Chidananda darshan by Sri Swami Adhyatmaanndaji (on TV Dur-Darshan Girnar )
" Work Is Worship "
During those early days Sivananda Ashram was a veritable hermitage. Sridhar used to share the work of sweeping the floors, looking after guests and patients, help filling the tank with water from the Ganges, spreading carpet on the floor, getting firewood from the forest, washing vessels and serving in the kitchen, conducting worship in the temple and also writing letters, typing manuscripts and delivering elevating talks in the evening Satsangs and other religious functions. With all these duties he remained serene and spiritually vibrant all the time, for work itself was his manner of offering worship.
"Genius Lives the Beginners' way"
Sridhar always remembered the famous expression of Totapuri that in order that its lustre is maintained the brass pot has to be rubbed everyday. Like Gurudev he used to emphasize, "The body is always a donkey and the mind a monkey to the last. So the Adhyatmic whip and the cane of Titiksha, Tapasya etc. must be kept in readiness always". Similarly he was one in opinion with Gurudev who would frequently warn, "Even if you are a Jivanmukta, you must be careful." Rao Swamiji, so ran the verdict of Gurudev, was a born Siddha. Yet he always thought of himself as only a beginner, just stepping into the spiritual field. So he took resort to periodical fasts, sudden acts of personal denial and endurance. Endurance was a quality that Sridhara had assiduously cultivated and possessed in abundance even before he came to the Ashram. Yet not a day elapsed when he did not expose himself to some gruelling test or the other, for Titiksha is the real wealth of an ascetic. In Gita the Lord exhorts the aspirant to put up with pleasure and pain, heat and cold with equanimity, for they are equally transitory.
"Spiritual Leaders Meet"
Mr. Pinardes was keen to arrange a meeting between Swamiji and the Pope. It was through his efforts that Pope Paul VI and Swamiji Maharaj met in a semi-private audience on the 19th February, 1969. The Pope was so much filled with love at the very sight of this Indian saint that throwing to the winds the usual Vatican formalities he caught hold of the hands of Swamiji and kept them in his hands for a long time, exchanging words of courtesy with great feeling. He greeted Swamiji in the Indian style and Swamiji responded by greeting the Pope in Western fashion by kneeling down in the name of Gurudev Sivananda. The moment the Pope heard the name of Sivananda he lovingly muttered, "I have heard of your Master's noble spiritual work. I appreciate very much your holy Master's spiritual work." Swamiji presented to the Pope Gurudev's work Bliss Divine as a token of love and regard. The Pope accepted the offering with immense joy and promised that he would read it with interest. During their talk he repeatedly exclaimed, "I love India. I love India," and said at one stage, "India is a wonderful place. I look forward to visiting India once again".
O From the Diary of Revered Sri Ganesan ji Maharaj (80 years) of Sri Ramana Ashram, Thiruvannamalai - His email communication with Sri N.S Rao Ji (90 years - Brother in law of Gurumaharaj Sri Swami Chadanandaji)
"Parama Pujya Sant Chidanandaji Maharaj is held in my HEART, with very
great Love, deep Devotion and surrendered Dedication, ever since I have had the
golden opportunity of receiving him and serving him at our Ashram in 1967. He
presided over the "Kumbhabhishekam" ceremonies of the Sacred Samadhi Temple of
BELOVED BHAGAVAN. On that sacred night of the unique religious function, within
the enclosures of the newly constructed Samadhi Shrine of Sri Bhagavan (apart
from the priests) we two were the only persons permitted to sit and observe the
first puja to the Shrine (the whole morning was filled with other religious
activities), which ritualistically was called " Maha Puja", which I was told as
the most important event of that day ! It was truly a very thrilling spiritual
experience, too !
