From the Inspiring Pen of
SO SAID GURUDEV
Celebration of Krishnanandaji’s birthday is worship of Brahman. Many people’s faculties are developed. Every man’s eyes are opened. Everyone begins to think such celebrations are very necessary.
Krishnanandaji is a wonder to me! He has excelled me. He has excelled Sankara. He has excelled Dakshinamoorthy.
He is very quick in his work. He has vast and deep knowledge of Vedanta. It is all God’s Grace. It is not merely due to study in this birth. It is all due to Purva Samskaras. His knowledge is a treasure for those aspirants, who care to learn, study and imbibe the knowledge from him.
Great is my happiness to express my homage and high regards to our most revered Swami Krishnananda Saraswati, my beloved spiritual brother and fellow disciple at the feet of our most worshipful Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, upon this joyful and auspicious anniversary of his 60th Birthday, which, we at the Ashram, are celebrating at his Diamond Jubilee Jayanti Utsav.
Sri Swami Krishnanandaji is the foremost spiritual personality of our Gurudev’s holy Ashram, who has inspired, guided and enlightened countless spiritual seekers ever since his advent at the Headquarters of The Divine Life Society in 1944. He has drawn to himself innumerable fortunate spiritual aspirants by the sublime spiritual quality of his life and his deep knowledge and rare wisdom.
Today, Swami Krishnanandaji is enshrined in the hearts of countless Sadhakas and students of Yoga and Vedanta all over the world by his loving disposition, his kindness to them and his genuine keen interest in their spiritual progress and welfare. Thus, it is not only we, at the holy Sivananda Ashram, but also many thousands of spiritual people in many countries all over the world who will be rejoicing upon this very happy occasion of his Diamond Jubilee Birthday.
Beloved Swami Krishnanandaji shines as the leading light of our monastic brotherhood at the Sivananda Ashram and as the foremost amongst the spiritual teachers of The Divine Life Society, whom worshipful Gurudev left behind to carry forward his spiritual work in this latter half of the 20th century. That he was born for this spiritual work and that he was a man with a mission in this modern age becomes clearly evident by the way in which he grew up in his young age and showed unmistakable signs of what was to come right from the very beginning of his life.
It makes a most interesting as well as a rewarding study to look into the early life of this eminent spiritual son of India, shining with highest knowledge, supreme dispassion, unequalled renunciation, simplicity, austerity, desirelessness and dedication. Swami Krishnanandaji is Vedanta and Virakti personified, and as such an embodiment of Dharma, of Gurubhakti and of Samadrishti (equal vision) that the very presence of this truly great-souled Mahatma adds lustre to the order of Sanyasins today.
In his Purvashrama, Swami physically hails from South Kanara district on the Western Coast of South India. He was the eldest son of a family of 5 children, three of them being his younger brothers, and a sister named Ratnavathi who was the youngest child in the family. His brothers Keshava, Ananda and Rajgopala are indeed most fortunate and blessed to have as their elder brother a sage and saint of such exceptional spiritual illumination as Sri Swami Krishnanandaji, who shines as the Vedantic Light of our times, known not only in India but in numerous other countries across the seas. Known by the name Subbaraya, he was born of orthodox Shivaralli Brahmin parents, his father being Sri Kombrenje Shankara Narayana_Puthuraya and his mother named Kaveri Amma. The family belongs to the Angirasa Gotra. Subbaraya, their eldest son, was named after his grandfather Subbaraya Puthuraya. This ancestor was an ideal Grihastha, strictly following the noble Dharma of Grihasth-ashrama. He was a very pious man and most compassionate and generous-hearted. He spent most of his income in charity, and was so kind and generous that he even sold away some of his property in order to do charity and help those who were less fortunate than himself.
It is related how, being without male issue and being greatly concerned that his family line might come to an end without male lineage, this pious Subbaraya Puthuraya took a vow to feed holy Brahmins for one month during the Makara Masa, every year throughout his life at the local Shanmukha temple at his village Kemminji near Puttur.
