frequently engaged in conversation with devotees. These conversations offer
a fascinating glimpse into Swamiji and his mission on this earth, but there
were no such conversations at Shivabalayogi’s programs. He gave no
discourses or public talks. Devotees’ conversations with him had nothing to
do with his program for our spiritual development. They arose from our
Swamiji’s words are
valuable, but their study will not result in anything other than
intellectualization. Their value is to encourage us in the path of
spirituality and to engage in the practice of meditation. It is not possible
to know God through mere words. One must meditate and still the mind.
The limited value of
studying words is brought out in the following incident that took place in
Santa Fe in the United States during a program in 1991. People were going up
to Swamiji for individual blessings. Towards the end of the line, a man went
up and was talking with Swamiji and his interpreter. Soon their voices
became loud and animated to the point where people in the hall became quiet
to listen to what was being discussed. Apparently, the man wanted Swamiji’s
validation of his teacher and his study of vedanta, India’s metaphysical
philosophy that has its roots in the Upanishads, the ancient Vedic
books on philosophy.
Swamiji was not impressed
by his study of vedanta or the teacher. Swamiji said that vedanta was only
knowledge from reading scriptures. “People study the scriptures,
become pundits, and then they charge a fee to anyone who wants to learn from
them. Such people cannot do meditation. They are only spiritual leaders.
They have not seen God. They have not experienced God.” Swamiji told
the man that a true guru removes all bad thoughts from one’s mind.
“You must meditate. You could read all
the books about Swamiji, all the questions and answers from Swamiji’s
darshan, study them, and know all about what Swamiji has said but you would
only become a pundit. You will not get enlightened.”
Somewhat quiet after
Swamiji’s loud words, and perhaps a little self-conscious at so many in the
hall looking at him, the man appeared a little relieved at being able to
turn around and take leave. As the man started to walk away, Swamiji made a
parting comment: “Whatever we
have talked about now, that is called vedanta.”
Shri Swamiji sends you his blessings.