After the elaborate puja was over, Swamiji leaned towards me and asked : "Ganesanji ! Will you do me a special favour ?" "Order me, Swamiji !" "Will you please get for me from the puja--completed Samadhi Shrine of Sri Bhagavan, a few flowers?" With joy I requested the priests to do so ! Swamiji blessed me and said : "These few flowers are so sacred for me, I will keep them with me, with the highest devotion! "
A few years [ 3-4 ] later when I happened to visit Shivanandashram at Rishikesh, I had again the great good fortune of meeting with Swamiji. He clapped his hands and his assistant came. He said in Hindi something. That young apprentice Swami brought a small silver casket and handed it over to Swamiji. With immeasurable joy, filled with devotion, Swamiji opened it and showed me. Within it I saw a few dried flowers ! "Wherever I go -- I travel all over the world -- this casket is my constant companion protecting me, guiding me and making me rejoice with spiritual fervour ! "
My dear brother NS RAOji, can there be a better spiritual demonstration -- almost clinical in nature and content -- than this "incident" to prove a Saint's devotion to another SAINT !" -
What a blessing it is to all of us !
" The Sculpture Owes It To The Sculptor"
The thirty-ninth birthday of Swami Chidananda, in particular, was celebrated at the behest of the Holy Master with grand, festive rejoicings and great solemnity. Gurudev declared on this occasion, "Celebration of Swami Chidanandaji's birthday is really worship of God." He acknowledged Swamiji's attainment of the highest knowledge and honoured him with the sacred title of 'Adhyatma Jnana Jyoti', an embodiment of the Brahma Sutras and the Gita, who brought Upanishads from his heart. He made it open to all that the present life of Chidananda was his last birth. He went to the extent to say, "Even I revere him as my Guru".
Swamiji was hailed by the devotees and seekers as Divinity incarnate. In his answer to the felicitations he said that he humbly accepted all their kind wishes and comments, and then emphasized that all that was only Guru Kripa. He likened himself to a piece of sculpture and said that if at all there was any beauty in the statue, the credit was to go to the sculptor. He concluded by saying, "The divine engineer of Swami Chidananda is Swami Sivananda."
"Prism Disperses The Light"
Swamiji's 'Light Fountain' - a biographical piece on his Master which will for ever be read by all inquisitive readers as an incomparable spiritual document-bears thrilling witness to his deep appreciation of Gurudev. It is a masterful biographical writing distinguished by a purity of style, musical organisation, and profound knowledge of its subject. The entirely unobtrusive manner of its presentation makes the reader always encounter in the pages Sivananda and not the author. Gurudev himself was so much impressed by the spiritual fervour and wisdom contained in the book that he remarked, "Sivananda will pass away but 'Light Fountain' will live". While releasing the book in 1944 Swamiji had chosen to keep the authorship concealed under the pseudonym, Prism. Chidananda is, indeed, the holy prism through which Gurudev had chosen to reveal his multicoloured personality for the benefit of the world.
" "Sthita Prajna"
Swami Chinmayananda, the illustrious saint-scholar, was giving a series of discourses on Gita during his Gita Jnana Yajna at Lucknow in 1977. In course of his talk he dealt with the characteristics of a Sthita Prajna, the ideal Godman of the holy scripture. At the end of the talk Prof. Varma who was, indeed, very much impressed, sought an interview with Chinmayanandaji and put the straight question - Is the ideal Godman of Gita a mere scriptural representation or a living reality? Is there anybody in India today who may fittingly be called a Sthita Prajna?
The erudite monk who is not given to easy praise paused for a moment and then replied with all seriousness and solemnity - Yes. There are such great ones. One is Mother Anandamayi and the other is Swami Chidananda. One should behold them and get sanctified.
Akhandanandaji pays homage to Swamiji as the very incarnation of humility. Once while addressing an audience in Haridwar he said, 'Swami Chidananda is the very embodiment of humility. If any body wishes to behold humility incarnate and learn to be humble, he
should approach Chidanandaji. In this age it is rare to find a saint with such remarkable humility." Swami Sharananandaji had similar views about Swamiji. Humility is, indeed, the hallmark of Swamiji's personality, a quality that singles him out in the world of saints as the very incarnation of "Amanitva."
