A Messenger of Peace and Wisdom
A MESSENGER OF PEACE AND WISDOM
SRI SWAMI KRISHNANANDA
Amrita Mahotsava (75th Birthday Anniversary)
–25th April 1997–
A DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY PUBLICATION
First Edition: 1997
World Wide Web (WWW) Edition : 1999
WWW site: https://www.dlshq.org/
This WWW reprint is for free distribution
© The Divine Life Trust Society
THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
P.O. Shivanandanagar–249 192
Distt. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh,
- Message Of The President Swamiji Maharaj
- He Is A Wonder To Me!
- The Making Of A Scholar-Saint
- Sri Swami Krishnananda “A Spiritual Stalwart Of The Current Era”
- Humility–The Hall-Mark Of True Wisdom
- One And The Same Star
- The Vedas And Their Message To Humanity
- Swami Krishnananda, Silence And Dynamism Combined
- Gurudev Was All Appreciation For Swami Krishnananda
- Swami Krishnananda As I See Him
- The Royal Swan Is Seventy-Five
- My Guru–An Embodiment Of Fathomless Love
- Swami Krishnananda: A God-Man
- In Search of Peace
- An Embodiment Of Total Dedication
- A Living Gita In Sivananda Ashram
- The Divine Diamond
- A Tribute
- The Ecstasy Of God-Love
- Swami Krishnananda–A Conundrum
- My Experiences With Swami Krishnananda
- Swami Krishnanandanan Embodiment Of Love
- Swami Krishnananda: Divinity Incarnate
- The Path Of Divine Devotion
- Swami Krishnananda, The Shining Light Of Sivananda Ashram
- Real Spirit Of Greatness And Grace
- My Guru: Compassion Incarnate
- Sacred Hearted Swamiji
- Arise! Awake!
- The Divine Ambassador
- Contribution Of Swami Krishnananda To The Revival Of Indian Education
- Hail Hail Krishnananda
- On Man
- Ever At Thy Holy Lotus Feet
- A Project Of Education
- Swami Krishnananda–A Towering Spiritual Genius
- An Aspirant’s Viewpoint On The Life Of Swami Krishnananda, The Living Saint
- Principles Of A Higher Order Of Life
- Motherly Kindness And Ruthless Truthfulness
- Incarnation Of Love Swami Krishnananda
- My Obeisance
The Divine Life Society felt it an honour and a privilege to celebrate the 75th BirthAnniversary of revered Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj in an adequately befitting manner,commensurate with the services being rendered by him to the Society for over half aCentury, with singular devotion, dedication and spirit of undiminished renunciation.Though Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj initially was not at all in favour of any suchCelebration, true to his spirit of renunciation, he was gracious enough to accede to thewish of the senior monks of the Ashram, thereby leaving very little time for the SwamiKrishnananda Amrita Mahotsava Committee for planning its various projects.
One of the projects of the Celebration Committee was to bring out a suitable Souveniron the occasion, in addition to re-printing some of Swamiji’s books, as well as smallbooklets for free distribution.
We record with great satisfaction that, in spite of the lack of time, the response fromdevotees, admirers and disciples of Swamiji, has been so spontaneous and immense that theSouvenir has become larger than what we had hoped. It is because countless in number arethose who have received an awakening, an inspiration or a total transformation in theirlives by their association with the revered Swamiji, who came forward to pen their feelingof gratitude. So profound and deep are Swamiji’s love and wisdom that no one who hadan occasion to meet him, ever left without being ‘touched’ or’affected’ by his thoughts. A perusal of the articles in thisSouvenir–outpourings of the contributors’ experiences and feelings–willreveal the depth and profundity of the Saint in Swami Krishnanandaji. Yet, the Wholenesswhich is the Real Krishnananda, stands beyond anyone’s grasp–both of theintellect and the heart. Truly, therefore, Gurudev said: “He is a wonder to me!”
We wish to express our gratitude to the numerous contributors for their feelingfulwrite-ups which portray in different colours, the multifaceted resplendent personality ofthe Swamiji; and the value of the Souvenir is enhanced by the Swamiji’s ownscintillating articles and poems.
It is, therefore, with joy and satisfaction that we are releasing this CommemorationVolume on this auspicious occasion of the Amrita Mahotsava of revered Sri SwamiKrishnanandaji Maharaj, with the earnest hope that no sincere reader of this Volume willgo ‘unaffected’ by one or the other of the articles, thus bringing a truetransformation in his or her inner being.
Sri Swami Krishnananda Amrita Mahotsava Committee
Message Of The President Swamiji Maharaj
My beloved fellow Sadhakas treading the path of Divine Life, Om Namo Narayanaya! JaiSri Gurudev Sivananda!
With immense joy, I avail of this privilege of offering my salutations and my lovingfelicitations to Revered Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj upon his special 75th BirthdayAnniversary, 25th April, 1997. Our long association in the sacred service of Beloved andWorshipful Holy Master Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj spanning a half-century has madeus close and affectionate brothers-in-the spirit. This fact adds to my happiness inpenning these lines for his Amrita Mahotsava. By the grace of God and loving blessings ofSri Gurudev, we have spent more than half a century of our earthly life in HolyUttarakhand on the banks of Divine Mother Ganga, in a spiritual fellowship that has beenable to weather all the winds of change and the ups and downs that are inevitable to allhuman relationships. Children of the same parents have different natures, different tastesand opinions. Even so, Beloved Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj and this servant of Gurudevhave thought alike and at times thought differently too. We have basic and fundamentalsimilarity in our twin lives which (similarities) are of the very essence. They are therock foundation of our enduring fraternity. This was seen and blessed by WorshipfulGurudev even as early as the late forties. At times we have differed in our views oncertain matters. Yes, even on certain policy and dealings of the Society matters. But, atall times I have never hesitated to speak openly and frankly to Swamiji Maharaj. This hasnever affected my high regard, admiration, veneration and affection for this incomparablePhilosopher, Monastic and Spiritual Personality that Swami Krishnanandaji is. Long may helive and prosper.
I pray to the Supreme universal Spirit and to Worshipful Gurudev Swami SivanandajiMaharaj to shower His Divine Grace and Choicest Benedictions upon Sri Swami KrishnanandajiMaharaj. May God and Gurudev grant him good health, long life, progress, prosperity andsuccess in his life and actions. May God and Gurudev fulfil all the aspirations of hisheart. May revered Swamiji continue receiving abundant affection and love of all hisdisciples, devotees, admirers and followers of both the East and the West. May he shine asa radiant and effulgent spiritual life guiding and illumining our global human family forlong many years to come. May thousands emulate his lofty example and follow his footstepsand be benefited and become illumined. This is my message and prayer for H.H. Sri SwamiKrishnanandaji Maharaj for whom the heart of this servant cherishes high regard and deepaffection. May peace be unto the whole world. May all beings be happy everywhere. Om NamoBhagavate Vasudevaya!
Amrit Mahotsav Message of Felicitations
Blessed Immortal Atman!
My dear brethren in Divine Life, OM NAMO NARAYANAYA!
Loving good wishes.
It is a great happiness to me to give this message for the most auspicious Seventy-fifth (75th) Birthday Anniversary of Revered and Esteemed Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj. He is the leading light of Gurudev’s Divine Life Society. Heis the foremost disciple of worshipful Gurudev and a spiritual personality of toweringstatus to whom thousands upon thousands look for guidance, blessings and inspiration. Longmay he live!
I offer my loving felicitations and prayers to the Almighty of his good health, longlife and abidance in the Self! May HE abide in the SELF at all times.
I have impressed much more in a separate letter containing a special Message for yourSouvenir in which I have put all the feelings of my heart. Read it when the Souvenir isready. God bless you & all. Again felicitation.
He Is A Wonder To Me!
It is very rare to find such a Synthetic Yogi as Swami Krishnanandaji. One may be aVedantin condemning Bhakti and Karma Yoga. But Swami Krishnanandaji is like myself; he islike Lord Krishna. Integral perfection can be had only when you combine service anddevotion with Jnana. You can declare: “There is no world in the three periods oftime.” But if you find a sick man on the roadside, you must rush to relieve hissuffering, giving up your meditation. That is the sign of a Jivanmukta. Externally heappears to be only a Karma Yogi; but he views the whole world within himself. Lord Jesus,Lord Buddha and Sri Sankaracharya–how much service they did! It is because SwamiKrishnanandaji is also a Synthetic Yogi that I have got the greatest admiration for him.
He is very quick in his work. He has a vast and deep knowledge of Vedanta. It is allGod’s grace. It is not merely due to study in this birth. It is all due toPurva-Samskaras. His knowledge is a treasure for those aspirants who care to learn, studyand imbibe the knowledge from him.
Krishnanandaji is a wonder to me! He has excelled me. He has excelled Sankara. He hasexcelled Dakshinamurthy. He came a few years ago. As usual, I asked him to stay in theAshram. After six or seven days, he told me, “I know the Gita a little.” I askedhim to recite the Gita. And he recited a chapter of the Gita beautifully. Then,gradually… how he evolved and grew in knowledge and wisdom is a wonder to me!
Swami Krishnanandaji is a master of Western philosophy also. This is because of theintense thirst for knowledge that he has. He wants to compare Western philosophy withIndian philosophy. It was because he was proficient in both philosophies that he was ofgreat help to Prof. Edwin A. Burtt of the Cornell University, when the latter was here. Weshould study Western philosophy also and find out the grandeur of that philosophy. Ofcourse, Western philosophy cannot satisfy an absolute idealist like Krishnanandaji. Peopleare stunned by his knowledge. With poor nutrition, ill-health, and many inconveniences,how Swami Krishnanandaji has done so much is a wonder; it is all due to God’s grace.It is all due to his Purva-Samsakras. One lecture of his is quite sufficient to inspireand elevate you.
Not a single harsh word he has spoken. He never becomes angry. He never complains. Ithink there is none in this Ashram of his type. These are all divine attributes. He hasmore divine qualities than are mentioned in the Gita. Lord Krishna was in a hurry;therefore, He enumerated some major virtues only, and we have to add to them the virtuesthat Krishnanandaji possesses.
He is the proper man to go to the West. But if that is not to be, even his merepresence in the world is sufficient. His books are treasures for us. I am sending them allover the world. A man remaining in his own Kutir can send powerful thoughts that wouldstir the whole world. It is not necessary to go here and there, delivering lectures; it isnot necessary even to write books. It is good that a great man remains in his own place;bees will come when the flowers bloom. Swami Krishnanandaji is silent dynamism.
The earliest statement of the Nature of Reality occurs in the first book of the Rig-Veda: Ekam Sat-Viprah Bahudha Vadanti. “The ONE BEING, the wise diversely speak of.”
The tenth book of the Rig-Veda regards the highest conception of God both as the Impersonal and the Personal: The Nasadiya Sukta states that the Supreme Being is both the Unmanifest and the Manifest, Existence as well as Non-existence, the Supreme Indeterminable.
The Purusha-Sukta proclaims that all this Universe is God as the Supreme Person,–the Purusha, with thousands of heads, thousands of eyes, thousands of limbs in His Cosmic Body. He envelops the whole cosmos and transcends it to infinity.
The Narayana-Sukta exclaims that whatever is anywhere, visible or invisible, all this is pervaded by Narayana, within and without.
The Hiranyagarbha-Sukta of the Rig-Veda declares that God manifested Himself in the beginning as the Creator of the Universe, encompassing all things, including everything within Himself, the collective totality, as it were, of the whole of creation, animating it as the Supreme Intelligence.
The Satarudriya or Rudra-Adhyaya of the Yajur-Veda identifies all things, the high and the low, the moving and the unmoving, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, nay, every conceivable thing, with the all-pervading Siva, or Rudra, as the Supreme God.
OM NAMO NARAYANAYA, JAI GURUDEV
It is a great sense of joy to note that the auspicious Amrita Mahotsava of Sri SwamiKrishnanandaji Maharaj is to be celebrated in the month of April, ’97, commencingfrom the 11th to 25th. It is in the fitness of things that this function will becelebrated for about two weeks and that the disciples and followers of Sri SwamiKrishnanandaji Maharaj in particular and the public in general who will take part in theaugust functions. There may be many Mahatmas and Mandaleswars taking part and sharingtheir knowledge with the Sadhakas and general public and they will be certainly stand togain by attending the various functions.
Great religious souls are born for reinstating the religion. With the passing of thetime the vitality of a religious movement is lost because of unworthy life of thefollowers. Then comes the time for the advent of another great teacher. In accordance withthe needs of the time, he preaches the highest ideals and spiritual discipline to realisethem. All great teachers are right for all of them promulgate their views ordered by GodHimself. This is possible because through mystic realisation they are attuned to Him andHe becomes real to them. But then why is there so much difference in their views? To thisit may be pointed out that difference is apparent and not real. It is mainly thedifference of emphasis and not content of the goal.
Sri Krishna came and prescribed unselfish work as a major means of realisation. Butwith the passage of time people forgot the goal and began to work without anypurposiveness. As a result the work became meaningless from the spiritual standpoint,because for religious growth it is not only religious action that is necessary, it isreligious thinking that is more essential. Then came Buddha. He saw the futility of actionwithout thought and hence rejected it. This created a stir and saved men from callousnessto higher mooring.
On this auspicious occasion, I pray Lord Almighty and Sadguru Dev to Bless Sri SwamiKrishnanandaji Maharaj SATA-SAMVASTARAM the Upanishadic age of one hundred years withrobust health and happiness and continue the present Guru Seva, and to this finesentiment, I add my own.
HARI OM TAT SAT
Dt. 26th, March, ’97
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The Making Of A Scholar-Saint
A MINI BIOGRAPHYOF SWAMI KRISHNANANDA
Great is my happiness to express my homage and high regards to our most revered SwamiKrishnananda Saraswati, my beloved spiritual brother and fellow-disciple at the feet ofour most worshipful Guru Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, upon this joyful and auspiciousoccasion of his Platinum Jubilee Jayanti Utasv.
Sri Swami Krishnanandaji is the foremost spiritual personality of our Gurudev’sholy Ashram, who has inspired, guided and enlightened countless spiritual seekers eversince his advent at the headquarters of the Divine Life Society in the year 1944. He hasdrawn to himself innumerable fortunate spiritual aspirants by the sublime spiritualquality of his life and his deep knowledge and rare wisdom.
Today, Swami Krishnanandaji is enshrined in the hearts of countless Sadhakas andstudents of Yoga and Vedanta all over the world by his loving disposition, his kindness tothem, and his genuine keen interest in their spiritual progress and welfare. Thus, it isnot only we, at the holy Sivananda Ashram, but also many thousands of spiritual people inmany countries all over the world who will be rejoicing upon this very happy occasion ofhis Platinum Jubilee.
Beloved Swami Krishnanandaji shines as the leading light of our monastic brotherhood atSivananda Ashram, and as the foremost amongst the spiritual teachers of the Divine LifeSociety, whom worshipful Gurudev left behind to carry forward his spiritual work. That heis a man with a mission in this modern age becomes clearly evident by the way in which hegrew up in his young age and showed unmistakable signs of what was to come right from thevery beginning of his life.
Birth And Infancy
Swamiji physically hails from the South Kanara district on the Western coast of SouthIndia. In his Purvashrama, he was the eldest son of a family of six children, four of thembeing his younger brothers and one a sister. Known by the name Subbaraya, he was born oforthodox Shivaralli Brahmin parents. The forefathers of Swamiji belong to one of therespected Brahmin families settled in the Tuluva Desa or South Kanara district by MaharajaMayura Verma, ruler of Banavasi. This family was well-versed in the performance ofreligious rituals and in the knowledge of Tantra-Sastra and was one amongst thoseauthorised by the above ruler to practise Paurohitya and Tantra as their services to thereligious life of the community. As such, devotion and worship of God was very much atradition in the family.
As a child of two years of age, Subbaraya was taken on a pilgrimage to Tala-kaveri inCoorg district. This is a very holy place at the source of the sacred river Kaveri inSouth India. In those days, during the first quarter of the century, there were neithergood roads nor motor bus transport services available. So, the pious parents trudged onfoot the entire distance of the pilgrimage, carrying the little child Subbaraya. The verynext year, the parents took him to the famous hill-shrine of the Lord of the Seven Hillsat Tirupati. Little Subbaraya went once again in the company of his grandfather to holyTirupati and had Darshan of Lord Venkateswara, when he was a child of five years. Fromthen onward, he started his school career.
School Days At Puttur
In the educational field, he surpassed all of his classmates in every class. He hadearly education at St. Francis Xavier’s School at Darbe in Puttur town. He studiedupto 5th Standard in this school. His subsequent education was in the Board High School atPuttur. At this time, the family was financially passing through a difficult period. But,thanks to young Subbaraya’s brilliance in studies, he was fully exempted from schoolfees and similar dues by the school authorities who were highly pleased with his greatproficiency in studies. Subbaraya used to score the highest marks in the class. He used totake part in the school debates which were being conducted in English. Once during theannual inspection, the District Educational Officer was stunned by the forceful oratory ofyoung Subbaraya and was deeply impressed by the power of expression evidenced by the youngscholar.
Subbaraya had great liking for the Sanskrit language and took keen interest in thestudy of Sanskrit. Not satisfied with what was taught in the class-room, youngKrishnananda took to earnest self-study of Sanskrit with the aid of the Amara Kosha andother textbooks. He eagerly took guidance from any Sanskrit Pundit whom he happened tomeet. He had a natural flair for the learning of this classical language and had an inborngenius for it. Consequently, he made rapid progress in this study, and even while at highschool, he used to compose original poems in Sanskrit. Side by side with his studies inthe school, he learnt Suktas from Rigveda, Pavamana, etc., from his father who was himselfwell-versed in Sanskrit and in the sacred scriptures. But then, his was not a case of”all work and no play” and he was no mere bookworm. As a young student,Subbaraya was fond of playing at Ramayana with his younger brothers and friends. Subbarayahimself took the role of Rama, his brother that of Lakshmana or Sita, and the others weregiven other suitable roles. Thus they formed a troupe and he used to lead this play duringthe midday lunch-hour recess or after school hours, with bows and arrows prepared from thebranches of trees. He enjoyed this play and so did the others too.
Love For Scriptural Studies
The deeper spiritual side of Subbaraya’s nature began to shine in his conduct atthis time. After he began studying Sanskrit, he took to the study of the Bhagavad Gita ofhis own accord. Such was his intellect and unusual memory that he soon learned it by heartand began to repeat the whole of the Gita daily. During holidays, he would explain themeaning of this sacred text to his mother and his younger brothers. One thing isnoteworthy about his spiritual state at this time, and that was, that though the familybelonged to the Madhva sect and the members were followers of Sri Madhvacharya’sDvaita Philosophy, yet somehow, young Subbaraya began to be drawn towardsSankaracharya’s absolute Advaita Philosophy. He began reading Sankaracharya’s VivekaChudamani and Upanishad Bhashyas. He developed monastic tendencies and a desire forsolitude, an aversion to large gatherings and mixing with people.
At that time, there was at Puttur a very cultured and well-read gentleman belonging tothe legal profession, by name Baindur Shivarama Holla, who had a good library of religiousbooks. The aspiring young seeker Subbaraya used to meet the advocate and borrow from himthe Vedas, the Upanishads and similar other books and delve into them to explore theirinner meaning. Gradually, a certain change was wrought in his nature. The spirit ofliberation and the spirit of renunciation were awakened in the youth’s heart.Subbaraya began to feel more and more that the only thing worth striving for was KaivalyaMoksha or the divine state of spiritual liberation. At times, he used to give expressionto his feelings by saying that some day he would renounce everything and go away in questof Kaivalya Moksha. But the people at home did not take it too seriously.
Government Service–A Brief Interlude
Sometime in 1943, Subbaraya took up Government service at Hospet. But this phase lastedonly for a short period. Even during his service, the youth was said to have beenconducting Gita classes for the earnest public. He took leave on grounds of ill health andwas at home for a while, recouping his health. But after a month’s stay at hometowards the end of that year, he left, giving the impression that he would rejoin hisgovernment service at Hospet. But he straightaway went to the sacred city of Varanasi.There he studied the Vedas and Sanskrit for a little while. But the call to seclusion andSadhana drew him further north and he left Varanasi for Hardwar and thence for Rishikesh,briefly informing his parents through a letter that he would now be going in quest of thehigher knowledge.
As A Sadhaka In Sivanandashram
Arriving at Rishikesh in the year 1944, the brilliant young seeker came face to facewith his Guru upon the holy banks of the sacred river Ganga. Filled with the spirit ofrenunciation, young Subbaraya met his worshipful holiness Satguru Sri Swami Sivanandafilled with the radiant light of Divine Realisation. The story of his first meeting withHis Holiness Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, in whom the young man saw his spiritualpreceptor, is told in an interesting manner by Gurudev himself (See “He Is aWonder to Me” on page 2 in this Souvenir). Though Subbaraya was devoted to thepursuit of Self-Knowledge and was a Bala-Jnani, he did not hesitate to joyously undertake,willingly do, with the efficiency of a master and with the delight of one interested, anywork that was allotted to him by the authorities of the Ashram. The Sivananda CharitableDispensary needed an able hand to serve the sick that resorted to its medical aid; SwamiKrishnanandaji was chosen for what he considered a blessed privilege. He used to conductthe Ashram Satsanga and play the most important roles in it, chanting hymns, reading fromthe scriptures and delivering lectures. He was well-versed in the Mantras and therefore hewillingly undertook to conduct any ritual that was to be performed at the Ashram. It washe who culled out Mantras from several sources and codified the Sannyasa Diksha ceremonynow adopted in the Sivanandashram. He became the Programme Director of all the SadhanaWeeks; he managed them most efficiently and won the admiration of the hundreds of Sadhakaswho took part in each Sadhana Week, for his punctuality, regularity, and capacity forintense and hard work. Any department of work at the Ashram that needed an able organiserto set matters right claimed Krishnanandaji as its own. Beneath all this heavy load ofstrenuous work, he could put up a happy smile, and could, when not engaged in all thisresponsible work, meditate in absolute peace.
His needs were few, and wants were none. He had attained such a mental state thatausterity was welcomed by him. His mastery over the senses and his hard work soon earnedfor him the admiration of H.H. Sri Swami Sivanandaji himself, who during the course of histalk to aspirants, on the 17th September, 1945, said: “Though he is a young man, heis full of Vairagya. He has controlled his tongue. I have tested him in so many ways.There is a fire in his speech. His words come from his heart. He is a young man withspiritual Samskaras. He who has done spiritual Sadhana in the previous birth is born withsuch Samskaras. He has done much work. He has translated several poems fromSanskrit.”
Sannyasa Diksha And After
Subbaraya entered the Holy Order of Sannyasa on the 14th January, 1946, on the holyMakara Sankranti Day, and since then has come to be known as Sri Swami KrishnanandaSaraswati. In his own words, he felt a mysterious change took place within himself whenSri Gurudev uttered the glorious Mahavakyas.
Though he continued to take an active part in the Ashram work even after thisinitiation, there was an almost imperceptible change in him. Automatically andmiraculously, as it were, newer channels of work opened up before him. The service took anew turn. He took to lecturing and writing: no one knows how it came about–neitherhow the other departments of work dropped from him nor how the mantle of a Guru was thrownupon him. It is here that we see the mysterious hand of Providence unmistakably workingHis Will. Day by day, the young Swami grew more and more lustrous, more and more silentand reticent, more and more introspective and meditative, more and more a manifest man ofGod. He had long before become a master of the art of resorting to inner seclusion. Now heresorted to external seclusion also. The silence of the forests around the Ashramattracted him. The thought of God, God-consciousness, kept him awake many a night. Herapidly became blind to the world of names and forms, and deaf to all the talk of theworld. His gaze fixed on the ground before him, he flitted about like lightning, wheneverhe had to move out of his Kutir. He eagerly discussed Vedantic truths; he listened toaspirants’ doubts and delightfully cleared them; but worldly topics dared notapproach him. Living in the world, amidst men and women, yet he was living far beyond andabove it, beyond the reach of the worldly. Frequently he went away from all humanhabitation, in order to commune more thoroughly with That. Such was the fire of hisrenunciation that no thought of hardships could ever deter him from seeking the seclusionof the densest forests. At other times, he plunged himself in intense activity. Meditationand study, seclusion and selfless service–they all went hand in hand.
Then came the great day, somewhere in 1948, when he had, what he termed “alightning glimpse of Truth.” He was so lost in it, that for a considerable time afterthat he took no interest in anything. His behaviour–already reserved andserene–became still more austere. For several months he confined himself to a roomand uttered not a word to anyone on any subject whatsoever. He never asked for anything;there was no desire in him to express. He took what came to him unasked. He was everblissful and peaceful.
Swami Krishnanandaji’s emergence from this period of what we could only term as”concentrated God-consciousness” was hailed by the establishment of theYoga-Vedanta Forest Academy. Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj promptly appointed Sri SwamiKrishnanandaji its Professor of Vedanta. There was “fire in his words” evenbefore; now there was that clarity which clearly indicated a perfect perception of Truth.The words were illuminating. He spoke as one endowed with authority.
As He Is Today
The story of Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, after 1948, is just one of a Jivanmuktaenjoying the Sahaja-Samadhi-Avastha. It is the story of Jada Bharata retold. Radiatingpeace and bliss, he lives in Sivanandashram in a state of Continuous Self-Awareness. Allservice is welcome to him; though he does not desire to do this or that. When the flowerblossoms, bees rush to it; they do not need invitation. Similarly, Krishnanandaji haswithout the least ostentation drawn to himself many aspirants and seekers after Truth fromall parts of the world; to them all, he has become a Guru. He guides Sadhakas not only inJnana-yoga and Vedantic Sadhana, but in other branches of Yoga as well. He is himself anadept in Hatha Yoga, a master of Raja-Yoga and a great Bhakta of Lord Krishna. He is amaster of the Yoga of Synthesis propounded by His Holiness Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj;and is today a wonderful replica of the Master. Hari Om Tat Sat.
Sri Swami Krishnananda “A Spiritual Stalwart Of The CurrentEra”
I have had the good fortune to have the Darshan of His Holiness Sri SwamiKrishnanandaji Maharaj in the year 1995. As this servant played a vital role in organisingthe programmes in connection with the Centenary Celebrations of Brahmaleena Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj according to the guidelines and advices of the pre-Centenary Yatrateam. I have attended a meeting held at Headquarters during the year 1985 to observe 1986to 1987 as Centenary Year of Gurudev, in which Pujya Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharajexplained about how to organise the Centenary year and its spiritual effect on the livesof each devotee of the world. Since then I have close association with Pujya Swamiji tilltoday.
Each word, each movement, each endorsement and look of Pujya Swamiji will give solaceto every Sadhaka in his entire life time to go upward in the Spiritual Path. Swamiji oftentells about the Upanishads, the Vedas and the Bhagavadgita how they are guidelines to theDivine Way of Life.
Pujya Swamiji Maharaj is not only a Upanishad ‘Drashta’, a Scientist, aPhilosopher, a teacher, a Guru, a true disciple, an Administrator but also a SpiritualStalwart of the Current Era.
This servant is one among crores of people of the world who have been benefited inmoulding the daily life as Divine Life.
Pujya Swamiji’s Divya Darshan is in no way different from the Darshan of Lord SriKrishna, Swami Sivananda and Swami Chidananda.
Amrita Mahotsava of Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj is the Amrita Mahotsava of greatIndian culture and heritage, Indian philosophy, Indian sages and saints and finally it isthe Amrita Mahotsava of Bharata Varsha itself.
I pray God Almighty to bestow His abundant Kripa on Pujya Swamiji Maharaj for very longlife and good health to give spiritual path to mankind.
HARI OM TAT SAT.
* * *
“He who knows, knows not; he who knows not, knows.” This is a statement inthe Upanishad, meaning that one who has realised the Truth has nopersonality-consciousness, and one who has it knows not the Truth.
Humility–The Hall-Mark Of True Wisdom
Prostrations to Sri Satguru, who is Consciousness, eternal and peaceful. Mysalutations, again and again, to Lord Sri Krishna, the son of Vasudeva, the delighter ofDevaki and Yasoda, the darling of Nandagopa. My prostrations to Radhapati, the source ofsupreme bliss, whose grace makes the dumb eloquent and the cripple cross mountains.
In Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, we have a saint of the old Rishi type; and hislife, it may be said, is a commentary on the high ideals of service, love and goodness.His practical life holds aloft a blazing torch of righteous living to aspirants so as todispel the darkness in the path. It is beholden on all aspirants in particular, and hisadmirers and well-wishers in general, to keep in mind the facts, the principles and thelessons indicated by the Swamiji’s life and utterances with a sense of gratitude forthe invaluable benefits conferred by them. On this holy and auspicious occasion, let allaspirants, as far as possibly can, exert themselves to study and assimilate his life andteachings and make them the working principle of their daily life.
It is a truism that a Jnani alone, of all men, knows God as He is–the perfectInfinite Spirit, who is like the sun after darkness, than whom nothing is greater, nothingmore subtle, and nothing older. It was divine dispensation and the blessing of theall-merciful Lord that our beloved Sri Swami Krishnanandaji relinquished the mundane lifeat a very young age and took to a life of renunciation; influenced by the great saint, ourblessed Gurudev, settled down at Rishikesh and practised austerities and took to intensestudies, as a result of which Swamiji not only qualified himself for the purpose ofministering to the souls of men, but also bloomed into a great Vedantin, Yogi and saint.To my observation, Sri Krishnanandaji is a qualified Vedantin and displays in his life thesimplicity and humility of a man endowed with true spiritual knowledge. Any new aspect ofknowledge, spiritual or secular, which he is not conversant with, though it may be veryordinary, is all wonder to him; and childlike he wants to know more and more about it.This is admirable indeed.
I have used the word ‘wonder’ in the last sentence and it means to ponder, toquestion, to be aware of ignorance, to be surprised, to marvel, to be curious. When we arefilled with wonder, we necessarily open our minds and become willing to listen. The childis full of wonder and awe, because it is not yet become too sophisticated to see thebeauty, the good, in the smallest, most commonplace things. As the years pass, we grow ourknow-it-allness and become progressively blind to what is real and good in our world. Weoften fail to realise the purity and the good that is in all things. Is not the child,looking for the good, healthier in mind and body than the adult who looks at theunfamiliar with fear or distrust? The child looks at life through the mind-glass withpristine purity and sees clearly, not bringing imperfection into what it views. But laterin life, we are apt to look through the mind-glass darkly. It is only when we are in thewondering process that we begin to really understand the majesty, orderliness, and divineorigin of all that exists. How can one possibly look beyond what is before his eyes andears without a sense of wonder?
The great spiritual leaders have always said that humility is the surest sign of trueunderstanding. What is meant by humility or meekness? Are we not talking about humilitywhen speaking of a sense of wonder? Can any man who stands in wonder of anything be otherthan humble! The truly humble man recognises his own uniqueness, but he also recognisesthat he has a way to go. Through his sense of wonder he is aware that there are stillnewer vistas of knowledge, still greater heights to climb. The meekness, too, is not beingmeek to the things of the earth, not grovelling before the idols of the world. On thecontrary, the meek man is meek in his wonderment of the glorious knowledge that must bebehind outer appearances. He is full of wonder, knowing that much truth remains invisibleto his sensory system. Humility and meekness both enable us to wonder, to ponder, to be inawe.
