Pajamas with Roses


by Hridayavasi

It was late at night, after a lecture, when Swamiji discovered someone had driven off with his car keys. He was on tour, staying an hour out of town. Rather than inconvenience someone by asking him to drive back with the keys, Swamiji accepted our invitation to sleep in the guest room at my in-laws’ house where my husband and I were also staying.

None of the men had a spare set of pajamas to loan him, so I gave Swamiji a pair of mine. I was six months pregnant and a friend had made the pajamas big enough for me to wear until the baby was born. In fact, I could have carried a three-year old child inside those pajamas with me. They were huge. The pattern was red roses as big as dinner plates printed on a white background. Very festive.

We had all retired for the night when we heard a gentle knock at our bedroom door. It was Swamiji. “Are you still awake?” he asked in a low voice. “I have something to show you.”

When we opened the door, Swamiji sailed in wearing the rose pajamas, then walked and turned like a runway model showing off his outfit. He knew how ludicrous he looked and hadn’t wanted to wait until morning to share the humor with us.

The next day, he also entertained my in-laws with his runway model routine. Then he did his energization exercises and ate breakfast with the family still wearing those ridiculous pajamas.

My mother-in-law had never met Swamiji before. She was so impressed by his humility and his complete lack of self-importance that she went and found a book of his we had given her as a gift. She had never read it; it had been sitting on her shelf for months. Now she brought it to the breakfast table, and as respectfully as you could speak to someone clad in those rose pajamas, asked Swamiji to autograph the book for her.

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.