The Inspirer

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

When I first came to the ashram and used to study the Bhagavad Gita, I would often come across the verse in which Arjuna asks Krishna, “Tell me how a person of awakened wisdom lives, thinks, acts, speaks, sits, walks, eats?” Reading that verse would conjure up in my mind the image of a yogi, a siddha, who had awakened the kundalini, sometimes looking like Christ, sometimes like Buddha, sometimes like a sadhu in the remote Himalayan caves. Along with that image would come another question: Who are these people? Such questions continued to preoccupy my mind for many years. But now, when I look at Paramahamsaji, I can see that the statement of the Bhagavad Gita is fulfilled in him. How does a person of stable wisdom live? How does a siddha live like an ordinary person?

Paramahamsaji is, of course, my guru, but more than that he is the inspirer in my life, one who can inspire new thoughts, new actions, new courage and strength, one who can inspire faith, devotion and compassion. As the inspirer in my life, I can find fulfilment by emulating and living his teachings.

Every time I see him a new aspect, a new dimension, opens up before my eyes. Never has there been a person so simple and spontaneous, one who can be so practical and compassionate both at the same time, one who can combine the highest wisdom with easy laughter. All these qualities are becoming more and more predominant in him every day. Today I can definitely say that, although we have not seen Christ, or Buddha, or other great people who have walked upon this planet, seeing Paramahamsaji one can believe that such people did walk upon this earth once upon a time, and that it is possible for such people to live amidst us and to become examples of inspiration and learning.

—Ganga Darshan December 23, 2001