By Vivekjivandas Swami
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha
A guru’s greatest gift is wisdom –words that come from both experience and enlightenment. His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj had travelled the world, meeting people from a wide range of backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures. Add to the wealth of his experiences in human interactions the fact that he practiced what he preached, and we get the perfect formula for wisdom.
Care for plants
On March 1, 2000, in Amdavad, India, Pramukh Swami Maharaj had been presented a holy basil (tulsi) plant during an inaugural function of a much-needed MRI machine at the Civil Hospital. The next morning Swamishri asked a swami where he had placed the tulsi plant pot.
“In your room,” the swami replied. “See to it that it is planted in an appropriate place in the mandir grounds and watered regularly. They have presented it with great love and affection. If you leave the plant in the room, it will dry up and die.”
Swamishri’s hallmark of care and affection was evident not just in interactions with people, but also in how he tended to plants and animals.
Tolerate without complaining
On August 13, 2000, Pramukh Swami Maharaj was in Charlotte, NC. While having his afternoon rest, Swamishri’s room had become very cold. When this topic was brought up later in the day, Swamishri replied, “Yes, my pillow, bed and the quilt had become very cold. I simply lay awake for an hour because of the cold.”
“Why didn’t you wake me up,” the attendant swami said.
“Why should I wake you up and spoil your sleep too? I felt that since I had tolerated for a short while, why not tolerate a little more.”
The ability to tolerate without complaining is what made him so loved by millions.
Balanced guidance to children
On August 15, 2000, in Charlotte, NC, a children’s activity volunteer asked Pramukh Swami Maharaj, “We run the children’s activities in our own way, but would you like to give any special guidance?”Swamishri responded, “First, you should be careful not to create any lapses in the children’s studies. They should not regress in their studies. Parents should not feel their children have lagged in their studies because of their visits to the mandir. Second, their health. Pay attention to and take care of their health. Explain to them not to eat unhealthy food in restaurants and hotels. And third, their character and satsang values. Introduce them to Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj. Narrate stories from the parables given by Yogiji Maharaj and inspire them to do puja daily.”
In this way, Swamishri inspired children on the path of education, health and satsang.