In one of the stories Rama titled “Half Here, Half There” Swami Rama says that his master who always lived in a state of inner joy, got up one rainy night and said to Rama, “Let’s go now.” Rama thought, “If I say no, he will start walking anyway…. So I put my blanket over him, and started to walk with him.” Rama kind of tricked his teacher, bringing him around in a circle back to their original place. Next morning the teacher opened his eyes and started giggling. Rama says about his teacher, “He used to enjoy such experiences. In that high state of ecstasy he was often oblivious to the mundane things of the world—but when he became aware of them he would enjoy them like a joyous child.”
But the teacher also teased the student. One day Rama brought two photographers to take photos of his beloved master, even though Babaji had told him he did not want to be photographed… he told Rama: “You are a bad boy. Why must you be so obstinate? They will have nothing!” When the rolls of film were developed from both of the cameras, the surroundings were all there, but the master’s image was gone.
Swami Rama talks about his teacher with the deepest sense of respect. His guru had sent him to many monasteries and to other renunciates not just Yogis but also Buddhists, Sufists, Tantrics, and even Yogic monks who were Christians. Thus Swami Rama spent a lifetime meditating and studying close to the greatest sources of wisdom. He was always an impatient young man. In his twenties he told his master, “Either you give me Samadhi or I will commit suicide!” His teacher calmly said, “My dear boy, go right ahead.” Thus Rama tied stones around his neck and got ready to jump in the river. At which point his teacher touched him on the forehead and Rama sank in a timeless ecstasy for 9 hours.
He cites in page 383 of his book…
“The first thing that I lost was touch with fear, and I also found that I was no longer selfish. My life was transformed. After that, I started understanding life properly. Later I questioned my master. I asked, “Was it my effort, or your effort?” He replied, “Grace.” What does grace mean? People think that by the grace of God alone they will be enlightened. That is not the case. My master said, “A human being should make all possible sincere efforts. When he has become exhausted, and then cries out in despair in the highest state of devotional emotion, he will attain ecstasy. That is the grace of God. Grace is the fruit that you receive from your faithful and sincere efforts.”
And since we happen to be thinking and talking about “healing” with some of you these days, allow me to include a powerful quote from his chapter on “The power of Healing” which Rama considers to be natural in man. In page 339 he says, “ Such a one-pointed mind also creates a dynamic will which can be used for healing others. All such healing powers flow through the human being from the one source of consciousness.” The book accounts for some incredible stories of healing that happened to Rama and to other people who had come to his path. Later on the book Swami Rama explains that one key ingredient for healing is willpower, remarking that modern doctors and physicians lack this… In page 353, he points out: “There is another, higher, way of helping people through the use of willpower. Willpower here means that dynamic will which is created by a one-pointed mind, meditation, and spiritual discipline. In today’s medicine this cultivation of willpower is totally missing.”
Page after page this book fills you with renewed inspiration, and I could spend the rest of the summer recounting you Swami Rama’s most inspiring stories, but let me leave you with his comments on music. He had gone to a concert and was enraptured by a particular musician who’s music helped him to believe that music could also be a means of peace and joy. “Music is not composed of songs, melodies, or words only, but of the most subtle sound—nada—the vibration that spontaneously inspires all the cells and makes them dance. There could be no dance without the vibrations of nada. Because of this nada the stream of life sings with a particular rhythm and flows through various curves of life, giving its environment a new experience every time. The most ancient traveler of this universe is this stream of life that sings and dances in its joy from eternity to eternity.” Page 355.
Thank you for allowing me to share Swami Rama’s life and stories with you. Life brings us reminders when we are ready to receive them. I hope that something you have read here may have been relevant to your life at this moment. In this fathomless dance, nothing stands independent or irrelevant. It is all part of a divinely choreographed dance. Let us be open and let us enjoy with great gratitude.
I bow to you with love and respect,
July 27, 2011
ps. By the way, can you let me know if you have borrowed my book, "The Light of Consciousness" by Swami Muktananda...