Both before and after being initiated by Swami Veda Bharati (who was then known as Dr. Usharbudh Arya) in 1988, I felt a strong desire to be in his presence. I wanted to be around him, to hear what he had to say, and to be a focus of his attention. Perhaps my wish to be near him was an attraction to the love and wisdom he emanated. I don’t know. Whatever the reason, the desire was compelling.
I was not alone in this desire to be around Swami Veda Bharati. People seemed to be attracted to him like moths, at night, are attracted to a light.
Over several years, I was fortunate to be able to spend some time with Swami Veda Bharati, and this was a treasure. At the same time, doing so helped me realize that I didn’t attain lasting happiness nor did I gain what depth of wisdom and brilliance he had simply by being in his presence. Rather, it became clear to me, that to advance on the meditation path, I needed to do my own internal work.
In recent years, I have not been able to see Swami Veda Bharati very often. Yet, I’ve done my best to continue practicing what he taught me, and something unexpected has happened.
Just a little, but more and more, I’ve been feeling an inner-connection. This connection is not so much with Swami Veda Bharati, the person, but rather with the stream of light and love to which he is also connected. In my early days practicing yoga-meditation, I heard people talk about having an “inner-connection with the teacher,” and I wondered what that meant. Now I have an inkling, and I’m coming to understand that what I was after in my grasping after Swami Veda Bharati’s physical presence was actually something that was inside of me.
Photo credit: Joanne Sullivan