My experiences with Swamiji
This speech was given by an Ashram resident on the occasion of the opening of the Sri Premeshvarar temple in February 2012.
I want to share my experience of some of the service done by Swamiji. In the four to five months before he left his body, I was with Swamiji almost every day. Because of this everybody thought it would be nice if I talk about the service Swamiji did during that time. Swamiji did not make a big plan or organize anything before doing seva. He found the seva wherever he was and from the people who came to meet him. I think the main beautiful seva that he did for everyone who met him was talking to them lovingly. He talked with everyone in the same way, with love and humility. He also talked about each and every subject. Talking with Swamiji and receiving his advice gave them great relief from all their problems.
He talked with people as if he didn’t know anything about the subject. He would also ask them many questions about it. However, a few days before that he would have advised and given ideas about the very same subject to someone else. This shows that he actually knew everything, but he never showed it. It demonstrates his humbleness and his interest in learning more about any subject. He used to talk to the people who came to meet him about all kinds of subjects depending on what they were interested in, what their background was and what was troubling them, from agriculture to business to family relationships. Sometimes he would go in search of seva to do. There is not enough time and there are not enough words to talk about all the service that he did. So I will just talk about a few instances.
When he was in hospital, he once had to go to another hospital for an eye check-up. Whenever he went somewhere like this, on the way, people would come and worship him. Once when leaving for this other hospital, he saw an auto-rickshaw driver close by who could not walk properly. He called him and asked him what had happened. The driver said that he had lost two of his toes in an accident and he also has diabetes for which he needed special treatment and expensive medicine. Swamiji also found out that he was from a very poor family and they couldn’t afford to buy the medicine. Swamiji on the spot arranged for his medical care. This shows that he not only helped people who came to him, but also people that he occasioned to meet, going from one place to another.
From some of the police escort who were with Swamiji, Swamiji heard that there was a young woman who worked in the police force. She had no parents, was not yet married and was living with her sister. While she was cooking the gas stove had exploded and she was admitted to hospital with severe burns. Her sister was struggling terribly to pay for her medical care. They asked for Swamiji’s help. Swami sent us to pay her medical bills. He told us that when you give money to a person in financial need, it is also important to show them love and give them strength. So he said that we also have to go and see her, talk to her lovingly and comfort her. We did as Swamiji said. We went to see her in hospital and gave her encouragement. She and her sister were very happy.
Swamiji not only helped people with things, he also helped people by introducing them to others. A person once came to Swamiji with a lot of worries. He said that he was facing a big loss in his business which he couldn’t remedy. Because of this he was also facing a lot of problems with his family. Swamiji told him to come back and see him the next day. When he came the next day, there was already another person with Swamiji who was a successful business man. Swami introduced both people and the second person helped the first person with his business.
Another person came to Swami asking for help with an orphanage that he was running. Already a lawyer had told Swamiji that he wanted to do some charitable work. Swami introduced that lawyer to the person who had the orphanage and arranged for the lawyer to send a donation to the orphanage every month.
When lawyers came to see Swamiji and they asked him about his health condition, he didn’t talk about it much. Even then he would mainly talk to those lawyers about the cases of some of the other prisoners who were inside with Swamiji and he asked the lawyers to take up those cases.
There was a policeman who was very unhappy because he found himself in a situation where he should choose between being with his fiancée or with his family. He didn’t know what to do and he was very confused and worried. Swamiji gave him a lot of advice and ideas. He followed Swamiji’s advice and was very happy to come and tell Swami that the problems were solved and he didn’t have to give up either.
Therefore, Swamiji helped a lot of people in many ways and if we have to talk about that, we can keep on talking for years! There was no one like Swamiji for doing service. Every moment he did some service. He didn’t think of himself even for a minute. From seeing all this, I think that even if we can’t do service like him, we have to try our best.
Jai Prema Shanti!