"Communication by Me

                    With All Friends and Devotees                    

                                         Will Be Through the Internet"                            

                                                – H.  H.   S r i   S w a m i   C h i d a n a n d a

 

Thursday, October 8, 1998

Radiant Immortal Atman!

Dear Friends,

Since the discontinuation of my monthly letter under the caption "President Swamiji writes" and TO 'THE DIVINE LIFE' READERS AND THE D.L.S. MEMBERS, numerous requests have come from many Divine Life members and readers of the journal expressing their regret at not receiving this regular monthly communication through the pages of the Divine Life Society's official monthly journal.

In addition, letters have been received and also personal requests to me when encountering our members and devotees during my tour both in India and outside India to resume the monthly letter.

On my part I have told them my difficulty with regard to this matter, explaining to them that resuming the letter is not possible because of my having made a public declaration to this effect vide the concluding sentence in my final farewell monthly letter that appeared in this year's April 1998 issue on its page 23. When I thus made my situation clear explaining my inability to utilise the space in the pages of the Society's official journal for the above mentioned reasons, two devotees came forward with an earnest suggestion that they would most readily place the facility of the Internet on which they have their Web Site at my disposal.


"I feel . . . that the benedictions
of Gurudev are upon this step
I am taking"


These two devotees, both from continental North America are Mr. Pannir (full name Pannirselvam) a citizen of Malaysia, now studying in USA and Mr. Howard Halpern of Toronto, Canada who mostly keeps travelling now-a-days. Accepting their spontaneous offer, it has been decided that communication by me with all friends and devotees will be through the Internet in future.

I am writing these words on Thursday, the 8th
of October. This is a happy coincidence. The 8th is the monthly birthdate of Holy Master Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji. Hence, though the actual birthday anniversary is 8th September and therefore the greatest importance is given to this day every year; nevertheless the 8th day of the remaining 11 months also share this importance though in lesser measure. Secondly, of the seven days of the week the Thursday is regarded as an important day as it is specially dedicated for the honouring of the Spiritual Preceptor. In Sanskrit language it is referred to as the Guru's day. I am happy that my very first letter for the Internet is being written on such an auspicious date (8th) and important day (Thursday) I feel this to be an indication that the benedictions of Gurudev are upon this step I am taking.


"Your kindness, cheerfulness, friendliness and sincere
readiness to serve"


The bright and light filled Diwali or the Annual Festival of Lights in India occurs on the 19th/20th of this month namely, October this year. I extend to everyone of you my very best greetings and special goodwishes for a joyful and happy Diwali. May your life be full of brightness within and without. Upon that day millions of bright lamps will be lit all over India right from the Himalayan north down to the very tip of India in the extreme south. Every village, town, city will be so lit up that night will look like day.

In this auspicious connection I have a request to one and all who read these lines. When the world outside is thus brightened with the light of countless lamps, please consider if you can similarly brighten the inner world of people's hearts and minds wherein there may perhaps prevail some darkness of one sort or other. It may be the darkness of sadness or of discouragement or despair due to failure. It may be darkness of some negative mood brought about by some offense or injury whether real or imagined. But, so far as the person concerned it will indeed be very real to her or him.

You can be to the lives of such less fortunate of your brethren, a light. You can be a living light not lit by any human hands, lit by God himself and shining with the brightness of his own radiance. You know very well that the one universal common factor accepted, affirmed and declared by almost all the living religions of the world is the truth and the fact of the Indwelling Presence of God in each and everyone of the creatures, great and small, brought into existence by Him.

It is a well known concept that our body is the moving temple of the living God within. This is what you are. You have within you the potential to shine with the dazzling effulgence of the Sun. Shine therefore with this radiance which you are. Live and move in this world as a centre of effulgence bringing in light wherever you are. Brighten the lives of others by your kindness, cheerfulness, friendliness and sincere readiness to serve and help. Be a blessing. Be even as the gentle Saint Francis of Assisi expressed in the artless heart language of his Simple Prayer.

 

 

More than ever before in human history this positive process of spreading goodwill, love and friendliness has become imperative and urgent too. Because, today when the 20th century is about to conclude soon to welcome the advent of the 21st century, we find ourselves in a world split into numerous warring camps and rent with enmity, hostility, hatred and violent destructive behaviour on the part of individuals as well as groups of persons in clash and conflict with others of opposite views.


"The only unifying . . . force that can bring together mankind
in the fraternal bond of
spiritual oneness"


Matters have come to such a head that killing is glorified and raised to the status of a religious duty that should be undertaken as a pious act on the part of a true believer and a faithful follower of "RELIGION". The fantastic interpretations given to scriptures and religious texts take one's breath away and leave the layman aghast.

I have always thought of religion as the only unifying and binding force that can bring together mankind in the fraternal bond of spiritual oneness. Because, amidst all the outward diversities and apparent differences that exist on the surface, deep within each and everyone of us and all of us, there abides one identical principle that forms our innermost core-reality. This is the same in all beings. For this reason spirituality which is the inner divine dimension of Religion in the sense of theology, dogma and ritual becomes an enduring foundation of universal brotherhood and human solidarity.

It is upon this foundation that we have to raise the edifice of a New Humanity for the 20th century. We have all to work for this. All our shared work and united efforts should be positive, constructive, creative and above all unifying. As a result there must emerge a Global Human Family with planet earth as its home.


"May this then be our
priority task"


May this then be our priority task as we go about attending to other tasks as well. It is this priority task which will make other tasks worthwhile and meaningful. Come, come and play your active part in this universal human mission. Exercise the blessed privilege of being an individual member of our Human Family. May your being and doing be a blessing upon the contemporary scene.

Blessed Atman, I am glad that by the will of God I have been able to have a continuous and almost uninterrupted stay in the Ashram from the 21st of September up to the 26th of October.

This was a great blessing because from its very commencement this period included the 9 days annual worship of Divine Mother namely, the sacred navaratra Devi Puja. After the auspicious Vijaya Dasami day I had an intention of proceeding to Uttarkashi and then Gangotri to be present for the winter closing of Ganga Mata's Mandir, which is always the day after Diwali. But, I postponed my departure at the request of Swami Yajnavalkyanandaji (Pujya Sri B.G. Adhvaryoo) of Virnagar, Saurashtra Central Hospital and Sivananda Mission, who was to arrive at Gurudev's Sivananda Ashram on 12th of October.

However, after his arrival, my journey to hills was not merely postponed but was given up altogether. Revered Dr. Saheb who was in his 92nd year of age, decided to extend his stay right up to the 1st week of November and was keen to have some detailed personal and private discussions with me. Therefore, I too decided to stay put in the Ashram and continue here itself for another 10-12 days more right upto 26th October.


"I have many more things
to say"


Thus, I am writing this letter at this time with a view to conclude it before leaving for Kankhal, Hardwar on 27th Oct. for Worshipful Sree Sree Anandamayee MA's Ashram to be present during its annual week long spiritual discipline programme called SAMYAM SAPTAH MAHAVRAT that takes place this year from 28th Oct up to 3rd Nov. 1998. The letter is being concluded but truth to tell this letter is not yet complete. I have many more things to say. I shall tell them to you in my next letter. Until that time May God bless you and keep you.

Thanking Pannir (full name Pannirselvam) I conclude this letter with my reverential salutations to Holy Master Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji and my regards and love to all of you.

     Swami Chidananda

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