Picture Perfect

from Asha

By the time the young man arrived, the room was so full that the only place left for him to sit was on the floor against the back wall. This was no problem for him, and he settled down comfortably to listen to Swami Kriyananda speak.

The venue was a metaphysical bookstore in Southern California. The lecture hall was lined with pictures of great spiritual teachers, ancient and modern, East and West, whose teachings also filled the bookshelves.

The young man was hoping to get clarity this evening on a question that had been preoccupying him of late. He was deeply drawn to the guru, Sathya Sai Baba. He had read many of his books and spent time with his American devotees, entranced by their stories of being with “Baba” in India. The man wanted to go to India to see Baba, but he was afraid.

“What if I am disappointed? After all that effort and expense, I would be so sad and embarrassed in front of my friends. Is Baba my guru? How can I be sure?”

About midway through his lecture, Swamiji began to speak about the need for a guru. “You can’t do it on your own. You need the help of a guru.”

Someone in the audience asked a question. “How am I going to find my guru?”

“You don’t have to travel the world looking for him,” Swamiji said. “If your search is sincere, your guru will come to you right here.”

When Swamiji said the words “right here,” one of the portraits fell off the wall and landed face up on the young man’s lap. It was Sathya Sai Baba. He grabbed the picture and, with tears in his eyes, held it to his heart.