Date: September 24th 2011

Om Namo Bhagavate Sivanandaya!
Om Namo Bhagavate Chidanandaya!


Today (September 24th) is the 95th birthday anniversary of revered Sri Swami Chidanandaji. A new book titled "Memories of Swami Chidananda" was recently released. The book contains close to 200 accounts by devotees on their experiences with Sri Swamiji. I have included below one such account for our reflection today.

Yours in the service of Gurudev,


The real Chidananda is within you
By Swami Jitamohananda, Orissa

I was fervently praying to the Lord to send me my Guru who must be a self realized saint. My devout prayer and intense aspiration got fulfilled very soon as I was initiated by Pujya Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj in 1978 at Sunabeda.

I was a beginner in the spiritual path; my devotion and faith were not so strong. I did not have the conviction that the Guru is antaryami. But one incident changed my life. In 1981, I went to Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh, to attend Sadhana Saptaha with Sankarshan Mangaraj of Puri. One day, while returning to the ashram after visiting Geeta Bhawan and Paramartha Niketan, we found a beggar asking for a coin. As a beginner in divine life, I was religiously practising Gurudev's instruction of "GIVE". I searched my pockets for a coin. There was no coin and I found only one two rupee note. I was reluctant to part with two rupees for one beggar only as I could satisfy eight beggars with those two rupees, converting it into small coins. I was indecisive and did not give anything to that beggar. I was unhappy with myself. We reached Samadhi Mandir for attending the afternoon programme. Param Pujya Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj was addressing the sadhaks. We took our seats in the back. To my utter surprise, Pujya Swamiji Maharaj was explaining the teachings of Swami Sivananda on the topic "GIVE". Swamiji said, "Giving is a sadhana. It has to be performed with large heart and proper understanding. Suppose you have gone to the other side of the Ganges. A beggar approaches you for a coin; you search your pockets and can bring out only one two rupee note. Coins are not available to you. You are then indecisive and go on thinking that instead of satisfying eight beggars, why should I give it to one? This is not proper. Who is that beggar? He is Lord Narayana. If you are hungry, can you appease your hunger with a morsel of rice? How pitiable it is! While giving, it is proper only to fulfill one's need to the best of our capacity. See always the Lord in the receiver. Then 'GIVING' will be converted into direct worship of God who dwells in you and in him and who is both antarayami and sarvavyapak".

I was stupefied and confounded as to what was happening. It was beyond my intellect to understand. How the master knew everything--tit-bit of my actions- -on the other side of the Ganges? My thought process, in no time, touched the yogic mind of Sri Gurudev. Again, I was caught. In reply to the question in my mind, the compassionate master went on telling, "I am only dummy Chidananda sitting here and talking to you. You are seeing my physical form. But the real Chidananda is within you. I dwell in you as antaryami. I see everything, whatever you think and talk and wherever you are, I look after you."

This unforgettable incident was a turning point in my spiritual life. From that moment, I was determined to practise "GIVING" as instructed by Sri Gurudev. How can I express the inexpressible blissful feelings of mine! My experience is not a new experience. The world knows that Swami Chidananda is antaryami and sarvavyapak.

"Memories of Swami Chidananda" is currently being made available for Rs 250. The original price is Rs 500. For more information on this book please go to:

Kindly note that Aradhana discount for books published by The Divine Life Society comes to an end on Sep 30. Prices will revert to normal after this period. Our bookstore is at:

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