All hearts (souls) ran away and were absorbed in the heart of Param Pujya Guruhari Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj. There, the warmth was such that none wanted to leave his refuge. Controlling the mind means controlling the soul. There was no effort put in by the devotees and sadhus who had achieved ‘ashtanga yoga’ without practising any sadhanas.
Guruhari had won the hearts of sadhus and devotees to such an extent that they all never hesitated to sacrifice wealth, family and belongings for him. They did not experience any conflict (of interests) in their minds. On the other hand, they considered such sacrifices as their good fortune and with inner satisfaction. Even in the form of a human being, Swamishri enjoyed the happiness of ‘Akshardham’ – divine abode of the supreme God – and was always replete with bhakti and jnan. And in spite of (sadhus and devotees) doing so much, the feeling of indebtedness towards Swamishri never ebbed from their minds. This sweet burden was always felt by them. Then, what was it that Guruhari had conferred on them?
He had graced them with upright conduct. But how could one impart conduct, which meant action? He had given discourses, love, bhakti and the power to do good things with faith, zeal and patience. It should be remembered that he had given all this not through his discourses alone, which were not aimless and fanciful, but through his conduct and actions.
It was certain that the form of God is manifest on the earth, but not in the form of miracles or magic. Indeed, I say the truth that Swamishri had not merely preached but had offered and sacrificed his life for the satsang community. He had sacrificed himself like an incense stick and a piece of sandalwood. He had not cared for day or night. He had no personal life of his own. Even his personal actions were aimed for the welfare of all. Every second of his life was utilized in the maintenance and progress of sadhus, devotees and society. He used his own life was meant for the sake of others. The distinctions of ignorant and educated, rich and poor, great and small, men and women did not exist for him. However, he showed those distinctions naturally which were quite necessary for their spiritual benefit, in helping human beings transcend their body-consciousness (dehbhav) and for elevating them to his own height.
People believe that they can teach lessons of morality and justice by writing articles and giving lectures. Nobody reads these articles nor listens to the advice or lectures. And if anyone does, then he does not remember or understand them. Moreover, where can you get the inspiration to live accordingly? It is impossible to do so without having an association with a person who practises these ideals.
Swamishri’s life and actions allowed all this to be achieved. Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj corroborated this with their affirmations. We have faith in their words and in Pramukh Swami Maharaj. His association gave me immense joy and I bow my head to him with utter respect. I say in my mind, “Swami how great and wonderful you were ! You were really our life and soul.” I did not know what I wanted from Swamishri, and I did not realize that I had got that thing. In my heart, I felt full satisfaction and peace.
Today, all sadhus and devotees have full faith in crossing the ocean of earthly existence. The inspiration of observing dharma (morality) and offering upasana coupled with the nine forms of bhakti was derived from Swamishri’s association and his life. It is true and an experienced fact that no matter how much effort one makes on the spiritual path one fails to be inspired from a person who himself has not imbibed the spiritual ideals. A moulded life makes formulae, however formulae does not mould life. Lectures and books are not necessary; only true behaviour is needed. Then the rest follows.
A mistake often made by many is that they behave or act (vartan) in such a manner so as to make others act in a similar way. Only when one lives or acts for one’s own self will it yield total results, otherwise, others will simply copy you to no effect. If one behaves merely to show others then it is of no use; in fact one will miss out on the essence of doing bhakti to experience Bhagwan’s joy. There is a very minute difference between behaving for one’s own sake and for others, however, a vast difference arises with regards to its fruits. This, I have understood through Swamishri’s simple , straightforward and yet profound life. And I have been inspired to live accordingly.
Swamishri remained relaxed and light in so many of his divine actions, in the most difficult of situations, and amidst all challenging problems and spiritual dilemmas. I am simply awed by Guruhari. He had no burdens; was always light as a feather. One who has such a high spiritual state of being Brahmaswarup would make the atmosphere serious and too dry for others to remain nearby. Swamishri’s vairagya (detachment) did not scorch anyone. Neither did he allow bhakti offered by others to become overwhelmingly emotional and without limits. His strict observance of the panchvartmans (five ascetic vows) was itself his message. He never relaxed in his vows of renunciation regarding women and wealth. In such instances he was strict and firm.