This article is a chapter from the book Daily Swadhyaya.
The guru never dies because he lives in disciples. He spends his entire life entering into the disciple in the form of his idealism, ideas, vision, attitudes, sense of values. His aim and objective for living is to ceaselessly and continuously strive and work, so that he may live forever in and through each and every one of his disciples. The bright light of a candle never ceases to shine, once another candle has been lit by its flame. It itself may be sniffed out, but it is already burning brightly upon another selfsame light.
You are the being through whom guru lives. This is an honour, a privilege, a great good fortune and it is also a responsibility, a duty. It is the truth to be known and kept in mind always: “I must be what the guru has taught me to be. I must be what the guru was.” Gurudev himself said many times: “Do what I tell you to do. Don’t do what I do, because I do it on another level. Don’t try to imitate me, you may emulate me. You may try to be as I am in my nature, character, lofty idealistic way of life, in my spiritual personality, but do not imitate me. Emulate me.”
You must make the vibrant spirituality of the guru live within you. You should live within you the sublime idealism and the spiritual teachings of the guru, his loftiness of character and conduct. His divine nature and the divine way he lived his life should be relived in you. Looking at you, the world should understand the divinity of your guru.
Gurudev said: “Obedience is better than reverence.” Thus if the disciples know the difference between imitation and emulation, and follow him through emulation and obedience, guru never dies. Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji will never die as long as there are sincere striving aspirants trying to walk the path of divine life, ever striving to fulfil in thoughts, words and deeds the essence of his teachings. He is and he shall ever continue to be, because each one of you represents a radiant facet, a shining aspect of his noble divinely lived life. In and through his disciples, he lives and continues to inspire hundreds and thousands. This is a great privilege, a great guru-seva.
May you be engaged in doing it! The disciples ensure that the light, inspiration and the wisdom teachings of the guru will be perpetually present in human society in and through each one of disciples. Each one of you is a living light of the Sivananda’s ideal of divine life. May God and Gurudev’s grace and blessings enable you to do so most effectively, most fully, for the benefit of all humanity!