E "Ever Ready To Serve
Induben Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt of D.L.S. Bhavnagar once arranged a puppet show during a night Satsang at the holy Samadhi Shrine of Sri Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj. With all enthusiasm they staged a show of life story of Sri Gurudev. Here they showed Sri Gurudev starting a charitable dispensary near Laxman Jhula and that he needed one servant to help the dispensary work. So, puppet of Sri Swami Sivanandaji brought a signboard for publicity of the dispensary as well as to announce his requirement of one servant. The moment the puppeter announced -'Servant wanted', at once from the audience Swamiji Maharaj rushed to the puppet of Sivananda offering himself to become the first servant of the Master. Though Sri Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj was in the form of a puppet, Sri Chidanandaji Maharaj sees GURUDEV himself in it and offers himself as a servant. Swamiji beholds Gurudev at all times, in all conditions, at any place, in any situation. What a total surrender to the Master ! !!
With all his busy schedule round the year, the itinerary extending to distant parts of the globe, Swamiji yet succeeds in wrenching himself free every now and then to be in the company of some saint or other. That is the atmosphere he longs for; at the mental plane that is the world which perhaps he continually inhabits. Nimkaroli Baba, a wonder mystic of North India, a Hanuman Siddha, was one such saint for whom Swamiji had very high regard. Swamiji knelt down beside the cot and humbly offered his homage to the Baba and after sometime sang a few Bhajans and Stotras in praise of Lord Hanuman. At the close of Swamiji's Kirtan the usually reticent and severe-looking Baba instructed all his disciples to bow down at the feet of Swamiji and declared that if they did not do so, they would miss a unique opportunity of prostrating before an illumined sage of high order.
In In his inimitable
way, Swamiji said that if a person held a flower for a considerable length of
time it was natural that the fragrance could be smelt on the palms. Therefore,
it was no wonder if the fragrance of Gurudev's virtues was sometimes wafted
through him because of his fortunate protracted contact.
M Modern St. Francis Assisi
Through his living experience, he has blended the glorious Christian truths with the ancient ones expressed in the Indian scriptures, thus demonstrating that all is one. An example of this living synthesis is the fact that when he tours in the West, garbed in the ochre robes characteristic of the traditional Swami order, many hearts respond to him, because of his humility and universal love for all living things, as to a modern St. Francis of Assisi.
The secret of his personal magnetism lies in the utter simplicity of his nature, in his firm faith in God and man and in his own Guru and in his deep sense of service and sacrifice.
One day Dr. Raoji noticed a dog lying near the office room of the Ashram. It was full of sores and worms. It was clear that it had been in agony for some time. The tender heart of Rao Swamiji bled at the pathetic sight. He gave some medicines and injections and dressed its affected parts with proper bandage and slept near the dog tending it the whole night. When the Ashramites saw this in the morning they were simply dazed. Gurudev remarked that Rao Swamiji was not a man but the very embodiment of compassion.
"L Loving Service
There was a Punjabi monk suffering from dangerous advanced form of leprosy. He kept rolling on the road for some days and then requested a teacher of the local school one day to carry him to the Sivanandashram. Being aided by the teacher the patient managed to reach the gateway of the Ashram when it was already 10 P.M. The night Satsang was about to be over when the news came to Swamiji that a patient was waiting for him.
With a torch light in hand Swamiji walked out to the spot where the patient was lying and saw his pitiable condition. Immediately he carried him to the verandah of the Yoga Sadhana Kutir and sent a word to Gurudev seeking his permission to accommodate the patient inside the Ashram. The Master himself felt overwhelmed with a sense of pity, and granted the necessary permission.
S Swamiji then began nursing the patient with such love and care as hardly a mother could surpass. He carried on this Seva for months together combining the roles of friend, doctor, nurse, cook and sweeper. He even cleaned the excreta of the unfortunate creature. When the barber refused to cut his hair, he himself did the job.
