I have always wondered how people can get inspired from somebody without actually having seen that person! I guess the wonder will always remain as it is for me when I think about Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji.
I have never met him in person. In fact, majority of the active youth today in Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHYK) would say the same thing in their case. When I see the dedication of the senior members towards Chinmaya Mission, I’m not much surprised because many of them have met Gurudev in person and drawn inspiration directly from him. But when I see the CHYKs, who have not met him in person, working tirelessly for the Mission, I see nothing other than the Master’s will flowing through them. He is the one who has inspired the CHYKs to take up gigantic projects that nobody could ever imagine. Whenever any project (be it a Theatrical performance in front of thousands of people by totally amateur and inexperienced artists, or organizing a family quiz in Chennai on Family Values and reaching out to 70000 families, or organizing an All India Quiz contest like ‘Awakening Indians to India’, or publishing books on varied topics like spirituality, management, psychology, history and so on) is undertaken, any stranger to Chinmaya Mission might feel that it’s even foolish to think, or rather, dream of such a project. These impossible projects can never be completed by a group of enthusiastic youngsters if they wouldn’t have done it for a cause, for an ideal. When we surrender to such an ideal like Swami Chinmayananda, whose mere glance has transformed lakhs, (if not millions) then miracles happen. And it is his wish that gets manifested through many instruments.
The glory of people like Gurudev cannot be expressed in words nor be understood completely by people who have not known Him. But for those who have been touched by Him, in person or by sheer grace, only they can understand what it means to have been blessed by such a Master, who was the perfect example of a complete man, whose electrifying words, compassionate looks, roaring speeches and graceful gestures have moved millions of lives. For his disciples and followers, his presence is felt everywhere at every point of time even today.
Many a times when I see his photograph, I feel he’s talking to me. Whenever I’m distressed and surrender to him, he whispers the answers into my heart. When I came into Chinmaya Mission, all I wanted was to bring some sense to my totally confused life. It is after I started in this movement, the Chinmaya Movement, that I found a purpose to my life. I don’t know where I would have been or what would have I been, if it weren’t for Chinmaya Mission.
I have heard numerous stories about Gurudev from many devotees and when they talk of his compassion, it has made me cry. One such story was told by Swami Swaroopanandaji when he was a CHYK in his earlier years. There was a set of youngsters gathered around Gurudev in Sidhabari for a camp. Gurudev was explaining about Self-Realisation and Masters who have attained it, when suddenly a youngster (who was new to Chinmaya Mission) sprang up with his question, “Where are you (in the stage of Realisation)?” Swaroopanandaji said, “I was so irritated with the question. I mean, it was so absurd. Only a Realized Master can identify another Realized Master. And to a person like Gurudev, how can anybody ask such a stupid question?” But Gurudev was quiet and was not the least annoyed. He took a pause and looking at the eyes of the youngster, he said, “I’m at the door. But I won’t go in without having taken each and every one of you in.”
How can we ever express our gratitude to such a Master who has come down to our level , made us stand on our foot, turned many lambs to lions, given us the courage to face any situation in life and taste the real essence of life? Prostrations unto his Holy feet who taught us to Live.