This evening, in my little cottage in Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama—the ashram my teacher Swami Veda Bharati built here in Rishikesh, India—I was relaxing. The lights were off and the only light was the darkening sky of evening coming in through the windows. Suddenly the room flashed brightly immediately followed by a tremendous crashing boom: A thunder storm! Then rain began pouring and there were hundreds more flashes and booms like would be made by the vast drums of the Gods. I sat and enjoyed the storm for some time.
That storm got me reminiscing. Many years ago, when asked to describe my Gurudeva, Swami Rama, the first words that came to my mouth were that he was “a force of nature, like a thunderstorm.” He was larger than life, unpredictable, and magnificent. He was tall like a tree and seemed strong like a bull.
Beyond the external body and personality, Swami Rama was a master of yoga. This doesn’t just mean a master of hatha yoga, but of meditation. A master of Yoga has become one with his True Self.
Swami Rama brought the teachings of the Himalayan Tradition to thousands all over the world, created Centers internationally, and initiated thousands into the path of yoga-meditation.
For some reason, I was frightened of him. Maybe it was how when he walked, he seemed like the Emperor of the Universe. But he was always gentle with me. I guess it makes sense to be frightened of a force of nature.
So this magnificent storm today reminded me of my equally magnificent Gurudeva, Swami Rama, and I’m glad it did.