When The Ego Goes, The Light of God Flows!
“When the ego is completely surrendered at his feet, infinite bliss will ensue. The whole of worldly existence will be blissful when egotism vanishes.” – Shri Sai Samartha Satcharita, Ch. 2, Ovi 64.
In 1945, Sadhu Vaswani visited Jamshedpur in response to an invitation to deliver a course of lectures on the Gita and Indian Culture. It was surprising to find how, in the highly materialistic atmosphere of India’s “City of Steel”, large numbers of people – men and women, young and old – gathered together every evening to listen to his talks. Indeed, there were several in whose heart was a genuine aspiration to live the true life, the life of communion with God and of fellowship with the poor. Some of them met Sadhu Vaswani and spoke to him of their spiritual aspirations. There was one such young man; he belonged to a good Parsi family; he held a high position in the Tata Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. His eyes were bright; his face was handsome; and the words he spoke have in them the sweetness of age and the vigour of youth. He regularly attended the meetings at which Sadhu Vaswani spoke and always occupied a seat in the front row.
One day, early in the morning, he came to Sadhu Vaswani and said to him, “Master! So bless me that I may have a vision of God.”
In answer, Sadhu Vaswani merely smiled.
The young man spoke again, “Master! Tell me what I may do!”
Sadhu Vaswani smiled again and said, “You know it already. Live a pure life. Look upon none with lust. Injure no creatures. Be a devotee of Truth. Covet not. Be content with whatever God gives you. And incessantly repeat His Name.”
“All this I have already done,” the young man said, “but still I am far from God. I fain would see His Lotus Feet.”
After a brief moment’s pause, the young man continued, “Sri Ramakrishna blessed Vivekananda, and Vivekananda had a vision of God. You, Master, are my Ramakrishna and you, I am sure, will reveal God to me.”
“I am not Ramakrishna,” Sadhu Vaswani expostulated. “I but aspire to be a servant of the saints.”
The young man would not listen. “I know it,” he said. “You cannot hide it from me. You are Ramakrishna and you will reveal God to me.”
Day after day, for four successive days, the young man came with same entreaty, “Master! Grant me the gift of a vision of God.”
On the fourth day, Sadhu Vaswani said to him, “Will you do what I ask you to do?”
“I am yours,” the young man said. “My life is yours. Order and I shall obey!”
“One simple thing let me ask you to do,” Sadhu Vaswani said. “Go now to a barber’s shop and have your head shaved clean. Then go to your office tomorrow and meet your clerks and your superiors with your head bare. Then come to me in the evening and I shall see what I can do for you.”
The words struck the young man in the face with the force of a thunderbolt. “How can I lift up my face in their presence? And even, if I pass this ordeal, what if I do not get a vision of God? How silly I will look even to myself!” The young man did not turn up the next evening. He was conspicuous by his absence at the meetings which took place on the succeeding days.
Some time later, referring to this young man, Sadhu Vaswani said, “This young man had many qualities, but he had not renounced his ego. And it is the ego which stands between us and God.
“It is this petty self, this empirical ‘I’, which must be pulled to pieces before one may see God and speak to Him, as the humble, little gopis, of Brindaban did, five thousand years ago. They had no body consciousness. And so they danced in sheer delight as they listened to the music and melody of the Master’s Flute, and tears rolled down their cheeks.
“The ego is the great barrier. When the ego goes, the light of God flows!”