Gurudev was sitting in Ganga Kutir after a light dinner of fruits. Some of us had an opportunity to be with him that evening. He told Dinesh and Vijay to prepare a couple of fruit baskets to be presented to saints next day at the Sant Sammelan in Belgaum, where all the prominent saints of India were gathering. Gurudev reminded the young disciples that the fruit baskets to be presented to the saints had to be large in size and filled to the brim.
He walked out into the porch and a few moments later, standing there, he recalled how in his younger days, he had visited Swami Muktananda at Ganeshpuri Ashram with three truckloads of gifts! Before continuing further He called out for Dinesh who was making the gift baskets.
One time, when Sri Sri was staying in Mumbai he received a phone call from Maharishi in the evening. It was 7 pm and Maharishi wanted young Sri Sri to attend the grand celebrations hosted by Swami Muktananda at Ganeshpuri Ashram for the ordaining of her disciple Guru Mai Chidvilasanand.
The celebrations were scheduled for the same evening. It was Maharishi’s desire that Sri Sri attend the ceremony with three truckloads of sweets, fruits and dry fruits and a team of Vedic Pandits. Being in a state of ever readiness to be useful and never the one to say no, 19 year old Sri Sri immediately swung into action!
With hardly a few hours to set everything in place, he just bought out hundreds of sweet shops in Mumbai. Fruits and dry fruit shops met with similar fate. To the pleasant surprise of the shop owners here was a buyer ready to buy everything that they had. From organizing an entourage of Vedic pundits, getting the trucks in the peak hour of evening, loading them with sweets and delivering them to Ganeshpuri Ashram, it was all done on a war footing.
Sri Sri’s hilarious account of the alacrity with which he made all the arrangements within a few hours, sent us into peals of laughter. What appeared to be high-pressure situation with so much to do in so little time was handled by Gurudev with his characteristic ease.
It was late in the night when Gurudev reached Ganeshpuri Ashram loaded with three trucks of sweets and a large entourage of pundits. The road to the Ashram was jammed for a few kilometers with vehicles parked by visiting guests and dignitaries. How he managed to maneuver the traffic and offload the gifts is a mystery yet to be unravelled!
When Sri Sri reached the Ashram he found Swami Muktanand wide awake in the middle of night, eagerly waiting for his arrival. Swamiji received Gurudev with a warm welcoming hug. It is a known fact that Young Sri Sri not only associated with the wise saints of his times, but had also endeared himself to them with rare qualities that advanced spiritual seekers aspire for.
Thinking of the incident, I couldn’t help wondering how in the presence of the Master, even a seemingly small act of teaching a disciple to make a gift basket, turned out to be a valuable lesson on how an onerous task can be easily accomplished by being in a state of centeredness and readiness.