In the early days of the ashram, there were many young men, both Indian and foreigners. Their table manners were not always the best. Especially liquid khichari or rice with curry sauce would be a noisy affair. This used to annoy most of the female swamis.
One day, we were having lunch with Sri Swamiji on the lawn outside Yoga Arogya. It was a day of rice and curry. Sri Swamiji cleared his throat and said, “Now when you have rice and curry, you do not eat it, you have to slurp it. So all of you, please try.” What to do, it was Guru’s orders.
He mixed the curry with the rice, took a handful and slurped it up with great delight and a lot of noise. The boys, knowing what to do, followed in the same manner. There was nothing left but join in – and slurp. It was one of the funniest meals as each of us was trying to make as much noise as possible.
This was Sri Swamiji’s way of practical teaching. He showed us the useless nature of our personal likes and dislikes and how to overcome them. He lived totally in the moment and always enjoyed it to the fullest. He showed us the way to make the most of every situation, to see the opportunities, the good and positive and experience happiness, fellowship, and have a good laugh.