I always thought there was only one Dayanand Saraswati whom we had read about in history books. Then, I came across his name while I was doing my research about eminent people in the field of Vedanta. I was more surprised when our PM Modiji told me about him and asked me to meet him. Modiji’s office called him about my visit and told the PA of Dayanandji to permit me to spend some time with him. He has not been keeping well. I was thrilled to find out that he was in Rishikesh. I went to spend two days in his ashram in March 2013. I had more than 100 questions to ask him about various topics of Vedanta. He answered patiently and also opened my eyes about the many facets of Vedanta which I had not touched upon. Inspite of having such dedicate health, he used take regular lectures of the students for more than four hours a day and spend whole day attending visitors.
The ashram is located in sylvan surroundings on the banks of the Ganga, right across the Aurobindo Ashram where famous rock stars of yesteryears would often drop in. I spent the beautiful days enjoying the dips in the Ganga near the ashram. I also met Ammaji who is the writer of the courses offered by Dayanand Ashram. I also shared some moments with various sadhus in the ashram during Guru Purnima which surprisingly fell during my visit. I will never forget what I learned from him. It amazed me to know that many scholars from different parts of the world come to the ashram to learn Vedanta as short or long term courses. I was fortunate to witness the ceremony of Diksha to a few followers who had made up their minds to dedicate their lives to the pursuit of Vedanta and spread the message of our Scriptures.
I have heard his name so many times and read many articles written by him. Imagine my delight when I saw him at the World Hindu Congress at New Delhi in November 2014. I spoke to him in detail about my project and he offered to help me with information about what is happening in the USA in the field of Spirituality and Yoga. He is the creator of the theory of Frawley’s paradox about the Aryan invasion theory. He condemns the theory that the Aryans came from Africa or other parts to India and settled there. The current inhabitants of India are the Aryans and we never came from anywhere. Using logic and evidence, he exposes the existing Aryan theory as nothing but a figment of imagination of vested interests. How convincingly clear are his arguments!. I felt so happy to meet him and listen in person to his thoughts.
I had heard a lot about Morari Bapu and when I did meet him in person, I found him to be so simple and also a great orator. When I heard him live at Ebedor Club this July, I was really impressed with his simplicity, of accepting everything around him. I was ready with my questions when I went to see him. He was straight forward and answered them all. When I was chatting with the sponsors of the event, I found that no matter what kind of background they came from, Bapu has been successful in impressing and educating all segments of the society. The Katha rendition was mostly in Hindi and Gujarati but I found an American old lady enjoying every bit of it. Perhaps the language of the heart is universal and is not bound by any artificial boundaries. The best part of Bapu is, wherever he goes, he promotes grass root talent, people who come from very humble backgrounds. He promotes them in different countries and helps them connect with a larger audience. This time he had brought some of the best and famous poets, standup comedies, writers and other performers from Gujarat. Were it not for Bapu, these skilled individuals would not have been able to travel, meet people and impress the world.
Smritiji was actually injured when I went to her office in Delhi in November 2014 during my visit to World Hindu Congress. The event opened my eyes about what is happening in the hindu societies across the world. It was pleasant and sad feelings together. Anyway, she liked my ideas about the reforms in education system required and expected from the new government. I also proposed her to come to Kenya and be our guest.
I must say what woman can do men can’t after meeting Anandiben Patel. She is tough but very sensible and sensitive. It was a great challenge for her to take over from Modiji as everyone’s expectations were at its peak. When I met her she was really busy with so many people waiting outside her office. She spoke to us in great length, taking interest in my project, gave me necessary guidance and also accepted our invitation to come to Kenya. As camera was not allowed inside the office, I asked her if I could take a pic on the phone with her, she said, “quickly”. Cool. I just wanted that.
It was a great pleasure to meet Modiji personally in Gandhi Nagar during the parliament session in February 2013. After going through the formal process of his office, the staff outside was wondering why I want to meet Modiji. But when he spent more than 18 minutes with me explaining how my project of www.indianscriptures.com can be taken forward, their fingers were in their mouth. As expected from a great leader, Modiji helped me with all the possible queries I had. He connected me to the right people who had knowledge of our scriptures and could answer atleast few of my 500 questions I had prepared. He allowed me to take a photo with him and ensured that the photo is delivered. After I spent three weeks meeting those people I informed the CM office. He even spoke to me on the phone before I left India asking if I could manage to meet all those people and if I got the content.