G Gurudev commented that Swamiji had wrought a miracle. The diseased monk, who was given up as a lost case by every one else was now able to walk about and take his bath himself. Gurudev said with great appreciation, "Chidanandaji has given him a new lease of life through his loving service." He added that he himself could have hardly served the patient with such fullness of devotion.
"R "Rendering The First Hand Service"
Swamiji never missed any occasion of helping the poor and the sick in course of his Parivrajaka life. Near Tirukoilur, while traveling in a bus he saw an old lady who was destitute and blind. He immediately got down from the bus and enquired about her
difficulties. He approached a Roman Catholic Priest and some Policemen and ensured for the poor woman the necessary help before leaving the place. While he was thus engaged in acts of service it would have been difficult for one to think that he was a Parivrajaka Swami from the Himalayas. Such acts of compassion have been one of the most dazzling hallmarks of his personality. Whether he was in the New World of America or engaged in the duties of Sivanandashram or in the far south moving incognito as a lonely pilgrim, he never ignored an opportunity of serving God in the poor and the sick.
The deep regard of Swamiji for Gandhiji is brought out from the following lines which he declared on the occasion of the Gandhi centenary celebrations in 1969: "It is a blessed year marking the centenary of this truly great soul's advent upon earth. To me this Gandhiyear really signifies a Ram-Nam year as well as a year of truth-speaking, promise-keeping,self-searching, fasting and praying and selfless serving. To me all these mean Gandhiji."
After the holy occasion of Sridhara's sacred thread ceremony, when all were returning from Tirupati Sridhar (Poorvashram name of Swamiji) felt drawn by a beautiful idol of Sri Rama in one of the shops and beseeched his parents to buy the image for him. The parents were happy to hear the request and bought for him the wooden idol of Sridhar Sri Kodanda Rama.
Thereafter Sri Kodanda Rama was to occupy a central place in
the children's life in the house. The idol was installed by the
side of the family deity and offered ceremonial worship on all
important occasions. Sridhara was now found to be very
meticulous in observing spiritual discipline and rituals of
worship. Daily he used to sit down at the feet of Sri Kodanda
Rama, in the company of his aunts, brother and sisters and offer
prayerful worship. A miraculous thing came to be observed at the time of Sridhara's worship. When he used to offer flowers to the Lord, apply fragrant sandal and vermillion to His forehead and light the lamp before Him, the idol seemed to shine with an extraordinary effulgent halo and a celestial smile used to wreathe the divine countenance. The young devotees could see this almost everyday and they were thrilled with joy at this manifestation of divine grace.
The image is still being worshipped at the residence of Srimati Malati Bai Govind Rao at Jagir House, 213, Raja Street, Coimbatore. Malati Bai Mataji is herself convinced that the idol has an undoubted potency and mitigates the misfortunes of her family whenever they seek His protection.
"How Rama came into his life is an instructive lesson to every seeker. To him in his childhood He came as the idol Kodanda Rama, whom he worshiped and in whom he had his whole being. At a later stage, He came to him in the shape of the unfortunate lepers. Then a time came when the Lord appeared before him in the form of the inspired words of Ramdas. Next, the life of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa rose before him as a beckoning ideal. Saints and mystics blessed him. At last, the Lord gave him Darshan in the form of his Sadguru. Sivananda entered into his very being. He was filled with devotion to Guru. Sivananda dwelt in him and he dwelt in Sivananda
Sivananda Yoga (Yoga DVD)
Diwali Prasad booklet - "Kanakdhara Stotram" ( Sanskrit/ Gujarati/ English)
Yoga, A Way of Life - Sri Swami Adhyatmananda
"Yoga and Health" - a complete book with Question & Answer section by Sri Swami Adhyatmananda
"Amrut Putra" (Gujarati)
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