Perhaps our first step towards wisdom, towards God-consciousness is getting rid of ourknow-it-allness and adopting an attitude of true humility. We should begin to stand inawe, to wonder at the infinite good, orderliness and unity that exist in the universe. Weshall never take the first step if we close our minds and hearts to the visible in theinvisible, says a thinker. Humbly we must look with eyes that see, and ears that hear,rather than with the superior attitude of “I know all that.” It is a sign ofself-destroying egotism never to be impressed, never to be moved to wonder by anything oranyone. It is a sign of wisdom to question, to wonder. We learn only through the processof wondering. He is foolish who believes that he must always act in a sophisticated manneras if he is in possession of all knowledge; the wise man recognises that he knows not. Godgave us three essential abilities to develop the total consciousness: to reason, to knowthat we know, and to know that we know not. The man who hopes to raise his consciousnessshould develop his reasoning power, and ability to sort and analyse what he knows, andshould know that he still has much to learn. The humble man knows this and comes into ahigher consciousness. Why do we lose our sense of wonder and humility? Because of the fearof appearing naive. If one has real faith in God-force, one should express all the moreclearly one’s sense of wonder. If we approach anything in life with contempt due tofamiliarity and assumption of know-it-allness, we are kept in ignorance. We have to behumble to be creative or to rise to a higher level of consciousness. The person who iscontemptuous dwells in the lowest level of his consciousness, and he suffers much, as allmen suffer who leave their humility buried in the mud of ignorance in which they arewallowing. In what manner do we begin to reactivate this child-like, but very mature andwise sense of wonder? The strength to sustain a sense of wonder with humility against thegreat pull of habit does not come easily; it has to be willed by conscious action over andover again. It takes very real effort and patience, but it is most rewarding and it willspark our creativity, and new horizons will be opened to us,–a great new awarenessand a higher consciousness.
On the sacred and auspicious occasion of Swamiji’s Platinum Jubilee, as his trueadmirers, let us emulate his life principle and humble ourselves before God and He willlift us up in due time. My humble suggestion to one and all is: Dedicate yourselves afreshto his teachings, to his wise counsels. Give your thought to his sublime message–asrevealed through his ideal life–of peace, service, goodwill, love towards all beings,purification and refinement; and cultivation of all that is positive and desirable andeffacement of all that is crude, coarse and impure in thought, word and deed. MaySwamiji’s sublime, ideal and dedicated life be prolonged for a long time to come sothat he may continue to guide aspirants and be a source of inspiration to one and all.Harih Om Tat Sat.
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One And The Same Star
In the very beginning of my coming to Sivananda Ashram, about ten years back, andwithout being aware of such philosophical terms as Vedanta or what is called theEternal Vedic Truth of ‘Ekameva-adviteeyam’ (ONE without Second), bymeeting Swamiji Maharaj in front of Govardhan Dham, there arose a strong inner need forexpression of my feelings about staying in Sivananda Ashram, with the words:
“Swamiji, the same star, which lead the three wise men from the East toBethlehem, the birth-place of Jesus Christ, nowadays is leading many people from the Westto India, to Sivananda Ashram.”
To my great surprise, immediately I could see Swamiji’s body jumping up anddancing around by uttering some words like: “The same star, yes, yes, the samestar, etc.”
It is this immediacy and spontaneity, which is typical of Swamiji Maharaj, to whom thebody becomes like a ball in the playground of pure “Knowledge”, where the”Knower” and the “Known” play together as identical playmates.
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The Vedas And Their Message To Humanity
For the first time, perhaps, in the history of mankind, the great ideal of Yajna waspropounded in the Vedas, especially in the Rig-Veda, to its immortal glory. In the famoushymn, called the Purusha-Sukta, we have this enunciation of cosmic sacrifice as anall-round duty. The importance of sacrifice was raised to such heights in this glorioushymn of the Veda that it has been identified with the existence of the Creator Himself.God Himself is Sacrifice,–“Yajno vai vishnuh.“ Narayanabecame the First Sacrifice. And His Sacrifice has had its impact in a series, in lesserand lesser densities of manifestation, until the last particle of earth has been reached,which also is performing a sacrifice of its own. Every atom of creation is engaged in asacrifice because of the impulse of this supreme Sacrifice that has been imported to it bythe Eternal Being.
The Purusha-Sukta enunciates the cosmology of the Veda. In the beginning the Purushaalone was, and the Purusha is all that is, and also what shall be. The Purusha is allcreation, and is, at once, above all creation. Past, present and future do not exist inHim, He is the Timeless Eternal Being. From Him, the All-Reality, proceeds the CreativeCosmic Person who manifests Himself further as this visible Universe of Space and Time, ofSun and Moon and Stars, of Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth in their vastcomprehensiveness. From this cosmic manifestation arises all that is of a variety in themineral kingdom, in the plant, the animal, the human being or even the angel or thecelestial. The Purusha is All-in-All. The individual creations,–celestial, human,animal, plant and mineral–are the descents of the One Purusha in graded densities ofconcretisation, diversification and externalisation in Space and Time, and these varietiesare His own Heads, Faces, Limbs, Forms, Parts, and He sees through their eyes, hearsthrough their ears, thinks through their minds, works through their bodies. The gods ofthe hymn are the ancient contemplators of this Unity of Existence by an act ofself-sacrifice in communion with it in every level of their being. The Universe is theObject of Meditation as the Self-alienation of the Absolute. The individuals, thus, haveto lead a cooperative life of mutual sacrifice in the light of this Great Universality ofthe Purpose of all life. The social groups are the principles of coordination for mutualgood by way of participation in the working of the social structure as a whole.
In this grand hymn, the Purusha-Sukta, we have four facets of life beautifullypresented, which is the philosophy as well as the sociology and the mystical meaningbehind life as a whole. The great principle that is finally laid down in this hymn is thegoal of attainment. Any effort directed towards this end, or purpose, little or small,intense or mild, whatever be the character of the effort of the endeavour that we putforth, is motivated by an impulse towards the attainment of an aim immediately visible, orperhaps remotely seen at a distance.
The fixing of this ideal is one’s primary duty in the performance of Sadhana. Theaim of the Nation determines its constitution. We cannot frame the constitution of agovernment unless we have its aim before our minds. What is it that we are asking for?What does the Nation mean? What is required? That is to be clear, first of all, with thepeople and leaders of the Nation. When the ideal of the Nation is clear, the system ofworking out this ideal is laid down. This is called the constitution, the law and theorder. And then there is the organisation which is called the administration,–we callit the government, which is the working mechanism that puts into visible action theideology that is framed in the constitution on the basis of the final attainment towardswhich the Nation is moving or ought to move.
This is also echoed in the system and doctrine of Buddhism when it clinches itsessentials as the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. What they callthe Buddha is the ideal that is set up before us as that which has to be reached;–theuniversal Goal of life is signified by the term Buddha; the consciousness of theInfinite which is the ideal of attainment. Not necessarily a human being or a GuatamaSiddhartha is signified by the term Buddha, here. It is rather the cosmic ideal that isdenoted by the term in the organisational doctrine of the Buddha.
What is the method of attaining the ideal? That is the Dharma, the constitution,the technique to be adopted in practical life, for the purpose of the attainment of thisideal,–Dharma, the Law. And in order that this Dharma may become fructified ormaterialised in day-to-day existence, there is a necessity for cooperative activity amongpeople, an organisation, which is the Sangha,–this is the government. In a similarfashion was the mention made, long ago, of the entire process of the practice of Sadhana,in the Purusha-Sukta.
The hymn starts with the proclamation, “Sahasra-sirsha purusha.” etc.It speaks of the Ideal ahead of us;–the multiformed Absolute with eyes everywhere,with ears everywhere, with hands and feet everywhere, with everything everywhere. That isthe Purusha, the Supreme Being, who has no past or present or future,–“Purushaevedam sarvam yad bhutam yat cha bhavyam.” Whatever was, whatever is and whatevershall be, in short, that which transcends the very notion of time, is the Purusha. This isthe Goal succinctly stated, precisely presented before us.
Now comes the next question: how to attain this ideal. This is the Sadhana, orthe Dharma, or, we may say, the methodology to be adopted. The whole process of creationwhich has been described in this Sukta is the fundamental base behind thedescription of the Dharma or the method of Sadhana to be practised. There is amanifestation, an evolution of the Purusha, stage by stage. There is a concretisation ofthe Universal Person. First, there is affirmed the Universal Self, the Purusha. Then,gradually coming down to the level of space and time, it becomes more and more conceivableto us. The descent takes place in a systematic manner. That is why we call creation auniverse and not a chaos. This is the unified organisation that is the creation of God,mathematically thought out with utter minuteness of execution, so that there is no needfor any amendment of this constitution of God. The act of the human parliament requiresamendments according to the situation prevailing at any given time. But all the exigencieshave been preconceived already by the Purusha. He knows all the circumstances that wouldarise at any time in the future until the next step in evolution. Every provision has beenmade in this Constitution so that there need be no necessity to think over it every day,or for amending it or improving it for the day. The coming down of the Purusha as creationis the manifestation that is described in the Purusha-Sukta. The Absolute seems to comedown gradually, and slowly. In the beginning, this happens inconceivably, later onnotionally possible of conception, and later still, further, it becomes visible. Sufficeit to say that the Purusha comes to the earth-level where we are standing now, on whichour feet are planted. That is the completion of creation. This fulfilment of creation byGod is usually known as the Virat, a term that we use for our notion of God ascompletely manifest in the universe. But all these events had taken sufficient time, maybe logical time, in the coming down of the Purusha to the level of the earth in agradational, systematic and methodical manner. In this process, there has been includedthe necessity of bringing into a harmonious relationship every level of being. It is not asegregated scattering of particulars that God has done in creation, but an integrationwhich has come down as various degrees of lesser integration, again, in more and moreconcretised forms, until things come to the level of the individual which, also, is anintegration of personality at the lowest. There is no chaotic arrangement anywhere increation, even down to the lowest atom. Everything is an organisation, and even an atom isa beautiful organisation by itself. There are organisations after organisations, wholesand wholes emanating from wholes,–“Purnam adah purnam idam.“At every stage one whole comes from another whole leaving the intact. The difference isonly in the intensity of the concretisation of wholeness and the consciousness embedded init. But wholeness is nevertheless present until one comes to the wholeness of thisphysical universe which is the Virat consciousness.
Again, there is segregation taking place, in another type of wholeness, which is theindividuality dividing into the subject and the object, through the evolutionary processof the plant, animal and human to which we belong at present. We are humans; we are cutoff in consciousness from the Universal Integration of the Virat.
And nevertheless, we are retaining a sort of wholeness in our personality. We areundivided, somehow. The essence of the wholeness of individuality has now taken the nameand form of egoism. Unfortunate is this, indeed. Yet, divinity is reflected there in thisaffirmation. Such a vehement affirmation is inconceivable unless there is an eternitybacking it from behind. Else, why should a human being be so egoistic and intractable?There is an eternal wholeness of self-affirmation that supports this isolated affirmationof wholeness we call personality. It is a travesty of affairs, a downfall, but, behind it,very legitimately, is the Ocean of all existence. Therefore, we are in a complexsituation. We are neither here nor there; we are between the devil and the deep sea, asone may say. From the one side there is the impact of the universal, and from the otherside there is the impetuousness of the individuality. That is where we stand today, at thecross-roads, between God and the devil. But we are neither God nor a devil entirely. Wehave the elements of both in us. However, neither element is complete in us, and that isthe superiority of the human individual over the animal. You can fall, you canrise,–you have the freedom. But what freedom? To fall or to rise? Both freedoms havebeen bestowed upon us, and we can do whatever we would like. To hell or to heaven you goby your freedom. Mankind is at the brink between the Universal Divinity of Virat and thefurther urges into segregation that are also impelling everyone to move on externally,outwardly, into social and physical relationships. The Virat consciousness is not the endof creation.
The Panchadasi of Vidyaranya says that right from the concept of the UniversalSeed Isvara’s Will, up to the manifestation of the Virat, is God’screation. But then the Jiva comes–our own individuality,–which startswith the waking consciousness, descending into dream consciousness, going into sleep, andcoming back to waking consciousness, returning again into dreaming and sleeping, in acycle,–this is Samsara-chakra, the wheel of metempsychosis. But the impulse ofthe great ideal before us is not lost hold of. God will never forsake us even in hell;even in the downmost nether regions God is with us. And He is speaking to us in his ownlanguage, beckoning us to Himself. That is why we are restless wherever we are. Whateverbe the stage in which we are, we have a sense of insecurity, restlessness andindeteminability of the future, all which is a reflection of the truth that we are not ina perfected condition. We are aiming at an ideal of which we have lost consciousness now,but towards which we are struggling under the conditions in which we are placed. This isthe saga of life. We are trying to solve the problems and pains of life by ways and meansconceived by our individual mind through the perceptional faculties provided in the wakinglife, which is the first step that the individual takes in asserting independence. In theBiblical language, here is the Fall of Satan. Here arises the consciousness of good andevil into which Adam and Eve are supposed to have been roused against the dictates of God,by their eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree. Until then they had no consciousnessof personality and sex, not even of space and time, evidently. So, it was the garden ofparadise. Then, when Adam and Eve became conscious that they were naked, God remonstrated.”How do you know that you are naked? Have you eaten the fruit? How has theconsciousness come into you? Up to this time, you were not aware that you were.”Everything was–that was all. Everything is, not “I am.” The’I-am’-consciousness is the beginning of thoughts which can tear apart man inhis woe. And he connives and contrives and manufactures gadgets, psychological andphysical instruments for ridding himself of the misery of sorrow that has come upon him onaccount of this isolation from the All-Being. He invents technology and radio and socialorganisation and political set up, international ideals of peace and harmony. Nothingsucceeds. All these externalised attempts of the human individual remain as gluing brokenpieces of glass to come together into an apparent wholeness. But broken glasses are brokenglasses, they can never become one whole, again. The effort has not succeeded and itcannot succeed on the face of it because the assertion of individuality is at the back ofevery attempt at unity. As is the Hindi saying, “Mooh me Ram, bagal mechhuri.” You have a theoretical ideal of unity before you, but in the pit of yourarm is concealed secretly a knife to attack the neighbour, should the time come for it.There is a subtle prejudice in us to affirm ourselves in our own individuality,irrespective of the ardent endeavour of everybody to come together on a common platform ofhumanity, or even an organisation of all nations. A psychological analysis of individualprejudices will reveal that personal security is at the background of even internationalwelfare programmes. If the security of the ego is threatened, let welfare go to the dogs!If this is the ideal, well, one can imagine the consequences.
The great constitution of God, the Dharma, as enunciated in the Purusha-Sukta,is of the completeness of creation, and the individuals under it are not supposed toindependently assert themselves. There is a need for cooperation, which is mentionedtowards the end of the Sukta, commencing with the Mantra, “Brahmanosyamukhamasit,” etc. The spiritual ideal, the political administrativesystem, the economic order intended for the maintenance of personal security andsocial existence and the labour required for its achievement are what are calledthe ‘Varnas’, a system of universal social organisation. “Chaturvarnyam maya srishtam guna-karma-vibhagasah,” says the Bhagavad-Gita. God says,’I created it,’ which means to say that the initial sanction behind thisorganisation of groups of humanity into a set up of cooperation is in the principle of theultimate inter connectedness of creation. There is cycle of cooperative activitycontinuing right from the Creator onwards. The Creator Himself enunciated this great lawof cooperation (Purovacha Prajapatih). Cooperative activity does not necessarilymean work in the sense of physical movement or doing something, in a visible form, always.Action is an external symbol in the form of motion, social and personal, of an internalunification of feeling, ideology or purpose.
“Samano mantrah samitih samani,“ says the Rig-Veda towards theend of it. “Let your deliberations be common, your assembly of a common aim.”Meet together; come together; work together; sit together; speak together; conversetogether; have a common ideology, so that you may have a common working aim, a singlereality, is the note of the concluding message of the Rig-Veda.
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Swami Krishnananda, Silence And Dynamism Combined
My younger brother, Siva Kiekens, followed the International Yoga and Meditation Coursein January and February 1970 under the guidance of Swami Krishnanandaji. Coming back toBelgium he was full of Swamiji and of his teachings. So I was looking forward to haveDarshan of Swamiji too.
In August 1973 I could visit Gurudev’s Ashram for the first time. I saw SwamiKrishnanandaji the first evening of my stay in the night Satsanga. But Swamiji got anasthmatic fit shortly after he arrived and had to be taken to his quarters. So that firsttime I had not the privilege of hearing one of his unparalleled lectures. Just beforereturning to Belgium, at the end of the month, I could briefly visit Swamiji in his housesomewhere on top of the hill.
During later visits I had the good fortune to see Swamiji in a better state of health.During one of his daily Darshans, some two years ago, I heard somebody inquire afterSwamiji’s condition. Swamiji said: “Bad is better than worse.” So he evendoesn’t want to complain though he is a person that suffered all his life, as hehimself said. Every time I met Swamiji he was cheerful, having an attentive ear for all,taking care of the affairs of the Ashram, enlightening people coming for his Darshan etc.Gita says: “The grace of that Being makes the dumb eloquent and the criple climbingmountains.” Sick we can only be physically and mentally, but what we really are isbeyond sickness and pain. That is what I heard Swamiji saying in his lectures, what I readin his books, what I see in his life.
In 1962 we associated with Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji. We found his name in thebibliography of a book. We wrote a letter to “Swami Sivananda, India” and got aquick reply, that changed our life completely. It brought us to India and made us thefamily of Swami Chidanandaji, Swami Krishnanandaji and so many other wonderful souls.
We will celebrate Swamiji’s birthday in the Swami Sivananda Ashram of Aalst,Belgium. We pray whole-heartedly to Bhagavan and Sri Gurudev to keep Swami KrishnanandajiMaharaj among us for many years to come. His life is a blessing and an inspiration for somany.
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Gurudev Was All Appreciation For Swami Krishnananda
(SWAMI HRIDAYANANDA MATAJI)
I appreciate what Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj has done for the Holy Master, H.H. Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj and I also know in what great esteem Sri Gurudev held SwamiKrishnanandaji.
I wanted to study the Brahma-Sutras and I told Gurudev about this. Gurudev told me togo to Krishnananda Swamiji to know what the Brahma-Sutras are. But, I did not know whereto find Krishnananda Swamiji. Gurudev told me: “Stand near the post office at FourO’clock in the morning. A young Sannyasi will pass by to have his bath in the Ganges.That is Swami Krishnananda. You can tell him: ‘Gurudev has asked me to learn theBrahma-Sutras and other Scriptures from Krishnananda Swamiji’.” I did whatGurudev told me and Swami Krishnanandaji readily agreed to teach me. That is how I learnedmany things from Swami Krishnananda.
Gurudev used to say: “Real Perfection can only come when service anddevotion can be combined with Jnana. Words must come from the heart, then everything willbe Perfect. Man can only serve man if he sees God reflected in the one heserves.” According to Sri Gurudev, service to the poor was not just human compassionbut it was service to God. This we could see from the life of Swami Krishnanandaji.
“You must love humanity with purity, nobility and magnanimity. Learn to cheer thesuffering. To have perfect faith in God, to love your neighbour as your own self, to loveGod with all your heart and soul, is Divine Life. You must serve and do your duty to allthe people. As long as the world exists for you, there will be suffering individuals alsothere. Only through service and renunciation we can remove the evil qualities of egoism.Forget yourself when you serve others.” This is the teaching of our Holy Master andthis is what Swami Krishnanandaji did all his life. Gurudev appreciated this so very much.
A true Sannyasin is one who does not hate, does not reject and does not want anythingfrom others. This is exemplified in Swamiji’s daily life.
I know for certain that Gurudev’s blessings are always on Swami Krishnanandaji,because Gurudev told me what He thought of him and how much He appreciated him.
May the life of Swami Krishnanandaji be a source of inspiration to one and all.
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“Our prosperity, our friends, our bondage and even our destructionare all in the end rooted in our tongue,” says a famous adage. –SwamiKrishnananda
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Swami Krishnananda As I See Him
It was 16th May, 1952 when I had the privilege to have had the Darshan of ReveredGurudev and Swami Krishnanandaji, in the Hall which is now a Book-Stall. He was talking onUpanishads. About 20 people were there. I sat down. In about a few minutes his lecture wasover. I saw Swamiji just like a boy and from a distance. You could count his ribs. He,straight, left for his room upstairs. In those days he would hardly move out of his room,so even if you move about in Ashram, you would hardly see him.
On several visits I had no chance to have his Darshan, because our visit was inconnection with Eye Camp. After about two years I felt I should read something aboutIndian Philosophy. So one day I went to Swamiji’s room. The room was like abookstall. He was sitting on the cot, bare bodied, books all around. I requested “Iwant to study something about Indian Philosophy, what should I read?” He replied,’Introduction to Indian Philosophy’ by Chatterjee & Banerjee–publishedby Calcutta University.” Before I could speak anything he joined hands and said”Om.” This literally meant I should leave.
In 1959 Swami Chidanandaji then Gen. Secretary was deputed to U.S.A. and SwamiKrishnanandaji was appointed as Gen. Secretary. Temperamentally he is a person who doesnot like to mix with people and have random talks, but as Gen. Secretary he had to meetnumber of people, discuss various items and this activity exposed the latent quality ofadministration. He managed and led the Ashram into development in various directions. Hehas to keep himself very busy because Ashram has expanded and with expansion his work alsoexpands. The characteristics of his character is very clean and clear in his talks andwritings. That has helped greatly in the development of Ashram. I would cite one smallincident. Once, about eight army officers and myself were sitting in Gurudev’sKutiya. In the meantime Swamiji came for signature. He was standing near the door. Gurudevsaid, “Krishnanandaji tell these people what is Divine Life in ten minutes.”Without any preparation and hesitation, like a tape recorder his speech started. Hecompleted in ten minutes and left. After he left, Gurudev told those officers “He isthe rebirth of Shankaracharya.”
During all these years of management he never allowed his spiritual activities to beslowed down. Books after books have been coming from his pen. We could see that over andabove, he being a Spiritual wizard, he has become a practical man-quite polished. Hislanguage appears to be tough to understand for an ordinary man. When he starts hislecture, a flow of Ganga comes out from him continuously. I think he is second to noneexcept Dr. Radhakrishnan, whom I have heard in Mumbai.
The essential qualities of an ideal Sannyasi are Punctuality, Discipline andSelf-Control–all these qualities are visible in every cell of his body.
May this “Amrit-Mahotsav” be the foundation stone of His Centenarycelebrations as well.
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The Royal Swan Is Seventy-Five
He has been rendering yeoman’s service to mankind by interpreting ancient Indianphilosophy in modern scientific idiom. In doing so Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj has drawnprofusely upon the immense output of Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji. Swamiji is not only awriter of impeccable English prose marked with a rare felicity of expression and a happyturn of phrase, but is also an impressive speaker. His evening discourses at the Ashramare eagerly awaited and some of his books are transliteration of his lectures. Being amaster of his subject, he has off-hand recorded interviews in which the devotees–someof them from other lands–have expressed their spiritual difficulties and the Swamijihas authoritatively resolved them to their satisfaction. It is indeed a pity that hisbooks are not prescribed in the courses of even Indian universities so that our futurecitizens get acquainted with the Indian heritage through the commentaries written by aprofound scholar.
The cultural atmosphere of the period in which the Vedic literature like the Upanishadswas written was altogether different than what it prevails today. To fill this culturalgap of centuries is a colossal task which has been so beautifully bridged by theinterpretations of Swami Krishnanandaji. He has written commentaries on all principalUpanishads and produced many other erudite volumes.
Take for example his exposition of the first Mantra of the BrihadaranyakaUpanishad. The horse of the Asvamedha Sacrifice is symbolic, a piece of contemplation,the avowed purpose of the Upanishad–which universalises the particulars. The head ofthe horse–the beginning of the body–is the dawn, beginning of the day. The eyesmay be compared to the sun and the moon, the prana within to the Cosmic Wind, mouthto the Cosmic Fire, body to the entire year, limbs to seasons, and so on. The sacrificialhorse symbolises the entire external universe. The Asvamedha Sacrifice thus becomes anobject of contemplation, literally an animal but psychologically and spiritually, as anelement like any other element in creation as a whole.
Extending the metaphor, Swamiji elaborates, the clouds are the flesh of his body, therivers are veins and arteries, the plants and shrubs his hairs, his yawning is like thelightening and the shaking of his body is like the thunder of the raining season.
A reference to Asvamedha Yajna, therefore, does not mean that a horse isphysically brought to the Vedi and sacrificed with a sword in hand. It is purelysymbolic. The purpose is that the performer of the Yajna will contemplate upon theentire creation as the Virat-svarup of the all-pervading Brahma–Isavasyam-idamsarvam.
In the same vein, Swamiji explains the Panchagni Vidya in the Chhandogya Upanishad. Thefirst oblation really is the universal vibration in the celestial Heaven. The second isthe reverberation in the lower regions of atmosphere in the form of rainfall. The grossermanifestation of events in the world is the third oblation. The fourth sacrifice is theMan himself who energises himself with food and produces virility. The fifth oblation isthe woman whose union with man brings about the birth of a child. These are the fivefires–Panchagni–and are not be regarded as individual events. Here, again, theemphasis is on rising above one’s little ego, expanding his consciousness andestablishing oneness with the Virat.
Swamiji is able to interpret ancient symbolism in the modern language of sciencebecause he is soaked in the Vedic lore and has meditated upon these esoteric mysteries. Hehas also thoroughly imbibed the contemporary scientific temper and is well conversant withwestern philosophical thought.
Analysis Of Western Thought
He has analytically examined the contribution of almost all major philosophers of theWest ranging from Socrates to Kant, Bergson and Whitehead. The point of reference has beenmostly the Vedanta and the works of Gurudev Swami Sivananda. Gurudev wrote as many as 300volumes and by comparing his philosophical thought with that of the West, SwamiKrishnanandaji has shed incandescent glow on both.
In explaining Vedanta, Swamiji says that man is neither pure spirit nor pure mind orbody. He is a harmonious blend of the body, mind and spirit. The spiritual Self, thethinking mind, and the physical senses together constitute an individual. “We are anorganic whole, not merely separate parts.” as Descartes thinks.
Swamiji elaborates that an organic unity cannot be explained by mechanical laws even asthe functions of the human body cannot be subjected entirely to the mathematical laws ofphysics. The fulfilment of the individual lies in the final realisation–Darshan–ofthe Absolute.
Reconciliation With Science
Referring to the predicament that there is no freedom in the universe andindeterminacy–or the Heisenberg principle of uncertainty–reigns supreme, Swamijiprecociously points out that such a conclusion is exaggerated. This principle only meansthat the ways of tracing the movements of the electron are not yet known to thescientists. That their present instruments of research are not as subtle as the force withwhich the electrons move. He is very right and the efforts are already on to discover somedefinite design of the orbits in ‘electron cloud.’
Swamiji is like a Rajhans, the Royal Swan, who is perfectly at ease in all theregions of the universe. He can take superb flights in the infinite heavenly regions,glide gracefully over the world of water, and as well walk with steady steps over the terrafirma. He can delve deep into the past, survey the contemporary scene with ease, andalso entertain elevating visions of the future indicating lines of future research.
Once this scribe approached him to suggest some material for writing a book on’Contribution of India to the Thought of the World.’ And the long bibliographyhe rattled of at the spur of the moment! It covered coveted volumes on history, science,astronomy, astrology, mathematics, philosophy, and what not. I would require several livesto go through the books mentioned by him. He has not only read but chewed and digestedmany of them. His range of knowledge is indeed stupendous.
His writings are generally lucid but at times he can be quite abstruse compelling thereader to tap his intelligence and pull himself up. At first sight few can visualise thegreatness of this small man. We at the Sivananda Ashram are really very fortunate to havehim in our midst, enjoy the privilege of sitting by his side and talking to him. Thegenial sunshine he sheds around and the jokes he may fling at you will never give you animpression that you are in the presence of a walking encyclopaedia. Whenever I havewritten anything sensible about philosophy, the credit goes to Swamiji, if there has beenanything wrong, the fault is entirely mine.
I with my entire family offer our humble homage to revered Swamiji on the auspiciousoccasion of his Amrit Mahotsava and pray for many many more years of his precious life.
Krishnananda’s Scripture-Capsules …… 2
The Isavasya Upanishad says that the whole Universe is pervaded by Isvara or God, who is both within and without it. He is the moving and the unmoving, He is far and near, He is within all these and without all these.
The Kena Upanishad says that the Supreme Reality is beyond the perception of the senses and the mind because the senses and the mind can visualise and conceive only the objects, while Reality is the Supreme Subject, the very precondition of all sensation, thinking, understanding, etc. No one can behold God because He is the beholder of all things.
The Kathopanishad has it that God is the Root of this Tree of world existence. The realisation of God is regarded as the Supreme blessedness or Shreyas, as apart from Preyas or temporal experience of satisfaction.
The Prasna Upanishad says that God is the Supreme Prajapati or Creator, in whom are blended both the matter and energy of the Universe, God is symbolised in Pranava, or Omkara.
My Guru–An Embodiment Of Fathomless Love
(TUSHAR KUMAR CHATTOPADHYAY)
At that time, I was a youth of twenty-four. I was working as a lecturer in physics inan undergraduate college. To live was a great struggle for me, for I was suffering fromchronic colitis for years together. I had a love affair with a lady who refused me all ona sudden and married someone else. Repeated failure to change my state of affairs broughtme to the verge of utter despair. I was thinking of giving up my life, as joy seemed tohave vanished from my mind altogether.
However, within the deep core of my heart, I had a peculiar feeling that life was atremendous mystery and before one left this earthly existence, one should try to unravelthis mystery. “Should I give up my life without the experience of thisunravelling?”–Day and night, this question perturbed me. Fortunately, at thatcritical period, I came across a book. Its name was “Autobiography of a Yogi.”Its author was Paramahamsa Yogananda. I had read many spiritual books before, but thosewere far different from this particular book. The entire writing was a piece of masterlyart, a real romance. Seven consecutive days passed and I was almost absorbed in the book.In it was a description of the direct, intuitive, spiritual experiences of a Yogi, whodedicated his life to know the supreme cause behind the panorama of life. Slowly the ideacrept into my mind: “Life is still worth living; the mystery of life is the source ofall inspiration for living.” I was very interested to delve deep into this ocean oflife, vibrating in every nook and corner of the great universe. But, how to do it? Who wasto help me? And above all, where was such a person who had already fathomed this greatdepth? Suddenly the answer came. One rainy afternoon, I was browsing at a book-stall in arailway station. One of the books drew my attention. It was “Yoga Asanas” bySwami Sivananda. Its language was very lucid and its exposition was extremely clear. Ipurchased the book then and there and read it. Within a few days, I wrote a letter toSwami Chidananda, the President of the Divine Life Society from where the book waspublished.
