A Story About Venu by Papaha


            Venu had a health food store in San Francisco that primarily sold vitamins and supplements. During one of Guru's visits to the SF Centre he went to Venu's store looked around and blessed everyone who came in and bought something. I have a priceless photo of Guru and Venu at the counter with myself and others stretching our necks to peak through the window and see what was going on.

            At one point Guru took a stack of the business cards and drew birds on the back of them. He then proceeded to place them out very orderly on a table in front of him. Once finished he proclaimed that they were for sale and watched each person with utmost interest as they walked up and chose a particular card. It was as if Guru had blessed each card with a unique energy and observed which one was picked up and by who. I remember quite distinctly choosing a bird spontaneously without using any reasoning and Guru giving me a curious smile as I looked up and walked away. I kept that card in my wallet for many, many years!

            Venu very compassionately allowed me to be in his esteemed singing group for a short while and during one celebrations Guru asked each group to learn and perform a collection of his new songs in one day. Oh boy, it took me months of disciplined practice to learn the songs for celebrations and we now had to learn just as many in one day! Venu showered a tremendous amount of patience upon those of us that were struggling to remember all the beautiful Bengali verses. After all the groups had performed Guru exclaimed that some of the singers had made up new words. That couldn't have been more true on my part!

            Venu was a indeed an inspiring spiritual brother and friend that was both an exemplary singer who sang Guru's songs for hours each day and athlete who aspired through sports from skateboarding to biathlons his entire life.