The late John
Hislop writes in his book, "Seeking Divinity", page 92:
If you have sent letters to
Swami, there might be some doubt in your mind as to whether or not
Swami reads all those letters. I can tell you that no matter how
tall the stack of letters, Swami reads every single one.
He does not sleep, because how can total awareness ever become
unaware? He rests in his room, but He does not sleep. He draws the
blinds so that the light does not attract people. If people
thought He was awake, they would come out of their places, sit in
front of Swami's house, and look up at his window. So He draws the
shades quite tightly and then He reads all His mail. In the
morning, the trusted boys take these letters down and burn every
one of them. Nobody sees the letters except Swami. tTey are not
kept, they are burned.
Sometimes there would be too many letters to read, so He would
bring them down in the morning. This particular day, I was sitting
on the bench, and Swami came in. Instead of sitting on the chair
as He usually does to open His letters, He sat on the floor.
When Swami looks at His mail, He usually sits in the chair. By the
time He finishes, the floor is covered with scraps of torn paper.
He tears open the envelope and pulls out the letter. On this
occasion, since Swami was sitting on the floor and I was sitting
on the bench at a higher level, I immediately got off the bench
and sat on the floor, too. Swami said, "Hislop,why did you do
that? Why are you sitting on the floor?" So I said, "Swami, a
devotee is never supposed to sit at a higher level than the guru".
Swami said, "Nonsense, Hislop, sit on the bench." So I sat on the
He started to open letters. He looked at me, and said, "Hislop, I
know what you are thinking. You are thinking that I do not really
read these letters." Swami is peculiar in the way He "reads"
letters. He would open one letter, touch it, fold it in half, look
at it, and throw it away. The next one, He would just touch, and
He would not even open it. Then He would come to one, pull out the
entire letter, and spend two or three minutes reading the whole
thing very carefully.
Why one like that and not the others, I have no idea. But at any
rate, He said, "I know Hislop. You think that I am not reading
those letters". He said, "I'll show you. You come over here and
sit beside Me." So I did. He took half a dozen letters and said,
"Now this letter is from a certain place and it has a certain date
on it and it starts out in this particular way." He would say this
about the letter before it was opened. Then He would tear open the
letter, hand it to me, I would look at it and see that what He
said was exactly true. This was done about half a dozen times.