March 7, 2004

[Listen to Asha read this story]

March 7th is Master’s Mahasamadhi, the anniversary of the day of his passing in 1952. Mahasamadhi is a great yogi’s final conscious exit from this world. A few days before, Swamiji fell and broke a rib. He was still convalescing after a bad case of pneumonia. Now he also had pain from the rib. The pain was so intense at times that he could hardly breathe. This was the first Mahasamadhi since Ananda had begun its work in India, however, and it had to be celebrated. At least, Swamiji decided, he could put in a brief appearance.

Swamiji lived on the top floor of the ashram. To spare him from having to go up and down the stairs, the celebration was held on the roof terrace just outside his door. Two minutes before the satsang was to start, Swamiji said, “I don’t know if I can do this.” When the hour struck, though, he asked for help getting up from his chair, then, leaning heavily on the arm of a friend, he walked slowly out onto the terrace.

About sixty people were gathered there. As one body they rose to greet him, many coming forward to touch his feet as he moved toward his seat on the dais.

A few hours before, it had been nothing but a bare marble terrace. Now it was an open-air temple, with plants, flowers, candles, pictures of the Masters, and a beautifully decorated chair for Swamiji. Out there under the stars in the balmy night air, it was like being in an astral heaven.

“Please accept my apologies,” Swamiji said. “I’m only going to speak for a few minutes.” Then, for an hour and fifteen minutes, he talked about Master and his work in India.

Swamiji passed quickly over the events of March 7, 1952, when he had witnessed Master’s passing from this world. He wasn’t concerned about the past. What he wanted was for us to understand the living presence of Master now.

A few minutes after Swamiji began to speak, the full moon began to rise behind him. First it peeked over his shoulder, then it glowed behind his head, then it was a shining circle of white light high above him. It was as if Master had come to bless his disciple.

In The Path, Swamiji describes how, on July 29, 1949, Master gave a speech at a garden party in Beverly Hills in which he exhorted his listeners to go “North, South, East, and West” to spread the message of Self-realization “everywhere.”

In the same spirit, with the same fervor, Swamiji now urged us to give ourselves to the same cause of Self-realization and build a work for Master in India.

In 1949, Master said, “My spoken words are registered in the ether, in the Spirit of God, and they shall move the West.”

On March 7, 2004, Swamiji made no such proclamation. Yet to those present it seemed his spoken words were also “registered in the ether, in the Spirit of God,” and they will move the East.

No comments:

Post a Comment