Mrig Trishna

In March 2020, a fifteen-day long self-purification event was announced. Swamiji’s every waking moment was spent working, which left me with conducting live sessions for eleven long days. It was a scary notion for I only knew so much. The ten tendencies of the mind that I was supposed to speak on – anger, shame, resentment, ego, greed, guilt and so on, I knew them intimately of course, but that knowledge wasn’t born of wisdom but of experience.

Now what could I possibly say to the audience that would help them cast these tendencies aside, when I myself hadn’t mastered them?

Swamiji opened the first morning session in his characteristic humorous way and set the tone for the next few days. Oh, His gentle smile and laughing ways made everyone forget that we were in lockdown and people had lost their jobs and loved ones in a single day. He was hope Himself to whoever saw and heard Him. As Swamiji walked back to His cottage accompanied by Vidu Swami and Vidya Swami, I also joined the entourage.

The apprehension regarding
the event must have shown on
my face, for He said to me,

‘Sadhviji, I just had an idea,
you know, the entire journey
is from, ‘Trishna to Krishna,
from desire to liberation.

I marvelled at the brilliance of Swamiji’s mind, in one single sentence He gave me the essence of what my talks needed to be based on. It has always been like this before any event, Satsang, Kirtan, Zenrich, no matter how big or small the event, like a parent coaches a child, Swamiji gave me simple pointers to nail it.

Swamiji continued,

‘Imagine a tipping scale, a gauge, a meter where you can see the needle going from worldly desires to desiring the Divine. It’s these ten vikaras, hardwired tendencies of the mind that don’t let a person go towards Krishna, the Blue God. Scriptures have called it Mrig trishna, a worldly mirage, ensnaring, engaging the faculties of the mind’s endless pursuit of desires. Only when one journeys from Trishna to Krishna can one attain self-realization. This is the path of selfpurification

 

As I thanked him for this wisdom, in a most kindly smile He said to me, ‘Sadhviji, you can just go and say this as your own, you don’t have to tell them you’ve got this from me.’

I’d have cried had we not been walking, for Him to show such kindness when my confidence was so shaken! When I conducted my first session, I opened it the way Swamiji had given the entire journey of human birth in one line, ‘Going from Trishna to Krishna.’

Even in my wildest dreams I could never take advantage or credit for His timeless wisdom. I neither had nor have anything of my own. Swamiji is the source of all the virtues and kindness in me. Whatever is good in me today, I’ve learnt, aped and emulated Him. It’s the simple truth.

A Mother’s Plea

A family I knew well had a relative who had recently delivered a child. The mother had suffered a stroke, the doctor apprised the family that if they injected the mother with strong medication, there was a good chance of saving her from any immediate effect of the stroke. The only downside was that the mother could no longer nurse the child. The baby would be deprived of his mother’s milk.

It might surprise you, but the husband actually chose not to give the medication to the young mother, so the baby boy could have her milk. With the result that one side of her face showed effects of paralysis, her face drooping to one side. A little while later, I received an email from the mother. She wasn’t really a devotee of Swamiji at the time. Driven by desperation and hopelessness she had written in.

Jai Shri Hari Sadhvi ji,

Hope you are fine.

I wanted to meet you but the day you came from the ashram, I had to leave town. So, I couldn’t meet you. It’s been almost one and half months and I am suffering from facial palsy. I’m not getting satisfactory results from medicines. I am requesting you, kindly pray to Shri Hari and Swamiji for me to recover soon. Is there anything else I can do, please tell me? I’ll be grateful to you.

Regards
xx

I was a bit torn about asking Swamiji for help. Many people in the past, who didn’t know Swamiji had the habit of internally questioning and disbelieving in him but when a tragedy occurred in their life, they were quick to turn into believers. And once their problem was resolved, call it Maya, delusion, they completely forget that it was Swamiji’s grace that had healed them.

