Wind of Words

[Listen to Asha read this story]

(Told by Peter Kretzmann)

It was Christmas Day and I was in India with Swamiji. He was giving a satsang in the living room of our ashram. It was five steps up from the outside and another steep flight of stairs once you got in the door. Swamiji wasn’t feeling well and, by the time he reached the satsang room, he was panting for breath and so worn out, he virtually collapsed into his chair.

I was nineteen years old and Swamiji was almost eighty. Seeing him sitting there, I couldn’t help but think of him as a frail old man needing to be taken care of by someone young and strong like me.

Early on in the satsang, Swamiji started talking about how Master had inspired him to start communities. “It was at a garden party in Beverly Hills,” Swamiji said, “in July 1949. I want to tell you what he said in the way he said it.”

The speech begins, “This day marks the birth of a new era. My spoken words are registered in the ether, in the Spirit of God, and they shall move the West.” Master goes on to speak of “thousands of youths” going “North, South, East, and West to cover the earth with little colonies.”

I had read the words in Swamiji’s autobiography. I remembered it as an inspiring speech but nothing prepared me for what happened next. Swamiji’s voice when he spoke Master’s words had the force of a hurricane! It was so strong, I found I was gripping the edge of the couch, as if the power of his voice might actually knock me off my seat.

Forget the idea that Swamiji is a frail old man! There is so much more to Swamiji than meets the eye!

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