Stories by Sri Chinmoy's students and friends
Sevananda Padilla • San Juan, Puerto Rico

Why can't I have my long hair and beard?


On the 2nd day of the first time I saw Guru, Guru was talking to us about the importance of being clean and taking a proper shower, for the girls to have long hair and the boys to have short hair and shaved faces. He explained to us that the importance of having the clean-shaven face is that it’s easier to see the light of the soul being expressed through our face. When the soul is bringing its light into us, it is through the face and through our eyes that it shines most.

I wasn’t totally convinced with what Guru had said and I wanted to show him how spiritual I was. I raised my hand to ask him a question and he called on me immediately. Before I opened my mouth, I noticed that Guru was looking at me in a peculiar way. His eyes shifted to the side and there was a smile on his face.

I asked him, “If Christ had long hair and a beard, why can’t I have my long hair and beard?”

Guru remained quiet for a few moments, again with his eyes shifting to the side. The expression on his face was not something I had seen previously. It was totally new to me. His reply was, “If Christ the Saviour comes to me with his long hair and beard, I run to him and kiss the dust of his feet. But when I see you coming with your long hair and beard, I run as far away from you as I can.”

These moments created the base or foundation of my relationship with Guru. As he was making this joke and making fun of me, there was a different element in the love he was giving me. This was the love of a friend—that he could joke and say anything he wanted to say to me. I loved it. I felt so privileged. For the rest of my life, that is exactly what Guru did to me. He made fun of me at every opportunity. It was so wonderful. It was so beautiful!

God tells me
That my sense of humour
Helps Him immensely.

Sri Chinmoy 1

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