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For decades Swamishri has been

guiding others towards God.

Inspiring them in times of

hardship; consoling them in

times of sadness, he has been a

constant source of light in their

lives when there has been only

engulfing darkness. But what

has been his source of inspiration

over the years? How has he

managed to remain composed

during incidents of both honour

and insult? What drives him to

push himself night and day in the

service of others? Delving into

the depths of his heart we find

the source of his light...
    His Source of Light
    Question 1

Sarvamangal Swami : [jokingly] It’s a good thing we were not around in Yogi Bapa’s time. Or else we’d have to do a lot of fasts. Did he ever make you fast?

Swamishri : No. But he’d make the youths fast. The sadhus used to fast anyway! Many of the elder sadhus would also fast on Sud Nom (9th day of the bright half of each month in commemoration of Shriji Maharaj’s birth). A fast would mean no food or water at all. In Swami’s time we never had any lemon water in the mornings following a fast, so we’d have to make do with buttermilk and khichadi.

For so many years you never took food or water during a fast. Yet today we occasionally drink lemon water when we are fasting. When you see us do this, don’t you feel disgusted?

Swamishri : That all depends on one’s body. Besides, one who wants to fast never becomes weak. One who doesn’t want to fast is already weakened.

Usually you drink more water than us. Yet on mornings after a fast you only drink a small amount. Why?

Swamishri : It’s been that way since the early days. Anyway, in Swami’s (Shastriji Maharaj’s) time, we never drank lemon water. So we never really developed a habit. And from the start I never really felt very weak during fasts. In the early years there was a rule that one could only drink on the morning after a fast, after having darshan of the murtis. So we had to wait until after the second arti (shangar) before we could drink! But this all depends on one’s body. There are many who become very weak during fasts.

Most of it must be mental.

Swamishri : Yes, it is mental. One may be strong enough to fast for five days in a row, but if his mind is weak he won’t be able to do even one! But if we are prepared that we don’t want to go near the kitchen then we will have no problems... for so many years I’ve never known what it is like to have a headache during a fast. Even under the burning sun I never felt anything!

How can we realise everyone’s greatness like you do? You used to travel in trains and buses and you don’t expect us to. You even make arrangements so that we don’t have to travel in them. What thought is in your heart which makes you do this?

Swamishri : It’s all a case of whatever the means at the time. These days our bodies have become weak and our comforts have increased. In the early years, we wouldn’t even think about such comforts! We’d eat some rotla and yoghurt and then cover 12 miles on foot without another thought! Now that we have the means our minds have become weak.

If we have any defects, big or small, or any weaknesses which you know of, or if there is any wish in your heart then please tell us.

Swamishri : Firstly, we should do what we have come to do; shouldn’t we? Katha and bhajan are sadhu’s ‘base’. Unity is also essential. We all make mistakes, but they should be forgotten. Maybe we cannot do as much penance, that’s understandable, but our lives should be pure. Niyam-dharma, shunning of women and wealth; we should never lapse in these. If we have unity we will be able to realise each others’ greatness. We will be able to ‘let go’. If we don’t have a habit of listening to discourses, we will never develop any understanding and then insults will always hurt us and we’ll always see faults in others. If there are no such qualities in a sadhu’s life, then it does not befit his clothes.

(22 July 1989, Bochasan)

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