During this holy month, he was doing Pradaksinas (circumambulations) to the temple shrines, prostrating again and again before the Deity, so much so that his knees and elbows became bruised and began to bleed. This charity and austerity bore the desired fruit, and he was blessed with a son as well as a daughter. This son, named Shankara Narayana, is the Poorvashrama father of Swami Krishnanandaji. Interestingly enough, Swamiji, as the young child Subbaraya, spent the first years of his childhood often in the neighbourhood of the Shanmukha temple where his pious grandfather had done penance in the past and wherein during little Subbaraya’s childhood his mother’s father, Sri Narasimha Kudraytaya, was conducting daily worship of the Lord as the Archaka (Priest).
The forefathers of Swamiji belong to one of the respected Brahmin families settled in Tuluva (South Kanara district) by Maharaja Verma, ruler of Banavasi. This family was well-versed in the performance of Karma-kanda and in the knowledge of Tantrashastra, and was one amongst those authorised by the above ruler to practise Paurohitya and Tantra as their services to religious life of the community. As such, devotion and worship of God was very much a tradition in the family and it was no wonder, therefore, that this highly evolved soul took its birth in such a pious, devout and religious family.
Swamiji’s great-grandfather, Keshava Puthuraya, was at Mercara, the capital of Coorg in the 18th century, as Archaka or priest-in-charge of the Omkareshwara temple in that place. So very sincere and earnest were the members of this family about carrying out the regular worship of the family Deity, that when one Gangadhara Puthuraya, another member of the same family living at time in Kemminje village, died a premature death, Sri Keshava Puthuraya was requested by the bereaved mother of Gangadhar to leave Mercara and go over and settle down in Kemminje in order to continue the performance of the regular Nitya Pooja (daily worship) and the Viniyogas of the family deities. At the family house there is Nitya-panchapooja, besides the due observance of all the religious festivals that are prominent in the Hindu Religious Calendar. Keshava Puthuraya thus left Coorg and came down and took up his residence at Kemminje.
As a child of 2 years of age, Subbaraya (Swami Krishnananda) was taken on a pilgrimage to Talakaveri in Coorg district. This is a very holy place at the source of sacred river Kaveri in South India. In those days, during the first quarter of the century, there were neither good roads nor motor bus transport available. So the pious parents trudged on foot the entire distance of the pilgrimage, carrying the little child Subbaraya. The very next year, the parents took him to the famous hill shrine ‘Lord of Seven Hills’ at Tirupathy. Little Subbaraya went once again in the company of his grandfather to the holy Tirupathy, and had Darshana of Lord Venkateshwara when he was a child of 5 years. From then onward he started his serious school career.
In the educational field he surpassed all of his classmates in every class. He had early education at St. Francis Xavier’s school at Darbe in Puttur town. He studied upto 6th standard in this school and distinguished himself as an exceptionally intelligent student. His subsequent education upto S.S.L.C. was in the Board High School at Puttur. 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 school fees and similar dues by the school authorities, who were highly pleased with his great proficiency in studies. Subbaraya used to score highest marks, and came out as the best and first student in the class. He always stood first in English, Mathematics, Science, History and Geography and in Sanskrit in the high school. He stood first in the high school examination also, and thus endeared himself to his teachers. He used to take part in the school debates, which were conducted in English. Once, during the annual inspection, the District Educational Officer was stunned by the forceful oratory of young Subbaraya, and was deeply impressed by the power of expression of the young scholar.
