I deeply value authenticity and compassion as the two basic attributes of an evolving being. I have observed and experienced these two essential qualities in many people whom I love, admire and emulate. In my life Mahatma Gandhi and Dalai Lama have been such highly evolved human beings.
I was blessed to experience the presence of both of them. Both had gone through very difficult times in their lives which made them internally strong and grow spiritually. Their authenticity was expressed in what they said and how they lived.
I was four years old. My dad used to take us to attend evening prayers held on the bank of the river Sabarmati. I was too little to understand what Gandhiji said but I will never forget his Presence exuberating his compassion, total presence and effortless smile. I felt deeply connected with him though we were age wise widely different.
When Dalai Lama migrated to India from Tibet I felt very excited and happy to have his presence in Dharamashala. When I saw him at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago I felt his inspiring and uplifting presence and joyful energy. When I listened to him I felt the depth of his wisdom and the heart-felt compassion.
Both have taught me how to go through hardships, struggles and the inevitable pain without breaking down and how to cultivate authenticity and compassion, how to serve and live a fulfilling life.
I value the once-a-week satsanga, the gathering, we have without seeing our faces and without hearing a word. I feel connected without sight and sound.