"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.." Mark Antony began his famous epitaph thus. Before a large assembly of people he declared, "I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.... The noble Brutus hath told you Caesar was ambitious: If it were so, it was a grievous fault...I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke, but here I am to speak what I do know..." Saying thus, Mark Antony, who was a close friend of Caesar's, unleashed such a rhetorical torrent that the Romans who bore animosity towards Caesar eventually became enemies of Brutus and the other conspirators who killed Caesar. Ending his speech with a flourish, Mark Antony said: ‘Here was a caesar, when comes such another?' Mark Antony used his power of elocution to describe what is real to the society. Each of his word was true. And thus, it erased every doubt in the listener's mind, while simultaneously revealing the truth.
Eloquence is considered to be one of the hallmarks of a powerful leader. One can accomplish huge results with this amazing skill.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj's speech was always effective. His words were like an elixir. When Swamiji spoke, every word was inspirational. It enlightened the listeners. It brought peace to people's hearts. Their life would get the right trajectory. All their good wishes would get fulfilled.
The construction of the Gandhinagar Akshardham was in full swing. The workload was huge and it was to be completed within a very limited time frame. The sculptors were carving the stones. Since it had been quite a while that they were away from home, it was understandable that they would be missing their families. So all of them unanimously decided that it is time we go home for a while and meet our families. They also had a talk regarding this matter with the concerned people in charge. Since there was a huge amount of workload which was pending, there wasn't a single moment that could be wasted. Every single day was critical. Coincidentally, in such circumstances, Swamiji came to visit the Akshardham site. He met everyone. A special meeting with the sculptors was organised. The motivation for the meeting was that every individual get the blessings of Swamiji. Since Swamiji had visited every area of the complex, he could easily fathom that there was still considerable work to be done. He was also informed that the workers are pondering about visiting their homes for a while, should that happen then the work will come to a halt and nothing will be completed on time.
Swamiji always had the best intentions for everyone. He spoke calmly in Hindi all the while during the meeting. The gist of it was: You are all serving God here. You have also spent a lot of time here. Still there is work to be finished. But since you are giving your best, I am confident that it will be completed soon. Everybody will get blessings and feel peace in their hearts. After the completion of Akshardham's construction, lakhs of people will come to visit here and will all remember you for your magnificent work. Eventually, Everyone has to go home, finish this seva and then go home after a little while. Swamiji's words were filled with divinity.
The feeling behind his words was also equally magnanimous. Finally Swamiji thanked everyone for their hard work and contribution. He explained the importance of their work and also made a request that it should be completed on time. Thus his elixir laden words brought a change of heart in the artisans. They all realized that their work was an integral part of the Akshardham construction. This infused such a sense of belonging in them, that they decided that none of them could afford to delay the work by going home. Everyone should jump into it with full fray.
They understood that they could always go home later, but this wonderful opportunity to be involved in such a divine service is very rare to come by. So they should latch onto it and do it wholeheartedly. Swamiji's words worked like magic so much so that the workers dismissed all thoughts of visiting their home until completion.
Swamiji always spoke in such a manner that everyone loved to listen to him. Everyone felt that Swamiji was personally speaking only for them. A striking example of this took place at Atladara Vadodara. Once Swamiji, while showering his blessings said: '...when one considers oneself to be a Soul, then one is always equanimous, whether one is insulted or one is praised. One never gets heartbroken in any circumstances. The wise remain happy and at peace with the understanding gained from their wisdom. They are eternally happy..'
After blessing the entire assembly, when Swamiji was returning to his resting room, a devotee came rushing in from the crowd. He fell at Swamiji's feet, and started to cry.
Seeing this, the saints and devotees stopped right there. Someone gave him a hand and helped him to stand up. Swamiji was looking at him with compassion. He looked at Swamiji with tears in his eyes and said: ’Swamiji! If you had not spoken these words in the assembly today, I would have alienated myself from the satsang due to lack of proper understanding and knowledge. Because of the negligence of one of the worker here, I was disturbed and felt negative about the Satsang. Your divine words has cleansed my heart and cast away all my doubts'. Swamiji smiled and placed his hand on his head and blessed him.
The famous Bhagwat orator shri Krishna Shankar Shastriji, while describing the characteristics of Swamiji's personality said, 'Whenever Pramukhswami speaks, I feel that just as water is needed to wash dirty clothes, His speech is needed to cleanse the dirty hearts.' Such was Swamiji's speech. The divine light of his words would drive away the darkness and spread enlightenment in every heart.
When the best leaders speak, the listeners without fail have a change of heart for the better and higher good. Swamiji was such an eloquent leader of the highest order....When comes such another?
This article is written and submitted to The E Today by Sadhu Amrutvadandas. We thank swamiji for his research and analysis and hope to see the awareness about life and peace being spread ahead to larger mass of our citizens.