Hello - Again

[Listen to Asha read this story]

“When I see people again after a long separation,” Swamiji said, “sometimes at first I don’t recognize them. Then their eyes come into focus and I remember who they are.”

The “separation” Swamiji refers to is not only within one lifetime, but also from one incarnation to the next.

“When I introduced myself to Swamiji at our first meeting,” Santoshi said, “He brushed aside my introduction as an unnecessary formality between old friends. ‘I know you,’ he said, ‘I recognize you by your eyes.’”

“The first time I went to a satsang at Swamiji’s house in Assisi,” Premi said, “he smiled in welcome and said, ‘Many years have passed since we last saw each other.’ I had known him only a few months and this was just our second meeting. I knew he was referring to past incarnations.”

“The first time I met Seva,” Swamiji said, “was at a class I gave in San Francisco in 1967. As soon as I saw her in the room, I knew she was an old friend.” Seva was instrumental in getting Ananda started.

“Swamiji has known me for years,” Rick Bonin said, “but we live in different communities and meet infrequently. So I wasn’t surprised when I greeted him one day and he just stared at my face without saying a word. It was clear he didn’t know who I was. I didn’t take it personally; Swamiji meets thousands of people. I was about to remind him of my name, when his eyes locked onto mine and he looked deeply into me.

“‘Rick,’ he said warmly, ‘how nice to see you,’ as if I had just appeared on the scene, which, in a sense, I had.”

Sometimes Swamiji recognizes a person even before they meet. After he moved to India, someone casually mentioned to him the name of a person who was visiting the retreat in America. “He belongs here in India,” Swamiji said. When the message reached the man, he immediately agreed.

Once Swamiji held an unopened letter in his hand, from a woman he didn’t know. “She is unhappy,” he said. “Ananda is her lifeline. She belongs here with us.” Then he added a few other comments about her life and personality, all of which proved true.

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