My big brother has gone… He left us unexpectedly a few days ago. He lived in India. His name was Swami Premananda… Of course, it may seem a bit pretentious when I call him “my big brother”. How can I presume to write that a self-realized Master of Wisdom like Swami Premananda was my brother?
Yet he was my brother, my big brother, because he was the brother of all those who knew him and even of those who did not know him.
I am speaking of his simplicity, his warmth, his generosity, the warm welcome he extended to all those who came to see him … all wrapped up with his huge smile, of course. I also would like to mention how close he was to us, because this is an exception where self-realized beings are concerned, and in his case an avatar, or the acknowledged manifestation of the Divine Presence on Earth.
After nearly twenty years of wrongful imprisonment following a carefully planned plot against his person, Swami Premananda, his body weary, entered into Samadhi, as the Hindu tradition says. I only mention this for those among us who do not know his story.
“You see”, he had told me just a few days after his arrest, “it’s starting all over again just like 2000 years ago…”
Yes, like 2000 years ago… How many times had Swami Premananda not mentioned the life and teachings of Christ? And yet, we always end up making the same mistakes again and again, and persist in going round in circles. Mankind is slow to understand…
This is the way of some exceptional beings; the light they permanently radiate is so obvious and disturbing for society that people sooner or later find a way to smother it by means of deceit. I will not go here into the details of a sterile polemic; this would be useless and totally opposed to what Swami Premananda has been teaching during his lifetime.
“Don’t worry”, he used to say about what had befallen him, “it’s only a drama”… A drama indeed, but what a drama and what an actor!
All those who came in contact with Swami Premananda could only be impressed by the huge amount of joy and compassion he radiated. Even under the most difficult conditions, he was a sort of living miracle, an energy of love every one of us should be so lucky as to meet at least once in his life…
I am not even alluding to the prodigies he never ceased to perform, miracles of materialization or healing. I am just speaking of the power of transformation which he represented. He was in a way like a battery constantly connected to the divine realm, a battery that fed all those who met his gaze.
I remember once as I was able to visit him when he was still in jail in Trichy. The wardens supposed to keep a watch on him were having their children lined up in front of him to receive his blessing. This was a very surrealistic scene… A few months later, Swami Premananda had already transformed the penitentiary in some kind of ashram where he used to teach the prisoners.
“I have work to do here”, was his comment. This met with disapproval, of course… even in India! So he was transferred to another jail and everything was done to “break” him, to the point of forcing him to take off his Swami’s robe and dress in the shirt and shorts of prisoners. An Avatar in shorts… Who could have imagined this? Well it happened… and the Avatar could only smile of what had been meant to humiliate him. Nothing could prevent Swami Premananda from shining his Light with even more energy and determination. No one can “break” a joy of living which is not really human.
What more can I say? A big book would be necessary to tell the incredible number of anecdotes about him, and this book would be a portrait of Love on the move, tirelessly on the move. Will this book be written some day? I don’t know… And he did not care about it.
Swami Premananda only cared about our transformation. He was an eraser of fears, an extractor of trust, a distiller of peace.
In this context, the word “thank you” which we might feel like saying would definitely be inadequate. Far too often, this word has become mechanical and meaningless. It would not be enough.
But come on… this is not an obituary column! Here I am speaking of our big brother in the past, whereas he is much more alive than we are! More alive than we are and certainly already preparing us a surprise in his own way. Personally, I would not be surprised if this was the case…
This is the way of all true Bearers of Light, they are tireless because they have a very, very long Breath.
If only we could take a leaf from their book…
Daniel Meurois, March 2011