EPILOGUE – To This Monk From India (Swami Chidananda)


Yvonne Lebeau

This article is a chapter from the book This Monk From India.

We know words are powerless to describe the glory of his perfection. Yet we try again and again. It is an outlet for our overflowing heart.

His constant and total adherence to the ideal, his utter spontaneity in all his actions, utter disregard for praise or blame, his supreme simplicity as well as complete absence of egoism, make all realise the great saint that he is.

He is all powerful and yet he behaves like any one of us. He loves all of us alike, whether we are worthy or not.

He can take on the severe, serious, noble look of the Guru with a devotee, and in the next minute he can look free and young, joke and laugh like an ordinary man with someone else, and talk of very ordinary topics, and suddenly again change and be all-compassion and tenderness to some suffering soul, his very face and body showing how much he is suffering their suffering, his face suddenly drawn and older.

His ceaseless activity, every hour of every day of the year, is such that it would be beyond our understanding, and for us to try to emulate him a source of despair, if we did not realise that it is the universal life that is pulsating within him.

In his presence our problems find a solution. He gives us an understanding heart. In the beauty of his smile we find peace. The love in his eyes fills our heart to overflowing so that we share it with all and get all the richer for it. He is the untarnishable source.

He is the hand that holds the light to those who lose their way.

His reaction is the same in the face of praise, approval or blame. Even if we go to thank him for his wondrous guidance, he just says, “You have only got what you deserve” or he points his finger to the sky and says, “He is the doer.”

He works in a quiet way, seeks no publicity or applause, and half his deeds go unknown and often unappreciated.

Knowledge he has, but he is richer in humility.

He scatters all he receives. He knows that it is given, not to hoard, but to scatter in the service of God.

He teaches us that, to the extent we have the Divine Being within us, we bring blessings to our task and that “saintliness does not come from occupation, but depends upon what one is” as St. Theresa, the great Christian mystic, said.

St. Lawrence, another Christian mystic, said: “With me, my time and labour is no longer different from the time of prayer. Never forget that work is an instrument of God’s love in the service of a broken, bleeding world, and work offered as self-surrender to the Lord glows with the beauty of communion with God.” Chidananda’s life verily exemplifies this teaching.

Swami Chidananda goes round the world lighting lamps of spiritual life in the hearts of countless people.

Swami Sivananda appears in visions, in dreams, to many devotees who are prepared and ready and he guides them to Chidananda. Through many such sages Yoga is spreading and a new civilisation is being born.

For the ever-increasing number who have seen the light of Chidananda’s presence, the role of the Guru is no longer in doubt, and the devotion and gratitude they feel for him is beyond words. When one knows the importance of the role he has to play in the spiritual world-awakening, when one has seen the army of spiritual seekers which rises up after his passage, one is happy to share him with all the world. It is said that the time of books has outgrown itself. It was only a preparation for what is happening now. Now the people want to know the saints, they want to see them directly. Nowadays, when nothing can limit itself to one country, when every event is a world event, what to say of trying to limit Swami Chidananda to an Ashram, even to a country? Verily, he belongs to all.

I was kneeling on the floor, very still, my eyes closed.

I saw a man dressed in an orange robe. He had a beard, he was tall and broad. He looked at me, then turned and walked away. As he was walking, he became two, these two became four, the four became eight. It was endless. Everywhere I looked, I saw men dressed in orange robes. Then they seemed to fuse into one another and I could see only an orange veil spreading all over the world.

I was still and listening with all my might, when suddenly I felt a far, far away movement in all the tremendous silent stillness around me. It became a very faint sound. It did not become a sound; the movement and the sound were one somehow…

A few months later, when one day I tried to relate this vision to Chidanandaji, he said in a casual manner: “Yes, Yoga is going to be the new civilisation!”

Note: The word Yoga in its real meaning which is to join individual soul and God together.

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