At the Feet of A Himalayan Master (Remembering Swami Rama) volume1

Swami Rama

Rs 250/=
“Have you thought about getting married?” It was the spring of 1970, and Swamiji was visiting Minneapolis. I called upon him at the downtown Holiday Inn. He asked me, point blank, whether I had thought about getting married. On my visit ton India the previous summer, I had met a young lady who was related to me, and with her father’s permission, we had begun to correspond through letters. I told Swamiji about the young lady and he emphatically declared that he knew her very well, that she was the right girl for me, and that I should go home and write to her that I was prepared to marry her. Unfortunately, my faith in his conviction was not that her. Unfortunately, my faith in his conviction was not that strong, and I implored him to at least look at a photograph of her that I had at home, to ensure that we were both talking about the same girl. He said that this was not necessary, but I kept insisting, and he agreed to take a look at the photograph the next day. I went back the next day with the photograph. Swamiji barely glanced at it, and again emphatically declared that he knew her, that she was the girl for me and that I should write to her indicating that I was prepared to marry her. Again, my faith was weak, and I decided to wait until I was able to visit India that summer on my way to an international conference in Australia.Though I was just a post-graduate student working on my Ph.D., my advisor, Dr. Perry Blackshear, was kind enough to sponsor my trip to Australia, once my paper was accepted for presentation at an international biomedical conference in Melbourne, 1971. I decided to go to Australia via India. Soon after I arrived, I requested permission from the young lady’s father to go out with her, to discuss our future together. We went boating near India Gate, New Delhi and to this day, my wife claims that the boat hardly moved, but that there was a lot of water being splashed all round the boat. After my feeble attempt at boating, we sat and talked for many hours, discovering that we had a lot in common and decided to get married. Before the wedding, I decided to visit Sadhana, Mandir, Swamiji’s askram in Rishikesh, for a few days of retreat, to quietly contemplate the big step I was taking in my life, from brahmacharya to grihasta. Burning Off Some Karma? My wife and I settled into a small studio apartment on University Ave. S.E., about a mile from campus. The first few months in Minneapolis, Vijaya missed her parents and home, her friends, and India, very deeply. I was immersed in my Ph.D. work, and spent many hours away at the University. Compared to India, Minneapolis was incredibly quiet, in spite of the traffic on University Avenue. With the approaching cold weather, one hardly saw peoply walking around. New Delhi, by contrast was so vibrant and full of life. Vijaya’s loneliness would often get the better of her, and I would come home to find her eyes red from weeping. When she realized that this upset me a great deal, because of my guilt at having taken her away from all that was near and dear to her, she would go into the bathroom to cry and wash up, to conceal traces of her sorrow. Soon after we returned home, Vijaya took ill very suddenly. There had been on sniffles or sore throat to presage this sudden illness. Her temperature rose to a very high level, her pain-wracked body was weak and limp, she had no appetite, and she hardly got out of bed for almost three days. Then the illness passed, almost as suddenly as it had come. surprisingly, soon after this illness, she became interested in knowing more about meditation and began to practice in a walk-in closet that she converted into a meditation room. Her faith in Swamiji was now becoming even stronger than mine. This sudden illness, and her sudden change in attitude, made me wonder if Swamiji’s placing of his hand over her head had been a blessing that quickly burnt off some of her past karma, the burning process manifesting as the high fever that wracked her body. Swamiji always worked quietly behind the scenes and one was always left guessing! Swamiji bought a new property in one of the western suburbs of Chicago & Mrs. Arya and Vijaya were invited to go over to convert the house into a home with new curtains, decorations and other subtle touches that only a woman knows how. When it was time come back to Minneapolis, she had the same wrenching feeling that a daughter has when leaving her father’s home. However, knowing that Swamiji was around and often visited Minneapolis, gave her a sense of having found a new home. The intensity of her separation from India began to diminish. Swamiji’s healing touch was evident.