The Love of One Devotee

[Listen to Asha read this story]

(Told by Lalita)
During the hours when Swamiji was having open-heart surgery, I led a prayer vigil in the temple of the Ananda Sacramento community where I lived. A few others joined me, but mostly I prayed alone.

Swamiji was in a hospital nearby, and afterwards I wanted to go see him. Each time I tried, however, so many others were there before me that I couldn’t get in.

When he got out of the hospital, he came to our community to rest for a few days before returning to Ananda Village. The operation was a major one; they had placed an artificial valve in his heart. 

Before I could tell Swamiji about the prayer vigil, or how disappointed I was not to be able to see him sooner, he asked to speak to me.

“I am so sorry you weren’t able to visit me in the hospital,” he said. “But I felt your love.”

Swamiji was so weak and in so much pain he could barely speak above a whisper, yet he used the little energy he had to reassure me. People all over the world had been praying for him, and still, in the midst of it, he sensed my tiny consciousness. I was so moved I couldn’t even reply.

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