For some reason, it always bothered me, particularly if I was the one who took their plea to Swamiji. Actually, not for “some” reason. The only reason it bothered me was because I felt my Guru wasn’t shown the due regard once their wishes were fulfilled. The least anyone could do was to visit the ashram and express their gratitude to Sri Hari in the temple.

However, I met the young woman a few days later, felt her pain and ended up placing a plea in Swamiji’s court. In all these years, I’ve never seen Swamiji ever differentiate between a devotee or a non-devotee. His grace flows uninhibited but it’s also true that for His grace to fill anyone’s cup their readiness and faith in Him is a critical factor. In the absence of their belief in Him, sometimes things don’t work out.

I asked her to drink the water with Swamiji’s name for forty days. She improved visibly and considerably. Today, one can barely make out that she had suffered such a setback.

So, while all of us sit comfortably in our homes, enjoying a certain way of life, there’s an abundance of troubled people with unique problems, diseases and struggles who are gasping for air. In Swamiji, is their chance to find a way out.

I could fill pages after pages with the pain and sorrow from which Swamiji has delivered so many. But they’d be no more to you and me than new stories, easily forgotten, except for the people involved, to whom it’d mean life or death.

Power of Satsang

 

Once, I was holding a Satsang at a devotee’s place. The house was decorated beautifully and a beautiful picture of Swamiji in his black robe sat in a corner next to my asana. The scent of rose petals from near the picture was heady and the atmosphere festive. There couldn’t have been more than twenty-five or thirty people.

I don’t remember what I spoke about but whatever it was, people listened in rapt attention. For before I begin anything, I always call on Swamiji and with His grace, something eloquent and meaningful occurs to me.

In the middle of the kirtan, a Sikh couple walked in. They didn’t know anyone there except me. Having heard somewhere that I was holding a Satsang they had come over. I had an idea of their troubles.

I sang the Arti, afterwards
as they offered their
pranams to me, I pointed
to Swamiji’s picture.

‘Please offer your pranams
to my Guruji. He’s the One,
who makes everything
happen.’

The wife spoke to me about her husband’s job. The husband had been trying to change his job for a decade now but with no success. He worked in a different city, while she lived here with her two college going kids. All the travelling had taken a tremendous toll on his mental and physical health. There was always much unrest in the house. I could only think that they had to make a difficult choice, rest Swamiji’s grace would arrange.

‘Your husband must leave the current job, shift back home and then look for a new one. Something will come about.’

‘It’s not that simple,’ she said, ‘He’s the only earning member and there’s a loan too…’

I thought they had attended the Satsang, heard Swamiji’s glories, have sung the Arti, it’s bound to bear fruit. I reassured her that the new job would happen, but he needed to quit the old place and start applying with renewed efforts, with zeal. A week later, I heard that they had taken the advice.

I momentarily panicked that the only earning member was jobless now, thanks to me. I thought of Swamiji and mentally put an arzi (request) in his darbar (court) and forgot all about it. And sure enough, within a month, a better position and pay came about.

In 2023, as I write this chapter, their son suffered a terrible bike accident and had a loss of vision in his right eye. Swamiji saved him from a complete loss of vision at my behest. It was a miraculous moment, as I saw Swamiji’s grace unfold in a matter of two-three days. Even today when anyone looks at the young man’s face, one cannot tell that he was in such a horrific accident. A story for another time, perhaps. In all these years, the family had never met him. Their children did come later that year to offer their pranams in the ashram.

Swamiji’s grace is immense, it flows without distinction of caste, creed, or race. And fills the heart of His devotees with such unalloyed devotion. There are so many who partake of His grace, without even realizing that though He gives and gives, there’s always a price to pay.

His compassion is endless and infinite, but His physical body is governed by the laws of Nature, just as yours and mine.

भजमन राम चरण सुखदाई

Sadhvi Vrinda Om has graciously shared these divine stories of Swamiji’s miracles, from unpublished content from her latest book, ‘Bhagavān and Bhakta’