One phrase the Sadhu made in comment to another Sadhu who was undertaking harsh ascetic practice was;
“Surely we shall find peace not by eliminating desire, but by finding its
fulfillment and satisfaction in the One who created it.”
This is a concept echoed in Eldredge’s books as well. That the deep, unshakable desire that has been placed in our heart is not to be mortified, but sanctified,
purified, sought after in God through faith. For it is the seed of our destiny, implanted in our souls as God himself knit us together in our mothers womb.
And in a way, it is a fitting paraphrase of Irenaeus, “Man fully alive is the Glory of God.” The third paragraph of the linked text discusses this in more depth, courtesy of Taize.
So many, from different cultures, backgrounds, and times, have voiced this same truth.
Paul was set apart from the womb, and designed by God to be a zealous, unstoppable evangelizing force in this world. Until he met Christ, he fulfilled his design by “being extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.” By this he meant persecuting and murdering the followers of Christ. After his Damascus Road experience, he turned and employed all that he had been created to be, that zealous and single-minded nature, in the spreading of the Gospel.
And became the great Apostle to the Gentiles. Without Paul being true to the desire God had planted within him, society as we know it today would not exist!
Wisdom of the Sadhu sketches out the journey of a young man marked by the call of God. Upon examination, it’s certainly evident from his life that Christ called him, came to him, and led him on his journeys.
Whatever else may be said of him, inferences about his doctrines, I can’t judge. But his life is a bright light along the Way.