Cherished Memoirs: A Lesson in Letting Go

This series chronicles sweet experiences recounted by the devotees of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji as well as some divine experiences of Sri Swamiji himself. These articles are translations from the Madhurasmaranam series that is published every month in Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine.

A Lesson in Letting Go

Every minute at the abode of Guru Maharaj teaches us a lesson. If we are alert and attentive, we will be amazed and can learn a lot. Let’s revisit an event that unfolded in Chennai several years ago.

One evening, Sri Swamiji was sitting in his chair, reading a book. It was twilight time on a hot summer day and the surroundings were quiet. The only sound in that room was the gentle flutter of pages from Swamiji’s book. Suddenly, a sound of rushing footsteps broke the tranquility and a devotee burst into Sri Swamiji’s room. His facial expressions clearly showed that he was in anguish. Sri Swamiji raised His eyes, looked at him for a moment, and turned back towards His book.

Between labored breaths, the devotee explained that he came to complain about another satsang member. Guru Maharaj still didn’t raise His eyes from the book. But the devotee continued, “You gave me a kainkaryam to give food to an elderly devotee who was sick in the hospital every day without fail. For the past week, I have been bringing him food without missing a single day. When I brought him his food as usual this afternoon, he informed me that had already eaten lunch. Upon inquiring, I found out that another devotee (referring to him by name) had already brought him food. That person knows fully well that you have given this kainkaryam specifically to me. Knowing this, why did he take over my duty? Just thinking about this, is filling me with anger. I came to you to complain about him.”

Sri Swamiji slowly closed the book, kindly looked at the devotee, and spoke to him. Since the words of Sri Swamiji are the best advice, I am sharing it with you all.

“We should always hold a higher goal/ambition for ourselves and engrave it deep in our minds. We should never slip away from this ambition. Despite being in a very important job after your higher studies, you have built your life around japa, dhyana and seva for the sake of spiritual progress. You have made sacrifices to achieve your goal and you always act insightfully.

Intimidation is there everywhere, whether in the office or at home. Problems are unavoidable if there are two people in the same place. Srimad Bhagavatam says two bangles will always rub against each other and produce sound. When someone does something, do you know how you should perceive it? ‘Well, they already did it, so our time is saved.’ You should leave quietly, so your time can instead be redirected towards more nama sankirta, japa or dhyana.

Never evaluate any situation in isolation. Do you know what to observe instead? Pay attention to the reaction it evokes in your mind. Our Goal is higher; one should not waver from that goal over small distractions.”

Listening to this, the devotee’s anger and restlessness vanished and he felt peace at mind. He offered his prostrations to Sri Swamiji and thanked Him.

Article originally chronicled by Dr. A Bhagyanathan, personal secretary to Sri Swamiji, in Tamil Madhuramurali Magazine Apr, 2023 issue, Madhurasmaranam section.

Translated into English by Smt. Lalitha Ramanji, Richmond, VA.


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