Swamiji was absent in the Ashram then, but a reply came from his personal secretary,who invited me to come over to the Ashram and meet the senior Swamis for the answers toall my questions. Accordingly, I reached Riskikesh. The calm and quiet environment of theAshram made my whirling mind peaceful and joy bubbled up from a source deep within, aftera long time. There were many Swamis who attracted my notice by their appearance, but whomto approach for my answers?
One morning I was talking with the man in the reception office, who advised me toattend Swami Krishnanandaji’s morning lecture. He then escorted me to Swamiji’sKutir–“Gurukripa.”
At first sight, I was not much impressed by Swamiji’s appearance. He had no longbeard, his eyes were not closed in meditative mood, nor was he very grave. He looked a manof ordinary stature and he frequently cut jokes with the other Swamis who had assembled tolisten to his discourse. I sat in one corner. The lecture was yet to start.
But, as the lecture started after a few minutes, the whole atmosphere vibrated with adifferent spirit. Words from his lips came out like a flowing fountain and I drank thosewords to my heart’s greatest content. Ah, it was a real treat for me! Never did Ifeel such happiness just by listening to a lecture. Today, I cannot recollect the topic ofthat day’s oration, but it was something concerning human happiness. Everythingaround was tranquil, and Swamiji’s words, like the rays of the sun, illumined my mindand lifted it to a plane of consciousness where knowledge alone was the object to bepursued. I forgot my bodily worries. Joy filled my mind. When the lecture ended, it seemedas if we woke up from a happy dream.
I approached Swamiji when the room was a bit less crowded, bowed down to him and toldhim that I wanted to learn the art of meditation. He gave an affectionate laugh. By thattime he was aware that I was a lecturer in physics. He asked, “How many years did youtake to understand the principles of physics?.” “Approximately nine years”I replied. “It may be more than that to learn meditation, my dear sir!” hesmilingly remarked. I stayed with him for more than twenty minutes. When I was ready totake leave. I found him looking intently at me with a peculiar gaze and mutter certainprayers, all of which I could not understand.
It was then the month of June. I came back to Calcutta, my place of work, within a fewdays, but could not forget that smiling face and those sparkling words. Doubts about theexistence of God tormented me day in and day out, in my leisure and during activities. Iwrote a letter again, this time to the newly-acquainted personality. The reply came withina fortnight. It was a long letter, illumining my mind about my various queries. I quotebelow a few extracts from this writing, which pulled me tremendously towards SwamiKrishnanandaji:
“As regards your query regarding the existence of God, etc., these doubts arise onaccount of the inability to reconcile the various doctrines of philosophic thought withthe central issue of any philosophic problem in an organic completeness.”
“Modern theories of evolution and discoveries of physics, chemistry and biologyare merely tentative conclusions based on empirical observation and they cannot be takenfor the whole of truth, since every thing that is empirical has to be founded uponsomething that is noumenal, a fact which no one can gainsay.
“An insight into the nature of the ultimate reality may require a preparation inthe form of extensive study and deep research under a competent guide.”
These remarks vibrated within my mind persistently. In October 1976, on my way backfrom Badrinath, I once again dropped at the Ashram. This time I stayed for six days. I metSwamiji every morning. One day he told me: “You have to practise deep meditation inorder to know about God. I shall tell you certain techniques.” But, after this, hewas utterly silent. Slowly, my leisure days came to an end. I had to come back again without any guidance.
Two months later came the Christmas Eve. I was feeling restless continually.”Would he not guide me ultimately?” “When shall I receive thedirections?”–Questions of this sort agitated me every day. All on a sudden, dueto some tremendous urge. I purchased a ticket for Haridwar and left Calcutta. I stillremember that wintry December morning when I reached Haridwar in the early hours. All wasdark around, everything was chilly, and the chill made me shiver up to my bones. Theatmosphere was heavy with fog, and when my bus started its movement, my whole mind wasalso full of mist. I could not understand properly whether I was going to tread the rightpath. Swami Krishnanandaji was in his Kutir, looking through certain papers. When Iarrived, he looked up and stared for a few seconds at me. “So you havecome”–he smiled, “Well, go and take bath, you are tired. I shall call youwhen necessary.” He turned his attention once again to his files.
A few days later, one morning at eight o’clock, I was summoned. The room wasempty. Swamiji started talking about concentration and meditation. At that time, I wastrying to concentrate my mind with the help of certain Hatha-yogic methods. He told me:”Those are not for you. You should practise Japa. That is the easiest method ofconcentration.” Then he uttered two Mantras. “Choose between the two” headded. I chose one. “Okay” he said, “that is your Mantra then. PractiseJapa with it. It will lead you to meditation.” I was also instructed by him about thetechnique of meditation. And all this took only fifteen to twenty minutes. Surprisinglyenough, it took two more years for me to understand that this was my initiation (an eventcompletely free from rituals) and that he was my sole spiritual guide.
Two days later, he called me again, this time, it was afternoon. Spontaneously heexplained to me the techniques of Raja Yoga and how to move in this path of spirituality,amidst a modern, sophisticated city life. At one moment I asked him, “Is meditationalways good for a human being? I see that it produces headache, etc., in my case.”Smilingly he replied, “Meditation, conducted rightly and under a proper guide, cannever have any ill effect.” Then, with a mischievous look and with eyes twinklingwith joke, he added, “And I don’t think I am a wrong doctor for your spiritualailments, inasmuch as I have treated thousands of patients successfully.”
Days and months rolled by. I was back home and working, but my whole mind was allintent to get in touch with this person of immense wisdom. Yet, somehow I was alsoattracted towards Paramahamsa Yogananda’s writings and lessons. I continuedpractising the Yogoda lessons (certain spiritual techniques) and also themeditation methods prescribed by Swamiji Maharaj. I was a bit perplexed at that time. Whowas my real Guru? I could not judge. The superb writings of Paramahamsa Yogananda appealedto me tremendously. I was overwhelmed with the wisdom of this man whom I had no chance tomeet physically.
Since 1977, I started visiting the Ashram twice a year–in summer and in theautumnal vacation. Each time I put the same question to Swamiji: “Who is myGuru?.” He never replied clearly, but only talked this and that. At last, one morningin 1977, when I asked him, “Did you initiate me, Swamiji? There was no ritual at allwhen you gave me the Mantra.” He gave a tender look and said, “Well, somethingwas done and that was the ritual for you.” The words rang with such a power that theyflashed like a lightning, and within a second, I realised who was my true Guru.
Our relationship became sweeter after this event. Several times he said, “TusharKumar, why don’t you marry?.” “Marriage? Isn’t it the burial ofSadhana?” I wondered.
“No, No” he explained, “sometimes, marriage may help your spiritualevolution. Marry an untutored girl; she would help you.” I had every intention tomarry a postgraduate girl, if at all I decided to be wedded. I therefore strongly objectedto this proposal. “Impossible” I exclaimed, “I can’t marry a girlwithout post-graduation. And why? I won’t marry at all.”
My Guru, a man of a different realm, never argued. “Okay, okay, we would see to itlater. Now carry on your Sadhana.” And then he changed over to a different topic. Hetouched all the facets of my life in his instructions and discussed almost everything,including my health, my academic life, my family affairs, over and above my spiritualprogress. As I advanced slowly, his instructions became rarer, and when we met, most ofthe time he talked about the multifarious varieties of the life spiritual. I continued mySadhana, but felt very lonely at heart. No one was there to share my inner feelings of joyand sorrow. Moreover, I stumbled many times in attempting to control my biological urge.In 1977, I told him, “Swamiji, I am feeling that I should marry… Should I marry?What do you suggest?.” “Of course, you should marry. It is essential foryou,” he remarked gravely, and then smiled: “Didn’t I tell this to you longago?.” I was struck dumb with awe. So, this man foresaw whatever was going to happenin my future.
As I slowly evolved, I found to my utter surprise that all his predictions about mylife came true to the word. Whatever he spoke was truth for me. I shartled obeying all hisdirections without the least hesitation. A conviction came in my mind in the light ofwhich I understood that this divine personality had already become the director of myhitherto commonplace life. I also realised, by his grace, that to find God was the summumbonum of human existence.
The profundity of his wisdom is incomparable. His knowledge on any subject whatsoever,besides Yoga and Vedanta, is something to be really admired. When he speaks on physicseven (which fortunately is my subject), it seems that he understands physics far betterthan I do. His writings carry a depth of thought which reflects his keen intellect and yethave a peculiar grace and charm. But all this apart, his love for everybody, howeverinsignificant he may be, is beyond ordinary conception. Outwardly grave andself-possessed, when this sage of the modern era keeps quiet, it seems that there is aninsurmountable barrier surrounding him. As one comes nearer to him, however, it seems thathe is but a fountain from which there is a continuous emanation of rays of love, soothingevery soul that approaches. When I read, in various spiritual books about the qualitiesthat God possesses, and when I remain in close proximity of my divine Guru, I feel thatGod is manifesting his unique character through him.
I have heard that he is a man of great spiritual attainments. But, who am I to judgehis level? Can an insect fathom the ocean?
I am blessed to have his love, for no one else in this earthly plane has loved me somuch, no one else has shown so much concern for me. An ordinary human being, unless hebecomes a God-man, is perhaps incapable of such a selfless love. In the words of a greatsaint of modern times, “Once we experience the love divine that flows through us fromGod, it gives a glow to life that nothing else on earth–no powers, no glories, noamount of sense-satisfaction–can give us.”
Krishnananda’s Scripture-Capsules …. 3
The Mundaka Upanishad gives the image of the Supreme Being as the One Ocean into which all the rivers of individual existence enter and with which they become one, as their final goal.
The Mandukya Upanishad regards the Supreme Being as the Turiya, or the Transcendent Consciousness, beyond the states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep.
The Taittiriya Upanishad regards the Reality as the Atman, or the Self, beyond the physical, vital, mental, intellectual and causal aspects (Sheaths) of the personality. It also identifies this Atman with the Supreme Absolute, or Brahman.
The Aitareya Upanishad states that the Supreme Atman has manifested itself as the objective Universe from the one side and the subjective individuals on the other side, in which process, factors which are effects of God’s creation become causes of individual’s perception, by a reversal of the process.
Swami Krishnananda: A God-Man
(SWAMI NARAYANANANDA MATAJI)
On the holy and auspicious occasion of the 75th anniversary of the coming on earth ofHis Holiness Most Revered Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, I would like to write a fewwords about this great God-man.
I met Swamiji in 1983 and for the past many years have had the privilege and blessingof serving Swamiji and of spending time in his holy presence. Swamiji’s greatness isreally unfathomable but there are certain aspects that can be mentioned here.
What has impressed me enormously about Swamiji is that he is established inGod-awareness and does not need the approval or recognition of anyone to confirm hisgreatness. Swamiji knows that his real worth does not increase or decrease according topublic opinion, and is free from all the paraphernalia and entrapments of name and fame.Therefore it is very joyful to be in Swamiji’s presence–no formality is requiredand there is no tension or fear of inadvertently offending him in any way. He expresseshimself spontaneously and allows us the same freedom without requiring the rigidity thatis expected of many Gurus. In fact, Swamiji is so immersed in the universality of hisbeing that most of the time he does not even defend himself from criticisms of those whomisunderstand and condemn him. It is very rare indeed to meet such a great Saint who isliberated from the encumbrance of ego-identification.
Yet despite being unaffected by public opinion, Swamiji is known throughout India andall over the world as a great seer and God-man, a master of Eastern and Westernphilosophy, a knower of Truth. Though Swamiji never leaves the Ashram or travels anywhere,his reputation as a stalwart of highest thinking has attracted countless devotees andseekers from every part of the globe. They come to meet the exalted personage of SwamiKrishnananda after learning about him or reading his excellent books, many of which havebeen translated into different languages. These visitors ask a variety of questions and itis a wonder for all of us to see how he replies to each one, always leading our attentionto the highest universality, Self-awareness. Countless people have been totallytransformed after meeting Swamiji and bathing in the bliss of his divine love. Everyevening Swamiji presides over an hour-long meditation during which time all are free toapply their own meditation techniques. Not a word is spoken, not a sound is made, but themeditational vibrations emanating from Swamiji are so powerful that we are whisked awayinto a state of pure being, unaffected by time and space. With the holy blessings ofSwamiji, the meditators merge into the One Self that Alone Is.
Swamiji’s writings can be classified under the following headings:
1. Commentaries on Scriptures
3. Independent Monographs
Under the first category comes Swamiji’s magnificent expositions of the Upanishadsand the Bhagavad Gita. Swamiji’s commentaries on the Brihadaranyaka and ChhandogyaUpanishads are especially superb and they read as a harmonious flow in a soft and touchingstyle revealing an indepth insight into the profundities of the Upanishads. Swamiji’sPhilosophy of the Bhagavad Gita is a masterpiece which has evoked praise fromscholars and seekers as the best revelation of the true import of the Bhagavad Gita; theselecture delivered extempore are a comprehensive textbook that serves as a philosophicaland spiritual guide.
Swamiji’s poems include an independent classified portrayal of the Bhagavad Gitain poetry arranged subject-wise, called The Song of God Almighty, a novelpresentation in Swamiji’s own characteristic style of poetry. Swamiji’s majorpoem, in five parts, is The Epic of Consciousness written in Miltonian style ofepic majesty which touches the whole of the cosmology of the descent and the ascent ofcreation, to be read, to be-lived.
Swamiji’s monographs are the most important contributions to philosophicalliterature. They are The Philosophy of Life, The Ascent of the Spirit, Essays in Lifeand Eternity, Self-Realisation: Its Meaning and Method, The Philosophy of Religion,Studies in Comparative Philosophy, The Philosophy of the Panchadasi and TheRealisation of the Absolute.
The Yoga of Meditation and The Yoga System are highly penetrating andcomprehensive. Swamiji’s major books on the practice of Yoga are: Introduction tothe Philosophy of Yoga and Yoga As a Universal Science.
Among conversations, Swamiji’s encounter with a Canadian lawyer in The Problemsof Spiritual Life is a great treasure of insight, clarity and profundity. YourQuestions Answered touches upon practically every aspect of spiritual inquiry,analysis and contemplation.
Also, there are a number of Swamiji’s manuscripts lying unknown to the world asthey are yet to be published.
But Swamiji is much more than all the intellectual and philosophical attainments forwhich he is so famous. Swamiji is at heart a true lover of God, immersed in ecstasy of theDivine, constantly aware of the bliss that permeates his entire being. Sometimes tearswell up in his eyes; often Swamiji bursts into a devotional song, and there are occasionswhen he dances to express his joy.
Swamiji has a wonderful sense of humour, rather Swamiji’s humour is an expressionof the joy he always feels. He sees himself in every aspect of creation and is a master ofhistrionics. Swamiji can imitate any person, any animal, he can even produce the sounds oftrains and aeroplanes. When Swamiji tells a story he moves the hearts of his listeners byidentifying himself with each character of the tale, becoming one with their thoughts,emotions and actions. One day he mono-acted Bhagavan Sri Krishna as ambassador for thePandavas; every scene and role was played by Swamiji alone, commencing with Krishnatelling Yudhishthira that he would try for peace and concluding with Krishna showing theVishwarupa in the Kuru’s court. Each character was played in such detail andperfection that it appeared as though the entire drama was actually unfolding at that verymoment. Even Draupadi’s expression of grief and demand for retribution were a wonderto see, not to mention the magnificent portrayal of Sri Krishna and His manifestation ofthe Vishwarupa.
Finally, a few words regarding Swamiji’s contribution to The Divine Life Society.Swamiji has been a resident of the Sivananda Ashram since 1944, and Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj loved him as his own dearest son. Swamiji has made an incalculablecontribution to the spiritual development of this Ashram by his mere presence, and also bygiving guidance to so many seekers in person and by correspondence, by giving countlessinvaluable discourses over the years, and through his many illuminating writings. Eversince Swamiji became the Secretary of The Divine Life Society in 1957 and GeneralSecretary in 1961, he has protected the Society from all kinds of administrativeinterference, moving heaven and earth to free the Headquarters Ashram even from severalacts of the Government by means of official exemptions. This monumental feat has beenaccomplished by the positive influence that Swamiji has exerted on persons of every leveland rank, as well as by managing the Society in a straightforward and transparent mannerwhich leaves no room for doubt about its his integrity.
So many different types of people reside in the Ashram, each with a unique temperamentand manner of expression. That they are all able to live and work together peacefully is agreat credit to Swamiji’s remarkable flexibility and administrative skill.
The outstanding characteristic of Swami Krishnananda is a thorough going blend ofEastern thought and Western logic simultaneously with an extraordinary capacity to speakand write in a classical style with great literary merit, and above all Swamiji’srootedness throughout in his aspiration for unity with the Absolute–a rare exampleindeed to emulate by everyone who seeks perfection in their approach to life.Perfection–in everything from all sides–that is Swami Krishnananda.
May Most Worshipful and Revered Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj remain with us for avery long time to come.
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When senses trouble you, remember the sages Narayana and Nara. They are the suprememasters over the senses, before whom Indra had to bow his head in shame.
In Search of Peace
After reading abridged edition of Mahabharata, I too thought of going to Himalayas forMahaprasthana, to reach heaven like Pandavas to obtain supreme peace. On seeing therailway map that the last station to Himalayas is Rishikesh, travelled by train for fourdays without food or water as my destination is to reach heaven! On getting down fromtrain at Rishikesh station, neither I could see thick forests, super-human Yogis ofHimalayas, nor snow-peaks and all my imaginations vanished with utter disappointment. Idecided to return. Suddenly a thought came to my mind to go to Sivanandashram to meet oneof my friend who is supposed to stay there and then return to home. Thus I reachedSivanandashram, met Sri Swami Dayanandaji who was sitting near Gurudev’s Kutir and heenquired about the purpose of my visit, offered a cup of tea. Again I was disappointed asI could not meet my old friend also. When I intended to pay for the tea, Dayananda Swamijibluntly refused to accept and insisted that I should stay for some days, take rest andthen return. When I asked how can I stay without any payment for boarding and lodging,Swamiji suggested to serve Gurudev Sivananda and he introduced me to H.H. Revered SriSwami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, who was staying at Gurudev’s Kutir.
On hearing my purpose of visit to Rishikesh, Sri Swami Krishnanandaji felt very happyand advised me to assist him in his correspondence work for some hours in the mornings andhelp Sri Swami Sharadanandaji, who was in charge of Publication League, during the rest ofthe day. Sri Swami Sharadanandaji taught me a set of Yogasanas, Pranayamas, etc., andadvised to take up classes at Ashram’s Bhajan Hall, daily in the mornings. After somemonths he left for Gangotri. When I was conducting Yoga classes, one day, a Yoga teachervisited the Ashram, attended the class and asked me a question: “Do you know the Earof the ear?” When I replied negatively, he said that without knowing It, one shouldnot teach. I went to Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj and narrated my discussion with thatYoga teacher, told Swamiji that henceforth I may not conduct Yoga classes as I do not knowthe Ear of the ear. Swamiji laughed and said: “You are serving Gurudev’smission, Guru’s service is God’s service. Isvara, Guru and Atman are one thesame. Atman is everything. It is Ear of the ear, Eye of the eye, Upanishads declare thenature of the Self in various ways. You know ‘Tat Twam Asi’–Thou artThat Mahavakya and explained relationship of Hanuman to Lord Rama. He narrated anincidence of Ramayana. When all the great warriors like Angada and Hanuman lost hope indiscovering the whereabouts of Sita and decided to end their lives as a result of negativethinking and also felt helplessness and weakness to cross the ocean, it is Jambavan whoreminded Hanuman about his strength. Hanuman listened, his body started to grow bigger andbigger and stood up like a big mountain and shook of his old passive personality. Hisentire body became radiant and filled with dynamic energy and crossed the ocean. Swamijisaid that esoteric meaning of this incidence of Ramayana is: “That the Spirit insideof everyone is like Hanuman. Its immense energy has been misused due to ignorance or wrongthinking. That is why everyone is caught up in the world-process and is unaware that thepower within oneself is the power of God. The intrinsic reality within all names and formsis Self, the Absolute Brahman or Atman, but somehow that awareness has faded. A fictitiousego developed, declaring, ‘I am this body, etc.’ Because of this there is agreat deal of misery and tension in life. But by good company, right thinking, selflessservice, you regain your inner spiritual strength of the Self and grow just like Hanumanand cross the ocean of the wheel of births and deaths.” Swamiji also said thatworshipful Gurudev has given all the essential teachings of scriptures in small phrases:”Serve, Love, Meditate, Realise, Be good, Do Good, Serve all, Love all” andcreated wonderful atmosphere to grow spiritually. It is by his Grace we are here, he istaking care of us and guiding us in every step of our life. To serve him and his DivineMission is serving the Lord in all his names and forms. Look at righteous Yudhishthira,even after going to heaven with his physical body, he could not give up his likes anddislikes, hence he could not get the peace of mind. Gurudev often repeated: “Goal oflife is Self-realisation or God-realisation.” To realise the Self or God alone we areall doing Seva and Sadhana. Spiritual practice is not merely to do something and avoid todo something. It is total surrender and effacement of individuality, then alone can oneget peace of mind. He quoted the verse of the Bhagavadgita Chapter XII. 12: “Betterindeed is knowledge than practice; than (theoretical) knowledge, meditation is better,than meditation (with ego) the renunciation of the fruits of actions; peace immediatelyfollows renunciation.” Swamiji Maharaj’s timely guidance and advice helped me tocontinue my Sadhana uninterruptedly and I continued to teach Yoga as a part of Sadhana andservice to Gurudev. On the auspicious occasion of his Amrita Mahotsava I pray to theAlmighty Lord and worshipful Gurudev to bestow good health and long life to venerable H.H.Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj so that he can continue to guide spiritual aspirants formany more years.
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It may be that we try to remember God when we are comfortably placed. But the test asto whether He has really entered our hearts is whether we remember Him in sickness,suffering, opposition and times of temptation. –Swami Krishnananda
An Embodiment Of Total Dedication
First Darshan of Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj I had in Bhajan Hall, when SwamiDevanandaji Maharaj introduced me to Swamiji after his speech there. After enquiring aboutmy qualification, Swamiji gave me permission to stay in the Ashram and gave me the servicein Sivananda Publication League. At that time I translated Swamiji’s book “AShort History of Religious and Philosophic Thought In India” into Telugu language.
Those days Swamiji was staying in Gurudev’s Kutir. He used to deliver lectures onthe Gita at Bhajan Hall. One day Swamiji asked everyone to read some Slokas of the Gitaafter his lecture. When my turn came I too read and Swamiji was pleased with my recitationand asked “where did you learn?” I told that I learnt in Vyasashram. After sometime Swamiji initiated me with holy Mantra Diksha in Samadhi Mandir. My next effort wastranslation of “Secret of the Kathopanishad.”
Later on when Swamiji was staying in Gokul Kutir, he took up classes on”Isavasyopanishad”, which was translated by me into Telugu.
Swamiji shifted his residence from place to place in the Ashram premises, apparently,for reasons of his health and for the convenience of attending to his duties as GeneralSecretary and meeting the visitors. But, in fact, he thereby charged the whole Ashram withhis spiritual power and knowledge.
Swamiji’s vision is wholly spiritual. He regards, the whole Sivananda Ashram asthe body of Gurudev Sivanandaji Maharaj and again, he sees the whole world in the Ashram.Sivananda Ashram is his mirror of whole Cosmos. Swamiji always speaks nothing short of theAbsolute, God-Realisation, Cosmos, Universe, Almighty. God, etc. Swamiji says, if you pourthe water of your devotion into the root of the great tree of Sivananda Ashram or”The Divine Life Society”, you can grow the Branches Of D.L.S. all over theworld, and you can have the beautiful flowers of wise men and ideal women, and you canreap the fruit of God-Realisation or Self-Realisation.
Let us all follow the footsteps of Swamiji Maharaj, who is the embodiment of totaldedication, for realising God in this very birth.
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Manu Smriti says: One-fourth of one’s knowledge comes from the Teacher, one-fourthfrom study, one-fourth from co-students and one-fourth by experience in the passage oftime. –SwamiKrishnananda
A Living Gita In Sivananda Ashram
(VIVEKA MATAJI, BOULDER, U.S.A.)
In a mysterious manner I came under the spiritual influence of the Great Satguru Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj. It happened in San Francisco in 1991. I was invited by a friend ofmine to attend a Puja being conducted by a Swami from the Sivananda Ashram of Rishikesh atWesley Zineski’s house in San Francisco. The Puja was in progress and the Swami, SriKarthikeyan, had just finished Abhisheka to the Holy Sandals (Padukas) of Swami Sivanandaji and he handed over one of the Padukas to me to wash and dry. As I received thePaduka, a strange and powerful spiritual current permeated me from head to foot. I wastransported to a different realm of Consciousness. This was my first ‘encounter’with the Great Master, and I was struck by his radiance, compassionate Sakti, a gentle yetfirm and powerful magnificence. Thus I had his Darshan in the form of the Paduka Pujawhich fulfils the aspirations of everyone’s heart without fail. Since then there hadbeen a great transformation in my life.
After the Puja, Swami Karthikeyan talked about his Satguru Swami Sivananda and theSivananda Ashram, the activities there and the great Saintly souls who continue thetradition of the Master. He also extended an open invitation to visit the Ashram foranyone who wishes to experience the Ashram life, on the banks of the holy Ganga in theHimalayas. This inspired me and I decided to visit the Rishikesh Ashram.
I travelled with Wesley Zineski to Rishikesh, and arrived in the Ashram in time for thesacred Navaratri and the Skanda Shashthi Celebrations. The spiritual atmosphere generatedduring these Celebrations by the ceremonial Pujas, chantings and the presence of thePresident Swamiji Maharaj and Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj is something to be experiencedfor oneself.
The morning meditation session of the Ashram graced by the President Swamiji Maharaj isa beautiful, precious light to kindle in the early mornings. And SwamiBrahmanandaji’s warm presence and teachings of the Scriptures are an unsurpassed andindispensable diet for the soul which I truly treasure.
But the crowning glory of the Ashram is to be found in the precious presence of reveredSwami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, who is easily available for “Darshan” foreveryone, without any distinction, in the forenoon of each day and the hour-long period ofsilent meditation, every afternoon. It is amazing to watch Swamiji attend to variouspersons and businesses at the same time and with such swiftness that one wonders what isthe secret of his powers. Perhaps it is the Cosmic Consciousness in which he isestablished all the time! Often he says: “Nothing is and can be outside the Virat orthe Cosmic Being.” And what we hear during the ‘Darshan’ time in theforenoon, is experienced during the period of silent meditation in the afternoon when, inthe meditative presence of Swamiji, everyone present there is lifted above their littleindividualities to the fringe of an all-inclusive Cosmic Awareness, at least for the timebeing. I have never experienced such meditations before. Swamiji’s presence in dailymeditations and Darshans is an unending source of inspiration and instruction onpractising the living of the Life Divine. In these sessions with Swamiji, like the GangaHerself, we are swiftly moved by Swamiji’s spiritual currents to the final goal ofbeatitude and God-realisation, found in an all-inclusive Divinity.
Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj is an invaluable asset to The Divine Life Society and theSivananda Ashram. I have read the life of Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj and also the BhagavadGita. I feel that the Supreme Spirit Itself has bestowed the greatest of Blessings upon usin the personality of Swami Krishnanandaji–a living Gita in Sivananda Ashram. Thegreat Being of Gurudev Sivananda is seen working through Swami Krishnananda in many arespect–his punctuality; his promptness in the disposal of problems, both mundane aswell as spiritual; his clarity of understanding; his easy accessibility to one and allwithout distinction; his mother-like soft heart and concern for everyone’s welfare;and above all, a total freedom from any kind of malice towards anyone, even those who tryto offend him, belittle him, etc. I find in him a true and living example of the qualitiesof a Jnani and Bhakta given in the Gita, like: Sarva bhuta hite ratah,–interestedin the welfare of every being; Adveshta sarva bhutanam maitrah….,–friendlyand compassionate to all and hating none; and Abhayam sarva bhutebyah, fearlessnessto all beings. I have not the least doubt that Gurudev Sivananda would be proud of thisdisciple of his, who has maintained his spirit of renunciation and also an undivideddedication to the Master’s Mission, till this date. I am endlessly grateful to theHoly Master, who has brought me into personal contact with such a living Saint, throughthe visit to the West by another of the Master’s worthy and dedicated disciple, SwamiKarthikeyan. And it is my sincere and heartfelt prayer to Gurudev that he may keep SwamiKrishnanandaji Maharaj in good health and well-being that he may continue to guide us formany more years to come.
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“He is called a ‘man’ who, when anger rises forcibly within, is able tosubdue and cast it out as a snake casts away its slough with ease,” said Hanuman tohimself when he suspected that the fire he set through the whole of Lanka might perhapshave burnt Sita, too.
The Divine Diamond
(PROF. VASUDEV RANDEV)
It is a matter of great delight for thousands of seekers, Yogins and saints of all overthe world that Amrit Mahotsava (75th Birthday Anniversary) Celebrations of our Pujya SriSwami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, General Secretary, The Divine Life Society Rishikesh isbeing organised befitting to this memorable event of the spiritual history ofBharatavarsha. It is really a very noble endeavour to publish a souvenir on the life andteachings of Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj–a great saint of the modern times onthis auspicious occasion. I congratulate Revered H.H. Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj,President, the Divine Life Society, Rishikesh and other organisers of these celebrationswho have taken up this worthy venture.
Swami Krishnanandaji is considered to be a concise walking encyclopaedia of secular andspiritual information due to his vast and intense knowledge of multifarious fields. In hismorning Darbar you may talk to him on any subject but at the end you feel that Sri Swamijiknows better than even the specialists of that subject. Though saturated so much in Jnana,yet like Ulysses of Greek mythology he has always a great thirst of new knowledge andrespects the learned ones.
He is a renowned author who is read with great interest and wonder in whole of theworld, not only by the spiritual seekers but also by the students of Philosophy andSpiritualism.
Swami Krishnanandaji is an alloy of Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Karma Yoga. As theresult of his many years of tapas, austerity and meditation, in pursuit ofSelf-realisation he may be termed as a great spiritual master of the day, in whom thespiritual Indian culture pulsates and finds manifestation in his each action and everybreath. People from every nook and corner of the world come and sit near his feet toquench their spiritual quest. Thus anyone who comes near him feels that Swami Krishnanandais his mentor.
He is of the view that work and worship are not contradictory but complimentary to eachother. That is why when Sri Swamiji sits in his morning audience one wonders how thisSannyasin caters to so many diverse spiritual and secular matters. At one time he istalking to a foreigner on the intricacies of Dhyana, the other moment he attends to theaccounts clerk and asks him the details of the cash vouchers and just at that time someoneasks Swamiji for the extension of his stay in the Ashram. Sri Swamiji rings up theReception office. But this is not the end of the story, just at that very moment someneedy person comes for donation and Swamiji passes orders to help him and cracks jokeswith him, and then and there somebody wants his blessings for his newly married son. SriSwamiji does all these things like the Great Videha King Janaka. The people who see thisfeat of Swamiji for the first time feel bewildered and say jokingly, “not two in one,not three in one but he is so many in one.”