Subbaraya had a great liking for the Sanskrit language and took keen interest in the study of Sanskrit. This was his second language from the 6th class onwards. Not satisfied with what was taught in the classroom, young Krishnananda took to earnest self-study of Sanskrit with the aid of the Amara-Kosha and other textbooks. He eagerly took guidance from the Sanskrit Pandit whom he happened to meet. He had a natural flair for the learning of this classical language, and had an inborn genius for it. Consequently, he made rapid progress in this study, and even while at high school he used to compose original poems in Sanskrit. His Sanskrit teacher, the well known Sanskrit Pandit of that area, Sri Kenneppady Parameswara Shasri, had always a word of praise to say about this brilliant student of his to later students of subsequent years. Subbaraya had great ability and aptitude for study. He was a Jignyasu right from his earliest days, and this trait later on naturally took the form of spiritual Jignyasa for divine knowledge. Side by side with his studies in the school, he learnt Sooktas from Rigveda, Pramana, etc., from his father, who was himself well-versed in Sanskrit and also 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 his friends. Subbaraya himself took the role of Rama, his brother that of Laxmana or Sita, and the others were given other suitable roles. Thus they formed a troupe and he used to lead this play during midday lunch hour recess or after school hours, with bows and arrows prepared from the branches of trees. He enjoyed this play, and so did the others.
The deeper spiritual side of his nature began to shine in his conduct at this time. After he began studying Sanskrit, he took to the study of Bhagvadgita of his own accord. Such was his intellect and unusual memory that he soon learned it by heart and began to repeat the whole of the Gita daily. During holidays, he would explain the meaning of this sacred text to his mother and his younger brothers. One thing is noteworthy about his spiritual state at this time and that was that, though the family belonged to the Madhva sect and the members were followers of Sri Madhvacharya’s Dwaita Philosophy, yet somehow young Subbaraya began to be gradually more and more drawn towards Shankaracharya’s absolute Adwaita philosophy. He began reading Shankaracharya’s Viveka Choodamani and Upanishad Bhashyas. He developed monastic tendencies and developed a desire for solitude and an aversion to large gatherings, and to mixing with people. He liked to be ‘Vivikta-sevi’ as described in the Gita.
At that time, there was at Puthur a very cultured and well-read gentleman belonging to the legal profession, by name Baindur Shivarama Holla, who had a good library of religious books. The aspiring young seeker Sri Subbaraya used to meet Sri Holla the advocate and borrowed from him the Vedas, Upanishads and similar other books, and tried to delve into them and explore their inner meaning. Due to his studious nature, he used to take down notes of whatever he studied. Gradually a certain change was being wrought in his nature. The spirit of liberation and the spirit of renunciation was being awakened in the youth’s heart. Subbaraya began to feel more and more that the only thing worth striving for was Kaivalya Moksha or a divine state of spiritual liberation. Thus he became convinced that this was the highest ultimate goal of human existence. At times, he used to give expression to his feelings by saying that some day he would renounce everything and go away in quest of Kaivalya Moksha. But the people at home did not take it too seriously or literally, coming as it did from a fellow teenager. Also, they failed to understand the deep conviction and the firm determination that was behind those youthful expressions. Soon, however, they learnt how very much indeed earnest their son was, and how very serious and firm his resolutions to follow the path of the spiritual quest that leads to the divine realisation of the Absolute.
Sometime in 1943, Subbaraya took up Government service at Hospet in Bellary district. But this phase lasted only for a short period. Even during his service, the youth was said to have been conducting Gita classes for the earnest public. He took leave on grounds of ill health and was at home for a while recouping his health. But after a month’s stay at home, towards the end of that year, he left home giving the impression that he would rejoin his Government service at Hospet. But he straight away went to the sacred city of Varanasi. The divine Government had claimed his services, and young Subbaraya became a servant of God. At Varanasi he studied the Vedas and Sanskrit for a little while. But the call to seclusion and Sadhana drew him further north and he left Varanasi for Haridwar and thence for Rishikesh, briefly informing his parents through a letter that he would now be going in quest of higher knowledge. The powerful pull of renunciation and monasticism now drew him to itself, and the spiritual world claimed him once for all.
