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"All the Catholic saints are dead. I can't believe you've come all the way to Baton Rouge to see a saint who's alive." Her Louisiana accent carried the words like a gentle breeze. My hostess looked upward, then sideways as she reached theological resolution. "I guess that's the difference between Hinduism and Catholicism," she said.I had never met Swamiji. A woman in a purple sari at a gathering for Ammachi, another great Hindu saint, had introduced me to him through a photograph. Swamiji's dark piercing eyes, framed by a red turban, stared out at me; he had jet-black hair and a full beard. The guru's intensity and power captured my attention. His lips were full, his face youthful and radiant. I took the picture from her and continued staring at him. Swamiji's intent look had inspired me to make the eight-hour drive from Austin to meet him. I knew nothing about him except that he lived in India and was making a visit to Baton Rouge. But I felt drawn to him. At this time in my life I was ready for a saint, and especially now, after a chaotic siege with a broken foot, which had gone undiagnosed for a month. The doctor had warned me that I needed surgery, but then might never walk again if I had it. Insurance companies and my employer balked. I felt enraged and vulnerable. After agonizing too long, I finally called the operating room and said I would not show up for the operation scheduled the next morning. In recompense for my troubles, I was led not to one, but two Indian saints on the same day: Swamiji in Louisiana in the morning and Karunamayi in Texas in the evening. I had seen the lovely saint Karunamayi before. Between the full moon ceremonies honoring the unbroken feet of each of these two great gurus lay a mere seven-hour drive. Darshan is an audience with and blessing of a holy person. The delicious, brief taste of enlightenment experienced in the presence of a saint-receiving darshan as it is called-was becoming familiar to me, and I pursued it with relish. I found it inspired my perseverance on the spiritual path. The outwardly non-descript Indian temple in Baton Rouge was smack in the middle of an industrial complex off the main road. Except for the sea of shoes in front, the single storey temple was undistinguishable from the surrounding pale brick buildings. As I approached the entrance I saw bright-colored, swirling chalk designs on the sidewalk. The details of the design, created in honor of Swamiji, left no lasting image, but the feeling was unmistakably Indian. Its intricate swirls and spirals were reminiscent of the long journey back to the Self in the quest for enlightenment. The colored dust residue, which would vanish with the next rain, bespoke the transience of the world and the fleeting chance to enjoy the blessing of Swamiji's rare visit from India.