Swamiji's Love

[Listen to Asha read this story]

(Told by an Ananda devotee)

When I got myself into trouble before, Swamiji sent me a simple message: “Tell her she is making a mistake.” If he hadn’t said that, I might have found a way to rationalize my actions. Instead, I was never able fully to commit to the course I’d chosen. I didn’t understand why it was a mistake, but I couldn’t forget that Swamiji thought it was. As I thrashed about in the ocean of delusion, his words kept me tethered to Master. And when I was ready, they were the lifeline that brought me safely back to shore.

Now I was in trouble again. Much worse than anything I had done before. This time my actions jeopardized not only my own well being, they threatened disaster for many others as well. Swamiji was out of the country so we talked on the phone.

Before and after the call, I was almost paralyzed with grief and shame. While talking to him, though, to my astonishment, all my emotion subsided. I was absolutely calm and not the least defensive. Everything he said I knew was true and I agreed with him.

He scolded and scolded and told me how disappointed he was in me. He would pause for a moment then scold again. At least it felt to me like a scolding, although in fact, I think he was just talking in plain terms about the consequences of what I was doing.

In the middle of it all, suddenly his energy changed completely. So gently, so sweetly, he said, “You know, of course, my love is always with you.”

“Yes,” I said, “I know that.”

Then he went back to scolding me.

I promised to do better, but it was a long time before I was able to keep that promise. He knew I was floundering and sent another message: “Tell her to sing Master’s chant, Polestar of My Life.”

Over and over I sang that chant until it was blazoned on my soul.
I have made Thee Polestar of my life.
Though my sea is dark
And my stars are gone,
Still I see the path
Through Thy mercy.
When I finally saw Swamiji again in person, my life was more on track. However, I was so ashamed of what I had done, I couldn’t bring myself to greet him. When he saw me standing as far away from him as possible, he came right over to me. Immediately he told me that Master was pleased that I was working things out now in the right way.

I had always been afraid to open myself to Swamiji’s guidance for fear he would ask me to do something I wouldn’t be able to do. Behind that fear was the thought that if I disappointed him, he would never love me again.

I have suffered intensely over the wrong things I have done. Even though my suffering has transformed me spiritually, I cannot sincerely say, “I am glad it happened this way.” Too many other people were hurt.

There is one reason, though, why I am glad. Now I know the pure, unconditional nature of Swamiji’s love.

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