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Pramukh Swami Maharaj : Leading By Example

A few years back in Mumbai, a globally reputed personality development company conducted a novel experiment during one of its sessions. The trainer instructed all the students present there to go outside the classroom and get something for free either from a shop or a person. All these students belonged to affluent families and were well qualified. They were also professionally well placed, either with high paying jobs or running their own businesses. Besides that, they themselves used to periodically give donations generously. All of them had never asked anything for free from anyone. This task was indeed very embarrassing for them. They were clueless about what to do. But this was an integral part of their training. The trainer believed that if you ask for something sincerely and with a true spirit, you will indeed get it. Abandoning negativity and adopting a positive attitude always proves beneficial. In particular, he stressed that asking does not make anyone a beggar or a mendicant. All the students now got to work by going to different places and tried putting the trainer's lesson into practice in their own way. After some time when they regrouped, each of them had brought something big or small according to their individual capabilities. A young man had brought two pairs of shoes, which were also quite expensive. The trainer was pleased with his obedience and communication skills, for which, he was even felicitated in the class. Later that boy also became a group leader in that trading center. After getting trained, he started his own business and made great progress. Today he runs a prosperous business and is doing very well in Mumbai earning lakhs of rupees.

Also, at this point we can make an important observation that the trainer or leader tries to break down the barriers of bashfulness to make his team members fearless and confident. If one understands this simple fact, then one can rapidly develop one’s inner strength. It is these very small steps that make a huge impact on one’s overall progress.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj was an able and a fearless leader. He would motivate individuals to push beyond their limits and help them progress. In the year 1974. Swamiji in the course of his untiring spiritual sojourn arrived at Bamangam village in Gujarat. People in the village were gearing up to celebrate Makarsankranti.

According to Sanatan Hinduism, this is also known as the festival of charity, and more popularly known as Jholi Parva. Swamiji and the accompanying saints and devotees got ready in the morning as per schedule. At that time Narayan Bhagat (now P. Viveksagar Swami) was also present there. Swamiji told him, 'Narayan Bhagat! You too, come to ask Jholi with us. Today, we will go around the entire village.' Narayan Bhagat hailed from a very affluent family. There was never any shortage of things in his house. So, he had never asked anyone for anything in his life. Hence, he was a little shy and even hesitant about going for Jholi. So, on hearing Swamiji’s words, he tried avoiding it by saying, 'Swamiji! I will sit here in the assembly and give discourse to all the Haribhaktas. You can take Ghanshyam Swami with you.' Swamiji was not one to give up easily and that too, when he wanted to impart an important practical lesson to Narayan Bhagat. So, he insisted, 'No. Ghanshyam Swami will stay here in the assembly for giving the discourse, you come along with me to ask for jholi.'

So, Narayan Bhagat went along with Swamiji from one street to another going house to house. Swamiji would inform about his arrival with a sweet and melodious 'Narayan Hare Satchidananda Prabhu!' and Narayan Bhagat would follow suit in accompaniment. Even the accompanying Haribhakts and volunteers would repeat in unison. With great love and devotion, the villagers gave generous donations to Swamiji.

Even though the roads in the village were uneven and full of pot holes, Swamiji ignored all these difficulties and walked around the whole village for hours at length. The whole village became sanctified and blessed. Swamiji arrived at his place of residence after hours of hard work. But he was relaxed with a sweet smile on his face that was visibly evident. And the secret behind that amile was that as a well-meaning leader, he trained Narayan Bhagat for the jholi. Since that day, Viveksagar Swami never ever felt embarrassed to ask for spiritual alms. Today he travels all over the world and serves God tirelessly by giving spiritual discourses. By always accompanying Swamiji, he has shaped his life as per Swamiji’s teachings and has become an excellent role model for all. Many such practical lessons can easily be observed and learnt from Swamiji's life.

Through different means and methods, the best leader educates everyone by removing the individual’s mental blocks and replacing in its place a positive outlook towards life.

Thanks Giving

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.

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