Sri Swami Krishnanandaji is basically an exponent of Sanatana Dharma and is proud ofthis heritage from Rishis of Bharatavarsha. But he is a firm believer of “opendoor” spiritual society based on the universal truth. Like his master Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, he does not profess to be a founder of any new thought. He has simplyinterpreted for us and the world, the Indian religious treasures of the past. His speechesand writings are thus fortified by quotations from the Indian scriptures, sayings of hisgreat master and his own Anubhavas.
The greatest contribution of Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj to the spiritual realm isthat he has tried to bring our spiritualism from the shelf of dogmas. According to him,”An educated mind cannot accept the canons of faith without rational evidence,whatever we are called upon to accept, must be justified by reason otherwise religiousbeliefs will be reduced to wishful thinkings.”
The most obvious aspect of life is that everything in the world passes away. The vastmountains, the beautiful palaces, the strong castles, the great civilisations, all theseare subject to decay and become the part of hoary history, but according to Sri SwamiKrishnanandaji there is something beyond this time and space, which no doubt is inspiringand unifying this universe but this great power is in it but is beyond it. In his views,”there is that being before this “becoming” and that being is the eternaltruth.”
Sri Swami Krishnananda is a man of universal approach to religion without subjugationto any type of barriers. According to him, “Intolerance is an expression of religiousconceit and not a spiritual spark. He believes in the freedom of conscience. Each soul hasa right to choose its own path and see God in its own way. Secularism does not merelyrequire us to tolerate but to understand and love other religions. That is why praying inthe mosque of Mohammedans, kneeling before the cross of the Christians, worshipping beforethe fire of Zoroastrians or performing Puja in a temple are equally important for SwamiKrishnanandaji Maharaj.
Let us pray to God and Sri Gurudev to bless this spiritual son of mother India with avery long life and a radiant health so that he may continue to carry on the torch of theDivine Life for many decades of the twenty first century also which is knocking at thedoors of humanity.”
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Who is a fool? He who thinks that the world has any regard for him and is really inneed of him. –Swami Krishnananda
(P. GANESH PRASAD, BANGALORE–formerly an inmate ofSivanandashram)
I was a Sadhaka-inmate of Sivanandashram during the period between 1973 and 1983. WhenI stumbled into the Ashram life by the will of God, I was hardly 18 years old, little didI know that I will be face to face with an extraordinary personality, a like of which Ihave still not found. That was our Worshipful Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, whom Iregard as my Gurudev.
What is great about Pujya Swamiji is that he is a true Sat-guru. Many of us might haveseen Swamiji with a stern countenance, mildly chiding the inmates and other familiardevotees most of the time and appearing to be rough with them. The only reason why Swamijiappears to be uncompromising is that he wants us to avoid being silly-minded in ourapproach to anything in life. Swamiji expects us to be always serious about spirituallife, for which purpose alone we live in such holy places. Swamiji Maharaj dislikes allthose Sadhakas who keep losing sight of their spiritual goal and tries to advise themthrough his scintillating sermons not to get side-tracked into unwanted ways of life whichwould lead to their spiritual fall. Many Sadhakas who have not seriously heeded to SwamijiMaharaj’s advice have ended up as hopeless cases, i.e., neither able to continue inthe Ashram nor able to go back to their kith and kin. The spiritual welfare of all theSadhakas and devotees is foremost in Swamiji’s mind. This precisely is what a trueSat-guru is supposed to do throughout his life-span and this noble role is being played byPujya Swamiji Maharaj in an astounding way, unparalleled in the history of present-dayspiritual reformers.
The majority of the Sadhaka-world in Sivanandashram would agree with me if I say thatwhatever little practical knowledge, worth-mentioning, is enshrined in our bosom today,has been solely from the holy mouth of Pujya Swamiji Maharaj. If we are something today inour spiritual knowledge, it is only due to Swamiji’s blessings through his mostinspiring discourses which always transported us to the realms of the ancient seers. Thatway we are eternally indebted to Pujya Swamiji for sowing the potent seeds of treespiritual aspirations in our hearts. In this sense, Swamiji has been both our spiritualfather and mother. Blessed are those who have come in touch with this twentieth centurysaint. To sit at Swamiji’s holy feet is like sitting before the Almighty Himself. Allour sins are burnt in toto by his mere glance. This is my firm conviction. Most fortunateare our blessed ears to have had the opportunity of listening to the voice of this livingGod on earth. The great Swami Chinmayanandaji once visited our Ashram and in the presenceof many inmates and devotees passed the following remarks about Swamiji’s discourses:
“My lectures are like the seashells on the seashore, while the sermons of SwamiKrishnanandaji are like the pearls of the Pacific.”
This one statement from a great man like Swami Chinmayanandaji, who himself was aneminent orator, speaks volumes on the greatness of Pujya Swamiji Maharaj. All theadjectives available in the modern dictionary may not be adequate to highlightSwamiji’s greatness.
I may recall one more incident which left an indelible impression in my mind:
I served the publication league of the Ashram during the first few years of my Ashramlife. Thereafter, Pujya Swamiji called me and asked me to work with Sri Karthikeyanji inthe General Secretary’s Office. At that juncture, I expressed my desire to Swamijisaying that I wanted to be very close to him and do his seva like typing his personalletters, articles etc., and other activities like washing his clothes, preparing food forhim etc. To this His Holiness remarked: “Ganeshprasadji, I am like the ViratPurusha. The whole Ashram is my body and the various departments are my various limbs.Whichever department you serve, it will be like serving me only. So, do not getdisheartened. Go and work with Karthikeyanji.” I was transfixed for a few momentsbecause the authority with which the Revered Swamiji spoke those few sentences literallytransported me to the presence of the Almighty as described in the Vedic hymn PurushaSukta…..Sahasra seersha purushah, sahasrakshah sahasrapaath…. This enhanced myfaith in the divine personality of Pujya Swamiji manifold.
I do not really know as to how I got estranged from the presence of this Great Beingand have come to lead the life of an householder at the moment. I have taken it as thewill of God.
Let us all sincerely pray to the Almighty to grant Pujya Swami Krishnanandaji Maharajexcellent health and make him live amidst us for a very long time, to guide us all on thedifficult path of search for Perfection.
Our sincere efforts to put into practice whatever Pujya Swamiji has taught us overthese past few decades can only be our true Guru Dakshina to this Great Being on this holyoccasion of His 75th Birthday Anniversary. MAY SWAMIJI MAHARAJ’S BLESSINGS BE UPON USALL. Hari Om Tat Sat!
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The pain generally felt at death is due to the nature of the intensity of the desireswith which one continued to live in the physical body. The more is the love for theUniversal Being entertained in life, the less would be the pain and agony of departingfrom the body.
The Ecstasy Of God-Love
While the Srutis, as the Vedas and the Upanishads are called, liftthe principle of Godhead above the region of creation and make it shine gloriously in thefirmament of utter perfection beyond the dust of the earth, and create a sense ofveneration and fearsome devotion to the Eternal Potentate, the Epics and Puranas joyfullyendeavour to bring the Judge of the universe to a homely relation, of a friend,philosopher and guide to humanity in turmoil. God, while He is the powerful parent andruler over all things, to whom everything is subject as dependent and servant. He is alsothe friend of man, as in the symbol of the concept of Narayana and Nara, Godnever separable from man’s welfare, Krishna never forsaking Arjuna, andcoming to his succour and help even unasked and unsolicited. Many a time, man himself doesnot know that he needs help from God, but God knows it even beforehand. This is theintimacy and compassion which characterises God as highlighted in the Epic and Purana texts.The comradeship of God and man is the special touching feature which is promulgated hereas distinguished from the transcendent majesty of the Brahman proclaimed in the Upanishads,or the gods adored in the Samhitas. It is the purport of these specialisedteachings to make religion not only easy of practice but also a pleasant and enjoyablemeans of concourse with God, who is with us at all times, and is ever wary of the needs ofdevotees. The relation between man and God is now the apotheosis of the emotions andfeelings, loves and aspirations of man, and human longings are concentratedly focussed onthe form of God. While the Krishna-Arjuna relation is one of dignity andwonderment, as the cosmic and the individual working in unison, the most intimate relationof man with God, according to the Bhagavata Purana, is to be found reaching itsheights in the love of the Gopis of Vrindavana. While the father-sonrelation, the master-servant relation, the friend-and-friend relation, and themother-child relation are indeed master-pieces of human relation, the romance of the soulin its ecstasy of God-vision is considered as the highest point which love and devotioncan reach. In the Brihadaranyaka-Upanishad, the intimacy and ecstasy of the unionof the soul with the Absolute is compared to the self-transcendence felt in the communionof the lover and the beloved in an act of fast embrace. Rarely does the soul rise to totalaction in life. Mostly, what works in the daily occupations of man is the pressure andvehemence of intellect, mind and senses. The soul is supposed to rise to the surface ofdirect action, pulling up the whole personality without exception, in hunger, sleep andsex. The totality which one experiences in these states is a feeble apology for theentirety of merger which one experiences in God-union. God is not merely the awesomejustice of the universe but a source of beauty and attraction capable of enchanting thewhole world, surpassing every form of beauty and lovableness conceivable anywhere, meltingthe hearts of things at the very sight and even a thought of that Glorious Beauty. Beautyof beauties is God (Sakshat manmatha-manmathah).
Religion pales into a dreary occupation when it becomes a muddle of rules andregulations and a Procrustean bed of regimented practices, and is bereft of the thrillthat one feels in the presence of the beloved. Religion is not merely discipline but alsolove and grace. The instance of the Gopis is, on the one hand, an illustration ofthe super-individual and supersocial nature of the soul’s asking for God, and, on theother hand, the way in which God can dissolve His parliament and council of enactments androles, and run to the devotee personally without the use of secondary means of assistance.The twenty-second verse of the Ninth Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita is a promise ofGod that He shall personally take care of His devotees when they are undividedly unitedwith Him. Spiritual ecstasy is the subject of the five chapters delineating the Rasa-Lilaof Krishna in the tenth Book of the Bhagavata. Here devotion reaches a pitch tothe point of breaking and collapsing as the individual is melting down into the blissfulmenstruum of the sea of God. Devotion of this kind, known as Ragatmika-Bhakti, orthe devotion of ecstasy, as different from Gauna-Bhakti, or formalistic anddisciplined form of devotion, commences with a kind of agitation of the soul within, astimulation it feels in itself, not through the intellect, mind and senses, but verily asit is in itself, when the devotee attempts firstly to cry for God in a state ofbereavement from Him; secondly becomes temporarily unconscious through exhaustion causedby the intensity of longing; and thirdly enters into a rapturous impulsion to imitate God,His features and actions, and dances in the spirit of a possession, as if that which oneimitates has actually entered the person so imitating. The best actors in a dramaticperformance are those who virtually become the very part they are playing and lose theirpersonal identity. The Gopis were in this penultimate state of actual union withGod, which, further on, led them to a state of tearing down all the empirical shackles ofpersonality-consciousness and external relation in a verily maddening reach of giddyheights where it is not merely the devotee that runs after God, but God Himself running tothe devotee, God wanting man much more than man wants God. It is not enough if the devoteewants God; the highest devotion is where God loves the devotee and behaves as if He is avery servant of the one who loves Him. The lives of the saints who lived such a life ofGod-possession are examples practically to be seen in the history of religious thought andpractice.
Swami Krishnananda–A Conundrum
(MATRU MANDALI, Sivanandashram)
On such an auspicious day as this it is our privilege to bring to memory the life andteachings of a spiritual saint and savant, a deeply unassuming, unostentatious and humblepersonality, sitting in whose presence one experiences a deep silence and peace whichemanates from him as fragrance from a flower.
Pujya Swami Krishnanandaji’s life at a superficial glance, seems to be one ofcontradictions and rather enigmatic! While his teachings lean towards the Jnana Marga ofUpasana/Meditation, his daily activities display a total, restless involvement inmundane affairs. Nevertheless, Work and Wisdom enjoy an even balance in his life. He is anideal Karma Yogi! Established, as it were, in a peerless state of innertranquility, he freely and with utmost facility, jousts with ‘Karma’ beingall the while ‘Asanga’ or unattached. At one moment he is totallyidentified and involved and the very next moment he is totally detached and free! He canat any given time, disengage himself from all activity and immediately plunge himself intoprofound inner solitude.
Being an adept in Raja Yoga he can focus his mind on any given subject andincisively penetrate into its core. This gives him the uncanny ability of understandingpeople and situations without any difficulty.
His sharp and perfect clarity of vision based on his inner experience of Vedantic Truths,enables him to effortlessly link-up any and every question/doubt with its philosophicalimplication and thus, bring us back again and again, to the one great movementlonging ofthe human soul for spiritual union.
Another unique feature of Pujya Swamiji is his ability to stay grounded in his’being’: Unmovable and unshakable is his abidance–no matter even if theskies opened-up and came tumbling down upon him! Like the strong and silent Himalayas heremains ‘Achala’. Although he sometimes appears to be perturbed, he, intruth, remains unshaken and steady in wisdom. Like the great, grand ocean which appears tobe agitated and noisy on the surface but in its unfathomable depths, it remains silent andmotionless, so is he!
Being established in total renunciation he neither needs nor wants anything. Hisfavourite quote–“Everything is everywhere at everytime” expresses clearlyhis profound experience of Truth and the resultant ‘Atmatripti’ orinner-contentment.
What we see of him is only the “tip of the iceberg” as it were! Two-thirds ofhim remains “Adrishya” or unperceived. Even the one-third portion of himwhich we see, we are not able to comprehend in toto. So how can we ever understand what orwho he is.
His utter simplicity and childlike nature is so endearing; while his mother-like,caring attitude is so reassuring. His wisdom, rationality, intellectual genius; hisunflinching dedication and devotion to Gurudev; his ceaseless and tireless Seva andhis deep concern for Sadhakas’ spiritual welfare–all this put togetherand more, make him so dearly precious to us all, that we have to repeatedly thankGod and Gurudev for this great good fortune that has been bestowed upon us.
Thus, on this holy occasion of the 75th Birth Anniversary of Beloved and PujyaSwami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, we offer our deepest, heartfelt gratitude to Swamiji fordeigning to be in our midst as a source of Support, Strength, Solace and Succour andleading us from darkness to Light, from untruth to Truth and from mortality toImmortality. May God and Gurudev bless Swamiji with good health and long life so that hemay continue to bestow grace upon us and guide us to eternal Peace and Beatitude.
Hari Om Tat Sat.
The Chhandogya Upanishad says that all this Universe is Brahman Manifest, in all its states of manifestation. It regards objects as really aspects of the one Subject known as the Vaishvanara-Atman. It also holds that the Supreme Being is the Infinite, or Bhuma, in which one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, and understands nothing else except the Self as the only Existence.
In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad we are told that the Supreme Being is Pure Consciousness, in which subjects and objects merge together in a state of Universality.
The Supreme Being knew only Itself as ‘I-Am’, inclusive of everything. As He is the Knower of all things, no one can know Him, except as ‘He Is’.
The Svetasvatara Upanishad says, ‘Thou art the Woman’, ‘Thou art the Man’, ‘Thou art Girl’, ‘Thou art Boy’, ‘Thou deceivest us as the old man tottering with the stick’, ‘Thou movest everywhere, in the form of everything, in all directions’, ‘Thou art the dark-blue Butterfly, and the Green Parrot with red eyes’, ‘Thou art the thunder cloud, the Seasons and the Oceans’, ‘Thou art without beginning and beyond all time and space’, ‘Thou art That from which all the Universes are born’, ‘That alone is Fire, That is the Sun, That is Air, That is the Moon, That is also the starry firmament, That is the waters, That is Prajapati, That is Brahman’.
My Experiences With Swami Krishnananda
It is difficult to give my estimations and opinions about a great Saint like reveredSwami Krishnanandaji Maharaj. Revered Guru Maharaj H.H. Sri Swami Chidanandaji once wrote,”Of souls like Swami Krishnanandaji all cannot give estimations and opinions…. Tounderstand spiritual people of high spiritual eminence is a thing which even the gods darenot do easily…. Whatever we may think, the inner worth of a Saint, only one morespiritual than him (the Saint)–a Brahma-Nishta or Siddha Mahapurusha–will beable to judge and understand.” Revered Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj is such a Saintto be appreciated and understood by a person equal to him. Of course, Siddha Mahatmas likeSadgurudev Swami Sivanandaji and Guru Maharaj Swami Chidanandaji only can understand theinner spiritual depth of revered Gurudev Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj.
In the month of June 1970, during my summer vacation, I came to the Ashram as my firstvisit. At my first Darshan of revered Gurudev Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, he gazed at meso lovingly that I was attracted by that vision towards him. Swamiji asked about myidentity and introduced me so lovingly to all visitors who came to have Darshan of him. Atmy request on Thursday, the llth June, 1970, revered Swamiji had given me MantraInitiation at the Holy Samadhi Shrine of Sadgurudev when he came to participate in theGuru Pada Puja. Swamiji instructed me to do Japa of ten Malas of Ishta Mantra regularly.He gave me one Japa Mala and had taught me how to do Japa. Also he instructed me to readthe Bhagavad Gita regularly. That time I stayed at Ashram for eighteen days so happily inhis company. At the time of my departure from Ashram, revered Swamiji prayed for me bychanting Mantras like Mahamrityunjaya, etc. I was so happy that I was sure to have a safejourney. The timing of my train from Hardwar to Lucknow was 9-15 p.m. My ticket wasordinary and not of reservation. When I was waiting for the train one passenger who wasalso going to Lucknow, told me that our train had come. So we got up to the train whichdeparted Hardwar at 9.00 p.m. The compartment which we were getting into was with so muchrush that there was not even sufficient space for standing. I was anyhow standing just bythe side of the back door. After some time we knew that we had come by a wrong train whichwas to stop only at 12 midnight at some station. I was so much worried and thought that inspite of a realised Saint praying for me, I was facing such a difficulty intravel–what would be the reason? At about 11-00 p.m. The train stopped at a smallstation. Miraculously at that moment, a tall gentleman who was going outside thecompartment, asked me where I was travelling to. I told him that I was going to Lucknow.He suddenly said, “This is not the right train.” I asked him how I should goabout correcting myself. He said, “The right train is here, come! come! I will showyou.” He helped me in carrying my luggage and took me to the correct train. Thus Iarrived at Lucknow in time without any difficulty and my journey from Lucknow to Manipuralso was good and happy journey. I was really taking the gentleman as Swami Sivanandajionly and it was by the power of prayer offered by revered Gurudev Swami KrishnanandajiMaharaj.
Afterwards also, I came to the Ashram several times. Swamiji was so kind to me. Headvised me to do Japa (with meaning of Mantra), Svadhyaya and Meditation regularly andpractise always truth, love and purity. Swamiji said, “If you want to catch Krishna,catch me first, because I have caught Krishna. Yes, catch Krishna little by little.”At another time, he said, “If you want Krishna, behave like Krishna. Krishnacontrolled the senses. So control your senses.” He advised me to pray to Lord Krishnaand surrender everything to Him. One day Swamiji asked me what kind of Seva I was doing. Itold Swamiji that I was giving free tuitions to the students. Swamiji then spoke on Seva.He said, “Man’s problems are from three major factors viz., poverty, disease andignorance. All the services in connection with removing these three factors through ourcapabilities, are called Seva or service. To give money, food or clothes to the poorpeople, to nurse the sick and give free medicines to them and to give knowledge to theignorant people, all these are social services or Seva only.” In 1979 I attended theYoga Vedanta Training course of the first batch at Ashram. We thirty-three studentsattended. The students were divided into some groups, each having five or six students andeach group was left under the guidance of a senior Swamiji or professor. We five studentsviz., Swami Siva Chidanandaji, Swami Ramasvarupanandaji, Late Swadhyayaji, Prakash KumarPanda of Orissa and myself were under the guidance of revered Swami KrishnanandajiMaharaj. One morning we went to Swamiji. That day was Ekadasi and it was the first daywhen Swamiji allowed the visitors to see him after one week of rest, due to healthcondition. That day, Swamiji was in a high spiritual mood. Swamiji spoke on many subjects.He said, “Yoga is adjustment with place, time, situation, events, with every man,with everything and with all conditions.” He asked us what we had learnt from theKathopanishad. Everybody answered in his own way. Swamiji told that the Essence ofKathopanishad lies in the verse viz., “Beyond the senses is the mind, higher than themind is the intellect, higher than the intellect is the great Atman, higher than the greatAtman is the Unmanifested.” He explained the secret of this verse by referring to asimilar verse of the Bhagavad Gita–“They say that the Senses are superior to thebody, superior to the senses is the mind; superior to the mind is the intellect; one whois superior even to the intellect is the Self.” He told that the senses are to becontrolled by the mind which is superior to them. The mind is to be controlled by theintellect which is superior to it. Intellect is also not perfect. We cannot give anyjudgment by our imperfect and finite intellect. By the wrong judgment of a judge, aninnocent man may be hanged. So the intellect is to surrender to the Atman. When there iscomplete surrender, there is no ego consciousness, the Lord works through the egolesssoul. This is Realisation. Everybody asked questions and Swamiji gave prompt replies. Ialso wanted to ask about Savitarka and Nirvitarka Samadhis. As I could not dare to do so,I prompted Swami Siva Chidanandaji to ask the question on my behalf. When Swami SivaChidanandaji tried to do so, revered Swami Krishnanandaji said to him, “Let himask.” I also kept silent. After some time, to my astonishment, Pujya Swamiji spoke onSavitarka and Nirvitarka Samadhis. Swami Siva Chidanandaji said to me, “Your questionis answered. Really he is an Antaryamin.” By the power of meditation, Swamiji couldknow the inner language of other people. I heard one day when Swamiji said to some GermanBrahmacharinis, “Meditate. If you meditate, you will be able to understand thelanguage of other people.”
Pujya Sri Swamiji Maharaj styled himself as a Karma Yogi. He dedicated his entire lifein the services of the mission of Sadgurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj. Swamiji is ascholar Saint. He knows all the Sastras. He knows by heart the entire Bhagavad Gita. Heknows Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and all sciences. This is by the Samskaras of hisprevious lives. Sometimes, Swamiji said, “I can remember even my past lives.”His lecture is very inspiring and thrilling. He cleared the doubts of innumerable devoteesby conversation letters and by his books.
I regard and love both Guru Maharaj Swami Chidanandaji and Gurudev Swami Krishnanandajiequally. I think of them as one only. Both of them are dedicating their lives for theMission of Gurudev, one is tirelessly moving throughout the world for the dissemination ofGurudev’s Messages and the other is tirelessly working, that is, attending to theentire Ashram activities. They are precious gems of the Divine Life Society. The greatsoul of Sadgurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj is working through these egoless souls. I seein them Swami Sivananda only. May the Almighty Lord and Sadgurudev Swami Sivananda grantboth of them health and long life! This is my sincere prayer.
Swami Krishnanandanan Embodiment Of Love
(MRS. GULSHAN SACHDEV)
Blessed do I feel whenever I think of Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj as being myspiritual guide. I have been getting the opportunity to sit at his holy feet for the lastmany years and dive deep into his divine, magnificent knowledge of the Atman. Shining likean effulgent sun in the morning hours he comes out from his room daily with divine lustreon his face spreading his splendour all around and awakening everybody from the deepinertia of ignorance. He is a flaming torch to every seeker of Truth. Besides doing hisoffice work he satisfies all the devotees sitting around him by answering their queries.Even the life-giving sun’s rays may become unbearable if you sit in the sun for along time but the company of Swamiji Maharaj is ever soothing. One feels as if the Gangesof the knowledge of Para-Brahman is flowing through his speech and one is taking bath init incessantly. My soul always strives to listen to him. It feels the thrust of hisknowledge, the drops of which, the more you get, the more you feel your thirst for it leftunquenched. It is all due to his grandeur of learning and loving attitude towards all.Fortunate and blessed are those who have known the meaning and depth of the company ofsuch a God-realised saint.
It was in the year 1973 that I met Swamiji first. Those days, he used to sit on theverandah of his room at Mount Kailash in the Sivananda Ashram. Devotees were present withtheir queries and problems. It is his good nature that he attends to every one and asksthem the purpose of their coming to the Ashram. I also dared to share my problems with hisgood-self. I still remember how he was moved to know about my incurable disease. He askedme to come to the Samadhi Mandir the next day. Totally ignorant about the formalities ofsuch a holy place, I reached Samadhi Mandir rather casually. He arrived there exactly at10 O’clock and asked the devotee sitting there to move aside saying, “I am goingto initiate her”. Hearing these pious words of his holiness I was simplywonderstruck. My heart’s desire was going to be fulfilled. I got’Mantra-Diksha’. I got a Guru. I got solace of mind. I got invaluable wealth.Today when I am cured of my disease due to his grace, I prostrate at his holy feet withfolded hands in gratitude for showering his grace on me.
After coming in contact with him everybody is bound to change, just as iron changesinto gold owing to contact with ‘Paras-mani’ He is an embodiment of Godly love.He is God personified. On the very first birthday of Medha, our daughter, I tried toinvoke his blessings, as I was hanging between life and death. Lo, the next day my husbandcame to the hospital with hands bound backwards asking, “Guess, tell me, what I havebrought for you”. “Swamiji’s letter” was my spontaneous reply, and loand behold! It really was. To my utter astonishment, it was written on the same day as ourdaughter was born. It was really a joy to go through his letter of blessings.
Thus from time to time we have been getting glimpses of his love and compassion whichreaches us crossing all barriers of time and space. Besides being a spiritual master, heis also a celebrated literary personality and well-versed not only in Indian literaturebut also in western philosophy. “Think like God thinks. That is the greatest’Tapas’. You can imagine how God thinks. He will think in one thought the wholecosmos directly. His very Being is His thought. In the case of human beings, thought is ofan object but in the case of God, Thought is Being itself. This state of highest’Tapas’ you must reach one day,” says Swami Krishnananda.
I always bow low at the holy feet of revered Swamiji, a saint of lofty ideals, aphilosopher, a thinker and orator par excellence and last but not the least a replica ofhis holy Master Swami Sivananda. “May God bless him with a very healthy and longlife. May he ever shine like the stars in the sky,” is my prayer.
That Divine Being, who, though Himself formless, gives rise to various forms in different ways with the help of His Supreme Power for His own inscrutable purpose, and Who dissolves the whole Universe in Himself in the end,–may He endow us with pure understanding.
He is the Great Being who shines effulgent like the Sun, beyond all darkness. Knowing Him alone one crosses beyond death. There is no other way of going over there.
The One God, Creator of the heaven and earth, is possessed of all eyes, all faces, all hands, and all feet in this Universe. It is He who inspires all to do their respective functions, as if fanning their fire into flames Of movement.
Manu says in his Smriti: In the beginning, all this existence was one Undifferentiated Mass of Unmanifestedness, unknown, indefinable, unarguable and unknown in every way. From this Supreme Condition arose the Universe of name and form, through the medium of the Self-existent Creator, Swayambhu.
Swami Krishnananda: Divinity Incarnate
(PROF G. RANGA RAO)
Since time immemorial, man has been longing for the Infinite, for nothing short of theInfinite can satisfy him. That seems to be the very constitution of the human personality.Utterly distinct from all other creatures, he yet fails to manifest in and through himselfthe full divinity expected of him which, at any rate, is the highest aspiration of hislife. Conscious movement towards this Great Goal of Infinitude, where sorrow of any kindis simply inconceivable, where Omnipresence, Omnipotence and Omniscience reign supreme, iswhat goes by the name ‘Yoga’ in this ancient land of ours.
While all these, and much else, is known, by rote as it were, to almost any Indian, thequestion of questions is: how many are there in the land that can and do fulfil all therequirements of such an exalted Brahmi-Stithi? If we do not have living examples of suchexalted states, are we not apt to lose our faith in all scriptural declarations? But,happily for us, we have, right amidst us, souls like Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj and SwamiKrishnanandaji Maharaj who, through penance such as most of us would shudder even to thinkof, have attained the very highest state of Yoga that transcends even mere Omniscience.Those of us who did not have the privilege of Guru Maharaj Swami SivanandajiMaharaj’s Darshan, yet feel contented, for Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj and SwamiKrishnanandaji Maharaj are there before us, full embodiments of Pure Spirit, such as GuruMaharaj Himself was.
As I keep telling my friends, some of whom unfortunately are too human to believe in’there are more things’ in earth and heaven than are dreamt of in their’philosophies’, all doubts will cease, and the very doubter melts out ofexistence, only on the Darshan of Great Spiritual Luminaries, and not before that. ‘Yadasadguru kataksho bhavati tada bhagavat katha sravana dhyanadau sraddha jayate’. Itis only when the Grace of a Sadguru descends that one develops faith, interest, etc., inlistening to the stories, glories and Lilas of the Lord. But, until then, one has to wait.
But, perhaps worse still are those, who having got a Sadguru owing to some Purva Punya,yet cling to the notion, deep in the heart of hearts, that Sadgurudev is human, simplybecause he ‘looks’ one. This obviously is a greater pitfall on the spiritualpath than the so-called ‘non-belief’ as such, for this amounts to knowinglyforsaking one’s own Yoga, while the ‘advantage’ with the latter is that itat least ensures ‘Kshema’, a preservation of sorts of one’s attainments,whatever they be. Not for nothing does Guru Maharaj issue the stern warning, “If youthink-your Guru to be a man, you are a beast.” It is easy to see that the ontologicalequation so presented is infinitely fair, to speak but the least. All this will becomeclear when and only when we earnestly apply ourselves to getting over, in toto, thebuilt-in limitations of our human existence itself, for otherwise our approach to God isbound in the very nature of things to be purely anthropomorphic, all our vigorousprotestations to the contrary notwithstanding. It is to this end that continence isenjoined on each and every one of us, including the married ones, for continence alone cancarry our Conscient Consciousness to its very roots, as nothing else can.
It is with such a preparatory frame of mind and with a great humility that we shouldapproach Brahmanishtha Sadgurus. Or, we are not likely to gain much. Then can we realisefor ourselves why it is that the Scriptures untiringly identify Sadguru Bhagavan with GodHimself:
“Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnuh
Gurur Devo Mahesvarah,
Gurur Sakshat Param Brahma
Tasmai Sri Gurave Namah.”
Against this ‘background of thought’ which is admittedly far from exhaustiveowing to constraints of space, etc., I would like to relate some of my own experienceswith Sadgurudev Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, who, to my humble mind, is God Himselfmanifest on the earth plane for our benefit. Indeed, I address His Holiness as’Bhagavan’ whenever I get an opportunity to talk to Him. Not for nothing didGuru Maharaj remark, “Talking to Krishnananda is like talking to God.” Those whoare prone to taking such remarks either casually, or as being only common in the emotionalworld of Bhaktas, or worse still, as oriental exaggerations and so on, will of coursesurely stand to lose a lot in their spiritual life.
