11 Dec 2014

The Sneaky Guru

This article is the second one of a series of five, 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 Nikhilananda, a resident of Shree Peetha Nilaya (SPN), during the last Darshan of Sri Swami Vishwananda, held at SPN, on the 29th of November.

“I remember the day He made this announcement of Karthik month. He said, ‘You know, one Tulsi leaf during the Karthik month makes this, this much blessing!’ I couldn't even stop myself. I just went to my room, got a handful of tulsi leaves and put them on my altar, waiting for the blessings to come. Still waiting... they already came for sure! But I have not the awareness to see that they have already come. And the thing is – Swami never ever fails to fulfil any of our requests. But He just doesn't do it the way we expect Him to do it and sometimes He does it, but we are not aware that He does it. I'll tell you a funny story.

Narasimha Chaturthi at the Feltham Temple
Once in London, it was Narasimha Chaturthi at the Feltham Temple. I remember that at night time Swamiji was there, many people were there and I was looking at the Narasimha murti that I love very very dearly. I looked at Him and said, ‘I really, really wish that I could be one with you and that we would be united, just one. And that I would be able to surrender to you and you would stand over me as your disciple.’ In that moment I was very emotional, because at the end of Chaturthi you are feeling very spiritual so you make these big big claims and requests to God.

Lakshmi Narasimha murti, Feltham Temple, London
But of course after that, Swami calls you for dinner and starts to balance things out bringing you back down to earth, talking about whatever is happening in the world. So, I forgot about this request I made. I forgot about this prayer that I made. We were very very tired because, as you know, everything finishes super super late. I went upstairs and fell asleep. Next morning, I felt some weird stuff happening on my face, but I was still sleeping, no problem. Then I woke up because I was feeling this weight on my chest. I woke up and when I looked up, saw Swami standing on my chest with a black pen on His hand and with a mischievous smile. And I was thinking, ‘What? I didn't sleep enough. This is really confusing to me right now.’ Everybody in the room was laughing like something funny must be happening. So I got up, my hair was everywhere and looking a bit wild and I looked in the mirror. Everybody was laughing, He had drawn whiskers on my face looking a little bit like a lion. I was thinking, ‘Ahhh, you are so sneaky.’ He fulfilled my prayer, but just not the way I expected. I thought there would be some beautiful apparition, some bright light, Narasimha would come and we would merge into one; then, Swami would come and bless me, and all this. We all have nice fantasies. Instead, I woke up with sleepy eyes, hair everywhere, whiskers on my face, Swami is standing on top of me with a big big smile saying, ‘Got you!’

Sri Swami Vishwananda with a mischievous smile (left) and Nikhilananda (right)
So this is the thing. You will never ever know when the right time for things to happen will be, and how they are going to happen. Our job is just to enjoy the ride. And I have to say that since then, my expectations of how these prayers will be answered have gone down a lot. And I think that it is healthy. I think it is very good, because the minute that happened, I became so much more aware of other prayers He was answering for me. Because instead of looking for the big bright light, big apparitions and the big visions, I started to see the little things He does and I could say, “Oh that's exactly what I asked for! It just didn't come as I imagined it in my mind.” Many different things in my life. And I am sure is the same for all of you. How many times He has done something for you but you don't give it the value that it deserves because it doesn't happen the way you wanted it to happen. But that doesn't mean that He didn't answer your prayers. That doesn't mean that He didn't come to you when you asked Him to come. He never fails. He always comes. Never ever does He fail.” - Nikhilananda, SPN, Germany

Sri Swami Vishwananda enjoying dancing with devotees during Navaratri, 2013; Nikhilananda (right)

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.