Consciousness Over Form

[Listen to Asha read this story]

I Recognized You

Even though Swamiji was quite near-sighted, he always took his glasses off when he lectured.

“The disadvantage is that beyond the first row I can’t recognize faces,” he said. His eyes were too dry to wear contact lenses. “But glasses draw the energy outward, and I find it harder to be intuitive when I wear them. Also, consciousness is transmitted through the eyes, and glasses are a barrier.”

He suggested we should all lecture without glasses, but most of us couldn’t function as well as Swamiji did without being able to see. We wore contact lenses if we could, or perforce ignored his advice. When correcting vision through laser surgery became an option for Swamiji and for many of us, the problem was solved.

At one event, when he still wore glasses but didn’t wear them to lecture, Swamiji was speaking in a huge auditorium as part of a group program that included Louise Hay and a few other well-known teachers.

Savitri was standing against the back wall when Louise slipped in and stood beside her. They were acquainted, and Louise whispered, “I have to catch a plane, but I wanted to hear at least a few minutes.” She described Swamiji as “the kindest man I have ever met.”

About fifteen minutes later, as Louise was walking toward the door, Swamiji stopped his lecture to greet her.

“Hello, Louise. Do you have to leave now?”

“Sorry to walk out on you Swamiji, but I have to catch a plane.”

“It was wonderful to be with you, Louise. Have a safe journey.” She left and he went back to his lecture.

Later, someone wondered, “He doesn’t see very well. How could he be so confident it was her?”

“I didn’t have to see her face,” Swamiji said. “I recognized her consciousness.”

I Didn't Recognize You

On another occasion, Swamiji was meeting a friend at a railway station in Europe. It was someone he knew well. The woman was facing a serious spiritual test, however, and her consciousness was under a veil of darkness.

“I watched everyone get off the train, but I didn't see her,” Swamiji said later. “I wandered around the station a few moments, wondering if I'd missed her. Then I went into the waiting room. There was only one person there, a woman standing alone. I looked at her uncertainly, then tentatively called to her, naming my friend. She answered me! Her consciousness had changed so much because of the test she'd been going through, that I actually failed to recognize her!”

Why Don’t I Recognize You?

One evening, a woman whose mind tended to be quite restless, was sitting with Swamiji and a few others in his living room. He knew she was there, but she was behind him, out of his line of sight.

A sense of deep calm descended over the woman, and her mind was more still than she had ever known it to be.

After a few moments, Swamiji said, “Why can’t I feel your consciousness?”

“Because it is unusually still,” she said, speaking to his back.

He didn’t turn to face her, but with his eyes closed, he said to the air in front of him, “Ah, yes. There you are. That is the explanation.”


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