Swami Dayanandaji Attains the Lotus Feet of the Lord

A Great Karma—Yogi Attains Nirvana

Our Beloved and Revered Sri Swami Dayanandaji Maharaj, Treasurer and Trustee of The Divine Life Society, is no more with us. He attained Mahasamadhi on Monday, the 4th of February 2002, at 11-25 p.m.

On the 20th of August 1923, a star descended on earth. On the western bank of the holy river Godavari, in the village of Juvvalapalem, near the town of Bhimavaram, in the State of Andhra Pradesh, a son was born to a prosperous couple. They named the child as Ramalinga Raju. This was not known to the couple that Ramalinga Raju was born only to serve his Guru, who, at that period of time, was Dr. Kuppuswamy in Malaya. Dr. Kuppuswamy, at the height of his mundane success, experienced the extreme dispassion for all he had and left for India in search of the Ultimate Truth. He was known as Swami Sivananda on taking Sannyasa and established the Divine Life Society in the year 1936 on the holy bank of Ganga. Just after ten years Ramalinga Raju appeared before him to surrender himself for all time to come.

This twenty-three year old young man had unfathomable devotion to his Guru. It was recognised by his omniscient Guru who ordained him into the holy Sannyasa Order on 14th of January 1948—the holy Makara Sankranti Day. He was known as Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Gurudev undertook a whirlwind tour of India and Sri Lanka in the year 1950 and Swami Dayanandaji served him tirelessly. In the same tour Swami Dayanandaji disappeared for a while when the party reached Rajahmundry. Later, he appeared and placed at the holy feet of Gurudev an envelope. The envelope contained enough money to print one book of Gurudev and the sum was collected by Swami Dayanandaji from his parents of the previous order.

After the conclusion of the great All-India tour, Swami Dayanandaji sprang a great surprise. Overnight, he brought one treadle printing machine from Rishikesh and installed it in the Ashram. In this way, the wisdom-Ganga of Sri Gurudev flowed unabated all over the world for the benefit of the entire humanity from 20th of September 1951. If one service, one work, was dearer than his life to Swami Dayanandaji, it was to turn out in book form all the manuscripts of Sri Gurudev. One example of his dedication to Gurudev’s work was getting electricity-connection in the Ashram. To get the work done, after co-ordination with various Government Departments, is sometimes very difficult; but the untiring effort and humble nature of Swami Dayanandaji moved the District Magistrate of Dehradun to see the work accomplished. The direct result of his effort is reflected in the present great capacity of the Press, with its latest machinery.

In 1957, there was a flood in the river Ganga. One trunk full of manuscripts of Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj was found floating in the floodwater. That trunk was handed over to Swami Dayanandaji by Sri Gurudev who expressed his desire to see all of them in printed book form as soon as possible. This work was accomplished within six months by this dedicated, tireless hardworking disciple of Sri Gurudev. “Oh! I am proud of you, Swami Dayanandaji. You are an embodiment of Nishkama-Seva.” These words of Sri Gurudev were his best prize, the best blessings.

Thus it can be concluded that the birth of Swami Dayanandaji was only to distribute Jnana-Yajna-Prasad of Sri Gurudev to the entire humanity and this he did till his last breath. Even on his last day on this earth-plane, he was making available to our President H.H. Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj an estimate of the cost of printing of the book “The Holy Stream”. Though he was tirelessly working for the overall development of the entire Ashram, his heart was for the development of the Press—in the dissemination of spiritual knowledge, which is so dear to Gurudev.