Now, a word or two about my experiences:
A quester after Truth in my own humble way, I was never, never satisfied with anythingtaught in schools and colleges, more especially, with sciences and mathematics, as theywere taught in the so-called higher academies. The restlessness went on and on as it were.Works of Gandhiji, however, brought me some relief because of the unmistakable rectitudein them. Sri Sri Sri Satya Sai Baba too showered His Blessings on me, at least so Ibelieve, in a rather mysterious way. Later I got the Darshan of Swami ChandrasekharendraSaraswati of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham who, all my undeservedness notwithstanding, showeredgreat compassion on me. His Blessings stood by me in good stead on more occasions than oneand I believe, paved the way to my joining the Divine Life Society. It all came aboutthus:
One auspicious morning, in 1990, a friend of mine happened to place a copy of ‘TheRealisation of the Absolute’ in my hands. Little did I realise that this uniquework was going to change the very course of my life. The very first sentence in thePreface dazed me as it were and I felt like one suddenly coming upon the very thing he hadbeen looking for, for years. The work, finished at one breath-taking stretch, not merelyremoved all my doubts but filled me with fresh hopes. So, I reached Rishikesh thefollowing summer. Once face to face with the learned author, I opened my doubts one by onewith a temerity I now blush to recollect. Sadgurudev answers them through gestures, inhalf-sentences, sometimes in riddles, yet all the time taking care to see that the doubtnot merely gets dispelled but positively opens new vistas for better spiritualexperiences. One senses distinctly that the questions were no questions for His Holinessbut merely a part of the overall Lila. A little later, Gurudev Himself corrects the erringdisciples question-putting habits. So no more questions but a genuine surrender in allearnestness of spirit. Quiescence follows. The more quiescent the disciple’s mind,the greater the flow of Sadgurudev’s Kripa, discovers the disciple. Ineffable peaceand joy supernal follow: The very personality of the disciple undergoes a miraculouschange. Old vicious Samskaras vanish in toto; auspicious thoughts begin to grow in themind-soil. Faculties one could not have dreamt of only a few years ago begin to surfacethemselves in the dazed disciple. Gurudev continues to bless and guide, bathing thedisciples in the nectar of Pure Cosmic Love such as only God can bestow. Disciplerealises, in but a few weeks of the Holy Darshan, that Omniscience is a mere nothing tosuch a Great Master. One finds devotees of all descriptions, even the most advancedSadhakas coming and offering their humble prostrations at Gurudev’s Lotus Feet andGurudev showering the same ahetuki kripa on them all with perfect equality ofvision, with the Purest Love conceivable and above all, with an intimate knowledge of thevery souls of the visitors, for nothing less could have satisfied them the way itostensibly has. The disciple feels infinitely reassured.
These are but a few of the experiences, expressed somewhat tersely because of theineffable nature of the experiences themselves, I have gained over the years sitting atthe Lotus Feet of Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj. I have absolutely no doubt in mind,with such wondrous experiences at the back of my consciousness, that Sadgurudev is verilyGod Himself.
“May His Grace ever be upon all earnest seekers,” is my prayer.
HARI OM TAT SAT.
The Mahabharata says that Narayana alone was in the beginning, who was the prius of the creative, preservative, and destructive principles, the Trinity known as Brahma, Vishnu and Siva,–the Supreme Hari, multi-headed, multi-eyed, multi-footed, multi-armed, multi-limbed. This was the Supreme Seed of all creation, subtler than the subtlest, greater than the greatest, larger than the largest, and more magnificent than even the best of all things, more powerful than even the wind and all the gods, more resplendent than the Sun and the Moon, and more internal than even the mind and the intellect. He is the Creator, the Father Supreme.
The Path Of Divine Devotion
Religion, in fact, is the way in which we daily establish our relation with God. Themanner in which we contact God in our life is our practical religion. Mostly, our love forGod keeps us in a state of reverence and awe and creates in us a particular type ofdevotion, known as Aisvaryapradhana-Bhakti, i.e., the love of God and adoration ofGod as Creator, Father and Sovereign Supreme, as Isvara, or the Master of Creation.But there is another type of internal contact that the devotee establishes with God, moreintimate, we may say, in a sense, an attitude of affection for God, which goes by the nameof Madhurya-pradhana-Bhakti. Here, intellectuality, ratiocination and analyticalapproach cease, and the soul speaks to God in its own language of unquestioned rapture. Itcontacts God in the vitality of being, rather than the words which the tongue speaks. Loveneeds no philosophy, nor does devotion to God.
We hear of saints like Narada travelling to all the worlds including Vaikuntha,Satyaloka and Kailasa. These analogies of Divine Masters penetrating throughthe realms of the cosmos, contacting God on one side and meeting men and even demons onthe other side, is a representation of the significance of divine devotion, the extent towhich it can have an impact on everyone and everything, especially as we have it portrayedin the Epics and the Puranas. Creation is said to be constituted of different realms, or Lokas,as they are called; and to make the relevance of God to creation interesting, catchingand vibrating to the soul, to stir the personality and make one’s hair stand on endeven by listening to the glories of God, these notable scriptures employ a technique ofpresenting God as a Personality, not entirely dissimilar to our own. God also livesin a realm as we do, though His region is all-inclusive, while ours is localised. God isthe repository of supreme compassion, pity and mercy. He is not merely a judge who is onlymathematically precise, regardless of our representations. God is concerned not only withlaw, but also justice. Dharma is not merely law, it is also due dispensation ofjustice. If there are five hundred witnesses manipulating against an innocent person, hecan be penalised with even capital punishment, because there is evidence. This is lawworking. But it is not justice. God is justice, it is true, not merely law; but God hasalso a tender feeling towards His creation, to man and to all creatures. To know that welove God and that God loves us is certainly a greater satisfaction than any otherconsolation that we may have in terms of legal protection or judicial security.
The special emphasis of the Epics and the Puranas is that God can hear us and speakto us, and we can speak to God. The stories, analogies and symbols that these scripturesemploy for describing man’s relation with God, and vice versa, signify that Godis nearer to us than we imagine; and He will help us even if we are unconscious of Hispresence. It is not that God thinks of us only if we think of Him. Our relation to God isnot a bargain or compromise; it is not a give-and-take covenant. God is portrayed notmerely as Grandfather (Pitamaha) or Father (Pita) but also as Mother (Mata)and Supporter (Dhata). The Lord proclaims in the Bhagavad Gita that He isthe Saviour, the Protector, the Generator, the Withdrawer, the Sustainer, the Onlooker,the Supervisor, and many other things of that nature, which make out that God is all andis everything.
It should follow, therefore, that it is easier to contact God than anything else inthis world. Some purely rationalistic texts of a logical character may argue that God isdifficult of approach, more difficult than anything in the world; but here we are toldthat other things are more difficult to approach than God. The point is that things in theworld are not so near to us as we imagine; they maintain a spatial distance from us, andare away from us, but God is nearer to us than anything else, for God is not in space. Theinclusiveness of God keeps us always non-separate from Him. God is nearer to us thanparent, wife or children, all which relation will break down when one is in realdifficulty, but God’s help comes instantaneously. Our human relations may help uswhen we maintain a requisite relationship with them, but our relation to God is notconditioned in any manner. It is told, again and again, that God loves us more than weseem to love Him.
An interesting incident is recorded in the Drona-Parva of the Mahabharata, themere listening to which would strike us with wonder and make us sob for the love that Godhas for man. Towards the end of this Book, Arjuna is speaking to Bhagavan Vedavyasa andexclaims: “Master, can you explain to me one interesting thing? Whenever I was up inarms in battle, I used to see some mysterious figure moving in front of me, which I couldnot decipher properly, something visible sometimes, sometimes invisible, but not touchingthe ground. I saw a figure like that of a human being, now coming out of the mist as itwere, making himself slightly visible to my eyes, now going into the background of themisty atmosphere of the war field. He was doing nothing, looking this way and that way,moving to this corner and that corner. The only speciality that I observed in hisappearance was that he had a trident in his hand, a knot of hair on his head, and I sawsome snakes round his neck. I could not understand who it was or what it was and what wasthe meaning behind it.”
Sage Vyasa smiled and replied: “Arjuna, it is good that you have spoken to meabout this mystery which you could not understand, nor can anyone understand. Do you knowwho fought this war and who it was that is bringing you victory? Who can stand beforevaliant warriors like Bhishma and Drone? Is there a man in all the world who can face themin war? But who defeated them? Someone else has worked this miracle in your favour butremained always in the background. Do you know whom you saw? It was Lord Siva. You areindeed blessed. He knew the predicament in which you all were since your opponents wereindomitable. Lord Siva knew this and He was moving in the midst of the forces in warsucking the energy of the Kaurava regiments by His mere presence, but not taking anydirect action. Oh, who could stand before Him if He were really to take up arms? Blessedart thou that you could see Him.”
God works like this. And there are other instances, to the same effect, as on occasionswhen Bhishma spoke to Duryodhana in plain words. Duryodhana used to feel diffident anddespondent as he could not see during the regime of Bhishma in the war any symptom ofvictory being on his side. Angered and upset, Duryodhana used to meet Bhishma frequentlyin the evening and cry out: “What is this? What is happening, grandsire? Thousands ofmy people are being slain every day and you are yet alive, the invinciblecommander-in-chief.” Bhishma would reply, “My dear child, do not tease me andtaunt me every day. You are under the wrong impression that I am only pretending to fightand have not done my work well. But it is not so. I would have pounded all the Pandavaforces in a single day but for the presence of that inscrutable person who is sittingthere as the charioteer of Arjuna. But for His subtle intervention from moment to moment,the Pandava regiments would not have been there on the first day itself. I could havesingle-handedly uprooted the Pandava army. You do not know my strength. I have told youseveral times that you should not engage yourself in a conflict with those whom Krishna ishelping. But you would not listen to me. And now you come and speak to me unpleasant wordswhich are unbecoming on your part.” Bhishma indeed did his best. He went to theextreme of his ferocity. Like blazing fire he began to burn the opposing forces. Thousandswere massacred by the arrows that Bhishma shot. But not a single Pandava could be killed.Again Duryodhana wept at night: “What is all this, Master; you could not kill even asingle Pandava? And I have depended on you for my security. After so many days of battleyou could not bring down even a single Pandava.” Again it was the same reply whichBhishma gave. “My dear boy, I do not want to get angry with you though you oftenirritate me with these words. But I shall tell you the truth once again. You cannot winthis war as long as Krishna is on the other side.” “Well, this is the old storyagain,” said Duryodhana. “I am not here depending on you senile people. I havestalwarts like Karna.” There could have been a cutting reply from Bhishma to thisunwarranted verbal attack from Duryodhana, but Bhishma held his tongue, because there wasno use frowning on the stupid man who would not listen to sane advice.
And how does God help? Asvatthama’s role in the Mahabharata, again, is acase in point. After a lot of importunity Asvatthama obtained from his father Drona theknowledge of an invincible missile known as Narayana-Astra. After repeated pressurefrom the son, the father initiated him into this terrific mystery, saying. “Allright, come here, I shall give you something now. But beware, I am giving you fire in yourhands by which you can burn the world; but, my child, do not use it against devotees ofGod. It will not work against those who are protected by Narayana. I am warning you inthis regard, lest you should yourself be in danger if you misuse it.” Yet, Drona wascautious. He would not tell him how to withdraw the missile, because if it could bewithdrawn, it could be used again several times. Knowing the immaturity and lack ofunderstanding from which Asvatthama suffered and his eagerness to use it one day or theother, Drona taught him its use once only and never told him how to use it a second time.
And we know how the occasion came for it. When Drona left his mortal coil, the fury ofAsvatthama knew no bounds. He yelled out, “My father has given me some power; andtoday there shall be none remaining on the Pandava side.” Saying this, Asvatthama letoff the Narayana-Astra. Then what happened? Not even thousands of atomic bombs canwork that devastation which Narayana-Astra is capable of. The Astra multiplieditself millionfold, the whole sky was filled with burning missiles; there was no sky, nostars, no sun and no moon; it was all fire. When Arjuna, who was not initiated into this Astraby Drona on account of his partiality for his son, saw it, he queried Krishna,”Lord, what is it that is coming? This is something new which I have not had theoccasion to see before.” Krishna replied: “I know what it is, and there is noremedy for this. No one can stand up against this Astra of Narayana, which hasemanated from my own being. There is no one who can face it, not even the greatest ofwarriors. The best thing for you all would be now to stop fighting, throw down your armsand offer obeisance to this Astra with folded hands, because this weapon will notattack anyone who is not its enemy. Therefore, prostrate yourselves before it, and allshall be well.” On hearing the words of Krishna, Arjuna ordered the entire army tothrow down its weapons, shouting loudly: “Prostrate yourselves before this great firethat is coming. That is the only way of saving yourselves.” And all did so, exceptBhima, who retorted: “I am not a coward. I shall not bend before anyone. I shall seeto it.” Saying thus, Bhima took up his mace and began brandishing it against the Astra.Arjuna and Krishna argued with Bhima, “This is not the time to show your valour.Come down from your chariot and throw down your mace.” They pulled him down to theground. And, well, the Astra, beholding no one against it, extinguished itself. TheAstra entered the body of Krishna himself, for he was Narayana standing there forthe welfare of the righteous and the devout.
Asvatthama was gazing from the top of a tree, to see the ashes of the Pandavas. But nosuch thing happened. No ashes and no fire. The Pandavas were up in arms once again as ifnothing had happened. Asvatthama left the field cursing all including even his father,saying that he was duped by his father’s false initiation which was really of noutility to him: “These days even parents tell lies”. Thus he cried and went out.On the way he met Vyasa, who explained to him that his father had not told him a lie andhad initiated him properly. The only difficulty was, the Narayana-Astra was usedagainst Narayana Himself. That was the reason why it did not work. We should not use ourpower against God. Human effort cannot contradict Divine Majesty.
The wondrous way in which the great Incarnation Krishna furnished divine robes toDraupadi, the way in which He invisibly fed the Sage Durvasa and his thousands ofdisciples on prayer from Draupadi, the stunning drama of His going as an ambassador to thecourt of the Kauravas on behalf of the Pandavas, His revelation of the Cosmic Form in thatassembly, His mighty role as divinity incarnate, in the Bhishma, Drona and Karna Parvas inthe Mahabharata, are all too grand and glorious to be put in any word or language.
Again, we have instances like the release of the Sudarsana-Chakra of Narayana onthe predicament of Ambarisha who became the target of Durvasa’s anger, as we have itrecorded in the Srimad Bhagavata.
The point is that such miraculous divine occurrences, the subtle workings of God, abovethe ken of the human mind, bring out the fact that God is always conscious of what ourneeds are and takes immediate steps to redress the sorrows of the devotees. In fact, Godworks His miracles every moment. Every incident in the life of the world is a divinemiracle. The tales in the Epics and Puranas highlight the ways in which God can be lovedand encountered. God is adored in the affectionate personifications as Father, Friend,Master, Child, or one’s Beloved. God is also adored as the immenselycompassionate Mother. We call it devotion when we run after God. What do we call it whenGod is running after us and wants us perennially? In fact, this latter mystery is thepinnacle that divine devotion can reach. It is not just enough if we want God; His wantingus is, indeed, the supreme attainment. The Lord’s promise in the Bhagavad Gita iswell known: “Those who contemplate on Me undividedly and worship Me as the All, tothem, who are ever united with Me, I provide what they need, and protect what theyhave.”
The Bhagavadgita in the Mahabharata, says: The Supreme Brahman is beyond existence and non-existence. It has hands and feet everywhere, heads, mouths, eyes everywhere, ears everywhere, and it exists enveloping everything. Undivided, it appears as divided among beings; attributeless, it appears to have attributes in association with things. It is the Light of all lights, beyond all darkness, and is situated in the hearts of all beings.
Swami Krishnananda, The Shining Light Of Sivananda Ashram
On the happy occasion of Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj’s 75th Birthday AnniversaryI am happy to share my views on this great son of Bharatavarsha, whose heart throbs withdivine love and compassion for all creatures. Swamiji is the very embodiment ofknowledge–a Jivanmukta, a saint and sage of the highest realisation whose presenceitself sanctifies the holy Sivananda Ashram, endowing it with great vigour and vitality.He has been relentlessly working for his Master’s Mission since his advent into theSivananda Ashram’s monastic fold, right from the time of his entry.
Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj called him “the shining light of SivanandaAshram”, whose counselling and comforting words have brought immense consolation tosincere, seeking souls. He has been called the ‘Modern Sankaracharya’ and trueto this description, His Holiness has not left anything untouched in his writingsincluding the most abstruse subjects. The writings of Swamiji pour forth from his heartand touch the hearts of the readers though most of his works on Advaita philosophy are’a hard nut to crack’ as Swami Chidanandaji jokingly puts it. A very large groupof Western visitors always rally round Swamiji Maharaj for his ‘morning Darshan’,meditation and discussions. They are immensely benefited by his pragmatic approach tovarious spiritual and social problems.
As he is the General Secretary of the Ashram, his manifold duties hardly leave him forpersonal comfort and rest. Disregarding his own delicate health, Swamiji works tirelesslyfor the uplift of all mankind. His duties connected with the high office he is holding inthe Ashram are telling upon his health. But he hardly bothers about his own health, as theoverwhelming thought in his mind is always to do the maximum possible good to any one whoapproaches him sincerely. His only thought is as to how best he can serve his Master andHis Mission and to this end all his activities are directed.
The celebration of the 75th Birthday Anniversary of such a noble son of India reallyamounts to worshipping God in the manifest form. I pay my humble respects at the holy feetof Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj on this happy occasion and pray to God and Gurudev togrant him a long life and sound health so that countless seekers may be benefited by hisHoly Presence, in the years to come.
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Real Spirit Of Greatness And Grace
(BISHAN SARUP SHARMA)
It was my first visit to Sri Sivananda Ashram in 1960, when I first came in contactwith H.H. Swami Krishnanandaji Saraswati, who was then Secretary to His Holy Master SriSivanandaji Maharaj at that time. I was only interested in seeing the Holy Master. Aftermaking preliminary enquiries, to my great surprise and fortune, Swamiji allowed to see theHoly Master, since my only ambition was to have blessings from Him in person. That wasdone. Holy Master was very much lavish in showering His blessings for sound health,happiness, peace, success, etc., on me.
Although I remained in regular contact with H.H. Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj till Heentered Maha Samadhi, I had no link with H.H. Swami Krishnanandaji Saraswati. But at thesame time, I have been going to Sri Sivananda Ashram almost every year to participate inSri Guru Purnima, Sadhana Week and Aradhana ceremonies. During one of the such SadhanaWeeks of 1973 in the Library Hall, H.H. Swami Krjshnanandaji came direct to me andenquired, “Are you from Chandigarh?” I said, “Yes Swamiji.” Thereupon,Swamiji desired me to see him after Satsang. I was entrusted with the job of obtaining theattested copy of the Constitution and the Rules and Regulations as well as the Memorandumof Association of the Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, since it was registered in 1939 inLahore, Punjab (now in Pakistan). I took it a simple and easy assignment, but I wassurprised to find the first reaction of the office of the Registrar of Firms andSocieties, Chandigarh, Punjab. According to them, the documents being very old, must havebeen left in Pakistan and those people must have since destroyed these papers.Nevertheless, I requested them what was the harm in consulting our own records? I alsooffered my services in tracing out the documents in question from their old records. But,in fact, I had realised that I had lost the game owing to my ego and had no otheralternative except to surrender it through my thoughts and feelings requesting SwamiKrishnanandaji, “Unless Your Holiness help me, I can do nothing. So, kindly do assistme. After all, it is your own job and not mine.” It was only then that Swamijistarted guiding and directing me in the matter through his letters and I became just aninstrument in his holy hands. It was mainly due to his blessings and guidance that myefforts in this direction were crowned with success in completing the assignment andnecessary clarifications connected therewith in the manner liked by Swamiji. Butsurprisingly, even upto this day, Swamiji always appreciates and gives me credit for myhumble efforts and services. In one of his latest letter, while acknowledging humble andlittle donation, Swamiji served as under:
“How are you Bishan Swarupji? I cannot forget the service you rendered to me longback on my request concerning Registrar of Societies. God be with you always.”
There lies the spirit of Greatness and Grace. I was overwhelmed by the previous as wellas the above observations and what was, in fact, done by the Great Swami KrishnanandajiMaharaj. On my part, I can only say that I did as Thou makest me do; I moved as Thoumakest me move. It is not I! It is not I! It is all Thou! It is all Thou!
He is the sacrifice, He is the oblation, He is the performer thereof, He is the recitation or the chant, He is the sacred fire, He is what is offered into it. He is the father, the mother, the grandfather, the support, the one knowable Thing. He is the three Vedas, the Goal of all beings, the Protector, the Reality, the Witness, the Repository, the Refuge, the Friend, the beginning, the middle and the end of all things. He is immortality and death, existence as well as non-existence. He is the Visvarupa, the Cosmic Form, blazing like fire and consuming all things.
According to the Bhagavata and the Mahabharata, God especially manifested Himself as Bhagavan Sri Krishna, who is regarded as the foremost of the divine Incarnations, in whose personality the Supreme Being is fully focussed and manifest.
Srimat Bhagavata says: He is Brahman (the Absolute), Paramatman (God), Bhagavan (the Incarnation).
According to the Pancharatra Agama and the Vaishnava theology, God has five forms: the Para or the Transcendent, Antaryamin or the Immanent, Vyuha or the Collective (known as Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha), Vibhava or the Incarnation, and Archa or the symbolic form of daily worship.
According to Saiva tradition, God is Pati, the Lord who controls the individuals known as Pasu, with His Power known as Pasa.
According to the Sakta tradition, God is the Divine Universal Mother of all things, Adi-Sakti, or the original Creative Power, manifesting Herself as Kriya-Sakti or Durga, Ichha-Sakti or Lakshmi, and Jnana-Sakti or Sarasvati. But the Supreme Mother is beyond all these forms. She is One, alone, without a second.
My Guru: Compassion Incarnate
(DR. BHARAT CHANDRA NATH)
“Krishnanandaji is a wonder to me! Who knows how many Sankaracharyas have goneinto our young Swami? He is our Dakshinamurthy”, said Swami Sivananda in admirationof his beloved, juvenile disciple Swami Krishnananda. When Swamiji was a wonder to his ownGuru, it is very difficult, nay, impossible, for worldlings like us to dilate properlyeven upon a single aspect of Swamiji’s outer versatile personality, not to speak ofhis fathomless inner identity, wherein a saint of his stature hides himself. Quite awareof my incompetence, I yet cannot help sharing a few of my experiences of Guru-kripa withthose who have a genuine love for India’s spiritual culture and staunch faith inGuru’s invisible grace.
When I was a B.A. (Final Year) student of Dhenkanal College in 1973, I developed a sortof emotional dispassion for worldly life and a keen disgust for Economics, the subject Iwas then studying. Leaving my studies, I escaped secretly from home to join SivanandaAshram, about the grandeur of which I had heard and read before. Providentially, I couldhave the Darshan of Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj on 1st September, ’73. Atthe first sight Swamiji Maharaj, with his soothing words of love, instilled a spirit ofhope into my heart as I was in a dejected, melancholy mood at that time. I expressed mydesire for some kind of service (Seva) in the Ashram as I intended to stay for a longtime, Swamiji, two days later, sent for me, and to my joy and surprise, straight awayasked me to work in the Publication League, in which I had a special inclination to serve,although I had not let out my choice before. I gladly joined the department. But after afew days my determination to remain in the Ashram collapsed for personal, psychologicalreasons. On 9th September, I became completely restless and decided to return home. Iapproached Swamiji at an unusual hour. He could very well know my mind. “Are youremembering the members of your family?,” he questioned. “Yes, Swamiji”,was my helpless answer. He allowed me to leave and advised me to meet him the next morningfor initiation. On 10th September (Monday), at about 8 a.m., I appeared before Swamiji.Then there was none else in his Kutir. The atmosphere was calm, serene and grave. Swamijicame out of his room with a rosary in his hand, and without any pre-initiation query,straightaway initiated me into the Mantra I was longing for! Then he gave me the necessaryinstructions for Japa and a copy of “Practical Lessons in Yoga” with hisautograph. Swamiji’s initiation gradually brought about a unique change in my life.It not only pacified the then turbulent tides of my inner life, but it sowed as well thespiritual seed to grow in future. Some wonder how Swami Krishnanandaji, who would at timesavoid, for spiritual reasons, initiating new suppliants, did so willingly in my casewithout my prayer. I do attribute my initiation only to his supreme grace.
In 1976 when I was an M.A., (Previous) student of Banaras Hindu University, I sufferedfrom a physical ailment accompanied with mental tension, from which I could not recover inspite of various medical treatments. Finally I went to Rishikesh from Varanasi in the 3rdweek of November, ’76. Coming to know about the details of my problem, GurudevKrishnanandaji recommended me to do one round of Japa of a Samputa Mantra from the DeviMahatmya, daily before retiring to bed. I followed his advice. The regular Japa of theMantra gradually cured my trouble and brought me complete relief within a very shortperiod. I am convinced that a saint of Swamiji’s intuitive knowledge can be a betterphysician to treat certain diseases, his diagnosis going beyond the limitations of medicalsciences. Later in ’83 when I asked Swamiji whether I should still do the Japa, hecategorically emphasised the continuation of the prophylactic Sadhana till the end of mylife. But for his sympathetic consideration for my health, God knows what would havehappened to me afterwards.
In October ’89, during the Puja vacation, I, accompanied by my wife, visited theAshram. It was her first chance to see Gurudev face to face. She was pining forinitiation. Gurudev was kind enough to initiate her on the holy Ekadasi Day. Besides, wehad another mundane purpose of seeking Guru’s blessings for the birth of a son, webeing then the parents of two daughters only. I was feeling shy to appeal to a spiritualluminary for a silly, transient gain; nevertheless I could not suppress my mind. Iimplored, “Gurudev, we seek your blessings for a son.” To this supplication HisHoliness’s immediate, emphatic response was, “I don’t bless like this.Don’t ask God for a son. If you do, you are directing Him to do this and that.Whatever God gives is for your good and you have to accept everything as such. Who knowsGod may come to your family in the form of a daughter?” He was then sitting in theSamadhi Hall, surrounded by a big gathering of devotees and visitors. I buried mylong-cherished, temporal desire then and there. His last sentence, “Whoknows…..daughter?” indicative of the future birth of a daughter, came true. Soonafter our return from Rishikesh, my wife carried. And lo! the next year on an auspiciousThursday, we were blessed with a third daughter. Gurudev could foresee who was going to beborn as our third child. We resigned ourselves to the Divine Will, drawing peace andsolace from his words, pregnant with lifesaving meaning.
During my past visits to the Sivananda Ashram, I have always enjoyed Gurudev’sspontaneous love and sympathy. Whenever I have entreated His Holiness, he has promptlyclarified my doubts, be they transcendental or temporal. He is a Sanskritist parexcellence. In September, ’91 I put forth some doubts. He opened my eyes byremoving my prejudices against some grammatical lapses in a few Stotras. It was he whocould enlighten me with his spiritual justification for such linguistic errors. As apractical synthetic Yogi, he has been guiding me in the path of devotion.
Our spatial distance notwithstanding, I have been receiving his invisible merciful helpand guidance day in and day out. During trials and tribulations, the moment I havefervently surrendered myself to my Guru’s feet, I have realised his immediate,miraculous protection. Such experiences are too many to find place here. When Iintrospect, I trace so many vices in myself that I simply marvel at his ahetuki kripa, i.e.,incomprehensible grace.
Gurudev is known the world over as a Vedanta Philosopher and a prolific writer. Hisliterature on Yoga and Vedanta is nothing but the scholarly manifestation of his divinegrace on humanity for all times to come. We are blessed and fortunate that we are hisdisciples. To me he is a Daya Sagar, a Karuna Yogi. The celebration of theauspicious 75th Birthday Anniversary (Amrita Mahotsava) of Gurudev, His Holiness SwamiKrishnanandaji Maharaj, is an ineffable joy to all of us. Let me conclude with thesewords:
Thy present incarnation doth attain Summers Seventy-Five;
Into thy reality, O Ageless Effulgence, Who can dive?
Amrita Mahotsva! a joyous, momentous Friday;
May we share divine nectar and be happy and gay,
Thy Lotus Feet, O Gurudev, be our eternal shelter;
A thousand and one prostrations unto thee, O Protector!
According to the Bhakti tradition, God is the Supreme Object of Love, in respect of Whom love is evinced as in respect of one’s father, mother, friend, son, master, or one’s own beloved, in the five forms of affection, known as Shanta, Sakhya, Vatsalya, Dasya and Madhurya.
To the Vaishnavas, God is in Vaikuntha as Vishunu. To the Saivas, God is in Kailasa as Siva, or Rudra. To the Saktas, God is in Manidvipa, as the Supreme Sakti or the Divine Mother. To the Ganapatyas, God is Ganesa, or Ganapati. To the Sauras, God is Surya, the Sun. To the Kaumaras, God is Kumara, or Skanda.
Sacred Hearted Swamiji
(K.J.A. GUNASEKARAN, HYDERABAD)
“The chiefest wealth is a heart that overflowth with mercy: for material wealth isfound even in the hands of vile men.”
Swami Krishnanandaji, chief executive of The Divine Life Society Headquarters, is theheart of the Sivanandashram. He is a very simple monk, but tirelessly and wholeheartedlydedicated to the Divine Life Mission. He is a great Sage and a famous philosopher of theworld.
In 1986, during the Kumba Mela, I stayed in the Sivananda Ashram. Swamiji asked mewhere I have been accommodated. I told him that I was staying in the dormitory, GaneshKutir Hall. At once Swamiji asked the incharge of Reception, ‘why not give him asingle room? Incharge Reception told Swamiji that I have requested, every time,accommodation in the Hall only. Swamiji told me: “All visitors usually demand aseparate room, but you have requested accommodation in Hall.” Swamiji thus showedkeen interest and enquired every visitor and guest about his stay in Ashram, about hiswelfare, personal problems and inconvenience, if any, about stay at Ashram.
Swamiji is an Asthma patient. He is living on medicines and his diet is very very poor.Sometimes he suffered with reaction of the wrong dose of medicines. Yet Swamiji used totake his bath in cold Ganga river daily. Sometimes he did not get sound sleep at nightsdue to Asthma but yet he got up in Brahmamuhurta daily. He observed regularity andpunctuality of time. He never refused to meet devotees. He delivered the lectures andattended the administration of Ashram works. He has no Sunday and holidays. Day and nighthe is working for Ashram activities. His life is a true meaning of every Sloka ofthe Bhagavad Gita, particularly of “Karmanyevadhikaraste ma phaleshu kadachana, Makarmaphalaheturbhurmate sangostva karmani” (II-47): “Thy right is to workonly, but never with its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive, nor let thyattachment be to inaction.”
