"A Pilgrimage of Love"
A pilgrimage is a spiritual journey that opens one’s eyes and heart to see beyond the tangible into the heart and soul of a sacred place. Compiling the Decade of Love book was a pilgrimage of sorts, through the sacred landscape of Sri Swami Vishwananda’s life and mission. Every pilgrimage with a Guru takes one into new territory, both an inner and an outer; this one took me into a deeper appreciation of who my Guru is and how love can truly change everything.
Any pilgrimage can only touch upon the highlights of the holy land to be visited. This book is no different. To condense a Master’s lifetime of service and accomplishment into a single book that one can hold in their hands is indeed a formidable task. His teachings alone have already created a library of books. So the question arose, how to tell the story.
The chronological series of events, while impressive, simply form the walls of a temple. While a pilgrim enjoys the beauty of the structure, they inwardly yearn to feel the love and devotion that built it and keeps it alive in the hearts of those who worship there. And so, we chose to present both, the walls, built stone by stone, and the hands and hearts of those who selflessly laboured to manifest the vision of an extraordinary Master and his extraordinary mission.
As anyone who has ever done a pilgrimage with Guruji knows, the itinerary is merely a suggestion and the most exciting parts of the adventure come in the most unexpected ways. The journey of filling 228 pages, with nearly 26,000 words, in less than a month, was in no way a straight line. With too much information in some categories, not enough in others, no where near enough time and only a vague map to cover such a vast territory, the adventure began. Numerous times throughout the month we came upon obstacles that required us to step back and re-direct our path. It often felt like we needed another six months to do it justice.
Yet, through Guruji’s Grace the impossible task was made possible. Every time it got to be too much, we would stop, turn inward and pray for Grace. The prayers were always answered with more energy, a new idea, a willingness to let go and do it differently. There was no room for egos; to get the job done we had to work together, let others fine tune our work and let go of pride. In the end, all was surrendered to his Lotus Feet and through his mercy it came together. Just one week from deadline, a theme emerged that pulled together all the loose ends and gave us a vision for how to bring it home to the heart: “Living Bhakti Every Day”.
Throughout it all, we were held in the most amazing ways. We were always sustained by his invisible presence, silent whispers often dictated what to write and where to focus next. 16-hour days sitting in front of a computer and 90-hour weeks flew by without physical pain, with minimal stress and hardly any complications.
Underneath it all was a deep desire to serve our beloved Guru and create something he would be happy to share with anyone and everyone: family, devotees, dignitaries, the press. It is our sincerest hope we have accomplished our goal. It was indeed the most remarkable journey both inside and out. The precious gift of Guru seva showed me that the more love we felt for him, the more we were supported, and the more we wanted to give. It was truly an honour and a privilege to serve on this project.
Celebrate the approaching 11th year of Bhakti Marga with us on New Year's Eve! Click on link to register: http://www.bhaktimarga.org/events/new-years-eve