To Lose Is to Gain

There was once a swami who used to go and stay with his disciple. The disciple’s whole family loved and revered the swami because he was an example of discipline and a very spiritual man. He always got up before sunrise, bathed, and sat for hours in meditation.

But one day, early in the morning while it was still dark, he shouted, “Hey, get me food!” His disciple said, “Sir, this is your bath time.” The swami replied, “Just get me food. I am hungry!” He ate, and then he took a bath. After his bath he went to empty his bowels, and then he went to sleep. He made everything topsy-turvy, and the whole house was upset.

They said, “Something has happened to him; he’s gone crazy.” The wife said, “Our master is a wonderful man. We should help him.” So they called for doctors and told them, “Don’t disturb him by saying anything about medicine. Say, ‘We want to learn from you.’ Be courteous, please.”

The doctors came and behaved like disciples because they were paid for that purpose. They said, “Gurudev, how are you?” But he wouldn’t respond. They thought he was in a coma, because he was not moving. One looked at his eyes, and there was no movement. Another found that there was little pulse. One said to another, “I don’t think he is going to live.” A third doctor took out a stethoscope and found the heartbeat decreasing, so he reported, “He has a failing heart.”

The woman of the house started weeping because she had always looked on him as her spiritual father. Finally I was asked to come. When I entered he sat up and I asked, “Swamiji, what is the matter?” He said, “Nothing is the matter. Why do you ask?” I told him, “Everybody’s worried.” He said, “I used to meditate for two things. But today my parents died and I am in sorrow, so I am not meditating.”

His language was entirely mystical. I said, “Your parents died? You are a swami. And you have nothing to do with parents.” “No, no,” he said. “You also have parents. When they die you will understand.” He continued: “Attachment was my mother, and anger was my father. They both died, so I have nothing to do. Now I do not need to do anything.”

Meditation will become your very nature when you give up attachment, anger, and pride. Then you will not have to pose for meditation, for your whole life will be a sort of meditation.

From the book: “Living with the Himalayan Masters” by Swami Rama

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