I met Swami Vishwananda in Mauritius in 1997. At that time I was repelled by the idea of following a guru because I had read some unfavourable experiences of people writing about such matters. When I tried to picture myself as the follower of a guru, I disliked the picture very much.
Swami Vishwananda taught me many things, among them, he showed me what it really means to follow a master, a true guru. At the time I was completely opposed to the word guru because I thought that it had a negative aspect and that society interprets the guru experience in a fanatical way. I thought that in our western society the guru was linked with danger, suspicion, manipulation and brainwashing. Thus I was very sceptical and I viewed Swami Vishwananda in a highly critical way. But in a most loving way, he guided me step-by-step until I realised a different understanding of a guru.
Swami Vishwananda lived at my home for some time and it was then that I opened my heart and began to appreciate the guru. He helped me develop a greater openness towards all religions. He clearly delineated for me that religion is based on love, tolerance, and the spirit of Christ. Since I have known Swamiji, my capacity to love and to forgive has expanded. I learned to forgive myself which, in turn, allows me to forgive others. I will always be grateful for Swami’s teaching and loving guidance. Swami Vishwananda has the greatest capacity to love I have witnessed in my life. He does not preach anything – HE IS! He is love, just love. His look, his way of acting, his presence, everything is continually reflecting love.
For ages I had been trying to find a remedy that would make it possible for my wife to walk again. He taught me to develop patience. He asked me to create a more positive attitude by watching my thoughts, words and actions. Swami said that by doing that, my long-cultivated negative thoughts and actions would not darken my life or the life of my closest relatives anymore. And he was right!
Swami helped me physically. Some years ago I had to have surgical treatment for an inguinal hernia, being fixed with plaques. During a recent doctor’s appointment I was told that I needed another operation. Swami Vishwananda told me to wait for three months before going ahead with the operation. Three months later I went to have an echography [test]. The doctor’s report indicated there was no need for a further operation. In addition, the doctor told me that there were no traces of the old treatment and not a trace of the plaques!
Paritosha – Pierre Bretaudeau – France