Monday, June 11, 2012

swamiji makes learning so much fun

when we decided to go to vaidyagrama to do panchakarma, and mind you, it was after a couple of years of searching for the right place for this purpose, i thought it would be fantastic if i could just get some great panchakarma. but then, of course, i forgot that a great place attracts great people - a little shout out for myself :). naturally an unintended consequence is hwubby and i have met some marvelous people during our six and half weeks there. including swami pratyagbhodhananda, a teaching swami.

i'm, in the heart of hearts, a bhakta, not a jnani. i don't know anything about vedanta. but i can safely say this much. i know a good teacher when i am around one. for me, a good teacher makes learning a lot of fun. okay, i'm not saying i study vedanta with swami pratyagbodhananda. i just was there when he gave a couple of talks. i like this guy a lot. how can i not when, as part of introducing him, he is referred to as the one who says, the food here is colorless, odorless and tasteless. his full moon face becomes a super full moon overflowing with laughter upon hearing this. i am not exaggerating when i say he is a sweet swami. the simple saffron bag he carries on his shoulder always has a baggie of sweets within. really nice ones too. chocolates. ginger candy. right off the bat of his first talk he says, i'm not in top form because i did not have my afternoon tea. by tea he does not mean the herbal drink vaidyagrama provides in the afternoons. swamiji means the real deal, fine chai. by the way he knows exactly where to get a good cup of chai in coimbatore. back to his teaching. even in a state deprived of 'afternoon tea' he manages to do some shining teaching. he is one of those fine ones who can teach through telling a story. his comedic timing is spot on. i'm not saying teachers should make students laugh but laughter infuses learning sublime scriptures with fun and ease.

you see, when we crack up mental activity stops in their tracks. the mind quiets down and becomes totally still. what happens then? the light of our innermost and highest self shines forth. it is sweet. it is joyous. it is a sense of deep peace. then the teaching in the story simply shine through the mental cracks and touch our hearts. we recognize the truth, we are receptive to the teaching and we laugh some more.

well, it definitely helps his approval rating, as far as i am concerned, that he and hwubby are like brothers and he says, your wife is an even more wonderful person than you are. you go, swamiji. i love you! a special shout out to vaidyagrama. left to myself i would never have met a vedanta swami.

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