Arriving at Rishikesh in the year 1944, the brilliant young seeker came face to face with his Guru, upon the holy banks of the sacred river Ganga. Filled with the spirit of renunciation, young Subbaraya met His Worshipful Holiness Sadguru, Sri Swami Sivananda, filled with the radiant light of divine realisation. This is a memorable day in the annals of The Divine Life Society, and a boon to the spiritual life of this country. Most blessed is that day when the aspiring young Subbaraya obtained the supreme emperor among Gurus, and the saintly Swami Sivananda found a rare gem among seekers and got a precious jewel among his disciples.
Young Subbaraya now became a Sadhak resident of the holy Sivananda Ashram. The abode of Swami Sivananda Maharaj was enriched by the arrival of this new Sadhak, who was an unusual young man, with the deportment of a sage and recluse, and the wisdom of an elder in matters relating to the Vedas and the Dharma-sashtras. I was myself a relatively new arrival at the Ashram, having but joined it barely less than a year before his arrival. But I could see that revered Gurudev perceived in the newcomer certain very rare and unique spiritual qualities that marked him out as being a class by himself. His conduct and his ideal behaviour constituted a model for others to copy. There was an innate saintliness in him which none could fail to perceive. Even persons much elder to him in age felt impelled to show reverence to him and behave with respect towards him. It is no wonder then that within a short time he came to be regarded as an Acharya in the Ashram, to whom doubts were taken for their explanation, questions posed for answers, and disputes for settlements on the basis of scriptural injunction. His opinion was sought in religious matters, and Subbaraya was consulted upon questions of philosophy and metaphysics.
Hailing, as we both did, from the same part of India and consequently our mother tongue being the same, we were drawn together in a close friendship and spiritual fellowship which has steadily grown and progressed over the past more than a quarter of a century of our companionship at the feet of the holy Master. An added factor at that early time was that we were two among the very small number of white-clad junior Brahmacharis amidst the older Ashramites who were all ochre-clad senior Swamis in charge of the Ashram administration and The Divine Life Society’s official activities. The Ashram was comparatively very small then, and the residents were few at that time. Activities were limited. Our daily duties were not too many. Hence we had time for long religious talks and frequent philosophical discussions. Even at that time, Swami Krishnanandaji made a deep impression upon me by the exactness of his scriptural knowledge and his thoroughness of grasp on any subject discussed. His thinking was precise and clear, and characterised by a correct-logic. He would never allow prejudice or bias of any sort to cloud his thoughts and opinions, nor permit mere emotions or personal sentiment to blur his vision.
This young Sadhak had such a highly developed ethical sense that he would never do anything without first weighing the ethical implications, and until and unless he was convinced that his action was in conformity with Dharma. He was scrupulous in the observance of his daily duties of the Brahmacharya-ashram to which he belonged, and very regular in his Sandhya-vandana, Arghya and Gayatri Japa. All this I observed, and also saw how he was possessed of a settled calmness in his nature, which is rare indeed to come across in present times. Praise and insult were the same to him. He did not get annoyed or irritated on any account. I, however, had a tendency to get annoyed under certain circumstances, and could rebuke a person for some mistake. But this element was totally absent in my new young friend, and I told myself here was something he has to teach which I must learn from him. I cultivated his noble company whenever I could, which was not very difficult because the Ashram authorities gave us rooms in the same residential block. And soon I found that I had before me a person who had completely subjugated man’s greatest foe, namely, the passion of anger. Next to Sri Gurudev, whom I have never seen to manifest anger, Subbaraya was the one person in the Ashram in whom anger seemed to have met its defeat. One could call him a “Jitakrodha” Shanta-murthi without exaggeration. His calmness and absence of anger were the outcome of his “Amaanitvam” and “Adambitvam”, and these were prominent among the numerous Daivi-sampatthi, of which he was a repository, and the indications of wisdom which he personified. His nature and conduct would be found totally with the description found in the five verses (7th to the 11th) of the 13th chapter of the Gita.
