by Sara Cryer
I have always appreciated the way Swamiji relates to children. He doesn’t patronize them, as some adults do. The soul is ageless, even if the body is young. But the consciousness of a child is different. Swamiji recognizes that and takes it into account.
My son Rama was nine when we went to visit Swamiji in Assisi, Italy. We were having dinner with Swamiji at a local restaurant. My son was the only child at the table and he desperately wanted to be part of what was going on, but the conversation was too adult for him to join in.
On the table in front of us was a basket of two-foot long breadsticks that they often serve in Italy. Suddenly Swamiji grabbed one of those breadsticks, pointed it at Rama like a sword, and called out, “On guard!”
Instantly, Rama seized a “weapon” of his own and a battle royal began! It went on for several moments until, with one daring stroke, Rama broke Swamiji’s “sword” in half and was declared the winner.
A few days later at the Sunday Service, Rama got in line for the blessing. When Swamiji is blessing, he doesn’t relate to you as a personality. It is a sacred soul contact.
In his arms, Rama carried “Minkey the Monkey,” a stuffed animal who was his constant companion, as real to him as any other friend.
Swamiji touched Rama at the spiritual eye and solemnly blessed him. Then, with just the hint of a smile, Swamiji put his finger at the spiritual eye of Minkey the Monkey and blessed him, too.
“Swamiji makes people happy,” Rama said. “When I grow up, I want to be just like him.”
From Swami Kriyananda As We Have Known Him by Asha Praver
The greatness of a spiritual teacher is only partially revealed by the work of his own hands. The rest of the story is one he cannot tell for himself, the influence of his consciousness on those who come in contact with him.
In some two hundred stories spanning more than forty years, personal reminiscences and private moments with this beloved teacher become universal life lessons for us all.