The Sannyasin

Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati

It promised to be a cool day, the mild, gentle breeze blowing softly into the room. Outside, the early morning sun cast an orange glow on the eastern horizon. The river Ganga flowed majestically towards its destination, emitting a sense of tranquillity and purpose - a symbol of man's ultimate goal.

It was the usual time for diksha and meeting with the people. Swami Satyananda, seated in his asana, matched the regality and brilliance of the morning sun. Just then, a newly arrived inmate was ushered into the room. She seemed innocent and unassuming. Her manner was appealing. Her eyes sparkled with delight in Swamiji's presence. She had travelled great distances and waited long for this moment.

She was silent, yet alive, drinking in the glory of the meeting with her Guru. Then Swamiji asked her:

- 'What is your name?'

- 'Any name that you wish to call me.'

- 'Have your parents sent you?'

- I have come on my own in order to serve you, to be with you.'

- 'In the ashram you will have to work tirelessly.'

- 'If that is your wish.'

- 'The food here is simple and frugal, and you will have to shave your head and wear geru robes.'

- 'I will accept whatever you give me.'

- 'In order to serve, you must first surrender.'

- 'Use me, abuse me, misuse me. Surrender can have no alternative meaning.'

For what seemed aeons, total silence pervaded the room, and finally Swamiji said: 'Stay with me and become a sannyasin.'