Fragrance of Love

Feb 10, 2005

"Who are we meeting?" Guri asked me. "This guy named Ashwin Trivedi." "Who's that?" "I don't really know. Friend of a friend." "Why are we meeting him?" "I don't really know." "What are we going to talk about?" "Well, I don't really know."

Guri looks to Viral, with a familiar smile, shaking her head. :) Two hours in a jam-packed, local Bombay train can be quite an experience, especially if you don't know whose house you are going to or why you are going there.

But that's business as usual around here. :)

As we sat down with Ashwinbhai, he asked us if we had any questions. Turns out, people go to him for answers.

It turns out, Ashwin-bhai is quite a personality. An unwilling mystic, you can even say. A very rational seeker of Truth, he had been everywhere, met tons of spiritual giants like J. Krishnamurti, Pandurang Shastri, and Osho, read many many books and lived through many experiments with Truth. Still unsatisfied, he was searching for an experiential understanding of "God". As is often the case, the answer was right under his nose -- his wife, who introduced him to "Bhai".

A spiritual teacher in a small village of Gujarat, Bhai was giving a discourse one day and his seventy-something year old finger points to Ashwinbhai, as he declares, "From this day, he will answer all your worldly questions. You can come to me for spiritual questions." Much to his surprise, Ashwinbhai didn't know how a skeptic like him could be given such a position. But from that day onwards, he boldly stepped up to be an instrument of service with some new faculties that he was now blessed with.

People go to Ashwinbhai with questions. So right as we sat down, he asked us if we have any questions. Guri, Viral and I silently stared at him. We didn't have any questions, nor did we know why we were there.

And so the conversation started. :) Within minutes, he started referencing personal experiences with saints we read and appreciated. Immediately, we could relate to his rational approach to spirituality. He narrated his own personal spiritual journey, with absolutely unbelievable -- and inspiring -- experiences. Every ten-twenty minutes, someone or another would come in but he continued with his story-telling session. One after another, his English-Gujarati-Hindi-mix stories kept him away from his busy schedule and kept Guri, Viral and I spellbound for almost two hours.

He said that our meeting was destined. (My guess is that he might say most things are destined :)). Nonetheless, one thing was clear: all of us were energized by this authentic "sat-sang" (meeting of hearts in dharma). When we met his wife, she confidently told us that we would meet again.

"Just remember, you haven't come to India. You were sent here," Ashwinbhai told us as we were about to leave. "God wants you to experience reality. The heavenly showers are pouring continuously but when there are hardships, it is not because God doesn't support you but because he wants to educate you." We asked for his blessings, but he said it wasn't his place to give us blessings; instead, he hugged us. He even made it a point to tell Guri that she was very pure from the inside.

Whenever asked about the "purpose of life", Ashwinbhai sums it up in one sentence: "Spread the fragrance of love throughout eternity."

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"Service doesn't start when you have something to give; it blossoms naturally when you have nothing left to take."

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