On 20th July, 1989 evening, I reached Ashram from Joshimath. Some persons were rushingto the Hospital and there was commotion. I enquired what happened. They told me that SwamiKrishnanandaji Maharaj was seriously ill and admitted in Hospital. So I also rushed in.But to my great surprise, I found that our Swamiji was delivering lectures on the BhagavadGita to his devotees even though he was unwell. Swamiji is an Ocean of knowledge, eversharing it with others. The Tirukkural (Tamil) says: “Knowledge is likened to asandspring: The more thou diggest and drawest thereat, the more excellent is the flowthereof.”
Once Swamiji was sitting in front of his room. That was the “Darshan” hour,and devotees were sitting in front and around him. A lively conversation started andSwamiji touched on all matters and subjects. During the conversation, Swamiji solvedindividual, personal and family problems and cleared the difficult spiritual doubts. Theconversations were interesting and absorbing so much so that we had forgotten thesurroundings and the time. Swamiji Maharaj had to remind us: “The lunch bell ranglong ago. All of you now go for your lunch. Namaskar and God bless you.” We leftSwamiji Maharaj with folded hands and I recollected that the Tirukkural says:
“Even unto the stomach some food will be offered when there is no food for thetime being for the ear.”
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(MISS. MEDHA SACHDEV)
Swami Krishnanandaji has been my guide since the time of my birth. That way I feelmyself a blessed child of God. Since the year 1973, when I was only two months old, I havebeen continually going to the holy Ashram to have his Darshan every year with myparents. To me, he is knowledge and divinity incarnate. When he speaks, the words seem tobe getting anchored in one’s heart and soul. Inspired by his teaching, this pettyself is trying to say something.
Our Indian Heritage is very rich. The intuitive knowledge of the Rishis of yore whichwas imparted orally from preceptor to pupil traditionally, has come to us in the form ofscriptures known as the Vedas and the Upanishads. The highest knowledge of the’Self’ is given in these scriptures, having known which, nothing remains unknownin the universe. While on one hand, the Rishi conveys the Eternal Message that thewhole universe is pervaded by that Omnipresent God, on the other hand, he directs theindividual that by doing good deeds alone, he should wish to live a hundred years ofhealthy life. This universe is the shadow cast by the desires of each individual. Bynature no individual can sit without any ‘action’ even for a moment. By’action’ we mean the expression of a desire, but the movement towards Truth isnot the effect of a desire because it is a desire to destroy desire and such an action isnot an action. It is the flaming march of the soul towards its extension into infinity, sosays Swamiji in his book, ‘Essays on the Upanishads’.
But where are we? Do we ever sincerely practise Yoga to know our own selves? Ourconsciousness is covered with the illusion of ignorance. Everything in this world istransitory. Nothing is everlasting except the Atman. Forgetting the Divine Messages of thescriptures we are running after the ever-going attractions of this ephemeral world. Howbeautifully an Upanishadic Sage prays to the Sun-God:
“The face of Truth is covered by a golden vessel. O Sun! Remove that for me who ama seeker after Truth.”
The philosophical and mystical teachings of the Upanishads are to be studied andfollowed in their entirety. Arise, O Atman! Awake! For how long will you sleep? Get upfrom slumber. Go and sit at the holy feet of the men of wisdom and strive forSelf-realisation following their admonitions. That is the only path to happiness andattainment of Eternal Peace.
It is the duty of a man to think about the problems of his society and his nation. Evenif a single person does some good to humanity, the whole of humanity will follow him andworship him. This way, improves the society. Come forward, youngsters! Do selflessservice. Strengthen the feeling of renunciation. Do not fret yourselves for fulfillingpetty desires. They will ruin you ultimately. Do not try to imitate Western culture. Ithas already brought a great fall in our moral values. Gird up your loins to bring back thelost values of the golden heritage of India. Always keep in mind:
“You are not this body, not this mind,
Immortal Self you are!
Serve, Love, Give, Purify,
Be Good, Do Good,
Be Kind, Be Compassionate.”
(So says Sivananda)
On this holy occasion of H.H. Swami Krishnananda’s 75th Birth anniversary, I prayto God for his healthy and long life so that he may keep on illumining spiritual seekersafter Truth.
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Dirt is matter out of place. Weed is a plant out of place. Nuisance is action out ofplace. Even those things, acts or words which are normally good and useful become bad,useless and even harmful when they are out of place, time and circumstance. A knowledge ofthis fact is an essential part of wisdom.
Material amenities and economic needs and the satisfaction of one’s emotional sideare permissible only so long as this law and order of this eternal truth of the liberationof the Self in universality of being regulates their fulfilment.
The temptation from the evil one comes, first, in the form of unsettled thinking whichmakes one immediately forget the Presence of God. This is at once followed by theimplimentation of the evil move, whether in the shape of passion or anger. When the deedis done and the matter has ended, the remembrance of God might come in, but it rarelyappears in the presence of things which we either love or hate. –SwamiKrishnananda
The Divine Ambassador
[This poem describes the scene of Lord Sri Krishna’s going on a peace missionto the court of the Kauravas.]
- The glorious Master, Mighty Krishna, in his omniscience,
Majestic rode to Pandavas with all his retinue.
- Yudhishthira and all the brothers seeing Krishna come,
Rose up in honour, folding hands and fell prostrate on ground.
- In all compassion Krishna great with charming smile on face
Did seat himself on throne arranged by melting hearts of love.
- The Master, then, enquired in grace the welfare of brothers,
Who sobbed and poured their bursting sorrow in their exiled life.
- “O great one, what can we say, poorlings, of our condition,
Thou knowest well how we were forced to live in wilderness.
- Bless us, O Master, we are thine, what else is there in us,
Except thy mercy and affection which alone we crave.”
- Sri Krishna turned his gracious glance and spoke in soothing terms,
“Well, what is past is past, of course, now further steps be thought.”
- “A messenger, learned in lore, be despatched quickly hence,
To court of Kurus with a request that your share is due.”
- “Since errand sent with milder touch bore not a happy end,
Methinks a stronger politic take up this task on hand.”
- “Whom shall we send, thou, all-knowing, may kindly suggest us,
A person who would speak and explain facts of justice plain.”
- So wondered eldest of the brethren, good Yudhishthira,
To which Sri Krishna thus replied in loving tender words.
- “I am here, king, ready am I to do this work of peace,
As errand-man I go to Kurus and convey your views.”
- “No, nothing doing, thou shalt not, our heart and soul thou art,
Thy single march to camp of foes I wholly disapprove.
- “Thou shalt not go, our life thou art, our life is in thy life,
No, never, Master, I shall myself or my brothers go.”
- In loving kindness Krishna spoke to fearstruck righteous king,
“Fear not my life, I have the strength to protect myself safe;
- “Not all the kings, with all weapons can face me in battle,
As herd of deer dare not stand before a lion’s rage.
- “If act unlawful Kurus deem to mete to my person,
I shall not wait for war to render justice to thy cause;
- “But, then and there, to heap of ashes I shall burn all foes,
With might the earth has never seen nor see with all its eyes.”
- So assuring the divine one had chariots harnessed well,
With Satyaki and handful heroes, as a God would move.
- Sages and saints and learned ones were seen on wayside tracks,
And queried Siddhas spoke to Krishna on his greeting them;
- “O Perfect One, we heard that thou would deliver addresses
In court of Kurus, which to listen we are journeying;
- “Thy speech should indeed be a treat to ears and our hearts,
On knowing this we trek and fly to Kurus’ royal court.”
- Sri Krishna smiled and bowed to them in humble reverence,
And speeded up for urgent task in Hastinapura.
- The blind old ruler, Dhritarashtra, summoned Sanjaya,
And called for details when he heard that Krishna is on move.
- “What for is this, why does he come, what kind of person he,
In full-description please recount this novel circumstance.”
- To which the wise and good minister spoke in plainest terms,
Why Krishna comes and who he is and how to receive him.
- “O honoured king, thou askest who this Krishna is who comes,
And why he does this errand now to court of thy highness.
- “Listen with care to what I say, I say this for your good,
And good of all and everyone and peace to all ensure:
- “This Krishna, mighty, looking normal, is not normal one,
No one can know his secret thoughts or deeds he does perform;
- “I warn thee, king, receive him well with kindest of feelings,
Let no one show irreverence or proudly speak to him.
- “His power even angels dread and dare not approach him,
His hidden aim, O please listen, is ruin of thy sons,
- “Who harm intend to Pandavas whose friend this Krishna is,
Who’s heaven-bent to save the brothers with his might and mien.
- “Beware, then, please instruct thy sons to behave well with him,
And gladly part to Pandavas their lawful share of land.”
- On hearing this, the frightened king did quake in deepest grief,
And forthwith ordered all arrangements for reception grand.
- “Lo, drench the streets and strew with flowers, hoist festoons and raise up flags,
Let best of music and procession greet the coming guest so great.”
- And Bhishma, sire, sagely hero, strict instructions gave,
“We should receive the greatest one with greatest love and care.”
- Duryodhana who heard all this and saw the movements made
To receive Krishna whom he knew as comrade of his foes.
- Disdainfully agreed to do the behest Bhishma sire’s
For fear of elders and the fear of old sire’s wrath.
- Music and band and gaiety best find finest dancing scenes
Did greet Sri Krishna, august guest, who arrived at the gate.
- The Yoga’s lord on beholding the colour, sound and haste,
Noticed the soulless pageantry set up to buy his heart.
- Duryodhana did feign all courtesy and honour high,
Which, all-seeing, the subtle eye of Krishna just did gaze.
- Rejecting pleadings falsely made by cunning Kuru’s chief,
Krishna, the friend of poor souls, did bid goodbye to kings.
- In humble hut of Vidura the Master spent his night,
Who, overwhelmed with joy supreme, fed Krishna with the peels.
- And threw the stuff of plantain fruits knowing not what he gave,
For lost he had his ego-self and sunk in joy divine.
- In morn, on waking, Krishna rose with friends and crowds around.
And marched to palace where all waited for his great coming.
- When Krishna entered he there saw the sages and the saints
Standing to honour and receive his magnetic presence.
- “May sages first be seated,” so did Krishna express wish,
At which did Bhishma order hundreds of the best of seats.
- When all were seated Krishna sat as last of all to sit,
Saluting all the audience with loving folded hands.
- Who was to speak the first of words, no one there ever knew,
So, Bhishma, great, the sire old, with welcome broke silence.
- “Supremely honoured all are here with presence amidst us
Of best of men and greatest master, Krishna, Yadus’ lord.
- “May we receive his message now and know his intentions,
So that the earth would grace enjoy and all would live in peace.”
- As rumbling cloud would deeply sound and touch the hearts below,
In sonorous and soothing words Sri Krishna stood and spoke.
- “Elders and sages, learned ones, in this wise audience,
Know well the tragic history of Kuru’s family.
- “As God creates the field of world and all living beings
In bond of loving sacrifice with mutual share of love,
Dvaipayana, the sage, was cause of Kuru-Pandavas.
- “As seer-seen in cosmic set-up mingle united,
The Pandavas and Kauravas should share and live in peace.
- “But Kuru hosts betrayed their trust and harmed the Pandavas,
From very childhood poisoned them and tried to burn them live.
- “By tricky game of vilest dice they were exiled to woods,
And now from exile returned they demand their kingdom’s share.
- “I’m fully sure that you elders would endorse this my view,
That justice calls for equity; let justice then be done.”
- “Hail, hail, I fully hold the same opinion of the law,
That Krishna’s words be respected and Pandu’s sons have share.”
- Thus Bhishma judged and then proclaimed the justice of the cause,
That half of kingdom be made out to Pandava brothers.
- Drona and all the sages there assembled then did rise
And one by one gave voice to justice hailing Krishna’s views.
- Everyone spoke in full agreement that the share of land
In justice due to Pandavas be forthwith made over.
- Silently groused, and seated haughty, raged Duryodhana,
And rudely gave a counterbolt to all this good advice.
- “How come that all the people here speak as if I have failed,
What fault of mine it is if Pandu’s children lost the game?”
- Sri Krishna quickly raised his point rebutting counter terms
And hinted at the flaws that lay on head of Kuru king.
- “Is it true that the Pandavas lost all by their own choice?
Or were they duped by gamester’s tricks which none could decipher?
- “However and whatever that be, now the exile’s terms
Are completed and thus the share of Pandavas is due.
- “Let this be done and all shall then be well I do believe,
There need be no delay at all in this the plainest truth.”
- “Nothing, nothing, I shall not give, let there be no such talk,”
So retorted in arrogance Duryodhana, the king.
- “Do wise ones in assembly here approve of rudeness this,
Which unbehaving youngester speaks before a visitor?”
- Sri Krishna turned to those on seats with this his surprised look,
Awaiting gestures in response from all the aged ones.
- “Be not so proud and unrelenting, listen well to sense,”
Thus all the sages assembled in chorus raised their voice.
- “The young is also fool in one, methinks he’s out of wits,
That sensible and sound advice he scornfully abhors.”
- So Bhishma wroth voiced forth his view and Drona seated there,
The sages ‘gain illustrated their judgment in stories.
- But Kuru chief wrung up his brows and defied everyone
And added that he is no one who can be threatened thus.
- Sri Krishna queried if he would give five villages ‘tleast,
For poor brothers five in number for their humble homes.
- “No talk of gift, let there be no such prating before me,
I fear none, and threats I care not, speak not thus, Krishna;
- “A needle-point of space the Pandavas do not deserve,”
So twisting back his face from all clinched up Duryodhana.
- With raised up brows, astounded by this unabashed conduct,
Sri Krishna even insisted that something be given.
- “Let houses five at least be granted creature comfort’s sake,
To helpless Pandu’s poorest children come from forest life.”
- To every request Krishna made and elders there endorsed,
Duryodhana struck up his thigh and grimmed in defiance.
- Roused up to quick Sri Krishna addressed all the audience,
“This meanest man is shame to all, to ruin all Kurus.
- “How keep you hint in this reputed palace of Kurus,
Uncouth, shameless, inhuman brute from manner he behaves.
- “I request you to bind him up, banish him from this place,
And hand him over in all goodness to Yudhishthira.”
- As provoked snake would hiss and offer then and there to bite,
Duryodhana rose up from hall and rushed out to his house.
- Returning home he connived with his henchmen secretly,
To bind and lock up ambassador Krishna, honoured guest.
- “This man is hatching with the help of Bhishma and others
To bind me and then haul me up to bitter foe of mine.”
- Shrewd Satyaki and friends there heard the secret whispered talks
Regarding catching Krishna and then imprisoning him.
- Conveyed to Krishna strangest news in wide assembly hall,
And asked the Master that they should to danger meet prepare.
- Sri Krishna turned to old king seated and then admonished,
“King, listen, I think that your son is asking for trouble;
- “For news has reached that he intends to catch and bind me up
With Duhsasana-Karna group’s assistance on his side.
- “Let him then try and please himself, and all of them may come,
And imprison me with their strength, if strength they any have.”
- Gandhari, queen, seated in hall, on hearing Krishna’s words
Was deeply distressed, wailing, at once summoned eldest son.
- On call from mother, Duryodhana hotly entered hall
And stood defying in demeanour, pride at highest pitch.
- The parents strongly reprimanded standing defiant son,
In grief-struck-speech and fear-struck feelings jointly facing him.
- “Fool, art thou sane or gone off mad to think doing mischief,
Be thou restrained, and behave well and respect elders’ words.”
- Then Krishna rose up from his seat and stood as lion raged,
And directed his final words on proud Duryodhana.
- “Thinkest thou in thy delusion that I am here alone,
Unbefriended and unprotected and be caught by thee?
- “Look, all the gods and army-chiefs of all the fourteen worlds
Are here and now at this moment and at this very spot.”
- So saying Krishna laughed aloud which shook the earth below,
As quake would rend the very corn of every inch of ground.
- Angels as stars there shot up from his arms,
Fierce tongues of fire rushed out from his mouth,
Brahma on forehead, Rudra on his chest,
The guardian gods from shoulders did emerge,
The sun and moon and all the stars of skies
Projected from his blazing Mighty form.
Yudhishthira and Bhima, Arjuna,
The two brothers, Nakula, Sahadeva,
Were all there seen with uplifted weapons.
From eyes and ears and all his myriad arms
Emergent flames fiercely jetted forth,
As if portending end of all the worlds.
From every pore of that Divinity
Speedingly rose bright rays as solar lights.
The earth and all atmosphere trembled
And oceans lapped up roaring surging waves.
There wonder-struck the blessed ones beheld
That Glorious Form which Lord, the Master showed,
Revealed in Himself as the All-in-All,
The Soul and Self of all creation vast,
All worlds, all gods, and all creation glowed
In that Majesty Krishna’s–All in One.
* * *
“Do the best and leave the rest” is the key motto in Karma Yoga. The’doing of the best’, of course, does not mean being foolhardy or going headlongwithout thought on consequences, but the harnessing of one’s full resources to theexecution of a noble ideal which is calculated to aid one in the attainment ofGod-realisation. To ‘leave the rest’ is to resign the results of the work toGod, for, when even the best that one can do falls short of the effort needed to achieve adesired result, the mind is likely to get upset, which is not the spirit of Karma Yoga.All work is God’s,–even the Sadhana that we do.
Contribution Of Swami Krishnananda To The Revival Of IndianEducation
Much has been said so far about the desirable changes in Indian Education sinceindependence. Recommendations of different committees and commissions of Indian Educationin general and in the field of spiritual and moral education in particular have beendiscussed in detail on different levels so far. Still, after fifty years of independencewe are facing a crisis of character.
On this background, it is really timely to take note of our very revered SwamiKrishnananda’s contribution to Indian Education on this auspicious event of hiscompleting 75 years on this earthly plane.
Needless to say that he reiterates the views of Indian Saints add Seers that educationis a manifestation of perfection already in man.
Education: A Pleasant Process Of Imparting Knowledge
While explaining one of his points, Swami Krishnananda says that education is feelingof the needs of the students and supplying them with proper thing at proper time and inproper way. For this task the teacher should not regard teaching as a business withstudents and should have a capacity to make himself liked by the student’s mind.According to Swamiji, this pleasant process of imparting knowledge is education. The righttype of education should exceed the limits of parochial religions or the cult of any sector society and should be free from the prejudices of caste, creed and colour. Further hepoints out that the system of education that rejects all the religions in the name ofsecularism and also the human aspirations is thoroughly unsatisfactory. Educationconstitutes a vital process and it grows out of its own accord when soul is poured intoit. The bread-earning education has to become life-earning education; for, the latter, inaddition to supplying bread, shall also supply man with a soul to live by. The present-daysystem of education is unsatisfactory because it is founded on a mistaken concept oflife’s values. The human being is reduced to a speck in the gigantic structure ofcosmos. It is a fact that man is not merely a humble cog in the machine of a relentlessworld, but the essence of man is a spiritual principle, co-extensive with the UniversalSpirit. This view was lost sight of in Macaulian scheme moving along the ruts of so-calledmodernisation of thinking, a rationality of approach and a scientific attitude of life.
Need Of A Textbook On “The Constitution Of Man In TheUniverse”
On the background of this erroneous mechanistic view of life, the necessity of writinga small textbook on “The Constitution of Man in the Universe”, is mentioned.This book should contain information on the structure of the human personality in relationto outer creation. It should deal with fundamentals of human conduct on the basis of thisrelation of man to creation. Ample illustrations are found in this regard in the gospelsof the Saints and Seers of all religions. The students in the higher classes be introducedto the great heritage of India, giving a broader vision of culture in general, expoundingthe contribution of modern Saints like Vivekananda, Aurobindo, Ramana Maharshi, Sivanandaand others to the revival of Indian culture. For bringing out unity underlying humanaspirations, Swamiji recommends that separate section may be devoted to the lives andteachings of Buddha, Mahaveer, Christ, Mohammed, the Sufi Saints and Sikh Gurus.
Salvation Of The Self And Welfare Of The World
A careful thought of fourfold aim of human existence i.e. righteousness in all stagesand forms (Dharma), economic independence (Artha), emotional satisfaction (Kama)and spiritual realisation (Moksha) will provide a sufficient background thinking tothe teachers and help them keep in view the purpose of education which is likely to bemissed in achievements of material ends. Taking into consideration that educational careeris a holy pursuit, all types of indulgences of the sub-human urges be strictlydiscouraged. At the same time it is very important to note that no one side of humanaspect be stressed at the expense of the other. Else there is likely to be a revolt of theneglected aspect at some later stage. Unless the relation between the inner and the outerrealities, the psychical nature of man and the physical and social nature of the world isharmoniously maintained at every stage of teaching, the aim of salvation of the self andwelfare of the world (Atmano mokshartha jagat hitayacha) will remain a long wayoff.
Intuition As One Of The Abiding Values In Education
Swamiji frequently points out that the ignorance of the fact that the student is aliving being with outer desires and inner aspirations, has led to the grievous conditionof present-day educational institutions. It is neglected that individual soul (Vyashti)and Universal Soul (Samashti) are organically connected and not mechanicallydovetailed. The Universal Spirit speaks in various languages of mind and intellect thesame message of the integral value of the entire existence, the law of action and reactioncalled Karma, the laws of physics, chemistry, biology, psychology and sociology, of themoral science and of political history are all different affirmations of this Universaltruth. Intuition is one of the abiding values that India has contributed to the world ofeducation as higher than intellect. However, it is not understandable why it is stillregarded mere fancy when the very foundation on which science is based is being doubted.One must know that sense, reason and intuition are stages of knowledge and intuition isnearer to reality than the other two.
Residential Schools As Prototypes Of Gurukulas
Swamiji recommends residential schools as prototypes of ancient Gurukulas. He appealsto rich class to come forward with liberal donations. Then alone we can serve the needs ofthe students from majority cadre. By educating the majority we can free our country frommental slavery and ignorance of culture. More important than this is to find properteachers. Teaching is a process in psychology and calls forth not only super-humanpatience but also infinite understanding on the part of the teacher. Last but not theleast is the point that the authorities of the institutions should try their best inmaking the students feel that the management is genuinely interested in their welfare.
Swamiji Harps On The Note Of Hope
Swamiji is hopeful that all these things can be achieved with efforts. On thisauspicious event of his completing seventy fifth year, we pray to God and Gurudev tobestow their choicest blessings on him. May Swami Krishnananda live long a healthy, happyand blissful life! May his dream of educational reform come true and may new India of 21stcentury emerge with many more assurances for the entire humanity!
* * *
Hail Hail Krishnananda
(SHREE DHAM PARIWAR)
Hail Hail Adorable Krishnananda,
The living Sankaracharya!
Hail Hail venerable Swami Krishnananda,
The great Vedantacharya!
Hail Hail Honourable Swami Krishnananda,
The Superb Yogacharya!
To Thee we offer our adorations, Salutations and prostrations.
To thee we wish grand Amrita Mahotsava Felicitations.
The ‘Lion of Vedanta’ art thou!
The Simplifier of Vedanta art thou!
The ‘Replica of thy Holy Master’ art thou!
The bestower of Bhakti and Yoga art thou!
Erudite Scholar and orator art thou!
The perfect master of meditation art thou!
To Thee we offer grand Amrita Mahotsava Felicitations.
O Thou! The paragon of Indian Culture
O Thou! the excellent master of self culture
O Thou! The rich possessor of tolerance treasure.
To Thee we offer grand Amrita Mahotsava Felicitations.
Thou art ever absorbed in the bliss of ‘the Krishna’consciousness
Thou art ever centered in the Satchidananda consciousness
Thou art ever deeply engrossed in the Supreme awareness
To Thee we offer grand Amrita Mahotsava Felicitations.
O Thou! The great thinker of high Philosophy,
The dispenser of knowledge divine
O Thou! The lover of peace and harmony,
The sweet singer of song divine
O Thou! The great author of spiritual Literature,
The preceptor of holy scriptures divine
To Thee we offer grand Amrita Mahotsava Felicitations.
Thou have inspired, guided, enlightened
Spiritual aspirants through with thy thrilling talks
Thou have drawn to thyself innumerable
Fortunate seekers through Academy lectures
Thy Nachiketa element has attracted
Many Yoga Vedanta forest Academy Students
To Thee we offer grand Amrita Mahotsava Felicitations.
Darling Krishna for dear devotees art thou!
Beloved friend for the sincere seekers art thou!
Esteemed guide for the real aspirants art thou!
To Thee we offer grand Amrita Mahotsava Felicitations.
Thy life is permeated by Brahma Abhyasa
Thy life is motivated by Brahma Vichara
Thy life is regulated by Brahma Jnana
To Thee we offer grand Amrita Mahotsava Felicitations.
“Earnest and constant prayers are expressed by
All members of Shree Dham at the Holy Feet of the
World Beloved our Sadguru Bhagavan
To bless Swamiji Maharaj with many many more
JAYANTI MAHOTSAVA CELEBRATIONS,
We humbly offer To thee our adorations, salutations and prostrations.”
* * *
The more we try to depend on God, the more He seems to test us with the pleasures ofsense and the delights of the ego. Finally, the last kick He gives is, indeed, unbearable.Those who bear it are themselves gods.
Man! What a strange composition he is?
The higher and lower adroitly blended;
An angel with brute crossed, genius with folly;
Where meet celestial and terrestrial belts,
Where gravity pulls from points sundered in twain;
A river that inclines and flown to the depths
From heights of durationless Infinity!
A power-projectile that’s facing senseward,
But tethered to endless expanse of being,
With long-extending silken three-stranded ropes:
A flame that is burning, a wave on the sea;
A force that is rushing, constant becoming;
A spectrum, a prism, a triangle, a line,–
All things in one; and what a contrast he makes!
How mean, and how low; yet how great, and how grand!
There isn’t a creature born so ungrateful,
So stupid, presuming, self-centred debased,
A bad judge of things when in adversity,
So unjust to others, so false to himself;–
Now give him power, and his head quickly turns;
He sees, then, the world with a new set of spects;
Oppose him, he cringes when found to be weak;
If strong, he flies into a passion and rage,
And threatens creation with uplifted doom;
Arrogates all goodness to himself in vain,
And imputes the evils of Satan to ‘thers.
For him all are suspects, save himself alone;
All wrong, except what is his and what he is,
He’d sting like a scorpion and bite like a snake;
Is sly like a fox when occasion demands;
When wroth a tiger, and ravenous in greed;
A beast in emotions when left unrestrained.
Whatever he does, and whatever he thinks,
Lives indelible in the ether’s records,–
He smugly deceives himself, secret in deeds,
Like th’ ostrich in sands, amidst forces all o’er;–
Befooled by the senses, by forms tantalised,
Like th’ stag in the fable bewitched by the tunes
Of th’ hunter who’s let loose his hounds for his prey;
Feeble in judgments, gregariously ruled.
A rumour that’s spread he converts into rock
By heaping accretions from funds of his mind.
As vapour hardens into liquid and earth,
A breeze of some word that a vagrant uttered
Gets planted as flint in his immature will,
And he worries himself, and pesters others
With th’ crotchets and pranks of a credulous heart,
Thus, then, is created a universe of thoughts,
Of imaginations and feelings and whims,
Shaky edifices built over quicksand,–
The worlds of beliefs faiths and baseless fancies
In selfishness rooted, from nescience rising.
All these are the walls of the prison he’s raised
To throw himself in, with his boasted learning.
Behold! how he gropes though descended from Light,
Though th’ ocean of wisdom is at his background!
In a flash he can ope his vision to the truth
Of’s being, if only he wills and he strives.
But he wouldn’t, as owl he can see not the day,
Though th’ blaze of the sun is there dazzling all things,
Uninterrupted, homogeneous and one.
Lo! What does man need but some food and clothing,
And a shelter to guard him from wind and from rain:–
He struts like a peacock posing what he’s not,
For th’ sake of this meanest of things, his ego;
Which’s a dog in the manger, that won’t be appeased
And would not rest peaceful in’ts cravings galore,
In’ts hunger for fame and power and renown,
And name and authority, prestige and pride;–
Sheer empty sounds that mean so much to the fool,
So much of concrete reality and life,
And what it can offer with its outstretched arms.
He’d face a bullet, but not bear calumny!
Poor Soul! He does not know what disturbs his peace
Defies understanding and eludes his grasp;
Whether seen or unseen; here or hereafter,–
This world, this ego, and its concomitants,
And what is beyond these, the Truth of all truths,
And wisdom consists in seeing things clear,
Not closing one’s eyes when the world blows as storm.
But wisdom lingers and not fall from the blues;
The patient and waiting do gain it in time.
Look! here is the lofty crown of creation,
Confined in the walls of collapsing clay,
With past wholly buried, and future unknown;
Death’s at his elbow, yet acts as immortal!
A marvel indeed; a wonder of wonders,
For’s frail tabernacle holds th’ light of Heavens;
And truly it’s said, man’s the image of God!
The Cosmic is here, masquerading in form;
Scratch him, he’s animal; probe him, he’s Divinity.
Then what of his fate? He’s bound back’ to the Lord,
Our Ruler, Sustainer, Protector and Guide,
Lord, Parent, Indweller, Director, Resort,
Friend, Consoler, Solace, the Beginning and End
Of what is and is not, the Seed of all life;
Who heats as the Sun, and who blows as the wind,
Who pours down as rain, and who freezes as cold,
Who’s change and destruction, who’s relentless Time
That winds up creation in’ts all-swallowing folds;
Who’s Immortal Essence, the Nectar Divine,
That Resplendent Grandeur, the Supreme Abode
Of Peace and Perfection, the One Existence
That Sages proclaim as the myriad-visioned,
Whose heads are the heavens, whose feet are the earth,
Whose eyes are the Sun and the Moon e’er aglow,
Whose ears are the quarters, the scripture’s whose speech,
Whose breath is this breeze, and whose Universe is heart,–
Almighty Existence, Consciousness and Bliss.
To know Him is life, to forget Him is death;
To love Him with heart is service done to all;
To serve Him with soul is fulfilment supreme;
Adore Him, the world shall adore you as self.
As children do sit round their mother for food,
Creation with longing to him gravitates,
Whose root is this Being, thund’ring through silence.
This’s man’s destination which’s slowly realised
Through gradual ascent, by effort and by Grace
That work together by a law that is strange
In’n integral world that is cause and effect
At once, in a sweep that does stagger one’s thought
Which is wont to imagine a linear logic
Of a reason encumbered by space and by time,
This Goal which is mighty’s attained in One’s Self
In deep contemplation by a passionless heart,
Which seeks not pleasure in these tinsels mundane
Pretending to done the attire of a gem,
But soars to the heights of empyrean that’s God’s;
By service of man, by compassion and love
For all that is seen, as His Body revealed
To senses that discern Spirit as matter;
By worship and giving in unselfish acts
Of charity, sweet words and feeling for life;
By chastened, ennobled and straightforward deeds,–
Both inward and outward,–by truth, continence,
By openness, kindness, contentment and peace,
Study, introspection, company of saints,
By vigilance unsleeping, dispassion for fame,
For name and for wealth, for power and status,
For rewards and good words, for honour, respect;
By trampling down ego with wisdom and sense;
With restrained emotions, being tranquil within
When th’ world disregards you and treats you as dust,
And casts you aside as an unwanted weed;
By prayer that’s silent, fortitude, and faith,
With a fire of longing for God, God alone,–
Nothing short of God,–though this flesh may here melt,
And th’ skin rend asunder, bones crack and dissolve.
