I first noticed KVS in a queue outside the dining hall in Ramana Ashram at Arunachala. I was standing some distance behind him and it was his voice that initially caught my attention. It was a clear and distinctive Indian voice, speaking well enunciated and impeccable English. When I looked up to take note of the speaker I was surprised to see a small, fragile man in a long white dhoti and shirt, white hair flying out in all directions and a flowing, wispy beard, in much the same unconstrained condition.
As he spoke he bobbed his head up and down and made extravagant gestures with his hands augmenting thereby the meaning he was trying to convey.
'The Joy of Anonymity' is a phrase that very aptly depicts this humble and most unassuming man.
Right there and then, I decided I would have to get to know him better. The name KVS is an abbreviation for a much longer Tamil name ending in Subramaniam, however, that title is seldom used and the shorter version is the one by which he is addressed and known to all. KVS has a brilliant mind and a good understanding and command of close to thirteen different languages. He has extensive reading experience, an almost photographic memory and a vast life experience, much of which has been very challenging.
However it is not my intention to focus on the past of KVS, or even on his many and varied accomplishments. Of what importance are the details of a life? To be sure he has 'his story.' Yet it is not the story that is of interest here so much as his day to day, natural abidance with what is real. His 'living presence,' which flows in such an easy and unpretentious way might be overlooked, or even passed off as somewhat eccentric.
Right in our midst and often quite unnoticed, move those who have quietly and without fuss or fanfare discovered their inner wealth and the joy that spontaneously flows from dipping into the perennial spring of peace. They do not need to 'do' anything to benefit others. Their very presence spreads a fragrance throughout the surrounding atmosphere which spontaneously uplifts and enlivens.
It is inspiring to reflect upon the fact that we can rub shoulders, so to speak and move so closely with those who live and interact with the world and yet all the while have their existence from the infinite expanse of ego-less-ness. Those who are quietly demonstrating, in a completely un-contrived and natural way, the biblical axiom ‘to be in the world, but not of the world.’
Continue Reading in Masters, Mice and Men
Volume 3 of Shades of Awareness