Ringing Mobile

[Listen to Asha read this story]

Several hundred people were gathered at the Bristol Hotel, in Gurgaon, India, listening to Swamiji speak. It was March 2005, more than a year after he had moved to India to start Ananda’s work there.

The occasion was the first annual International Ananda Convocation in India to celebrate Master’s Mahasamadhi. Devotees had come from Europe and America to join their Indian brothers and sisters for the event.

Except for Swamiji’s voice, the room was silent, the audience spellbound, hanging on his every word. Suddenly, the inward mood was shattered by the ringing of a telephone. Cell phones — “mobiles” as they are called in India—are ubiquitous there; in public places they often sound incessantly.

Sternly, Swamiji asked that the phone be turned off.

Everyone with a phone checked his or her mobile to make sure it was not the culprit. Still the ringing persisted.

“Would someone please do something about this matter?” Swamiji said again. Then, with a look of sudden comprehension, he reached into his own pocket.

“Oh!” he said. “It is my phone.”

The room rang with laughter, Swamiji enjoying the joke as much as anyone. Divine Mother, he felt, was playing with him.

Amplified by the microphone, Swamiji’s voice could be heard above the laughter. But he wasn’t speaking to the audience. They were listening in on a private conversation he was having with Divine Mother. In an intimate tone, in a voice rich with appreciation, he complimented Her.

“Very good,” he said. “That was very good. One of the best.”

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