This is a story about Gandhiji's presence as told to me by my father’s friend. Apparently a well-known author of Allahabad used to write all sorts of stories in local newspapers about Gandhiji’s sex experiments. Gandhiji felt that probably the author had not understood these experiments and so he informed my father’s friend that he would be happy to meet the author and clear his misunderstandings. A word was therefore sent to the author about the meeting and a 30-minute meeting was set up in Delhi. The author prepared a four page detailed questionnaire about Gandhiji’s sex experiments and came to see him. Gandhiji enquired about the well being of author and his family and suggested that he being such a good author should write on Raja Harishchandra and other great Hindu mythological figures! Half an hour’s time of interview got over in such small talk. After my father’s friend and the author came out of the meeting, the friend asked him why he did not ask those questions he had so carefully prepared to which the author replied that he just could not bring himself to ask them in Gandhi’s presence!
Similar is the story of Einstein’s presence. In the U.S. University system people do not stand up when a famous professor or a Nobel Laureate comes into the classroom. However anytime Einstein attended a seminar or a lecture the whole audience stood up in pin drop silence – a rarity on Princeton University Campus. People just felt his presence and felt a reverence to him.
Presence or aura is a radiation of thought that a human being emits and is felt by everybody who encounters that person. The presence could either be evil, spiritual or simply pleasant and is an outcome of a very powerful mind. It cannot be transmitted by any known technological means like video, internet etc. The day we will be able to project or transmit the "presence" to large distances through our technology will be the day when man-machine interface will vanish.
However in order to feel the presence one’s mind should also be sensitive to the feelings. A person devoid of any sensitivity cannot feel a presence. Mind is both a receiver and broadcaster of strong thoughts and it is these thoughts that allow it to feel a presence.
Nevertheless a sensitive mind is sometimes a curse because it can get distracted easily by any strong thought that it perceives. It requires a great will power to ward off influence from a powerful mind.
We also sometimes hype ourselves into a state of awe in presence of a well-known personality and do not see the flaws in that person. This hype is however sensed by these well-known personalities and they get an added boost to their energy levels. Many orators and public figures have commented on this.
However a genuine feeling of warmth, love, kindness and humility can only be felt when in presence of a great soul. Thus if all of us follow our basic gut feelings and come in contact with such souls then we should be thankful for our luck. Such people’s friendship should be cultivated and cherished. I also think this is a good way to judge a person's greatness and if we follow this prescription then the world will be a better place to live.
It is not necessary that only so called "god men" or well-known figures have a presence. Quite a number of times one can find such a presence in ordinary people. In fact sometimes well-known persons are very troubled people. Their stakes in power, position or money are very high and higher the stakes are, higher is their insecurity.
One can create a "presence" by developing a calm mind. Calmness of mind comes from internal security, which is an outcome of spirituality. A person who is in peace with himself/ herself can radiate a tremendous calmness. This radiation of thought helps create calmness in most people who come in contact with such souls and was the basis of our Mahatma Gandhi story.