Thursday, April 06, 2006

My Meeting with Swami Gautamananda

How will you know unless you try? This was an important and treasured moment in my life. I had the opportunity of meeting Swami Gautamananda, President of the Ramakrishna Mission last year. All thanks to my aunt, who has been associated with the Math since her childhood days. It was a chance meeting that neither of us expected would happen. My aunt had come down from Bangalore to spend sometime here with us in Chennai. I was her chauffeur.
We went to the Math for the Ramakrishna Math's celebrations. I can't recall the exact event, but I remember that it was very important and food was served at the end of the pooja. My aunt enquired at the office if we could meet Swamiji and also gave her references from Bangalore. The Math's other swamijis' were kind enough to enquire about such possibilites, and seated us in the waiting room. They gave us the good news that Swamiji would be passing by that side, and that he would drop by to see us for a few minutes.

In a little while, we spotted Swamiji walking at a brisk pace with his followers to the Pooja Hall. On the way, he stepped in to the visitor's room to speak to us. My aunt introduced herself and then me. While Swamiji sat on the chair, we seated ourselves on the floor near his feet. My aunt believes in the Guru-Shishya relationship, and that the shishya's place is by the guru's feet. My curiousity was piqued by the idea of meeting this simple, but wonderful person, who stood out by virtue of the choices he had made. All the sages and sanyasis of the world have always fascinated me. But I don't get taken it by them or neither by the fake ones. It is one of those fascinations of life that individuals carry with themselves. My mom always said that people who are involved in selfless service and meditate regularly, emanate a lot of positive energy and carry a special aura with them. They have eyes that shine brilliantly. I was evaluating all those ideas and beliefs when I met Swami Gautamananda.

After he had finished speaking to my aunt, he turned his attention to me. He asked me a couple of questions of which I have no recollection. But I did remember one important advice that Swamiji gave me. He asked me what I was doing and I replied that I have not found my niche yet, and was infact still exploring. All that Swamiji told me was, "When you try, you know what you can do. And it's perfectly alright."
I suddenly felt recharged and humbled.

I have since then tried my best to experiment with ideas and opportunities that have caught my attention, even if it meant pursuing something that looked ridiculous to the rest of the world. Atleast I give it a shot, while others just watch. And that made all the difference!


Mahesh said...

I totally agree with you. Even I have had similar experiences of meting him personally and with just an eye to eye contact he was able to sense the things running in my mind.

Satyajit said...

It was nice to read about the feeling of your experience meeting Swami Gautamanandaji. After reading this I could not stop my self to write that I was the student of Swami Gautamanda Ji for approx 12 years staring from my KG to class XI at Ramakrishna.

Anonymous said...

Interesting! I stumbled on your blog today, some six years after you wrote it, while looking for Swami Gautamanandaji on the web. I have never met him but belonging to the Ramakrishna Vivekananda tradition, have heard of him.

What is especially fascinating to me at the moment is the Revered Swami's advice to you, as I am at precisely such a juncture in my life where I am not sure where I could be headed!

Thanks for the lovely blog :)

AquaM said...

Thank you. I guess Swamiji was giving you the answers :)