In the mid-eighties, I came across a saint known as Swami Shyam in Kanpur. He had come there to stay with a close friend of mine, who was his disciple. I was quite influenced by his discourse and developed a liking for him. Swami Shyam lived in the Kullu town of Himachal Pradesh, where he had a well established ashram. Most of his disciples were from the western countries and belonged to the upper class of the society. Many of them were scientists of great repute.
After meeting him, I also developed a wish to visit his ashram. This opportunity came to me in November 1993, when I was appointed as an election observer for the Himachal Assembly election. At that time, I was posted in Delhi and the district allotted to me was Manali, which was adjacent to Kullu. For reaching there, I had to first fly to Kullu and then travel by road. I had to visit the district of my duty three times and twice I visited Swami Shyam’s ashram at Kullu. Fortunately, Swamiji was at his ashram at that time and so I could interact with him closely. Once I had an enlightening interaction with his disciples also, which was an honour for me, as Swamiji had desired me to address them.
During my second visit to the ashram, I had a personal interaction with Swamiji. At that time, the Kabir Peace Mission, which had been founded only three years back, was in its formative stage and I was crystallising my agenda to serve the society through this mission. Keeping this in mind, I put a question to Swamiji as to how one could best serve the society. To this, Swamiji responded in a very pragmatic manner and gave me a message, which I carry till today. I am sharing the same here. Swamiji said that in true spiritual sense, it is ignorance to think of serving others. All our good pursuits are eventually to help others only. Since each one of us is a part of the cosmic consciousness, all our actions have an effect on it. When we transmit positive energy to this universal consciousness, everyone gets benefited including ourselves. Same is the case when we transmit negative energy to it. So the best way to serve others is to raise our own consciousness level, so that the level of universal consciousness also goes up. This in the process serves all. This raising of consciousness can be done both at the physical and the mental level. He also said that the service at the mental level is superior to the physical level service. Adding further, the help can be even better at the spiritual level. According to him, there are many persons who serve the society much better without being known or even seen. Since then, I have been trying to follow his words of wisdom to help in raising the level of universal consciousness.