This article is a chapter from the book Daily Swadhyaya.
Loving adorations to revered and beloved Holy Master Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji whose spiritual presence surrounds us, and draws us from all sides towards our highest blessedness, That presence urges us from within towards a life of goodness, a life of truthfulness, purity of conduct and character, of compassion and kindness in our thought, word and deed. His spiritual presence pervades this entire Ashram and prevails at all times. If you are conscious and aware of this presence, you feel it a hundredfold more. If you are in a state of distracted attention with your thoughts elsewhere, you deprive yourself of his uplifting, inspiring spiritual support, of his elevating influence. If one tightly closes all the doors and windows of his room, the air will soon become stale. Not that there is not enough fresh air and light. It is there in plenty, but we deprive ourselves of it if we foolishly bar its entry by not understanding what we are doing. We cut ourselves off from that which is very important, very valuable, desirable and necessary.
One of the essential ingredients of a true Buddhist is a conscious awareness that the great enlightened One is not a ‘was’ personality of 2500 years ago, but He is very much an ‘is’ presence, an ‘is’ principle, and an ‘is’ power. The Christianity of a true, devout Christian is similarly such a living awareness of the here and now presence of the great Master: “When I rest at night, he is there beside me, watching me. When I wake in the morning, He is there beside me. When I go about my daily business of life, he is by my side.”
If this awareness of the immediate presence of the source of your inspiration is not consciously, diligently, carefully, patiently, earnestly, sincerely cultivated, then no harvest will come. One of the important ingredients of discipleship is to cultivate conscious awareness of the wealth we possess, and the need to utilise it moment by moment in all our life. Cultivate the consciousness of perennial presence of the guru: “He pervades all my life. He is with me wherever I go. I am myself a living temple of his presence. He urges me in the right direction from within:” For then, in his watchful presence and as true followers, at all times, upon each step of our day-to-day life, before we act we will feel: “How would He who is beside me want me to act at this moment?” May you realise the loving compassion of God that is beside you! May you realise the grace and blessings of God that throbs vibrantly within you!