A Silent Teaching by Swamiji
With a twinkle in his eye, Swamaji turned from our small entourage, and walked briskly across the vacant airport lounge to take a seat. Large groups of unoccupied chairs lined each wall, but Swamiji ignored them all and proceeded with intent towards one in particular. We all followed Swamiji’s lead, trailing happily after the smiling yogi. The chairs in this waiting area had small television monitors affixed to them. They were so equipped so that passengers in transit could deposit coins and distract themselves with the TV while waiting for their plane.
Reaching the farthest bank of chairs, Swamiji sat down immediately next to the only occupied chair in the whole lounge. There sprawled across the chair next to him was a fellow buried deep in sleep in front of his TV monitor. He was the only other non-devotee in this area and Swamiji had made a point to sit next to him. This was no accident, but part of the ongoing silent teachings that occurred around Swamiji.
Swamiji did not give long lectures on a particular brand of religious dogma. Instead he taught spiritual aspirants how to meditate and have their own direct experience of the truth. He instructed all to “Know the truth trough….” He did not advise us to believe what the others said the truth was. He, like Christ, persuaded us to know the truth for ourselves and become free. And without charge, he taught the technique of Dyhanna mediation as a means for doing just that.
Swamiji was a true yogi and not a spiritual leader who taught by the conventional means of spiritual discourses. Swamiji could deliver his messages in a variety of unconventional means whenever he wanted to. Often circumstances would unfold around him, drawing the devotees into an event that ultimately revealed a much-needed teaching for all involved. The external events illustrating the teaching imprinted deeply in the mind and delivered the lesson in such a profound way. This event in the LaGuardia airport was just another of Swamiji’s subtle teachings.
For me, the scene was rich in symbolic meaning. In one chair sat an awakened Swamiji, keenly aware of everything and smiling at everyone. In the other chair was an unconscious fellow who was completely unaware of anyone or thing around him. He had no idea that a great yogi/saint was so close to him. For me, the snoozing fellow symbolically represented the common man of today who has been lulled to sleep by TV or other weapons of mass distraction. Living in subconscious ignorance, humanity often misses those great, enlightened masters who have come to selflessly serve them.
This fellow was so close that he could have reached his hand out and touched Swamiji and received his blessing. Unfortunately, the sleepy man missed this precious moment and never awakened. Seeing this missed opportunity was a lesson for us all that we must be vigilant and ready when our spiritual opportunities present themselves. As spiritual seekers it is easy to get caught up in the worldly demands of family, careers and lifestyles and thus allow our spiritual aspirations to slumber. In today’s demanding world we do not always remember that the moment we put our foot on the spiritual path a call went out from out hearts to God. We must not forget this; for all sincere calls to God are answered given time. But it is up to us to stay alert and be ready for the precious moments when God decides to answer our calls. Swamiji’s graphic depiction of this truth will not be easily forgotten. ~ D