Rikhia's Rajarishi

Swami Agnihotri Saraswati, Vietnam

Awe and amazement were the feelings that filled each of the nine days that I spent in Rikhia as the guest of Paramahamsa Satyananda. Many gifted teachers and political leaders have the ability to inspire. Paramahamsaji, however, not only inspires but has the ability to link up with his devotees on an internal as well as an external plane. The fact that he can instantaneously recall the name of anyone to whom he has given sannyasa (no matter how long ago) is in itself miraculous.

How Paramahamsaji establishes the internal link, and how he uses that link to sculpt and mould an individual is part of the mystery whose solution never ceases to baffle me.

During the festivities at the same time as the internal connections were taking place, Paramahamsaji graciously performed his social duties as host of Sita Kalyanam. At all times he was the perfect gentleman, warmly and courteously welcoming his guests and making them feel that his or her presence was especially pleasing and important to him. The specialness of each guest was visibly reinforced by their being daily garlanded with malas of fresh marigolds.

Unlike any ordinary host or hostess, Paramahamsaji never fretted or fussed over the details of the various events. He remained calm, unruffled and joyous throughout the nine days of the program. What was extraordinary was the way that, without looking over his shoulder or turning his head, Paramahamsaji would see whenever official guests would arrive.

Although it is relatively easy for us to emulate Paramahamsaji's flawless good manners and reverence for others, to enter into and understand the workings of the mystery and magic of Sita Kalyanam can only be achieved through guru's grace. To make ourselves worthy and to express our gratitude to Paramahamsaji we need to follow his exhortations to love and serve the less fortunate.