Saturday 22 November 2014

Reminiscences @ Ma. Eknathji

|| योग: कर्मसु कौशलम् ||

'Sabari Malai’, where there is a temple dedicated to Lord Iyappa, situated on the hilltop is a very important  pilgrim centre in Kerala. Lakhs of pilgrims visit this  temple after observing spiritual austerities for 41 days. The  significance of the pilgrimage, covered mostly on foot to this  holy shrine is that it is symbolic of the journey of the Jivatman towards its merger with the Paramatman. I was a regular pilgrim to Sabari Malai, prior to my joining the Kendra, either on the  occasion of Mandala Puja or on Makara Sankranti day. The pilgrimage to the shrine is an unforgettable lifetime experience.

During my training in 1973, when the time fast approached for my annual sojourn to the temple at Sabari Malai, I went to Shri  Eknathji to get his permission to undertake the pilgrimage. I,  with lot of hesitations, approached his room and knocked at the  door. As the door was not bolted from inside, I dared to open  and peeped inside. Eknathji was sitting on the ground taking  support of wall and stretching his legs. He was going through the  editorial of the ‘Yuva Bharati’ written by him. When I opened the  door he saw me and asked me to come inside and take the seat.  After he completed reading the draft article, he asked me what  brought me to him. Meanwhile I collected myself and ventured  to speak to Eknathji, in spite of hesitations from within. He kept  on asking me again and again what brought me to him. With all  humility I told him that I came to seek his permission and also his blessings for going to Sabari Malai, on the occasion of the  Mandala Puja.

I found him closing his eyes for a couple of minutes and after  that he opened his eyes and gave a piercing look at me. Then he  smiled and asked me “why do you want to undertake a pilgrimage to Sabari Malai, when you have chosen your life journey itself as  a pilgrimage?” He further said, “you have already dedicated your  life for the cause of Dharma and Nation and therefore what is the need for a short pilgrimage?” “There is nothing  wrong in undertaking momentary and short term pilgrimages by ordinary people who are in  the shackles of “Samsara”. But it is definitely not  necessary to those people who have chosen a  life  mission and have “burnt their boats.” “One life- one mission” is highly ennobling; concentrate on  that and do not waste your time and energy by entering into the bye- lanes.” He said, “the life of  a dedicated worker must be smooth, flowing like oil falling into a pot. It is a life of absolute silence and at the same time, of high state of activity. A dedicated worker need not undertake fasting,  pilgrimages, wanderings etc. as he has offered himself as ‘Naivedyam’ to God. Therefore, once  a precious thing is already offered to God as Naivedyam, then what is the necessity again to  run after this and that? It only shows one’s inner waverings and thereby one’s unsteadiness in the chosen work. Finally he said to me, “I leave it to you, you may take a suitable decision.”  I returned from his room and went straight to the beach. I sat there for an hour or so, brooding  over what Eknathji told me. I took a firm  resolution then and there. I never undertook  any pilgrimage thereafter, because I realized that  Kendra work itself was .a Sadhana and the life in  Kendra was a pilgrimage towards the Ultimate.  “There is no need for anyone to run inside a fast  moving train to reach the destination early.

- Reminiscences about Eknathji Ranade by Ma. A. Balakrishnan

Samarop of 1st batch with Ma. Eknathji 24 march 74
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मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

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