Swamiji: An Early Disciple, Brahmananda Dasa, Remembers His Guru by Rosen Steven J

Swamiji: An Early Disciple, Brahmananda Dasa, Remembers His Guru by Rosen Steven J

Author:Rosen, Steven J. [Rosen, Steven J.]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Torchlight Publishing
Published: 2014-12-11T16:00:00+00:00

Wading in an Ocean of Nectar

The next day, dressed in suit and tie, Brahmananda made his way up to the Macmillan skyscraper at 866 Third Avenue, just off 52nd Street. His expectations as large as the building itself, he was disappointed when he learned that the order for the album had come from an accountant, not an executive or a prominent person in the company.

“This really had nothing to do with the publishing company,” remembers Brahmananda, “it was just a simple worker who had some interest in mantras and meditation.”

So Brahmananda dutifully delivered the album and had pretty much given up hope that his teacher’s Gita would get published. Just then, in the midst of polite small talk with the accountant, a young executive happened to appear in their midst and was introduced to Brahmananda. “This is James O’Shea Wade, our Senior Editor.”

Brahmananda seized the moment.

“I am a disciple of a guru from India,” he said, trying to repeat Swamiji’s words verbatim. “He has translated the Bhagavad Gita. ”

“What?” Wade responded, incredulously. “We’ve just published a full line of spiritual books, and we were looking for a Bhagavad Gita to fill out the set.”

Brahmananda’s mouth dropped open. Though at a loss for words himself, he contemplated the potency of Swamiji’s: “They will publish it. Do not worry.”

Wade then broke the awkward silence.

“You bring in the manuscript tomorrow,” he offered, “and we’ll publish it, sight unseen.”

Brahmananda raced back down to the storefront and told Swamiji the news. In his own inimitable way, Swamiji was nonchalant, as though he knew what would transpire before it happened.

In a recent interview, James Wade confirms: “I vividly remember the stir caused in our rather sedate and boring office the day the Swami came to visit, accompanied by followers in orange robes.”Apparently, Swamiji himself brought the manuscript the day after Brahmananda’s brief visit to Macmillan.

Wade shared his thoughts about Swamiji’s spirituality:

I remember the Swami as being a very imposing and striking figure, with a powerful spiritual aura. His like had never before been seen in the Macmillan offices. Around that time we also published Alan Watts and John Bleibtreu, who was involved in the spiritual and communal movement called Arica. Macmillan had a tradition of publishing books about spirituality and religion at that time. I think that ended not long after I left to become the Editor-in-Chief of the now defunct World Publishing Company. But the Swami was special. That was clear.

Our office was a rather austere, coolly modern place as far as decor. I remember having some apprehension about how comfortable the Swami would feel in this rather alien setting, but it turned out that he was a man who was at peace and at home in any environment. I remember him as a rather tall man, physically imposing. But of course, he wasn’t, being rather small in stature and not at all daunting. Quiet, modest, and surrounded by a kind of stillness, a peacefulness that was, well, welcoming. I can’t think of a more precise word.


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