In such sublime states of communion and joy
Has man intimations of what he’s meant for.
But is this easy? No; the knowers declare
That th’ path is subtle and is sharp as a sword
Or a razor whose edge we cannot visualise,
As th’ track of the fish or of birds in the sky,
The way to Eternity’s invisible.
The heed that the seeker in this art and science
With intense awareness is called to maintain
Is unremitting and a winkless living
Of th’ canons defining this infinite way
To th’ Infinite Being;–with hardship obtained!
May peace be on man, he succeed in his quest!
May Masters and Teachers their Grace on him shower!
* * *
The teaching of the Yoga-Vasishtha emphasises that when there is perception of anobject by the seer or observer, there has to be pre-supposed the existence of aconsciousness between the subject and the object. If this conscious connecting link werenot to be, there would be no perception of existence. There cannot be a consciousness ofrelation between two things unless there is a consciousness relating the two terms and yetstanding above them. The study of the perceptional situation discloses the fact that thesubject and the object are phases of a universal consciousness.
Ever At Thy Holy Lotus Feet
(SRI JATINDRA KUMAR MUND)
Gurureko jagatsarvam brahma-vishnu sivatmakam,
Guroh parataram nasti tasmat sampujayet gurum.
For those blessed readers of anchored faith and acquaintance with spiritual literature,my assertion will sound solemn reiteration but for the lay readers, the apparentirrationality of this version is self-explanatory, for what I am trying to do, is torecord the impossible, of an interface with the Absolute. Paramagurudev H.H. Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj speaks of Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj as having excelled him andH.H. Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj states that, he is beyond human understanding. Finalstatements these, that brook no arguments.
The treatise, ‘Realisation of the Absolute’ is a revelation manifestedthrough the young Sannyasin Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj as a manual of constant companionfor all descriptions of intellectual seekers after Truth.
Our grace and merits earned through several previous births fructify and along with twochildren of a daughter and a son, our family receives initiation in 1991 at the Ashramthrough Sadgurudev Bhagavan Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj.
Five Summers, each one of our family members has received parental love and affection,purer and deeper than our sires could proffer. It is well-nigh impossible to portraythrough expression, the sheer bliss of listening to his Pravachans on the spectrumof subjects and variety of characters that enjoin Swamiji’s Satsanga ever day.
Swamiji Maharaj quotes verbatim from the entire range of sources available to knowledgewhich, in itself, can drive the fear of God even into the minds of the so-called secularintellectual atheists. The most creative of English poets would also admire and enjoy inspontaneity the unthought-of vivacity that the words acquire in Swamiji’s vocabularyboth in his speeches and writings. The economy of language, the aesthetics of literature,the cogency of logic, its relation with the science of the Absolute and a witty renderingof answers by Swamiji, to the most trivial and the profoundest of questions alike, atonce, grip the minds of all comers.
The free verse of the ‘Epic of Consciousness’, graduates itself into anew genre which the connoisseurs of pure literature can better relish. Composed in thetone of the great epics of India, the literal and symbolic meaning of the words frequentlyconnote between them and sublimate into a third plane of mysterious meandering of meaning.The style of its narrative creates a figure of speech that adds to the existing repertoireof prosody.
During one of our sojourns in the Ashram, I suffered from a prolonged bout oflaryngitis accompanied with the nuisance of intermittent coughing. It did not only causevexation to the visitors present there but also drew Guru Bhagavan’s solicitationstowards my sufferings. Swamiji instructed me to immediately rush-forth to the Hospitaldownstairs for medical attention. But, the prospect of missing his Darshan owing to bidingmy turn in the long queue of patients made me return without treatment and report the sameto Swamiji Maharaj. Disturbed again by my frequent coughing the next day also, SwamijiMaharaj sent me once again to consult the doctor. I go to the doctor and finding thesituation pretty much the same this time as well, would return without any treatment. Thistime Swamiji Maharaj would enquired if I took medicine for my ailment or not. In spite ofmy answer in the negative, the constant coughing was immediately gone, once for all, andthis miraculous happening was explained away by Gurudevji Bhagavan, to the inquisitivedevotees, as Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj’s grace. Be it the fulfilment of many of ourwishes or taking care about even the smallest detail relating to our journey to theAshram, miracles keep taking place at every turn of event with such regularity that they,by now, have become a normal course of occurrence with us.
A young American couple was one of the regular attendants among the morning visitors toSwamiji Maharaj for nearly a month. It was learnt that the couple had come with somespecific spiritual enquiry. During the course of their stay, they put innumerablequestions and were so satisfied and moved by their experience with Swamiji Maharaj thatone could visibly see the lady in profuse tears towards their valedictory days. Theboundless love of Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj for persons of all persuasions is seen tobe believed. It has brought tears into my eyes. The patience with which Swamiji Maharajgoes into the details about extending help, relief and care towards others is possibleonly with those who identify themselves totally with others. Donations, charities andassistance of all manners to individuals and institutions keep pouring from SwamijiMaharaj. His generosity, compassion and munificence towards the needy is immeasurable.
A nonagenarian Romanian, Alexander by name and a great devotee of Swami SivanandajiMaharaj, during his stay in the Ashram used to have Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj’sDarshan every morning. A separate chair used to be earmarked for him as age did not permithim to squat on the floor. One morning, pointing at the empty chair, Swamiji Maharajhumorously referred to Mr. Alexander as the ‘Chairman’ which drew pealsof laughter all around. On the day of his departure, Mr. Alexander, in an act of gratitudehanded over a cheque of some handsome amount towards the Ashram. In a touching gesture,Swamiji Maharaj returned the same to him in all humility and instead entreated upon him toutilise the amount for his immediate needs and make the donation on happier days forhimself and his strife-torn country. The all-encompassing love of oneness of SwamijiMaharaj with both individuals and nations is beyond ordinary human comprehension.
The bliss that five Summers of Darshan of Sri Sadgurudevji Bhagavan has brought to ourfamily, is beyond words. Whose utterances transcend knowledge, whose activities like thesport of God and whose infinite love for all names and forms is only to be gauged byanother saint of equal attainment; all that efforts like this write-up can aspire toregister is, to enlist a fraction of His Holiness’ grace so as to inspire other soulsinto tasting the nectar of one’s encounter with this Absolute.
I consider it to be the single-most important occurrence of my life when God Almightygranted me the unique blessings of initiation through Sadgurudevji Bhagavan Sri SwamiKrishnanandaji Maharaj. H.H. Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj says that SwamiKrishnanandaji’s mere presence is enough for this world. Our family joins millionother devotees in offering our worshipful prayer for Jivanmukta SwamiKrishnanandaji’s protracted presence among us for many, many more years. I pray Godto keep us ‘Ever At Thine Holy Lotus Feet’.
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“Poison is not real poison. Sense-objects are the real poison. Poison kills onelife, but sense-objects can devastate a series of lives.”
These persons do not get sleep, says Vidura to Dhritarashtra: Those who are sick, thosewho have been overthrown by others and are deprived of power and assistance from any side,those who are afflicted with lust, and those who are scheming to deprive others of theirpossessions.
The Mahabharata says that the Vedas are afraid of him who tries to approach themwithout a knowledge of the correct import of the Epics and Puranas. Here is a covertsuggestion that the Absolute of philosophy should also include the variety and conflict ofpractical life, in order to be real and not merely an object of speculation.
The four noble truths of the Buddha that there is suffering, that there is a cause forsuffering, that there is a way out of suffering and that there is a state beyond sufferingare proof enough to show that he was not a nihilist in the sense in which the word is usedtoday, but a practical man who had an eye to doing something than merely conjecturingabout Truth and its realisation
A Project Of Education
The world has, first of all, to stand ‘outside there’ as an’object’ of the percipient individual, in order that the latter may make anysense of life at all. But, is it true that the world is really ‘outside there’,as an isolated object staring at the individual?
This strange predicament which one encounters in the study of anything would testify tothe value that seems to be attached to such processes and doctrines and ways of living asthe purely astronomical, physical, chemical, biological, historical, political, social,economic, civic, aesthetic, and even ethical and epistemological envisagements ofexistence, as they stand today. The whole edifice may tumble down if the meaning of a lifeof this kind is rooted in the basic requirement that the world is ‘outside’ theindividual.
Modern astronomy and physics, to mention the least and the most obvious, fortunately,appear to have, unwittingly though, stumbled upon the fact that the universe is anundivided continuum, an organism, in which the space-time complex has to be transfiguredinto a four-dimensional perception, and that matter is not ‘outside there’ to beseen or dealt with by an ‘individual’. The ‘individual’ so-called goeswith the universe.
This should augur, evidently, a new vision of life in its entirety, awakening man fromhis slumber of empirical phenomenalism which, dream-like, is taken for reality, veryerroneously. The return process to this great Fact of the Universe is education. A logicalascent to perfection is called for. The movement, then, is from the social scene to thepsychology of the individual, the cosmical set-up and the Ultimate Reality.
Education may be said to be the process of awakening to the structure of existence. Itis a graduated widening and ascent in the dimension of consciousness to the degrees ofreality. Life is essentially a system of adjustment of oneself to the laws of theuniverse. The meaning of human enterprise in the world, thus, is coordination of theindividual with the facts of the cosmic arrangement of things and a harmonious cooperationin the fulfilment of its purpose. The evolutionary scheme of the universe would lay downthe required curriculum of the educational career.
But, the empirical insistence that the world is outside the individual has, however, tobe taken into a matter-of-fact consideration, since all progress is from a lesser realityto a higher degree of being. This would also substantiate the empirical value of thestages of the evolution of the universe conceived and experienced as a reality ofpragmatic existence in a world of enterprise and progress.
The individual may be said to constitute a cross-section of the universe. The humanbeing operates like a miniature cosmos. This would mean that the principles that areactive in the universe direct and condition the existence and activity of all human life.The analysis would also reveal that there is a universal performance implicit in theexistence of human beings and in their pursuits of what they consider as their objectivesor aims. Towards this end, there is all the striving of human life, concerning which therehas always been felt the necessity for intense educational training as a method ofintroducing a universal manifestation into the adventures of human individuality.
These insights may perhaps be adequate to begin a spade-work for laying the foundationof a proper educational career for humanity. When a child is born and practically knowsnothing except for the fact that it is evidently self-conscious of its bodily existenceand has a feeling of awareness of a vague and nebulous atmosphere of persons and thingsaround it, there is also in it a pressure towards objective consciousness, and theinclination of the child is more in the direction of externality of perception and feelingthan an awareness of its own existence as a human unit. What we may call the cosmologicalscheme is naturally to be followed in an understanding of the educational project, sinceit would appear that education is nothing short of a conscious discipline of theindividual to ascend gradually, stage by stage to levels indicated by cosmic evolution.The condition of the child-consciousness mentioned may pave the way with which theeducational method could be commenced for implementation. In the earlier stages ofeducation, call it the kindergarten, the Montessori stage, or the primary education level,there is always to be a psychological programme to bring slowly into a state of gradualintegration the many-sided, rather distracted, perceptions of the external world by thechild. Often education begins with training in writing reading and basic arithmetic anddiscipline. Later on, the mind of the child is allowed to move further in a similarintegrated fashion along wider areas of human society around, together with the civicsense involved in every kind of human relationship, whether in the family or in thecommunity of people outside, because, practically, the human individual is primarilyconcerned with other such individuals more than with things which are not human. There areinstincts of the species which pull it to its own kindred individuals or kith and kin orothers who are related humanly in any manner. Human relations may be said to be theimmediately felt necessities in the process of study and training, which include the normsof civic duty and behaviour in regard to the immediate environment of any society,determined, of course, by the psychology, the social set-up or, rather, the sociologicaltradition and scheme operative in the particular human environment,–it may be in alocality of a linguistic society bringing people together with an affinity of any culturaland fraternal thinking.
With this method of what we may call human understanding scientifically introduced, animportant barrier post in education is crossed. Then the student is further introduced tothe world which is made up basically not only of human beings alone, but other things alsothat are there, which form the wider expanse of the vast earth, among which we live. Thistakes one to the commencement of studies in the syllabus of geography, including anexposition of what this earth is made of, how large it is, what things there are on theother parts of the earth beyond the limits of the areas of one’s own family,community, province or country, etc. Regional geography is the primary stage. The otheraspects of it may include the ways of people living in different parts of the world, theircultural behaviour, their outlook of life, things that grow and are manufactured in thoseareas, the natural ways of economics, social existence, the speciality of various parts ofthe physical world, and so on. Geography concerns itself mainly with the earth, but mayopen the gates to giving a wider vision of the astronomical concept of the solar systemand the planets revolving round the sun, of which the earth is one. The student’sknowledge is raised to a higher level of a surprising dimension, and, with a proper systemof teaching, this may bring deep satisfaction and joy to the student’s mind by againing of insight into the marvels of the working of the solar system and theastronomical complex in a general way. Here, another stage of education may come to aclose, leaving space for introducing a further channel of studies in the progress ofeducational or human consciousness. This would be an entry into the history and culture ofthe people, to whose national family one belongs. The chronological narration of thehistory and culture of the people of one’s own country would be an essential,extending further the vision gained earlier in the initial study of a local atmospherealone. The study of the history of one’s country may commence from the earliest knowntimes to the present day, as an outline, but gradually deepening the studies in the highercourses of education, extending to world history.
Then comes also the need to learn how people in the country are managed by what isknown as the governmental system. Here commences the work of sowing the seed of the studyof political science, firstly in the theoretical norm for every type of humanadministration, and, subsequently, the ways by which the norms are applied in differenttypes of political management, including the political governance of one’s owncountry. The training in the economic and social sides of human living grows graduallyside by side together with the study of the science and the method of politicaladministration and management. The hierarchy of civic management and political positionsin this scheme will open up a new vista of human obligation and duty in the world ofvariety, both human and non-human, living and non-living things. These subjects should beintroduced gradually by stages, right from basic outlines to profound studies in laterstages.
The study of ethics and human morality, though it forms a difficult subject and mayeven look a controversial point of study, may be taken up as the next stage, bearing inmind that the ethical or moral sense is not attempted to be introduced into thestudent’s mind from the point of view of any family tradition, local custom,religious faith or stereotyped training of any kind. This would make the subject a littledifficult, since it would appear that ethics, practically, borders on a whole philosophyof life rather than remain an instruction on norms of human, behaviour and conduct.Leaving aside the philosophical or metaphysical foundations of ethics and morality for thetime being, the student here in this stage may be given sufficient information on thenecessity for mutual cooperation among human beings, as a social factor behind survival inthe world, the necessity to see that, in one’s own life, one does not injure, harm orexploit another in any way, whether in thought, word or deed, and does not appropriatewhat one has not earned, or expect more than what others also would expect justifiably onthe principle of mutual coordination and cooperation,–‘Live and let live’.The higher implications of ethics and morality are to be postponed for study at a stilllater stage.
That human beings love beauty, architecture, sculpture, painting, music, literature,and such other channels of expression for an emotional satisfaction is not in any way lessimportant a theme than the fact of the insistent aesthetic sense and the primary urges andimpulses of human nature. People like everything that is artistic, all that is systematic,laid out symmetrically, in an orderly way, methodically, and effectively. A graduatedscheme here, again, is necessary as a course, for supplementing the educational career, sothat the intellect and the emotion may slowly get blended into the integratedcomprehension of both oneself and others, and understanding and instinct do not standapart as opposites.
In a way, it may be said that the study of the external world and or what are calledthe humanities would be practically covered with the advances that have been so far made,but the world is deeper than what a superficial study of astronomy or geography may tellus. The sciences of physics and chemistry are profound explorations into the mysteries ofmatter, which is the substance of the physical universe. This area may form the next stageof studies, again, in a graduated manner, rising from the lowest stages to the higherones. The biological constitution that is unavoidable and inextricable in living beings,or organic life in general, takes us to the principle of life that seems to germinate anddawn at the level of the vegetable or plant kingdom. The science of botany concerns itselfwith life and growth, etc., in this region of the living world. Animals reveal a higherand more intensive form of instinctive life, deeper and wider in every way, than what iscovered in the plant kingdom. This latter branch of study comes under zoology includingentomology and such other fields of study. When urged further, the study enters theprofundities of anatomy and physiology in the human organism.
The human being tops the list of living beings, in whom intellect and reason are activein a predominant way and the endowment of understanding raises men above matter,biological life and instinctive perception. The study of psychology is a research into thestructural workings of the human mind and reason, the will, the emotion, the feeling andthe internal actions and reactions of the psyche. In the scheme of the educationalprocess, the touching of the field of psychology, rising above the level of biology, wouldland one at the portal of higher education in a predominant and significant meaning. Here,the studies should cover both the Western and Eastern sciences of psychology. In the West,Behaviourism, Hormic and Gestalt psychology are prominent at the main schools. In theEast, this area is covered in different places,–the Upanishads, the Bhagavadgita, theYoga Sutras of Patanjali, and the like.
The empirical action and reaction processes of the psychological apparatus are studiedin psycho-analysis which brings out the practical problems of one’s personal andsocial existence. In the West, Freud, Adler and Jung, mainly, and in the East, theUpanishads, the Bhagavadgita and Patanjali have gone into the depths of the operation ofthe human psyche. A thorough knowledge of the psycho-analytic process involved inindividual and social growth is essential to understand one’s own personality andindividual aims in society. This knowledge is indispensable for a clear understanding ofthe background and functions of any human being in different circumstances of life and itsenvironment relations.
With this we bid goodbye to all empirical education, and now the student is lifted tothe universe of philosophy. How does one know that there is a world, what is it that oneis expected to do in this world, and what can one hope for while living in this world?These questions and the like commence studies in the field of the theory of knowledge,called epistemology. The philosophical adventure starts with a recognition of the limitsof the capacities of the human being to know anything at all. Western philosophers likePlato, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel and their followers have done extensive researches in thisfield and proclaimed their conclusions. In the East, the schools of Jainism, Buddhism, theNyaya, Vaiseshika, Samkhya, Yoga and Vedanta have taken this aspect of study rigorously,in an intensive manner.
The question involved in the knowledge of the world of experience leads one to thetheme of pure philosophy, viz., cosmology and metaphysics, the latter being sometimescalled ontology. The problem of the knowledge of the world arises on account of theassumption that the world is outside the perceiving subject. The cosmological schemes inthe schools of thought give us a wider picture of the whole situation in the number of thestages of descent and ascent. The point is that the universe has no distinction of insideand outside, in which everyone and everything is included, so that the question ofperceiving the world does not arise in such an integrated state of being. In the East, theSamkhya and the Vedanta provide a complete delineation of the scheme of the evolutionaryprocess. There is one, ubiquitous, primordial, undifferentiated, universalcontinuity,–we may call it the matrix, or material substance, or energy. We may callit Prakriti in the language of the Samkhya. The condensation of the cosmic purposein a totality of Awareness is called Mahat,–the Cosmic Intelligence, orReason. A further centralisation of this Universal Creative Will in a state of limitlessSelf-consciousness is known as Ahamkara. A further concretisation of thisprimordial energy is the diversification in the subtle, super-electro-magnetic forceswhich become the principles of sound, touch, colour, taste and smell, known in theSanskrit language as the Tanmatras. By permutation and combination of theseinvisible original principles in certain proportions, the five gross elements, viz.,Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth, are formed. Here cosmic creation is complete, down tothe lowest level of matter, i.e., the Earth principle.
We have to add here a very important note that the Universal Intelligence is immanentlypresent in all the stages mentioned, right from Prakriti, or primary matter. Thephysical and psychical isolation of individuals is said to be a sectional, piecemealdivision of this Cosmic Being, which descends down to the physical matter of crasssense-perception. The issue concerning the perception of the external world raised at thelevel of epistemology arises because of the split of individuality out of the CosmicSubstance, and the individuals erroneously assume an unwarranted independence ofsubjectivity, as if they are the knowers and the world is the known, while the fact seemsto be the other way round, i.e., the Total Nature is the seer or the knower, and theindividuals are only split sparks, as it were, shunted out from the cosmic wholeness. Itis, thus, the individuals that are to be regarded as the objects of the Universal Subject,rather than the quaint supposition on the part of isolated individuals that they are thesubjects and the universe is their object of perception and contact. In the above detailsmay be found almost the entire range of the rungs in the ladder of descent and ascent inall forms of life. It need not be mentioned that the aim of all education, therefore,seems to be a graduated wholesome ascent from the lowest levels of existence to thehighest perfection of the Universal Absolute.
Students of philosophy are generally required to have a requisite background of theimplications of the mathematics of Space, Time and Gravitation, and sufficientacquaintance with literature, logic and semantics.
NOTE:– Factors which are not directly connected with educational, psychology orphilosophy and the process of a rational training of the human individual, such as theintricate activities of the internal world of man, are not, however, unimportant, at leastfrom the point of view of knowing oneself, or anyone for the matter of that. In ouranalysis of the process of descent in the cosmological set-up, we ended with the cosmicevent at the point of a large physical universe concluding in separation at the grossestlevel of matter or the Earth-principle. Up to this level is the state of cosmic existenceand there are no individuals here. But scriptures like the Upanishads, the Epics and thePuranas, and cosmological narrations such as those we have in the Holy Bible, speak of afall of man, and philosophers like Leibniz speak of what they call a ‘constitutionalappetition’ of individuality. All this is, perhaps, intended to convey that what wecall the world of experience is a network of reactions set up by by individuals in respectof the universe from which they have been severed (which is the fall spoken of) and whichthey consider as an external object to their own mental awareness. According to thePuranas, the isolated sparks are the divine radiance of what we call the gods or angels ofheaven and the higher realms of being. The Aitareya Upanishad makes a pertinent point whenit says that these angels cried aloud, being cast in the ocean of hunger and thirst andwanted food for themselves, which they craved from the Creator. The idea seems to be thatthe isolation of individuality from the Cosmic Core implied simultaneously a reversal inthe process of perception by consciousness in the angels so-called, causing these subjectsto consider the universe as the object of their knowledge and contact. The reversal ofperception here, placing the object in the position of the subject and the True Subject inthe position of the object, is the beginning of what is known as Samsara, or the fall ofthe individual into the sea of mental and physical turmoil. The angel enters into thegrosser individuality, as goes the narration in the Aitareya Upanishad. The continuousradiance of consciousness sparked off from the Universal Whole concretises its will into apotentiality of an assertive, total independence from the Whole, and then there is anobliteration of the consciousness of the Whole, a darkening cloud hangs over it, as onehas in the state of deep sleep. The reversal of the activity of consciousness continuesand, like a ray of light getting split and distorted through a chaotically structuredpainted prism, it gets deflected as dream-consciousness and waking consciousness, whichare characteristics of the mortal individual, not to be found in the realm of the angel.The three states of consciousness, viz., sleep, dream and waking are, thus, a travestyinto which the original truth of one’s being enters to seek its own imagined kingdomand to rule over it; for, has not the poet said, “It is better to rule in hell thanserve in heaven”? The three states of consciousness suffer through five degrees ofconscious descent in individuality, called the sheaths of individuality, and known as theAnandamaya, Vijnanamaya, Manomaya, Pranamaya and Annamaya layers of experience, i.e., thecausal, intellectual, mental, vital and physical involucre of the individual. The ego isnothing but the inveterate power of self assertion by consciousness in this condition. Theinvolved individuality placed in this predicament of inexplicable agony searches for thatwhich it has lost. Hunger and thirst, heat and cold, are by-products of the instinct tomaintain individuality in this state, independently of any vital relationship with theCosmic Reality.
An interesting feature of this individual circumstance is the split of the originalandrogen into the male and female bipolar existence for the process of descent andself-multiplication, and their struggle to unite with each other in a spatial and temporalcommunion, all which is the saga of sex-life, which is nothing but the inner longing ofconsciousness, in its bipolar condition, to gain integration of experience by enteringinto its own counterpart in the particular bipolar set-up, in the space-time context of anexternally perceived universe. Here we have a fund of information concerning thedifficulties of human beings, the troubles of every man, woman and child in this world,and a diagnosis of their present degradation. Though academic learning and teaching ineducational institutions through courses of education, as we have suggested, or otherwise,may not be concerned with this deeper mystery of the psycho-analytic world, here is anessential knowledge for every human being endeavouring to know his own or her own truesubstance and aspirations in the world. Especially, seekers of truth, who are ardentlystriving to return to their original Home in the Absolute, will find that, in the longrun, this analytic understanding of themselves is necessary and inevitable fortransforming themselves into perfect persons hr their journey to the great goal of allexistence.
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If omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence are to be pressed into one being and thisbeing is to be focussed into a jet of action, what will be the result? This is whathappened when Sri Krishna lived as a Person in this world. This is also the difficultywhich people feel in writing a biography of Krishna, for, to be all-comprehensive is adifficult thing for the mind to think.
The more does one become fit for the practice of Advaita Vedanta, the less is theconsciousness of the body and world around. Advaita and body-consciousness do not gotogether.
Swami Krishnananda–A Towering Spiritual Genius
Our country has been blessed by a long tradition of saints and seers who appeared fromtime to time to keep the torch of spiritual knowledge lighted. In this shining line ofRishis, H.H. Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj appeared like a blazing sun who established theDivine Life Society in the earlier years of this century. Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj isone of his foremost disciples. His unbounded kindness drew me to his sublime presenceabout 25 years ago, and, since then, hardly a day has gone by in which his divine gracehas not filled my life with its rich and effulgent radiance, transcending the limitationsof time and space.
Swamiji’s orations in the Satsanga Hall or in his apartments at the Ashram,enchant his listeners, not only by their wisdom content, but also by his incisive power ofprecise expression. These ideas of Indian philosophy flow smoothly on well-chosen wordswith an ease and spontaneity which is simply astounding. The same power of preciseexpression manifests itself in his writings. Intricate concepts, which have been longregarded as the exclusive preserve of thinkers and philosophers, are rendered easilycomprehensible even to an ordinary intellect which is then enabled to translate everydayexperiences of life into sure steps for self-elevation. His language is frequently tingedwith a subtle sense of humour, Witness a few enlightening examples as follows:
“The Divine Grace is like a lion’s den; on entering it, the aspirant has todo nothing; for everything is then done by the lion?”
To a questioner, who had doubts about the practicality of spiritualtheories–“what do you mean by this difference of the theoretical from thepractical? Are you taking tea theoretically or practically?”
To an enquirer who questioned the divine sagacity in ordaining natural forces, like theforce of gravity which makes people fall and break their bones–“You perhapsimply that God is not well-qualified intellectually. I too do not know if He has passedHis graduation?”
To a listener who had some misgivings about the transient nature of the world in spiteof Swamiji’s logical exposition–“Beware! Your dear world isvanishing?”
These days, spiritual platforms abound from where attractive sermons preach the blissof meditation. Many listeners rush to practice meditation, without undergoing thepreliminary steps of self-discipline. To such despairing aspirants, who rue their failure,he is forthright when he compares meditation to the apex of the pyramid of Yoga practice.He says that this pyramid can be erected only on the solid foundations of Yamas andNiyamas, as described in the Yoga-Sutras of the Sage Patanjali. He asserts that”Meditation is the art of transcending space and time. The methods of Yoga are theways of defying the operation of space-time and effecting a union between the Seer and theSeen, in their essentiality.” In one stroke, he shatters the “erroneousawareness of the apparent duality of things.”
When he asserts that “the moment we perceive an object, we deny God,” heilluminates the common, individualistic perception and sublimates it to the unique onenessof experience of the Self. Such pointed quippings abound in his writings and in hisspeeches.
Swamiji has made valuable contribution to the spiritual treasure of the country by hisprolific writings on the Upanishads, and on the philosophies of Bhagavadgita, thePanchadasi, Yoga, Life and other similar subjects of everyday importance. These writingsthrow a dazzling light on many dark recesses of misguided perceptions whereby thereader’s mind is suffused with the splendour of spiritual illumination.
It is really a great and rare blessing to come in contact with such a saint who by hismere presence in his secluded apartment in the Ashram sends out powerful waves ofspiritual illumination across the world. How true is his statement–“When a petalfalls, it sends out vibrations which can be felt in the farthest stars.” Indeed whensuch a saint condescends to contemplate spiritual truths, strong vibrations are sent outwhich transforms the thinking of every supplicating soul.
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“Man proposes; God disposes,” says an old adage. It does not mean that God isperpetually opposing whatever man does. What really happens is that when man exertsthrough his egoism in a manner which violates the eternal law of God, he naturally feelsfrustrated, being beaten back by the law of Truth.
It is difficult to live in society with mental peace, because it is difficult to becharitable in nature. Charity of things is of less consequence than possession ofcharitable feelings, and resorting to charitable speech, charitable demeanour, andcharitable actions through a general charitable temperament. This is, in short, what iscalled self-sacrifice, for it involves parting with some part of the delights of the ego.
The notion of oneself being identical with the body is the cause of egoism. It is thisegoism that entangles all judgments of value in the preconception that knowledge isacquired through the senses and the mind or the intellect. This prejudice of egoism isSamsara, the persistent idea that all knowledge is in terms of space, time andexternality.
An Aspirant’s Viewpoint On The Life Of Swami Krishnananda, TheLiving Saint
I still remember very well my first visit for the Darshan of revered SwamiKrishnanandaji Maharaj in the Ashram. I actually came on a tour to Allahabad for theKumbhamela as a pilgrim from Andhra Pradesh. This happened in the month of December 1988.In Allahabad, the weather was unbearably biting cold. Soon after my dip in the holywaters, I did not stay there even for one hour. Destiny willed it; I finally came toSivananda Ashram.
In those days, revered Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj was residing in Govardhan Dham. Itwas about 10 O’clock in the morning when I went there. In front of Swamiji’sroom, in the verandah, there was already a gathering consisting of devotees from far offcountries, Indian devotees, visitors and Ashram inmates, etc. The weather was very chilly.All of them who were squatting covered themselves with woolen shawls of different types. Iwas the only person covered with a thick Sholapur Blanket, to withstand the cold weather.A few feet away, I sat behind the gathering. In my Academic life, even up to theUniversity level, I used to feel comfortable only in the back-bench.
After a few minutes, Swamiji came out from his room, himself fully covered with ochrerobes. The gathering got up and prostrated to Sri Swamiji. It was the first time for me tomeet a holy Saint directly. Therefore, I observed every movement of Swamiji meticulously.While taking his chair, Swamiji expressed his feeling thus, “This cold atmosphere isvery good for meditation.”
Though it seems to be a general statement outwardly, it applies to me also. Because Iwent there with such sort of ideas only and, therefore, there is a possibility to thinkthat after seeing my incongruous odd attire, Swamiji might have expressed indirectly whatwas in my mind at that time particularly. I still hold the same impression in the heart ofmy hearts.
After completing that day’s early morning transaction, Swamiji took up my problem.Swamiji very kindly condescended to oblige me and permitted me the good fortune of stayingin the Ashram to lead an Ashramite’s life. And now, though I am an inmate of theAshram since eight years, I could not improve my contact with Swamiji further. I have beenovercome by a sort of diffidence, due to my health reasons. Even then, Swamiji has beenshowering his invisible grace on me, for which this recipient is grateful to him for everin life.
