31 August 1987. Delhi. After visiting the pilgrim places in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, five busloads of sadhus arrived and eagerly awaited Swamishri's darshan. Our Himalayan pilgrimage was going to commence from here.
Today, our 'Gangotri' bus reached Swamishri. Chinmay Swami explained to him the route of our tour, where we were going to halt and also what seva each sadhu had been allocated.Swamishri asked me, "What are you going to do?""Clean the toilets and bathrooms," I replied.
"Chinmay," Swamishri exclaimed, "you can't let Pandit do that. Don't you know he's a great scholar?"Swamishri's words carried deeper meanings that were revealed in his following statement."Good. It's a good seva. At least this way you won't become egoistic. If you feel, 'Oh, I'm a scholar,' then it's all worthless. So do clean the bathrooms. It's a great seva."Swamishri has time and again taught me valuable lessons in saintliness, humility, devotion, understanding, love, sincerity and duty.
In the 'Sharanagati Gadya', Ramanujacharya addresses God as "Pita'si lokasya (O Lord! You are the Father of the World)". True, God may be the father of the whole world, but for us sadhus - and in particular for me - I have, and continue to experience Swamishri as a father too.