…. A chapter completes
He brought freshness of the Himalayas and the tranquility of the Ganges to our ashram in Bangalore.
As I looked upon his frail body being carried away for the last rites, times spent in his childlike presence flashed in front my tear filled eyes like a movie. – One scene after another.
I could picture his sharp attentive eyes while Gurudev dug into deeper/hidden meanings of a shloka just recited by Maharaj ji, as we lovingly addressed him. Then lighting up with the spark of ecstatic joy at having heard something so profound and finally dampening with immense love for Gurudev, his Sakha (buddy), his brother; who transforms into a Master in one moment and a sincere seeker in the other.
We have all witnessed how Gurudev enjoyed the spirited and knowledgeable company of Maharaj ji and vice versa. Both not just admired each other’s candour, wit and humour but also often pooled it together to shower upon us as Ganges of wisdom.
Sessions with them – the most unique combination of in-depth scriptural knowledge and spiritual wisdom are an unforgettable treat that some of us were fortunate to dive into.
Many years back we would request Maharaj ji to stay longer with us in the Ashram. He would smile and say, “Kya karu Gangaji ka moh nahi chhootata”. He expressed many a time how he loved to be in Gurudev’s company here in ashram yet his love and binding to the Holy Ganges kept pulling him back to Rishikesh every now and then.
Maharaj ji had once said – “Aasakti means craving and attachment.. Jo aa sakti hai magar ja nahi sakti*” LoL J. In the last chapter of his life, he proved himself wrong by renouncing his only attachment. The Seer from the land of Ganges chose to merge with infinity, miles away from his childhood love.
And as this chapter ended, Maharaj ji taught us to be Free like a child…in life and beyond!!
In fond memory of our loving Swami Pragyanand Maharaj, below a few excerpts that I remember from some of his beautiful knowledge sessions.
  • Who is afraid of death? Only those people fear death who gather material that can be taken away by death. But if we are able to set our gaze on that which cannot be lost to death, then you will never fear it. You would feel as if you are just changing clothes.
    (Mrityu se dar kisko lagta hai jisne woh sab ikatha kiya jo maut chheen legi. Magar yadi hamari drishti us par pad jaye jo maut nahi chheen sakti toh aapko maut ka dar nahi lagega. Aapko aisa lagega ki chalo ab doosra kapda pehan lete hai)
  • A man once said to a saint – ‘Maharaj ji I have kicked everything.. all that I had..all my wealth’. Saint enquired when? The man said many many years back. Saint smiled and said –“you have kicked it but not let it go yet. Your foot is still stuck there. Your mind is still stuck in the thought that u have given up everything”.  (Laat maari hai magar chhuta nahi hai.. Laat abhi bhi wahi chipki hui hai.Vastu chhod dene se ras nahi jaata hai. Ras kab jaata hai jab bheetar ka ras jagne lagta hai. Khaali bahar ke niyam par bharosa mat karna)
  • A person saw a saint sitting under a lone tree and sat beside him to chit-chat. He started talking continuously and said “I saw you are alone so I came to talk”. After listening for long, the saint smiled and said-“Till now I was in the company of myself; Now that you have come, I am rendered alone”.  (Ab tak main apne prabhu ke saath tha, apne saath tha, tum aaye aur main akela ho gaya)
Watch a video on Bhagvad Gita : Finding Inner Strength : Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Kamlesh Barwal

'Samatvam Yoga Ucyate' Mind resting in even-ness is Yoga Director, Sri Sri Yoga
Twitter: @KamleshBarwal

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