By hearing Swamiji’s thrilling discourses and reading his inspiring books, ahigher regard and greater veneration are generated in my heart. Swamiji’swisdom-filled spiritual personality may be the only reason for that.
Though Swamiji is leading a simple life, he is devoted to a discipline of highthinking. His innate nature always keeps him in philosophical thought. Swamiji is wellversed in English. Even at the age of Twenty, he was able to write a drama in English. Hisproficiency in Sanskrit, ordinary people like us cannot estimate. He avoids to parade hisvirtues before the world. Inwardly there is an intense penance to escape from materialcoils and achieve Perfection. But, outwardly, he behaves as if he is reacting to everyminor action of others. He apparently seems to be struggling with the problems of Ashrammatters, even though he can immediately switch over to philosophical teaching without anyprior preparation. He enjoys inner tranquility but appears to be not having detachmentfrom worldly chores. Just like Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, he is a staunch devoteeof Lord Sri Krishna. Being a master of expression, language and diction, he is able toexpound convincingly the old beliefs, Yoga, Vedanta and Upanishads besides Gurudev’swritings. There is a subtle counter reformation of simplicity in his writings whileexpressing views on religious matters to suit modern conditions in a novel way. Throughhis vast knowledge of English and Sanskrit, Swamiji has given a new meaning of the Vedasand the Upanishads to this sceptical generation. For the benefit of mankind he gave a newface to our ancient wisdom contained in our Puranas and Itihasas. He is the repository ofall modern knowledge. He studied astrology in his early life itself. Everyday we canperceive his sixth sense in his tackling of people and issues, though he seems to beimpulsive outwardly. He knows homoeopathy, physics, astronomy, chemistry, etc. He uses allthese sciences as tools to express our ancient wisdom logically. He is an expert inreconciling spiritual injunctions of a contradictory nature when need arises. In fact,Swamiji has a tremendous memory power to remember persons, incidents and things. He feelsmore at ease with intellectuals of high calibre, and therefore, is capable of givingmental solace by solving their spiritual and mundane problems. Eminent people from allwalks of life–scholars, professors, judges, doctors, engineers, ministers, ChiefJustices, dignitaries–are coming to the Ashram and sitting at the feet of Swamiji topay their respects. He knows in profundity about Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha of ourreligion and is capable of convincing even a rank non-believer with appropriate anecdotes.He is an expert in giving lessons to Westerners as well as to Oriental devotees, with aproper blend of Eastern and Western philosophy, Bible, Koran, etc. He is accessible toeveryone at a scheduled hour every day.
There is divine grace in him. To help people to find a way to success even in theirfailure, to give a start at the point where others have become discouraged and to have theunique ability to succeed in projects which have been abandoned, are some of hisoutstanding achievements, with the divine grace of Sadgurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj.He has done a yeoman service to the Ashram in enhancing its glory and spreading its nobleIdeals to all corners of the globe by his remarkable abilities, by his strenuous, constantand untiring effort. To achieve this spiritual and material goal for the Ashram, heemployed indirect, subtle psychological methods in dealings and made it a great Ashram ofworld repute from its humble initial stages. The Sannyasins and Sadhakas feel secure andhappy for staying in and belonging to the Sivanandashram. Those who are doing Seva in theAshram are having great regard for Swamiji’s compassionate nature. Solomon expandedthe Kingdom given by David without shedding a drop of blood with his knowledge andintelligence.
God’s grace was with Sadgurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj Who made it possible forhim to have an Ashram in his name for the sake of spiritual aspirants. SwamiKrishnanandaji Maharaj watered it and nursed it. Now it has become a great tree which isgiving shelter to one and all. As a spiritual son of Sadgurudev who isKnowledge-Incarnate, he fulfilled his mission in life like Solomon. Glory to God and H.H.Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj for giving holy Godmen in the form of his disciples.
On the auspicious occasion of Pujya Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj’s AmritaMahotsava, I pray to God and Gurudev to give Sri Swamiji a very good health, to guidehumanity for a long time to come.
* * *
When Maricha cried out: “O Lakshmana, O Sita,” Sita mistook it forRama’s voice. She could not identify Rama’s voice as different from that ofanother, though she had lived with Rama for so long. So is the case with the Jiva. It hasforgotten its association with the Absolute and cannot distinguish the call of the Spiritfrom the clamours of the senses. This is called delusion.
Krishna was a person of great enjoyments. Vasishtha was devoted to rituals. Janaka wasa king. Jadabharata was looking like an idiot. Suka was renowned for his dispassion. Vyasawas busy in teaching and writing. But all these are regarded as equal in knowledge.Different forms serve different purposes, but their essential being is one.
Man’s conscience in its essentiality is not an accomplice of harm and injury beingdone to anyone. It is necessary for the evil one intending to destroy others to destroyhis own conscience first. The self of the killer is killed much before the act of killingtakes place.
Principles Of A Higher Order Of Life
The Import Of The Gita’s First Chapter
The war of life which’s Gita’s song
Is spread on Kurukshetra’s field,
The arena that this world is,
A house disjointed, ‘gainst itself.
The seer and the seen do stand
Opposed to each other, how strange!
Else how would seer run to seen
If seen is not apart, afar.
To grab, to pound, annihilate
The seen’s existence out and out,
By love or hatred as the means
Is seer’s purpose throughout life.
In love the seen is pulled, absorbed,
And made one’s own, nay, one’s own self,
So that the seen is all destroyed
And seer ever reigns supreme.
In hatred does the seer clinch
The life and substance of the seen
By abrogation, cutting off
The very soul and being seen’s.
This confrontation is all life,
The good and evil are all here,–
The high and low and great and small
Are all within this battlefield.
Eternal is this painful hold
Which seer exerts on the seen,
Ambivalent as love-hate grip
Of seer-seen, Bharata war.
The Pandavas and Kauravas
Descend from single family;
Dvaipayana, the divine sage,
Was source of all this warring fold.
So does the range of seer-seen
Is transcendent in origin,
For even conflict is on ground
Which’s common both to contenders.
This supreme ground, the ground of grounds,
Is Gita’s gospel’s highest ground,
The ground of action as worship,
And ground to unite God and soul.
The warrior hates his opponents
And raises arms to tear and kill;
This is the scene where objects seen
Are treated as other than self.
But love erupts and pity wails
For warrior-chief is also friend
And brother-born to outside world
In secret connection to things.
Lo, men kill men by waging wars,
But wars are waged for peace of men,–
Contradiction is life on earth,
It’s hard to know what’s right and wrong.
Thus Arjuna bewails his fate,
He loves and hates the Kauravas,
As all do love in zest the world,
And also cry that world is hell.
The past, present and future’s men
Are represented her in one
As symbol of eternal man,
The soul that ensouled Arjuna.
Who is the generalissimo
Of impending armageddon
Now weeps in deepest affection
For what he hates on other side.
Do people love all this mankind,
For whose welfare is service done?
And yet to protect man from man
Law courts and soldiers are deployed.
This wisdom’s anguish is the theme
Of first of chapters in the text,
The section first which though a wail
Is Yoga called of dejection.
It’s Yoga, sure, for here, in this
Are dug up seeds of illusion
Which keeps the soul bound hard to earth
Through love as well as hate of all.
The mystery is seeker’s grief,
The first condition of ascent
To freedom gain from thraldom life’s
By surrender and detachment.
In supreme disillusioning
Of one’s own role and world’s status,
Thus humbly reached in careful search,
The path is cleared for light to dawn.
Renounce in hate or cling in love
Is not the choice in Yoga’s core;
Immense and subtle is this way,
For none can live as an island.
Renunciation does not click
Since renouncer is closely linked
With renounced things and all the world,
for all creation stands as whole.
Nor has attachment any sense
For none can cling to one’s own self,
And objects loved in secret bonds
Are in the heart of him who loves.
To do or not to do an act
All singly none can clearly know,
Unless the far-reaching results
Are weighed on balance carefully.
This question is equivalent
To be or not to be here;
The world is vast, creation big,
Where none is free to raise one’s voice.
Interconnected are all things;
This is the reason why no one
Can safely say or do a deed
With no repercussions on things.
That is the good which clears the heart
Of tensions born of suppressed wish
By treatment method out to it
As sickness heal physicians.
In this the great enactment world’s
No one approaches one-sided,
The drama is wholesomely full,
No act in it is by itself.
To throw the bow and arrows down
In resentment through confusion,
By wrenching oneself from the whole,
Is not a cure to aches of life.
The Import Of The Gita’s Second Chapter
The highest wisdom and solace,
The Divine Song, the Gita called,
Condenses knowledge in practice,
And thrills the soul to fullness’ peaks.
The Lord declares that no one dies
But forms are shed for soul’s ascent,
That deathless soul pervades all space,
Immortal is the soul of man.
Many have died and gone to winds
And none is spared from ending thus;
So grief on death behoves us not
Since death is law of every life.
‘Tis natural that beings die,
Unnatural they breathe and live;
For ocean’s tide is life’s turmoil
And not a drop fixed remains.
In such a sea of movement this,
Who can afford to stand unmoved;
All statis forms seemingly don
Illusion’s fantastic joke.
All speed and transit is this world,
A flux, a wisp, a puff of wind;
But steady none is ever posed;
All things are seen removed from truth;
Becoming though is all this life
And nothing is as being’s core,
Yet one is there that knows the flux
Which itself is outside the flow.
Immortal soul, the Atman, here
Permeates all, the flowing stream;
Eternal, deathless, transcendent
Is self of all this universe.
Involved in earth, in plant and mind
The soul rises to reason’s form
To think and act as human will
By cycles of evolution.
Since all the seeds of variants
Are hidden well in all species,
The worst can one day best become
And none is lowly anywhere.
If this is so, there are no norms,
Either aesthetic or ethic,
In all the world at any time,
Except within a framework’s fence.
By contrast and comparison
The codes behavioural thrive;
An absolutely right or wrong
No one can pinpoint forever.
The finely forms or ugly looks
Are also not by themselves there;
These are the modes of reaction
Of conditioned mention’s moods.
The pains and pleasures filling life
Are also psycho-physical;
Adjustments, maladjustments made
With Nature are pleasures and pains.
Hence duty and not right is law
Since all demands are out of tune
With law integral which is world;
The world is law rather than things.
To do one’s duty one has right,
But not to covet fruits of deeds;
Be not attached to ends of works,
Not also cleave to inaction.
Action incumbent reigns all worlds,
Since action is evolution
To higher goals’ integration
To culminate in Godhead’s reach.
Balance is health, is Yoga known,
Participation is the rule,
Attachments lose their meaning here
Where all the world is self-contained.
Desires cease for want of things
That stand outside the knower’s field;
The consciousness is firmly poised
In Yoga which is attention.
Rooted in itself is the world,
Its knowledge is its being’s self;
To plant oneself in such a state
Is yoga’s peak where sorrow melts.
As winds hurry the boats in sea,
The senses drive the reason out;
Hence, reason balanced his remains
Who restrains senses in the self.
As world of senses which see light
Is night of darkness for the sage;
The realm of light where sages live
Is dark abyss to passion’s rage.
In subdued states of Yoga’s heights
Desires merge in liquid mass
As rivers lose identity
In ocean’s fullness, vast and deep.
This is the state of Brahman great,
In this established no one grieves;
Fixed thus even at end of life
Brahman’s beatitude attains.
The Import Of The Gita’s Third Chapter
Knowledge and action are the rule,
The twain which constitute the world;
These twin approaches single aimed
Are not divided as opposed.
The eye of knowledge or of deed
Is hard to see since roots of things
Are screened from human perception
Which dual envisions the world.
As waves and ocean are not two,
Action and knowledge are the same;
As sun and light, or seed and oil,
Knowledge and action are combined.
Though Brahman-all is act and science
In one compass undivided,
In lesser levels deeds proceed
From subjects confronting objects.
An action is the relation
Obtaining fluidly moving
Between the seer and the seen,–
Reciprocation ensouls deeds.
As one descends to lower realms
Cutting the seer from the seen,
Actions become the binding chains
Keeping the gulf a chronic ill.
The force of deeds gets mellowed down
When seer-seen approximate
To greater friendship and union,
Till vanish they in communion.
When knowledge sees its object there
As sundered from its subjectness,
Action becomes imperative
To thought and content harmonise.
Action is that which holds intact
The subject-object relation
In harmony and perfection,
For soul of all is harmony.
The soul’s universality
Compels the performance of acts
So that its law of harmony
Is manifest in daily life.
Thus action itself is knowledge
Since union is its ambition
Where deed and doer merge in one
To form the higher soul of life.
The welfare works of society
Or actions for one’s well-being,
Inward or outward, all move straight
Towards the Soul universal.
When soul the soul to itself pulls,
They call it love or selfless deed;
Nothing but soul there ever is,
Which haunts the world as men and things.
No one can exist without work,
For movement is the condition
Of all relative forms of life,
Whether on earth or in heaven.
Since thought is action finally,
Physical restraint is not poise
While mind revels in thoughts of deeds
Which connect it with world of sense.
The body’s actions are not deeds
When mind to body is not tied
And lofty reaches contemplates
Within to contact soul of things.
Except as Yajna, sacrifice,
All deeds are binding in this world;
But what is Yajna, know this well
By careful thought in reason’s calm.
When God created fields of life
He ordained then the role of works
Which gravitate to sacrifice,
So that all deeds are Deity’s home.
The doer and the end of deed
Are bound together as a whole
By glorious Deity transcendent
To both the agent and the work.
Thus none can work by oneself free
As urge to acts is well ordained
By that which holds the two in one
Unseen by both as soul awake.
As triangle doer, deed and soul,
The soul ruling from high above,
Perform the scene of experience;
And none is owner in this play.
Obligation to one’s duty
Refers to stages of Selfhood,
Wherein the balance in between
The seer-seen is clear maintained.
Oneself, society, nation, world,
The universe and Being’s height
Are rising levels to the Self,
Through which perfection is attained.
The higher stage to lower stands
As Deity inclusive and real;
The Yajna is the higher goal
When to it lower is offered.
The lower isolation self’s
Which opposed looks to its object
Is sacrificed in Yajna high
That integrates the sundered poles.
The Deity includes and transcends
The lower cleavage of the self
From its own object, though severed
Does still belong to widened self.
By sacrifice union is reached
With higher forms of wider self;
This divine cow which yields all wish
Is here at hand with everyone.
Who worships Deity in this way
Has all the wishes quick fulfilled,
To self the Deity stands good stead
In mutual graced recognition.
He is a thief who thinks he owns
Or does by himself deeds alone;
While all the wealth is Deity’s form
And Deity rules ever supreme.
Here none is owner, share-holder,
For all belongs to Brahman great
Which is the Self of universe
And owns it indivisibly.
From That which is one alone
A cosmic impulse emanates;
From this the self-alienation
And desires’ rains on crops of greed.
The world and body then emerge
And so the cycle continues
Of give and take which is this life,
The wheel of empirical law.
Since all is thus with all entwined,
All action though perennial,
Is no action in truest sense;
The deed is no deed binding none.
The mendicants though well detached
Are also in this cycle bound,
For who could expect alms of good
If none there is to offer alms.
But one who grounds himself afirm
In all-pervading Self of all
Does fear none and has no needs
Nor does depend on others’ grace.
He does nothing while doing all,
Nor does he gain by doing deeds;
Actions done or not done here
Affect him not, nor disturb poise.
He disturbs not the ignorant
Who have their faiths illiterate,
But follows suit with environment,
Maintaining rule of harmony.
To disrupt minds is no teaching;
The sage with child as child behaves;
His presence thus is no presence
As sugar sweet in milk dissolved.
As wave collides with wave in sea
Senses with objects commingle,
Since sense and object both are formed
Of same substance universal.
Thus actions or performances
Are all of cosmic origin,
And none can claim a single act
As one’s own move or claim its fruits.
Egoism, the arch-devil,
Does wrongly show that someone acts,
While acts are Nature’s purposes
Which comprehend all history.
The duty each one’s in the world
Depends on one’s circumstances;
And no one unfit for a work
Can render that as duty’s role.
The total of capacity
Determines work as duty-bound;
The body’s strength and mental make
Do proclivity works’ decide.
None takes from world what one gives not;
Here Karma Yoga sums up work;
Else, social balance gets disturbed
And chain of Karma binds one hard.
The other’s duty is that work
For which one is not fitted best;
And one’s own duty each shall choose
To bring to life stability.
Passion and anger are the foes
Which distort duty and prevent
The basic goodness of the soul
To rule one’s life for commonweal.
These fiery forces, instincts dark,
Should get subdued by force of mind,
By force of reason and of soul,
Which surpasses all puissance.
By contemplation on the Self
The reason moves the mind aright,
And senses home of urges low
Get restrained well for Yoga’s way.
The Import Of The Gita’s Fourth Chapter
The hands of God feel everywhere,
As Incarnations mighty come
To rid the earth of dissension
And free all souls from sorrow’s pangs.
As four-dimensioned transcendent
In three-dimensioned forms abides,
The Supermental Infinite
Takes up the role of finitudes.
As conflagrations hide in sparks
God-Absolute as glory hails
As excellences seen in life
In great and grand and wondrous forms.
The harmonise extremes in life,
To Kingdom God’s proclaim on earth,
To heal the sick and raise the low,
To trample ego God descends.
Of righteousness to plant the roots,
The universal justice fix
As forms of all performances
The Divine fingers operate.
As law unseen wakes up to work
When forms and things set up revolts,
The Arms of God are uplifted
As thunderbolt to ego’s strikes.
As we approach the facts of life
So facts react to pay our dues;
However does one God adore
One reaps benefits in that way.
The social order is fitted
To enable the souls to rise
Above the finite involvements
To freedom’s peak par excellence.
The wisdom’s head and strength of arms,
Cooperative give and take,
And labour for life’s sustenance
Sum up the pattern survival’s.
As life exceeds mere survival
Reason has supreme part to play
In rooting every adventure
Firmly in Spirit’s wide domain.
As social norms cannot negate
The needs of individuals,
They do arrange for gradual growth
By scales in life’s experience.
To study and restrain senses,
To household keep and train passions,
To secluded as recluse live
And wisdom reach are steps levelled.
No action binds if intention
Does not connect the act with self;
And acts are done to free oneself
From impulses which compel acts.
Physical acts are no more acts
If acting mind is not attached;
And acts performed release the self
From subjection to life’s instincts.
The greed for wealth and progeny
And world-renown are instincts called;
By means of them one transcends them.
This wisdom everyone should gain.
In sacrifice actions dissolve,
Whereby the self offers itself
In knowledge-fire burning all sins,
The all-inclusive Godhead’s light.
Actor, action and action’s goal,
Are waves in one abounding sea;
Here none does act and none fruits reaps
As all is just tumult of waves.
To adore gods, senses subdue,
Behold the One in sense-contacts,
Restrain all functions entirely,
Are some of Yoga’s various ways.
To give material charity,
And offer gifts of belonging;
To fire create within oneself
By Tapas done, are Yoga’s forms.
To drown oneself in scripture’s lore,
To learning reach for clearing doubts,
To breath control in harmony
Are also Yoga’s multi-limbs.
The highest sacrifice, Tapas,
Is union with universals,
Until the Great Universal
In meditation is attained.
By Yoga freed from action’s bond,
By knowledge having dispelled doubts,
Rooted in all-pervading Self,
Forces act not on such a sage.
Motherly Kindness And Ruthless Truthfulness
Motherly Kindness and Ruthless Truthfulness seem to me to sum up the intellectual giantof a Swamiji, carrying in his heart the true spirit of Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji, on hisface–when he smiles–a radiant joy; in his hearty laughter, which conveys hiscapacity of seeing the incongruous, his sense of humour.
Many people writing and speaking about Swamiji, will no doubt say much about hisextraordinary gifts of intellect, his vast knowledge, not only of philosophy, theology,spirituality, but of all sorts of studies, events, peoples and places, in all of which hekeeps himself so up to date. And this though he lives the Taoist truth; Lao Tzu says:
“Without going out of your door
You can know the ways of the world
…… The sage knows without travelling
Sees without looking
And achieves without Ado”
(Tao Te Ching)
Nor do I desire to eulogise his unusual capacity for administration carried out even inthe tiniest details and often in between a highly spiritual dialogue at darshan times–withoutfailing to return promptly to a previous speaker and the question posed before theinterruption.
I can recall how much Ishpriya Mataji and I gained during the years 1974–1984 atthese daily morning darshanas, and in particular by a Course Swamiji gave overweeks, for an hour each afternoon, on the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad with an unusual masteryand his ever facile presentation, stopping always on the dot of the hour.
However it was not his academic gifts that were so important to me. Swamiji himselflooks at studies as “having no desirable effect on us except that they make us carrya burden on the head, of a lot of information, and often of some rubbish, which keeps usin a state of fattened egoism and an empty soul” (The Search for Truth V in DLSMagazine, Jan, ’97). True enough! Sitting at his feet one learnt”knowledge” as he understands it–that which is “an assimilation of anobject into our consciousness.”
“Love, affection, friendliness–qualities of the heart” which make one”overcome the fear of the other” seem to be actually part of Swamiji’s owncomplex character which one could easily miss, if one met him only briefly or rarely. Iwould like to delineate here something of the feminine and gentle side ofSwamiji which I have experienced personally.
I recall watching Swamiji walking through the dirt of our Tapovan Sarai village; and Ido so with grateful love. The graciousness with which he had accepted to come to us onChristmas morning, and the simplicity with which he sat on the floor of our tiny SadhanaKutir, near a small Christmas Crib; and the joyful light-hearted, yet spiritualdiscussions meant much to us. Beside the Crib he was able himself to enter, like a child,smiling and intrigued by something which was being shown to him. He was, and is,interested in any and everything, for he seems to “see the Self in all things, andall things in the Self.” If, at times, he seems to dispose abruptly of a person orsubject, it is merely a superficial gesture, not one coming from the depth of his heart.Often the fatigue of overwork, and his constantly poor health, could also be responsiblefor these ‘interludes’. I recall again, with loving gratitude the number ofoccasions when he gave time to help me personally with spiritual questions or withinformation for some book I was writing; helping me by going through it himself andsuggesting a publisher. I owe to his suggestions two of my books published by BharatiyaVidya Bhavan and Motilal Banarasidass! On one occasion he even offered to put in thediacritical marks on all the Sanskrit words in my book “Nama Japa”! When onerealises how very busy he is, this was no small matter. Once I remember his coming to ourrescue, like a mother concerned with everything that pertains to her children’scomfort or needs, to obtain even kerosene oil,–at a time when it was scarce! Thisshows his true humaneness and humanity, permeated by the Divine Presence.
However, let me add honestly, it was not always thus! When it came to principles hebelieved in as true, he was very firm in his views and opinions given, and could decidedlysay a ‘No’. When we first arrived at Sivananda Ashram in the early 70’s Ifear that he looked askance at the pair of us: not quite sure of our bona fide! Twostrange nuns claiming to have come only for Sadhana and to learn at the feet ofGurudev’s disciples and for no other subversive purpose! He didn’t seem able tobelieve it! Gradually, however, with persevering tenacity and seeking only the truth, webecame good friends. Perhaps it happened one morning, and seemingly decisively. I recallthe event. It was at a Darshan when Swamiji had a long and lively discussion withIshpriya Mataji. She ended the verbal battle by saying respectfully but firmly,”Swamiji, you are speaking from the philosophical point of view; I am looking at itfrom the psychological angle.” To her surprise, the humble Swamiji said a few minuteslater: “Ishpriya Mataji, tonight you will please talk at the Satsanga.” To herhorror he called her up in the Bhajan Hall that evening, just as Satsanga was about tobegin and whispered that there were many Italian and other monks from Europe who hadturned up, and that she should do well! She pleaded that they had surely come to India tolisten to Hindu Swamijis of renown, like himself, not to her. But Swamiji stuck to hisdecision. And I think he was not disappointed by her performance!
A trait of Swamiji’s character which has always struck me forcibly is his humble,solid desire for the Search of Truth–a subject on which he has been writing in theDLS Magazine for months. Truth, Reality, ‘Sat’ is what he is alwaysseeking.
“Reality is quite different from what we see with our eyes or even what we thinkwith our minds.”–something one has to remember when judging,evaluating,–if we must–anything or anyone. He was always eager to “make afurther enquiry” until one reached the root of the matter. No matter whence the truthcame–from an intellectual or an unlearned simple person: he would give it a heating,elicit more questions, discuss it, and sometimes even intimidate some people in theprocess. But what eventually emerged was almost always greater clarity and purity.
In his masterly way of teaching, he would often quote or illustrate with stories thetruth he was propounding, sometimes with a great sense of humour. To see him throw hishead back and laugh aloud was pure joy.
It was equally painful, on other occasions, to see him in physical pain due to his badhealth; it often elicited admiration at his courage and endurance though it also made meoften wonder how wise he was being, and how loving to his own self! But even while notwell he would show his sense of fun. For instance, after an interruption at Darshan: “Theseauditors give us a lot of trouble”, he said. “And, on top of that, we have topay them!” I resonated with that feeling having seen our Ashram and conventTreasurers’ sufferings over even five paise missing!
A steadfast adhesion to Gurudev’s teachings was often expressed in almost tenderterms. Twice at least I’ve heard him say, when speaking of Gurudev Sri Swami Sivananda, “He was like our own father, mother, teacher,friend–everything.” He has been faithfully attached to the “obedience hehad received” from Gurudev, to use a Christian monastic expression, about his stayingon at the Ashram, from the time Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj was given the”obedience” of travelling to spread the Message. Even when very tired or ill, hehas to be persuaded to leave the Ashram …..
Finally, he remains in my heart’s memory predominantly as a man of the Spirit, aSpiritual Master. After one Sivaratri I recall his humble avowal: “I was without athought for six hours”,–no mean feat. It is from his Meditation and prayer life,I presume, that he draws his kindness, and what I call his passion for seeking and doingthe Truth as I have seen and understood. In the title I have called this”ruthless” in the sense that when Swamiji thinks he has to be true to himself orto another, he will do so at any cost–even if it shocks some people or irks others;for he seems to suffer not at all from human respect–about what others think or sayof him; only what God or Gurudev think of him.
This is how I have viewed Swamiji from my limited knowledge, and as I know him.My only prayer is that now, in the remaining years–hopefully, for us, many–Godwill grant him that he may–as T.S. Eliot puts it–“be still; and stillmoving into another intensity”* from which we shall all gain what he has the Best tooffer us;–not administration but his Self, that Cosmic Consciousness he so loves.
*”Old men ought to be explorers
Here or there doesn’t matter.
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity,
For a further union, a deeper communion.
Through the dark, cold and empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters,
Of the petrel and the porpoise
In the end is my beginning.”
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The ‘Advaita’ of Sankara is not so much the assertion of oneness as thenegation of duality, as the name of his system suggests. God is not one or two or three,for He is above numerical affirmation. He is not anything that we can think of, but,however, He does not involve in any difference; hence He is ‘Advaita’, non-dual.Such is the cautious name of Sankara’s system of philosophy.
Incarnation Of Love Swami Krishnananda
Once Revered Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj wrote a letter to Sri Swami KrishnanandajiMaharaj from Gangotri. This servant of them was fortunate enough to see that letter andits addressing. Revered Swamiji addressed Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, …..”Most Worshipful and Revered KRISHNA BHAGAVAN!”
Yes! He is Sri Krishna Himself. In the Srimad Bhagavad Gita 12th Ch. verses 7 and 8,Krishna said: “For them whose thought is set on Me, I become very soon, O Partha, thedeliverer from the ocean of the mortal Samsara.” And it is known to everyone thatthose who have fixed their minds upon Sri Swamiji alone, their thoughts dwell upon himalone, they are always staying with Swamiji and are protected by him too, without anydoubt.
As in the case of Sri Krishna it is very difficult to understand Swamiji. Once somepeople felt that Swamiji was harsh and rude with one senior inmate of the Ashram, and tothe utmost surprise of everyone that inmate himself said, “It is only Sri SwamiKrishnanandaji Maharaj who loves me so much that I never had so much love from myso-called near and dear ones.”
Actually he is like honey-comb. Initially all that honey bees will be very difficultones to deal with, but later on it is only sweet and sweetness and nothing else. Just thesame thing with Sri Swamiji’s nature. At first appearance he will look like a harshperson and people may misunderstand him, but it is certainly not. Sri Swamiji is only Madhura,Madhura and Madhura of the famous Madhurashtakam of Sri Vallabhacharya.
Swamiji’s hearty laughter or the strong sermon, the way in which he washes hisfeet, or giving Prashad, offering Archana or riding a car, walking in the street–itmay be anything–it is just beautiful, graceful, enchanting and spectacular.
Sri Swamiji Maharaj is really an incarnation of love At Sri Sivananda Ashram.Adorations to him. Salutation to him. May he live many, many more years to come to blessus, to enlighten us for the ascent of the spirit with his abundant love of his pure heart.
* * *
Just as, when we touch a live wire, the electric force infuses itself into our body,when we deeply meditate on God the power of the whole universe seeks entry into ourpersonality.
I had no opportunity to have Darshan of Worshipful Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharajeither in 1958 (when I got Mantra Diksha from Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj) or in1962, Gurupurnima Day, which I attended here at the Sivanandashram Headquarters. But in1964, during Gurudev’s first Punyatithi Aradhana observations, I first listened toSwamiji Maharaj and concluded that my beloved Gurudev had proved his last Gurupurnimamessage (1963) true. The message read thus: “Forget and remember. Forget the body andremember I am the all-pervading Immortal Self.”–that he is manifesting himselfas Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj, His heart and as Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, His head(brain). I was consoled to see my Gurudev in His transformed, rather transmigratedspiritual personalities.
When Parama Pujya Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj replied to my prayer saying, “IfKrishnananda Swamiji will approve, I have no objection to grant you Sannyasa Dikshatomorrow, the Gurupurnima Day, 24.7.1983.” I went to Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj.After much hurdles when I met Swamiji Maharaj and prayed for granting me Sannyasa Diksha,Swamiji Maharaj graciously and instantaneously said, “You are the fittest person forSannyas.” I got Sannyasa Diksha from two luminaries of the present day spiritualworld.
I am indebted to Swamiji Maharaj. I am learning everything at everytime from SwamiKrishnanandaji Maharaj, the Vedanta Kesari, the moving library and the custodian of theVirat-Svarupa of Gurudev, the Divine Life Society.
As an insignificant humble servant I feel blessed to contribute my hearty obeisance tothe Great Spiritual Hero, the Bhakta, Jnani and Karmi together, and pray on this sublimeAmrita Mahotsava Day to Sri Gurudev and Lord Jagannath to grant Swami KrishnanandajiMaharaj perfect health and long life to guide us all till we are elevated to his statureto further Gurudev’s Mission of spiritual service to mankind.
* * *
No saint has been able to maintain the spiritual balance throughout his life. Therehave been occasional reversals though these might not have left any impression on theirminds any more than the mark left by a stick drawn on water. But the mark is there when itappears. Such is the difficulty of leading the spiritual life. The case of immatureseekers is much more precarious, indeed.