The first time I met Swamy Vinayagananda was at his home in a small village in the Himalayas. I had gone with a small group of fellow travelers in search of the answers to the mysteries of life. I was 24.
We stayed there with Him for a couple of weeks and everyday he entertained us with his discourse on various spiritual topics. I always sat at the back of the room, watching and listening intently. His words impressed me no end. I never said a word to Him, neither during the discourse or at any other time. I simply watched and listened intently. I was on a mission.
Over the course of the first four days, always during discourse, when my mind was busy correlating whatever he happened to be talking about with something I had experienced or read in a book at some point, questions would invariably rise up in my head. I never voiced them, but he would stop abruptly mid discourse and look directly at me and answer whatever happened to be on my mind at that particular moment.
The tenth time this happened I resolved to wake up early the next morning when he woke to make the fire and approach him for the first time to ask how it was he was reading my mind. And so I did.
It was 4am when I met him that morning before the tandoor. He’d already prepared two cups of chai in preparation for my arrival and kindly, matter-of-factly gestured for me to sit in front of the fire with him and share tea. And I asked. “Babaji, are you inside me?” And He answered.
You see, David. When a man hears the truth, it rings inside his heart like a bell.
He repeated the same phrase twice. We took the rest of our tea in silence and just sat there together watching the dawn until the others awoke.
I didn’t speak to him again for the next ten days, but just watched and listened intently. Neither did he answer any more questions which would often arise within me. His mission had already been accomplished. Mine was just starting.
Several months later I would return to that hamlet and begin my life on the path of the Yogin.
…is a Saiva Tantrika, Gyana Yogi and founder of Uma Maheshwara Yoga & Ayurveda. David has an MA in Semiotics, lives in Japan with his family and works as a coach in L & D, devoting his time to developing science-based tools and programs that help people reach the fullest potential of the human condition.