Studious since his very boyhood, this trait now manifested itself to the fullest extent in him at the Ashram. Swami Sivanandaji, noticing his love of study, encouraged him to use the books in the Ashram library, and also provided for his study whatever books he wished to have. Austerity went hand in hand with his study. He and another Sadhak diligently went through the original texts of the Mahabharata, Bhagavata etc., keeping a programme of daily study until 12 o’clock midnight every day. Swami Krishnanandaji would be up again very early in the morning, before dawn, to continue his long study again. He lived the austerity stated in the 15th and 16th verses of the Bhagavadgita in its 17th chapter. His life at the time was of the utmost simplicity and absolute self-control. He would never open his mouth and ask anything, even if it was badly needed. His practice of “Aparigraha” was perfect. And all the time he was ever-filled with an intense burning aspiration for the highest realisation. By temperament he was inclined more towards silence, seclusion and inward living than towards external preoccupation or too much activity.
However, finding that the Ashram life necessarily implied some extent of participation in the general service in one form or other done by all Ashramites, young Subbaraya willingly undertook to assist me in my work at the Ashram outdoor dispensary where I was then serving. He made a most compassionate medical assistant and nurse combined to the afflicted and the sick.
Of souls like Swami Krishanandaji, all cannot give estimations and opinions. It is said that one of the rarest of qualities in this world is understanding. No man can understand another man. As Swamiji has said, even after fifty years of living together, the wife and husband do not understand each other. When man cannot understand himself, how can he understand another? This is so even in the case of normal human beings. When we come to exceptional human beings, all the more is this difficult. Still more so when this is the case of a person in the spiritual line. To understand spiritual people of high spiritual eminence is a thing which even the gods dare not easily essay to do.
Whatever we may think of the inner worth of a saint, only one more spiritual than him, a Brahma Nishta or Sidha Mahapurusha, will be able to judge and understand. We cannot understand a saint of the eminence of Swami Krishnanandaji. We will be able to appreciate some of his human qualities. We may say that he expounds Vedanta wonderfully,—that is not a very great complement to a soul who has dived into the very depth of Vedantic knowledge and also has to his credit inner experience of the Vedantic truths. Even so, we may say he does not waste his time, he leads a very regulated life,—but all this is like trying to say that the sun shines, that it rises punctually every day in the east. You bypass what the splendour is, and say only what you can see.
People of Swami Krishnananda’s stature and eminence have to be viewed in a different light altogether. To understand the secret of their great spiritual stature is a thing which we can try only by a devout and humble emulation or imitation of their lives. We must observe them. We must sit at their feet. We must try to learn. We must be filled with a spirit of discipleship. Then alone will we be able to understand what they really are. Or else, we will admire, but we will not be able to thoroughly understand what they are.
Specially so is the case with persons with whom we are constantly living. Ati Parichayaadavajna Santata Gamanat Anadaro Bhavati; Malaye Bhilla Purandhri Chandana Taru Kashtamindini Kurute. By constant association, you lose the real worth of a being. A sort of carelessness develops in you. Here we have Swami Krishnanandaji day in and day out, so naturally we will not know the full worth of this saint. It is only people who don’t live with him, who visit him once in a while and hear something from him which goes right into their hearts and at once flashes there the light of illumination, of Atma-vichara,—they will treasure the light that he has been able to kindle in their hearts. They know what he really is. They will never forget it. They will prize this experience of contact with him and enshrine it in their hearts beacon light. We will not be able to get that fresh and startling experience of what such great persons really are, unless we put ourselves in the position of those people who come from afar, aspiring, thirsting for knowledge of Truth; then we will know what he means and stands for in this Kali Yuga, in this age of darkness. That is the only way of understanding such beings.
One thing I can try to do today is to put before you some of the things which I have learned from him about the ideal pattern of a spiritual man and a Sanyasin. The first is that Swami Krishnanandaji is an unusual being—Manushyanaam Sahasreshu Kaschit Yatati Siddhaye; Yatatamapi Siddaanam Kaschinmam Vetti Tatwatah. He is one of those who belong to the latter category, the rare few who, having striven, attain Him and know Him in essence, and who come in order to lead men towards Self-knowledge. As this only we must view our Vedanta Acharya and Sanyasa Acharya.
