Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji Maharaj was a true tapasvi (disciplined renunciate ) . He used to roar from the podium “ you are not the body”, and he lived and demonstrated this conviction every moment. We sometimes had the rare privilege of hosting him,and that was a great learning for me. Some appointments of his got cancelled in Delhi so he suddenly said, “Oh! Chhutti Chhutti! Take me to Uttarkashi”. We were in a fix , as we could only drive him in our new but non-Ac Ambassador, which used to be without an AC those days. Seeing me hesitant, some lady who owned a large ,swanky , imported and obviously more comfortable car, offered to drive him there. Even I thought that it would be better for Gurudev and I readily suggested it to him. He pulled back his shoulders , broadened his chest and exclaimed “ Status my dear, status! No, I will go in your car.” Even if he was uncomfortable, he never embarrassed his host. Fortunately it was October/ November and not so hot. All our hopes of chatting with him throughout the journey were dashed as he travelled all the way doing his Japa, silently. When we stopped for some tea I asked him why he was doing Japa, and he answered, “ I am going to my Guru’s place, must do Japa” . Once ,a very loving,simple family but with meagre means was hosting Gurudev. It was a non -AC room and Gurudev , after his massive heart attack and surgery was advised rest and no sweating. Some of us were very worried and made arrangements elsewhere and suggested that he shift there. He was adamant. We suggested that we could bring an AC and install it , but he firmly refused as obvious sensitivities were involved. He continued to stay there and continued to smile!
Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission Delhi.