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When Swamis Attack…

Swami Padma had a problem. All of the aspirants were meditating, deep in concentration. There was barely a sound. Just somebody’s nose. Sniffing, sniffing, sniffing. My nose. Swami threw the Kleenex box down in front of me, breaking the silence, berating me for sniffing in front of everyone. What was wrong with me? Well, about this time of year I get heavy nasal drainage and blowing my nose is a full time job. I’ve also been regulating my diet more carefully — eating plain things, &c. — and the detoxification probably contributes to my sniffles.

My sniffles got worse and worse — for days, I needed to blow my nose during chanting, during Bhagavad Gita class, while eating. I was banned from the meditation room during meditation. Swami Padma would have none of my explanations. He insisted this was not an allergy — it was something else, something more sinister — a challenge to his authority. be continued…


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