His life, I have found, is based upon absolute Vairagya. His renunciation and spiritual life is one that is based upon Poorna Vairagya. It is the best foundation for spiritual life. Without it, spiritual life is only a tottering structure. The exceptional feature of the Vairagya of Krishnanandaji is that it is Viveka-Vichara-Janita Vairagya. It is Vairagya that slowly grew and beautifully developed within his consciousness through the ceaseless pondering the facts of life, and bringing to bear upon these phenomena of life a very penetrating and a very highly discriminating mind. It is this discrimination and constant enquiry that has brought out his Vairagya. Upon this Vairagya he has based his spiritual life; thus it stands upon the surest of bases, upon a most permanent and unshakable basis.
Vairagya is not an easy thing. Camels eat prickly pear and it injures their mouth. Yet, they go on eating prickly pear again and again. People may suffer again and again; yet they cling to worldly life. By merely coming to know of the harmful and painful nature of sense-objects, by Viveka alone, Swami Krishnanandaji has got himself established in Para-vairagya.
If you understand this point, it will explain a lot of other things which we see and marvel about his life; how he is able to live like this and view things like this, to have such an attitude to all that happens to him in his life. There is nothing that he wants in this universe. He does not care for these names and forms. He has acquired that sense of Paripoornata which springs from the constant consciousness that ‘I am Nitya, Shudha, Buddha, Satchidananda Atma’. As his Viveka and Vichara have given him a very correct lead in the spiritual life, therefore he has not been foolish like the vast majority of aspirants; as Gurudev is never tired of reiterating again and again, ‘a little bit of reading of Sanskrit, Panchadasi, and two or three Upanishads, at once these aspirants want to jump to Nirvikalpa Samadhi, and feel that they are ready to do Lokasamgraha’. That is the pattern of self-deluded aspirants who read the scriptures, understanding the literal meaning of it, but do not grasp the spirit of the teaching, which is the most important thing. It is the spirit of the teaching of the Guru that is most essential. This proper approach to the spiritual life you must have.
If you want to know about Parabrahman: Tadviddhi Pranipatena Pariprasnena Sevaya. Eradication of egoism, Seva—all these mean a complete change of your entire old, unregenerate, self-arrogating nature. Then alone have you to approach the Guru. It is only the man endowed with discrimination who understands these things,—which is the cart, which is the horse, and which to put before which. Then he becomes an Adhikari. I have not the least doubt in asserting this,—that Krishnanandaji has made his Vedantic life to be based upon perfect Adikaritwa. As such, you see in him an ideal exemplar or Sadhana Chatushtaya. His Viveka is twenty-four hours’ Viveka. Every moment of his life he is ever discriminating. His mind is never slumbering, never relaxed. This is his criterion,—whatever he does, whatever experience comes to him, ‘will this help my spiritual life or retard my spiritual life?’ This is the measuring rod which he has. He is absolutely firm in his principles and in using this measuring rod. If it is unspiritual, he rejects it without a second thought. It is a discrimination which always chooses the Sreya Marga.
