Loving and Divine Soul,

Let the choicest blessings of God and the masters be upon all of you. I take this opportunity to pray for you and send my best wishes as we celebrate the birth anniversary of our beloved Shri Gurudev. Shri Gurudev's birthday, according to the lunar calendar, falls on the full moon day in the month of May (Vaishakha), which is also the birthday of Buddha. But for easy remembrance we celebrate it on 27 May every year.

When we celebrate the birthdays of great personalities, it is quite natural to remember their lives and teachings, their values and ideals, so we can reflect upon the extent that our own lives follow their advice. It was a great privilege for me to spend a good part of my life with Gurudev. Out of his kindness and compassion he would narrate stories from his life, which I have narrated in his biography as well as in other discussions. I would like to narrate one story from his childhood.

Gurudev's eldest sister's son was of his age, and he stayed with him during his studies. He was not very good in academics, and he was jealous of his uncle. Once, he lost his temper and did not hesitate to hurt Gurudev with a knife. Gurudev was patient and forgiving. He neither made any cry, nor told anyone about the incident. His foot was bleeding. The nephew was scared and apprehensive about reproach or reprimand. Regarding Gurudev's kindness and forgiveness, as if nothing has happened, his nature transformed. This event provides a hint of Gurudev's nature since early childhood.

Gurudev often said that a spiritual seeker should cultivate the habit of forgiving others. A Sanskrit expression states, kshama rupam tapashvinam: "Forgiveness is the inner tenet for seekers of Truth." Tapas is the first aspect of Kriya Yoga as described by Sage Patanjali. We should learn to live a life of sincerity, and we should cultivate the art of forgiveness in daily life. It is easy to punish, but difficult to forgive. Ordinarily, we speak of justice and want others to be punished. If we do not have the ability or strength to punish others, we accept help from others. But where love and kindness fill the heart, there is a good element of forgiveness; we are not bothered with the desire to retaliate.

We are all following the path of spiritual life. We should learn the art of forbearance and forgiveness from the lives of the masters. Great masters have emphasized that we must bear insult and injury. Patience and perseverance can help us overcome a mountain of difficulties.

On the occasion of the auspicious birthday of our beloved Gurudev, let us reflect upon this incident in his life and how he lovingly dealt with his nephew without a big commotion. We should love and serve, learn to forgive, and strive to dissolve past impressions a little bit from our minds.

On the occasion of this special day, I am praying to God and Shri Gurudev to bless each one of us with more strength and stability in our lives and steadiness in our practice. Again, I offer my love and best wishes to all of you.

With Love,

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