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Inferior Disciple

There is a lovely experience narrated by Swami Rama in his book “Living with the Himalayan Masters“. Here it is, paraphrased below.

Swami Rama’s Guru was a terrific person. Not just in human form, as his powers are described as being almost ethereal. Needless to say, many people would come to his master, requesting for blessings and beseeching him for his grace.

While they would line up to see him, they would also bring with them many things to offer him – gold, valuables, ornaments, fruits, flowers, books and money to name a few.

Swami Rama used to feel small, seeing these presents for his Guru and told him once, “Master, I am unable to provide any of these valuable items to you, does that make me an inferior disciple?”

His Guru shushed him, and told him to give him a bundle of dry twigs. When Swami Rama did, his Guru merely lit a fire, burned the twigs and told him that he had given the best gift of all. He further explained, “Rama, what am I to do with the material possessions all these people have given me? I have no use for them. However, when you gave me your twigs, you gave me everything you had. You gave me your last possessions in this world, and those too have been burned away. You are truly a Swami. What more could I ask for?”

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