He was filled with the ambition of keeping the Ashram of his Gurudev well-organised and resourceful. On 1st January, 1968, the Divine Life Trust Society elected him as one of its Trustees and also befittingly appointed him its Treasurer. Perhaps there would have been no better substitute for the post of Treasurer. He had no expense on himself, neither on clothing, nor on food nor on any other thing. He was unparalleled even in this respect. Devotees coming to the Ashram from far and wide could never forget him. His passion was to look after the guests. Any devotee who helped in the progress and uplift of the Ashram was dear to Swami Dayanandaji. To provide them with suitable accommodation, sumptuous food and even to arrange their transport was possible only due to this humble, soft-spoken and egoless saint. Goswami Tulsidas has admonished that those who do not love Sri Ram and Sri Sita Mata are to be shunned; Swami Dayanandaji Maharaj practised and believed that those who had no regard for Gurudev Swami Sivananda are to be shunned.

It was the Herculean effort of Swami Dayanandaji Maharaj that we enjoy the continuous, round-the-clock water supply. He utilised the services of donor devotees and the Jal Nigam for this purpose. The present-day “Annapoorna Annakshetra Building”, its infrastructure of catering to the needs of a large assembly of devotees, is the standing example of his organising capacity and single-minded purposefulness. The “Annakshetra Moola Dhana Fund” is his brainchild.

Swami Dayanandaji always had dreams of developing the Ashram. New projects and construction were his mottos. He was unaffected at the abandoning of some of his projects. He was a true “Sarvarambha Parityagi” in this respect. He had immense respect and devotion for the present President H.H. Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj. He never objected to his proposals, rather he always humbly accepted them.

There may not have been many occasions in his lifetime that a doctor could get the opportunity of serving his body. Scanty food, regular Yoga Asanas and Dhyana was his way of life.

On 4th of February 2002, the sun-rise was as usual; likewise, Swami Dayanandaji reached the “Annapoorna-Annakshetra” as usual at 7 a.m. and got himself busy in sending breakfast to a quality printer and great devotee who had arrived from Ahmedabad.

His second halt was at the Y.V.F.A. Press. There he got prepared the estimated cost of printing of “The Holy Stream” in consultation with the In-charge Swami of the Press and got it sent to “Guru Niwas”. He then attended an Ashes immersion ritual at Gurudev Ghat on the Ganga bank and came back to the “Reception” where he felt uneasiness at about 10.30 a.m. It was a massive heart-attack but he took it as just “biliousness” and didn’t even bother to call the doctor. The Divine Name “Krishna-Krishna” “Hari Narayan” was on his lips when he breathed his last within twelve hours at about 11.25 p.m. This way he followed his Gurubhai and General Secretary H.H. Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj. The great saying of Bhagavatpada Sri Shankaracharya “To die effortlessly, to live without want and to have unwavering faith in God—Give these to me, O God!” proved true in his life.

The services of this great, egoless, unattached and desireless saint will be remembered by the Divine Life Society and the devotees knowing him will nurture his sweet memories for a long time to come. He endeared himself in the hearts of the inmates of the Ashram by attending to all their comforts.

The body was preserved for “General Darshan” for a day; then on the 6th of February 2002, a fleet of cars with senior saints of the Ashram and emotion-choked, shocked devotees took his body round the Rishikesh town; then finally, with the chanting of Vedic hymns and performing Vedic rituals the body was offered to Mother Ganga as ‘Jala Samadhi’.

The Ashram performed “Srimad Bhagavata Saptah-Parayana” at the Divya Nama Mandir. At the Shraddhanjali function held on 19th February 2002, the sixteenth day of Swamiji’s passing, rich tributes were paid to Swamiji Maharaj, and as a humble homage were released five books—‘Lives of Saints’, ‘Gems of Prayers’, ‘Spiritual Experiences’, ‘Conquest of Fear’ and ‘Mother Ganga’. A grand “Shodashi” Bhandara was performed thereafter in which a large number of Sadhus, mendicants and poor including the patients of three leprosy colonies were fed sumptuously.

Thus ended the dedicated saga of H.H. Swami Dayanandaji Maharaj but the torch he lighted as an unparalleled “Karma Yogi” will light the path of “Karma Yogis” for all time to come. Hari Om Tat Sat.

Sadguru Bhagavan ki jai!

Swami Dayanandaji Maharaj ki jai!

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