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A Pictorial of the 108 Names of Swami Chidananda
Visible Vision of the Formless Name
Swami Chidananda is a mystery and a miracle! A mystery: as He defies description. Who would dare to describe the Unknown, the One without a second, the Indescribable, Nameless, Formless, Divine Principle? The challenge can only be met by One who resides in that state of Awakened-Bliss, in that state of Chit-Ananda. He alone is qualified to describe that luminous experience, that Silent Splendour. THAT is Chidananda! The miracle is that Swami Chidananda has, for over half a century, in all humility and with infinite compassion, lived and walked amongst us, sharing the wisdom teachings of His most revered Gurudev, Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj. The miracle is that this saintly, illumined Sage, while initially obeying the directive of His beloved Master, chose to circle the globe countless times, tirelessly spreading the message of Divine Life to all who would listen. The miracle is that this great Soul, the Paramatman, sat with us in our homes, in our meeting halls, and even in out work places, to uplift our souls, to give spiritual nourishment to our longing hearts, and to cast His light upon the Reality within us. His cosmic vision saw no difference between East and West, male and female, young and old. Therefore, His teachings were always directed at the Universal Divinity within each of us. His Holy Being radiated such sweet, unconditional love that no one could deny the profound peace experienced in His presence. During those precious hours spent with Him, the relentless mind was still, all agitation dissolved and pure joy flooded the heart.
It is a miracle that He taught us by using His life as a profound display of the wisdom teachings of the ancient scriptures. In Chapter 2 of The Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna asks Lord Krishna to describe the man of steady wisdom–One firmly established and absorbed in Brahman. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Lord Krishna’s response is a commentary on the life of Swami Chidananda! The setting is timeless, and so is the commentary! Swami Chidananda is a beloved Universal Master who speaks to the human soul with simplicity and passion, revealing the meaning and purpose of life and the mystery of Divine Consciousness. His inspiring messages always begin with “Radiant Immortal Atman!” that we may be constantly reminded of our True Nature. The miracle is that even now in that magnificent state of Consciousness-Bliss, He continues to be a dynamic living example of Gurudev’s admonition to “Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate and Realize”. To have known this indescribable Being is a blessing beyond words–it is a miracle! Rejoice!
This indescribable Being, this miracle, Swami Chidananda alone is qualified to describe himself. Hence, this book “Divine Vision: The visible vision of the formless Name” is an attempt to describe him through his images only. These pictures are associated with 108 Names given to the Master by the devotees. These 108 Names of Swami Chidananda (Chidananda Ashtottarashta Namavali) depict the qualities that devotees experienced when they came in contact with him. The images are selected such as to visualise these formless names.