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Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Importance of Sadhus in Our Lives

From the time I was born, rather, while I was still in the making, the presence of sadhus has been a constant blessing in my life.  As I grow, this association grows more entrenched, more beautiful, giving solace, meaning and inspiration.  Being in contact with these gentle souls has brought profound and deep-rooted change which continues to shed light on the cobwebs within.  I can only speak from my own experience and by grace, it has been a beautiful one.

A sadhu is like a mighty elephant.  With its large body mass, an elephant treads so softly on the earth that one cannot hear even the sound of a twig breaking under its weight.  How many of us have enjoyed the presence of elephants in the forest, whose sudden gigantic appearance comes as an utter surprise because we never heard them coming?  Similarly, the sadhu is so unassuming in appearance, in speech, in demeanor, yet their impact on the mind, on our thinking is substantial.

Vishwesha Teertha Swami ji, Udupi Pejawar Mutt

A sadhu lives a life without desire, without agenda.  They live for the welfare of all, spreading peace and love wherever they are.  Love personified, the sadhu accepts everything as it is, every circumstance, every individual, without judgement.  They work tirelessly, with superhuman strength, living in simplicity and purity.  Who better to find inspiration from?  Who better to cry about one’s problems to?  Who better to seek advice from than one who has no vested interest, can look at matters objectively and desires nothing in return? 

A sadhu’s generosity is like none other.  Having no compulsive needs for themselves, accepting whatever is provided, they nourish and protect all those around them.  They are the ultimate givers.  I have been a fortunate recipient of sadhus’ generosity and protection, time and again – the gift of learning, the most delicious food, a roof over my head, clean water and clean surroundings.  Giving, giving, giving, with no expectation of anything in return, just for you to discover that you are the freedom you seek.  Can there be anything more valuable than this? 

A sadhu is a mother of mothers, a father of fathers, gentle as the petal of a rose, whose impact is as grand as the hurtling Alakananda.  A sadhu is Ganga.  We must cherish them as the most precious gift of Mother Earth.

The recent brutal videographed murders of Sri Kalpavriksh Giriji, Sri Sushil Giriji and their innocent young driver left a very deep and painful scar.  I cannot understand the anger of the young men of the mob, nor the strength with which they could wield the sticks and sickles and hurt another life form.  I cannot understand the complicity of the police in this killing or the total failure of the justice system.  I cannot understand this hatred that burns the hearts of men. 

I can only say that perhaps, if these people had such sadhus in their lives as I have had in mine, they would be incapable of committing such an act.  We must give our love to these gentle souls who walk this earth with care.  They are an epitome of evolution and a pinnacle of righteous living.  They are the rays of the sun which dispel darkness.  All we have to do is turn towards them and receive their grace and blessings and live a life of abundance.

They are there for us regardless, but if we fail to recognize their significance, the loss is ours to bear and if those who hurt them get away with it, the pain will rebound on all of us for not raising our voices in protest against injustice. 

Even though I had never heard of him, never met him, Sri Kalpavriksh Maharaj taught me a lesson in his last moments.  As he failed to escape his persistent attackers and received no help from the onlooking police, Maharaj finally knelt down on the floor, brought his palms together in Namaskara and with his head bent downwards, gracefully accepted the final blows.  

This is the line that separates the realized from the distraught.  I bow my head to that line of understanding that enlivens those whom I admire and pray that one day, it enlivens me as well.

(This article was first published on author’s blog and is being reproduced here.)

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