I was reading on RamDass.org about the teachings of Lama Tsongkapa and his teachings on emptiness- which is a very difficult concept for us in the West. At that moment I was reminded of a great saint from India whose name was Swami Ramdas. He was an extraordinary devotee of the Bhakti tradition. When we were first in India with Maharaji we found the Swami’s books which were very biographical. He would travel around India on constant pilgrimage- he honored every human every animal and every inanimate object. And he was so accomplished that he had gotten beyond judgment or choice- the taste of salt or sugar was the same to him.
One day after boarding a very crowded train in the lowest class of travel in India- he found a small space on a luggage rack where he could sleep for the night. As was his custom Swami thanked the God Ram for providing him a place to rest. In the middle of the night a passenger boarded the train and when he came to the compartment where Swami was resting on that luggage rack he dragged Swami out of his spot and threw him on the floor. No different than before Swami cried out to Lord Ram and thanked him for providing an opportunity for humility.
It occurs to me that with that kind of surrender Swami Ram Das must have been completely empty of being cought in any kind of duality. He was beyond choice, beyond any opposites. In that way I feel he is really an example of the Buddhist notion of Shunyata or Emptiness. I thought to myself, this very pure Bhakti yogi is actually a Bodhisattva. Swami Ramdas’ example is a living guide to the truth of emptiness and a wonderful expression of the potential we humans have to be free.
~Raghu Markus, March 2015