# Day 162 (Pujya Gurudev…)

There was a big advertisement yesterday to announce that Chinmaya Mission, Delhi would be organising a special evening tonight as part of the ongoing Birth Centenary celebrations of H.H. Swami Chinmayananda. It was described as an event where one can hear disciples speak in remembrance of that visionary saint. It reminded me of my own good fortune in having been able to listen to a few of his enlightening talks. He was a towering personality who had started a revival of ‘Hindu-Dharma’ in Independent India; and had made it his life’s mission to acquaint the educated English-speaking Indian middle class with the profound insights of our ancient scriptures. Much of these were in danger of being forgotten in post-Independent India, as under British rule Western science and philosophy had come to dominate our educational system. His translations and commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita in a contemporary and modern idiom demystified that ancient knowledge and made it more understandable for common people.
My father-in-law, who himself believed in the teachings of the Gita was an ardent admirer of Swamiji’s works. My sister-in-law became the Principal of the Chinmaya School in Delhi and the family was delighted that her good offices would lead to many an opportunity to listen to or even interact with Swamiji. It was in the early eighties that i first attended a talk by him. It was the annual day function of the school and the parents of the students and other guests like us waited expectantly for his arrival. Bhagavad Gita chants were playing in the background and everyone rose to welcome him with heartfelt clapping. Tall and stately, with long hair, a flowing beard and saffron robes he strode onto the stage with his sparkling, mischievous eyes sweeping across the crowd. He was an exemplary speaker…clear and convincing. He kept everyone engrossed and his booming voice and question and answer style of speaking ensured we were all attentive! Two things really struck me ~ first, his great sense of humour. He would chuckle and even roar with laughter at his own humorous quips! Second, his mystical interpretations of the scriptures. It was he who first introduced me to the concept that the sacred scriptures are not just literal stories or historical tales. Puranic literature he would tell you is ‘a song of the soul’s adventure to rediscover itself.’ As one who had just completed a masters in literature this metaphysical interpretation was quite fascinating. And so he remains the first ‘guru’ who sparked an interest in trying to uncover and understand the endless Vedantic suggestions and symbolisms…a continuous and never-ending quest!



About sunsur81

A gatherer of thoughts...exploring myths,metaphors and expressions of life...
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