Airport Meditations

Aspiration-Ground is a very sacred place, but, when you were with Guru, the most unlikely of surroundings could be transformed by his presence. On quite a few occasions, I saw or met Guru at airport lounges. Guru did so much travelling that he was often passing through airports. When we travel, most of us are not at our best after a long flight. We’re more likely to be a little tired, even grumpy. But, for Guru, everything seemed to be an opportunity to give of himself.

As a new disciple, I remember Guru arrived in an English airport and started giving out prasad to the disciples who had come to see him. It was quite a surreal experience; this dour airport lounge temporarily transformed by Guru joyfully giving out prasad. Somehow, at least pre-2001, security didn’t seem to mind this kind of unusual event. One vivid experience is that on one occasion, a worker at the airport started to come over to see what was going on, but, after a while happily left, smiling after receiving prasad from this unknown Indian gentleman in a tracksuit. 

By chance, I was once flying from the same airport lounge as Guru. Usually when seeing Guru, it was at a function or event with hundreds of other people. On these occasions, it felt like Guru was working, receiving and giving – receiving problems and hopes, giving unconditionally. At the airport, it almost felt as if Guru was protected from that, he didn’t have the immediate outer presence of so many people with all their expectations. It struck me, how much a spiritual Master was offering when he appeared in person before his disciples.  

Guru gave an unparalleled access to both the public (through his peace concerts attended by up to 19,000 people), and to his disciples, who saw him on many occasions. When Sri Chinmoy was in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, his own Guru, Sri Aurobindo, mainly lived in seclusion and only appeared on four occasions through the year. But, Guru continuously made himself available.