Swami Krishnanandaji is an embodiment of the Nachiketas element. Sadhana Chatushtaya are proud to come and have their dwelling in such a worthy receptacle. What his Titiksha is, I can say with some little first-hand knowledge. The body has been given a big slice of a very trying Prarabdha,—suffering which would have broken an ordinary person down. But his life is already based upon this conviction: Ajo Nityah Saswatoyam Purano, Na Hanyate Hanyamane Sareere. Therefore he bore all sufferings like a hero. Without breath no man can live, and his Prarabdha tried to choke his life-breath! What battles he has fought with the sufferings of the body, only he can adequately know. Yet, all through this, his firm faith in the knowledge of the Self has never wavered. Therefore he is an embodiment of Titiksha. It has got another subtle form,—whatever suffering, whatever diseases, and whatever troubles and difficulties come to him, he would never mention it to anybody, and never make any effort to correct it. This is Titiksha. He accepts what ever comes to him. He will never come to anyone and say, ‘I have not got this’. Don’t try to make any remedy for the suffering that visits the body. Don’t seek comfort; if it comes, well and good, and if it does not come, well and good. Something distasteful has come, don’t try to escape it. Swami Krishnanandaji has always tried to keep this ideal of Titiksha before him in his daily life. For that, he always goes to the original source of wisdom. Whatever definition Sankara has given for all these Sadhanas, he always takes Sankara’s definitions as his ideal, and tries to keep to them.
His inner life is a shining flame of aspiration. Day and night he is consumed with the aspiration for the realisation of the Absolute. All other things don’t exist for him. That is the type of inner life that Swami Krishnanandaji has got.
Even though ordinarily Vedantins are supposed to be theoretical and do not take part in Karma Yoga, Swami Krishnanandaji has done wonderful service in our dispensary. Day and night he has served as the sole ‘in-charge’ of the dispensary. Even though his nature was something inward, introspective, yet when the call of duty came, he, in spite of his nature, came out and served wonderfully. Even now you will find that he is ceaselessly working. His work is of such a nature that there is nothing spectacular; but he never wastes a single moment. His is a most systematic life in this Ashram.
I have never heard him raise his voice and speak. I have never heard him utter a harsh word. I have myself tried many times to make him express a very critical and condemnatory opinion,—he has never done so even when the case more than justified a sharp rebuke or condemnation. He has made himself an embodiment of tolerance that Gurudev is.
His life is one permeated by one of pure Brahma Abhyasa. He is constantly thinking, dwelling in, and absorbed in the thought of the Highest Reality, in the thought of that One Transcendental, Imperishable, Infinite, Nameless, Formless, Ever-present, All-pervading Reality. That is the sort of spontaneous Sadhana which he does, and he lives as a Jivanmukta would live.
His life is an ideal which everyone should try to emulate. Socially and individually, his conduct and behaviour may well be the enviable ideal of a perfect gentleman. His speech, the decorum of his behaviour, his conduct, his social intercourse,—everything is that of an ideal gentleman.
In his daily life, in his routine, in the discipline which he practises, he is an ideal for a Sadhaka.
His attitude towards life, and his vision of the world, is an ideal pattern for any saint to adopt.
The consciousness which he always holds within himself is the ideal for a Jivanmukta, which we find mentioned in Vidyaranya’s Jivanmukti-viveka and Panchadasi.
These four ideals are blended in the various aspects of his life.
He has tried to mould himself upon the highest ideal of perfection in which Indians and Hindus have, viz., the life of Purna-avatara Sri Krishna. Early in life, Krishnanandaji was inspired by the Gita; he was fascinated by the perfection and splendour of Lord Krishna. He has followed and striven earnestly and successfully to grow into the likeness of the Gita ideal and the Krishna ideal. Knowing fully well that He was a Purna-avatar, Krishna played the role on earth; knowing fully that the world is a reflection of his own mind, Krishnanandaji is ever active in playing the role that is allotted to him. Happily, in his intuitive wisdom, Sri Gurudev has given him the name ‘Swami Krishnananda’, one who partakes of the Bliss of the Krishna-consciousnes. Krishnanandaji knows that the entire world is a shadow play; he is not affected by it. At the same time, he is ever centred in the consciousness of the Highest Reality, Satchidananda.
Constant association with him should not blind us to the glory and splendour and the worth of such souls as Krishnanandaji. He is carrying on the tradition of the Sanatkumaras. We have got in our midst a great Vibhuti. We should realise this, and reflect seriously on what he stands for, and the ideal he embodies in his life. The highest compliment we can pay to these great people is to emulate them and become blessed.