Oh God, she quarrelled again
author: Matthijs Cornelissen
date: May 2019

In Delhi there is a branch of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. I stayed there for several years and my best friend at the time was an old man who was called Parashar ji by some, and Master ji by others. As a child he had suffered from smallpox and this had left him with only one eye and a severely pocked skin. As a result he did not look particularly charming or charismatic, but there was no-one who did not love him. One of the reasons people loved him so much was, that he had a seriously contagious happiness: it was near impossible to be in his vicinity and not feel happy.

One day I was sitting with him on a little bench outside his room, when we saw someone entering the main gate of the Ashram. The entry was quite far from where we were sitting, and I could just make out that it was an Indian lady in a sari, but there was no way I could see who it was. For Parasharji the distance was no issue however. He had barely any sight left in his one eye due to a long period of neglected diabetes, but he did not only see who it was, but exclaimed, "Oh, God, that is Kamla (not her real name), she has again quarrelled with her husband. You'll see, she will say, "xyz". When Kamla came close, for it was indeed her, the first words she spoke were the exact words Parasharji had predicted. The three of us chatted for a while, and when she left a little later, she was in excellent mood. For all I could see, she had completely forgotten about her husband's misdeeds.

The event stuck in my memory not because it was in any way special, because it wasn't. The reason was that we had gone just the day before to one of India's best hospitals, and the chief ophthalmologist there had remarked that he could not understand how Parasharji could see anything at all given the advanced state of degeneration of his retina. Otherwise, this afternoon was pretty ordinary. His recognition of people's thoughts and his effect on their state of mind was an effortless part of his day-to-day life. In fact, in all the years I spent with him, I met only one man, an elderly acquaintance of his, who sometimes managed to leave his room in the same grumpy mood as the one in which he entered. But he was the only one.

As far as I knew, Parasharji did not follow any special discipline or path of yoga except that he had an absolute, total faith in the divine Mother and he took everything, really everything that happened to him, as pure Grace.

The last few months of his life, he was in a constant state of ecstasy, and when I went to see him in the morning, he sometimes cried, saying, "there is no way I can share the bliss I feel when I'm alone at night."