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25998RE: Conversations With Ashrita

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  • mahiruha_27
    Oct 15, 2013


       Once, during a Christmas Trip, many disciples came down with a strange kind of illness.  This particular illness is associated with a certain food or water-borne parasite.  One of the symptoms of this sickness is depression.  Of my friends confided in me after the Trip that “I feel so depressed, and there’s nothing I can do.”  Many people expressed similar feelings of apathy and helplessness.  But, my Centre leader said Ashrita described his condition in this way, “My thoughts get so depressed I have to fight them.”


      That’s a very different attitude.  Ashrita’s posture shows tremendous discipline and determination to not surrender to circumstances, no matter how discouraging they may be.  And it’s paid off!

      ---In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, <sri_chinmoy_inspiration@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      The morning after Guru’s Birthday Celebration I had a brief talk with Ashrita, in front of Aspiration-Ground.  Of all of his nearly two hundred Guiness Book World Records (!!!), the one that gives me the most joy is his 1987 record, where he rode his pogo stick underwater in the Amazon river, for almost four hours.


      We all know that the Amazon River has at least one unfortunate drawback: piranhas!  I asked him if he had taken any precautions to guard against those voracious fish.  He said that he hadn’t, that his name means “protected by God” and so he felt the best thing was just to trust in God’s protection and to do what gives him joy.


      Then he added, “Besides, there’s no way you can really prepare for it.  Once they attack, it’s all over in a few minutes.”


      That made my jaw drop a little.  He knew!  He had done the research!  But that didn’t stop him!

      He repeated that he just feels he needs to rely on the Supreme’s protection, and then to simply act.  It reminds me of Krishna’s advice to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, that we all have the right to act, but not to the fruits thereof.  Many people have faith in God’s Grace and Protection, but Ashrita is one of the very few people who has made that faith the basis for his life.  His multifarious achievements branch out from that faith.


      I get a lot of inspiration and joy when I think of his faith, resilience and determination.  Guru said once that Ashrita practices God-reliance, not self-reliance.  That’s his secret.  I hope to one day cultivate that kind of implicit faith.



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