri Guru Gita – Commentary on the great mysteries of the Guru Disciple Relationship will be launched during Christmas Celebrations at Shree Peetha Nilaya (Bhakti Marga shop)

In the book Blossoming of the Heart, which is available in the Bhakti Marga shop, relatives, friends, devotees and disciples from different countries and different cultural backgrounds share their very personal experiences with Sri Swami Vishwananda. The original English version (right)  is already translated in German (left), Polish and Portuguese.