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Saturday, March 22, 2014

An Enchanting and Enriching Experience

Dr. M. Lakshmi Kumari
By the grace of Swamiji I was given a wonderful opportunity to study Swamijis works in detail, when the most famous publishers of Kerala D.C. Books requested me to compile Swamijis message for daily reading covering the whole year,essentially 366 pages of Swamijis inspiring thoughts, if necessary with a footnote or commentary. My first thought was, oh!! What is there? I can just pick up 366 quotations and present them. Then came the detailed letter that each message should be one full page, it must include special pages for important days, it should contain stories,letters etc. That brought the realization that it is not an easy joke. First effort was to find out someone to copy down from Malayalam complete works. Fortunately one of our well-wishers Smt Padma who is extremely fond of writing came forward, followed by another friend Sri. Sudhakar to check up with and compare with English. Step 2 was to bring some order into the arrangement of thoughts. A lot of mental shuffling went on till a beautiful pattern emerged. That was to arrange the thoughts, taking inspiration from the magnificent gateway to Vivekananda Literature which Swamiji himself has provided. His famous quotation “Each soul is potentially divine……etc.,”. That brought to mind the picture of “the ascent of man” from small m to capital M, passing through the gate way and on to the ladder of Swamijis life giving and soul stirring message. The gate way first leads us to one’s own Self and then to unravel the mysteries of the world without. Then starts the real ascent through Karma, Bhakti,Raja yoga and Jnana.
As I started this ascent myself I could feel giddiness at the immensity of the ascent and some resting places had to be created. And there they were when Swamiji speaks of our great Bharat and her glory. Then comes his message to the youth to ready themselves for the regeneration of the country. The ascent continues from Karma to one moves to Bhakti yoga which naturally circumambulates Sri Ramakrishna and Swamijis observations of his Master. Then comes the Raja Yoga, just a sample to excite the interest common reader. Again comes a landing platform to ease the stress on our mind meditating on Sri Buddha and Swamijis adoration for the great Master. At last we are the foot of the steep ascent of Jnana Yoga. Swamijis, wonderful insights into the Upanishadic lore and how climbing on to the Everest of Advaita is a must to establish peace and happiness in the world at large. In the light of this knowledge religion assumes a different form altogether, of Self-realization. At last the soul is ready to merge with the Source from where it came out. And there ends the story of the ascent of man into Godhood.

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