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Icon Show: Interviews

Shyam Sukh

Shyam Sukh

Photo by Raj Kamal


Shyam Sukh, first came to Kullu in 1981 for one day. His twin brother had been in Nepal, and he was visiting him while on vacation. They had met some people from the Ashram and both decided that they wanted to introduce themselves. Rick had a lifelong interest in philosophy and mysticism. A student at Berkeley during the 60s, Rick studied law, then later was drafted and served in the navy during the Vietnam War. After the war Rick had a private law practice for over ten years. When he returned from India the first time, he made some big changes in his life. Rick was hired on with the United Nations and for nine years gave support services to Palestine refugees in the Gaza strip. This was Rick's ninth trip to Kullu and intends to return soon for a longer period of time.

Written by Gisele Beaupre

I have left the original text as is. 


Gisele: So Shyam Sukh you'll be here until mid November, then you'll be going back to the States? Why do you keep coming back?

Shyam Sukh: It is just clear to me that there is nothing more important that I can do or want to do than be here. If I have to work later on it will sort itself out.

Gisele: What were your initial impressions during your first meeting with Swamiji?

Shyam Sukh: I don't remember after fifteen years exactly what he said in Satsang, (meeting to discuss truth) but I remember sitting with him for about fifteen minutes. I realized that he was the only person that I had met in my life that knew what was true. He knew the truth.

Gisele: How did you know that?

Shyam Sukh: I sensed it. The only thing that was unclear to me was the behavior of the people who were sitting in satsang around me. There was a lot of laughing. Which I thought was inappropriate because I thought the subject was more serious and it surprised me that Swamiji would join in their laughter as if he thought it was as funny as they did, and I really wondered why some of the people were here. It was a bit of a problem at first, but over time not only did I come to understand what they were laughing about - Swamiji's subtlety and irony and great sense of humour - but not to care about it, and just to remember that the ashram was such a great place.

Gisele: He is very witty.

Shyam Sukh: Yes, and obviously the one who enjoys his humour the most is he himself, which is unusual. It makes sense that the one who is the most capable of laughing should laugh at the one who is the funniest, and I think everyone here would accept that there is no one who is funnier than Shyam. When he says something that is subtle in a language that is not his own, it makes it even more subtle, and if it is funny, it is more funny.

I must say that I understand much more now that I have been here eight months, just how dedicated everyone here is! When you are here all the time with people who have been here twenty years, your admiration of them, no matter how much you have learnt, it just grows and grows. I am amazed at these people who have persevered. It is remarkable.

Transcribed by Gisele Beaupre

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