Swami Chidananda’s Letter to Devotees (April ’98)
President Swamiji Writes:
TO ‘THE DIVINE LIFE’ READERS AND THE D.L.S. MEMBERS
Beloved brethren of our Global human family,
May God shower divine grace upon one and all of you and grant you spiritual peace and joy. May the choicest blessings of Worshipful and Beloved Holy Master Swami Sivanandaji be upon you now and always. This month’s letter is being written with special interest and earnestness because this is the last letter that I shall be writing in our Divine Life Society’s monthly magazine.
It was brought to my notice recently that making use of the columns of an organisation’s official mouthpiece i.e. Divine Life Society’s periodical journal for communicating one’s personal views and other matters unconnected with the Divine Life Society’s aims and objectives is improper. It constitutes a misuse of space that could give place to more useful matter to the subscribers and readers. I agree with this view. I feel that it is correct. Hence my decision to desist from making use of these columns in future.
However, in this last communication I share some interesting information of importance. Firstly, our Society’s YOGA VEDANTA FOREST ACADEMY completes 50 years of its activity in the first week of July this year. Therefore, it is the Golden Jubilee year of the Y.V.F. Academy. It is in the fitness of things therefore, that the Divine Life Society (of which the Y.V.F.A. is a department) starts planning right from now to observe this special event in a most befitting manner. The valuable ideas and suggestions of the Academy Registrar, Warden etc. should also be taken in this connection. Secondly, a suitable SOUVENIR to commemorate this important event must be prepared and made ready for release on the 3rd of July 1998. These are the barest minimal items uppermost in my mind at this moment. You will clearly perceive that this is neither far fetched nor out of the way, when you remember the fact that the Society observed similar special anniversary events in the past. Such as for example in 1993 the Golden Jubilee of the AKHANDA MAHAMANTRA KIRTAN going on in the holy Bhajan Hall since 1943. As also the Golden Jubilee of the Sacred Pratishtha ceremony and inauguration of the holy SRI VISWANATH MANDIR on the 31st December of the same year, 1993. More recently you observed the Diamond Jubilee of the Divine Life Society with a 12 month programme all over India to mark the completion of 60 years since its establishment in 1936 by its Holy Founder Worshipful Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj.
In the light of the above and in direct connection with the subject, I specially call upon all persons who have been the candidates who participated in the training courses that the Y.V.F.A. had been conducting over the years. Ex-students of the Academy Courses may come forward with articles for the Souvenir or with their experiences and impressions during their course participation. The Golden Jubilee Souvenir should contain as many interesting illustrations as possible of group photographs, lecture classes in sessions, Hatha Yoga practice and Karma Yoga activities etc. Such a Souvenir will be a treasure both for the Academy students as also for those who offered generously and graciously their ready and willing services as lecturers and instructors etc.
Before concluding, all of us belonging to Sri Gurudev’s DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY, members, Divine Life branch organisers and connected selfless workers must now exercise our minds to reflect and consider what part Gurudev’s Divine Life message and his Divine Life teachings are going to play in the early years of our coming 21st Century. Despite immense progress in scientific discoveries and inventions etc. that our present century witnessed, yet it has gone through great upheavals, disasters, global warfare and much hatred, violence, conflicts and clashes among different sections of our human fraternity. Humanity has suffered a great deal. Cruelty has been perpetuated not only upon humans but also upon dumb helpless animals. As we enter into the new century we have to make amends for past misdeeds and at the same time also work to act as a soothing balm to heal the painful traumas.
In this above task three great ethical-spiritual principles shine before us with unique significance to accomplish this humane task. The Divine Life stands upon the threefold foundation of compassion and non-injury, of truthfulness in all dealings and upon pure character and noble good conduct in daily life. Precisely these same three principles of compassion, truthfulness and purity are declared as the very first prerequisites of the science of Yoga and higher meditation by the great sage Patanjali Maharshi. To further confirm this we have also the declaration of the ancient sage, Ashtavakra, in the opening part of his Ashtavakra Gita, when he calls out to us and declares that if we wish for Liberation then we should cherish verily as Ambrosia or Nectar this selfsame three virtues of purity, compassion and truthfulness. This does not constitute merely a chance coincidence. On the contrary this clearly indicates the task before the present human generation and specially Divine Life Society’s members in the coming years ahead. We must work both individually and unitedly to bring about a social order which will be guided by these sublime triple principles of compassion, truthfulness and a pervasive purity of life. Herein lies the hope for a better world and a better humanity at the dawn of the 21 st century. Come, let us work together as instruments under the will of the Divine.
Let our world never forget the simple prayer of St. Francis of Assisi also India’s ancient prayers for world peace, welfare and happiness handed down by our ancient seers and sages of the Vedic and Upanishadic era. Let us pray and let us work to make our prayer come, into manifestation as actual reality upon the outer plane, in the human world.
My utmost heartfelt thanks and profound gratitude to one and all of you. May Gurudev grant you the gift of Divine Life. Wishing you peace and joy, I must now bid you farewell once for all.
Yours in Divine Life,
A Servant of The Holy Master
5th April, Holy Sri Rama Navami Day