At that point Swami eased the intensity of the moment and asked his visitors to enter. “Come and sit with Jaffna’s old beggar.” The young Hansen knew the protocol and once Swami was seated moved forward to prostrate. But Swami indicated he should not, and invited him to sit on a nearby mat that had been laid down for this unusual visitor.
Yogaswami was in a jolly mood that night, smiling and laughing as people came before him. It felt like a special holiday. There were large bunches of grapes on a tray in front of him. He called to a devotee and asked him to take them and make some juice for the three visitors.
While awaiting the refreshments, Yogaswami asked his guest if he had read Patanjali’s Yoga Aphorisms. In fact, he got the book down from his shelf, commenting that it was the only book he kept. The young man said yes, he had read the book. In fact, it was the only book he had really studied during his early training. He had read and practiced it for years.
Yogaswami tossed a few penetrating questions about the pithy yoga classic. Hansen answered quickly and clearly. Recounting this experience later, he said that the answers came immediately, not as an intellectual memory, but from within.
Then Yogaswami asked about the difference between advaita and dvaita . The young adept answered that both are true, depending on one’s perspective. Yogaswami smiled, obviously enjoying the way in which the disciple had grasped that it is not one and not two. Swami was satisfied.
Their philosophical repartee lasted about twenty minutes. Finally the grape juice arrived and Yogaswami offered it to his guests. That ended all discussion for the evening. Swami told them to begin their trip home, as it was a long way. Taking Swami’s leave, they walked to the waiting bullock cart.