Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara – The final part of this fabulous interview. Really touching in the end. Rama Rama
Q.: May I ask Your Holiness one more question? What is the essential difference between the Western conception of God and the Indian?
H.H.: How can there be any diversity in the conceptions of God? But in attitudes towards Him, yes. In the West, one tries to approach God through religion. In India, we follow the path of philosophy. All our rituals, ceremonies, and observances are meant to serve only as a prelude to this arduous journey. Their purpose will have been fulfilled the moment a devotee feels that his mind is attuned to its new role—the role of a seeker.
“Your Holiness,” I observe rising to make my farewell obeisance to him, “I seek your blessings once again before I go. I am aware of the physical strain our marathon four-hour session must have caused Your Holiness.”
“Have I answered all your questions? I hope my Telugu is good enough.” His Holiness lapses into silence. Again I see the same benign, beatific smile on those soft, sensitive lips, the same blinding glow in those large, luminous eyes, and the same gracious gesture of benediction, which literally unfold before me the strange vision of a form combining the dynamism of the Lord Nataraja with the serenity of the Buddha.
His Holiness has, at his command, all the paraphernalia one associates with the exalted position he occupies in the Hindu hierarchy—a bejewelled crown, a throne, several camels, horses and elephants. But he has no use for them. The only crown he wears is provided by the garlands offered by his devotees; the only mode of travelling he knows is walking; the only throne he occupies is the human heart. His Holiness does not work the type of miracles that normally one expects a sanyasin to perform. He is not a magician, you see. For example, ashes in his hands do not turn into gold. Sterile women do not, with his blessings, become fertile. He does not pretend to be able to transform overnight the sickly into healthy, the poor into rich, and the unsuccessful into successful. So perhaps he can be of no interest to those who seek immediate results such as forecasts of the New York Cotton numbers, promotions, increments, liquidation of enemies, supply of bride-grooms for the age-barred spinsters and so on. But he performs one miracle which no magician will ever dare to attempt: he makes you feel the very presence of God.