Homage to Gurubhai

Om Jai Gurudev!

In words of Gurudev H.H. Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj about late Sri Swami Yagnavalkyanandaji at Samadhi shrine 23th Oct ’98 night satsang in Sivanand Ashram, Rishikesh.  Late Sri Swami Yagnavalkyanandaji was called as Sant Adhvaryooji. Sat Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj told him.  “Ohji for you the doors of Heaven is open.”   

He did maximum selfless service both as a doctor as well as Swamiji. He needs no prayers as he already attained Satgati still it is our duty to offer our prayers for his satgati.

In Memoriam

Dr Bhanushankar Adhvaryoo (also known as Swami Yagnavalkyananda) a venerable senior disciple of Gurudev and one of the foremost propagators of Gurudev ‘s Divine Life message in Gujarat-Saurashtra, attained to the Feet of God Almighty at 7-20 p.m. on the 22nd October, 1998. He passed away due to a massive heart attack, within a matter of less than an hour after he had been admitted into the I.C.C. unit at the Sivananda Ashram’s hospital, D.L.S. Headquarters, on the bank of sacred Ganga. He was 93 years of age at the time of his death, but his mental and intellectual faculties were as keen as ever He was well known throughout Gujarat for his great compassion and utter selflessness.

His love for the Ashram of Sri Gurudev is indescribable. The Swamijis from the Sivananda Ashram he welcomed to his place as though gods themselves have come. Such was the veneration he had for the Swamijis of the Ashram whenever they went to Virnagar for any reason. During the Birthdays of Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj, President of The Divine Life Society he used to conduct beautiful programmes, with Poor Feeding, Cultural Programmes, etc., in the night. When Sri Swami Krishnanandaji from the Ashram went there once, he was received with such affection that he allotted a special car, a driver and a cook personally, to see that the Swamiji from the Ashram has no inconvenience of any kind in freely visiting wherever he wished to go and an exceptional love was poured on him. We do not know whether he treated us as his Gurubhais or as our loving father or grandfather Without doubt, Late Dr Adhvaryooji Maharaj was himself an embodiment of love, service and compassion, Verily the lines of H W Longfellow apply to this great soul: -


“Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,

And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time.”


May the departed spirit of this great soul repose in the eternal peace of the Divine and be blessed by the Lord Almighty with everlasting Life! We close the In Memoriam with above prayer Om Shanti!

This article is reproduced from Divine Life Magazine

Sant Adhvaryoo, an Embodiment of Indian Ideal 

H. H. Swami Chidananda 

Our Matru bhumi, Bharatvarsha is unique among the numerous countries of our world. The ancient past of our motherland has more predominantly spiritual rather than political, social or otherwise. Even geographically speaking, the Hindu view of our mother country considered all its forests, mountains, rivers, lakes, towns, cities and villages as sacred spots, spiritual in their character and worthily of reverence almost to the point of worshipfulness Much of this sanctity attributed to them is because of their being associated with one or, other Divine incarnations of God Himself This factor in itself namely, God incarnating Himself as an Avatara, constitutes still another uniqueness of India Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj used to frequently say that India is a sacred land where God realisation is the goal of life. He used to affirm that India is the land where sages and seers abound. It is the land of Ganga and Himalayas, Upanishads and the Gita. 

In this our mother country, in this present twentieth century, India had an illustrious son in Dr Bhanubhai Adhvaryoo generally referred to by a large number of people as Sant Adhvaryoo in Gujarat Saurashtra Territory. He was born in a little village named Bandra, some eight miles away from the city of Gondal which was the capital of a native princely state of the same name. Very many times, I have visited and toured throughout Gujarat, Saurashtra area due to it containing numerous branches of of Gurudev's Divine Life Society, thanks to the devoted and dedicated efforts of Dr. Adhvaryoo Sahib. From these visits and my close mingling with the pious people of this part of western India. I have come to recognize that Sant Adhvaryoo is verily a “VibhutiPurusha “ God alone can say what all blessed and auspicious “sat karmas “this soul accumulated in a previous birth ! I wonder about this when I consider how from his very birth he was endowed with such a wealth of good samskars and virtuous vasanas that from his earliest of young age he manifested his noble nature in the form of spotless character perfect good conduct, obedience to elders and teachers . selflessness, friendliness towards all and innate urge to help others and benefit everyone. 

            He was pointed out as a model both at school and his own home as well. As he grew up his keen desire to relieve human suffering and confer happiness upon others made him choose medical profession as his career. in this field of humanitarian work he laboured incessantly right till the very last days of his Life. In this field of humanitarian work during his long period covering nearly half a century that his divine qualities began to manifest them selves in diverse ways his thought, speech and action. People beheld him as a veritable embodiment of Bharat Varsha’s  great ideal of Dharmic Jivan and Paropakar Relieving human suffering other become the main mission of his life, By his own personal example he inspired others to follow such a way of life . During his long career he has changed the lives of numerous people who came into contact with him. 

Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji admired Dr. Adhvaryoo's qualities of head and heart. He used to refer to him as an ideal disciple . Gurudev pointed out to Dr Adhvaryoo and told others, “you must follow him in your life and also emulate him in his personal daily life. His life was such that it disproved the popular notion that one cannot be vigourously engaged in the field of outer activity and simultaneously lead an effective and progressive inner spiritual life. His life was a combination of both dynamic action as well as continuous inner contact with God. May his life become a perennial source of inspiration and guidance to all people. His sublime memory will be cherished in the minds of all those who have known him , for many years to come. His life proves that even in this Kali- Yuga the divine vibhutis of god do manifest them selves if they can find a worthy channel for their expression. 

Jai Sivananda! 

Han Om Tat Sat!  


Tushar Bhatt 
(Former Senior Editor, The Times of India, Ahmedabad.) 

At his age, most people would be bedridden, haunted by ailments and resigned to depend on others to live. A few luckier ones would be a little better off they could potter about. Some others would be physically in good shape, but their mental faculties would begin to give in. Infirmity at an advanced age seems an inexorable law of nature. 

Dr. Shivananda Adhvaryoo, who breathed his last in Rishikesh On 22nd October, 1998, defied this law till his very last. At the ripe age of 92, he worked selflessly in the cause of the ailing poor as if he were in a perpetual race against the dock, determined to stay in front. 

Heading a 250 bed hospital at Virnagar a village of around 6,000 people, he seemed to find rejuvenation in driving as hard as humanly possible. By the time he lefi this world, more than three-and-a-half lakh eye operations had been performed by the dedicated band of doctors, social workers and others, who seemed to blindly follow Dr. Adhvaryoo, unmindful of little worldly rewards that would come their way in walking in-the footsteps of this monk, unmindful of the physical hardships, unmindful of an existence on the penumbra of the grab-all society of today. 

All their sweat, sacrifices and hard work were inspired by Dr. Adhvaryoo, whose work in eye care would remain a towering impossible to compete with in modern India. Lakhs of people in Saurashtra, Gujarat and other parts of India owe their eye-sight to his work, for which he charged not a penny. The service in the cause of the needy eye patients had gone on for nearly half a century by the time Bapuji, as Dr Adhvaryoo was universally known, chose to set sail for the ‘far shore” as he himself used to refer to man final departure from this world. 

The material details of what he did are themselves fascinating, but more so was the divine man who had become a living legend, and yet remained so unassuming that he had simply forgotten himself Only those who can attain that state of mind and soul are destined to be remembered for ever Bapuji, who had been holding Netra Yagna since mid-1940s, physically removed himself from our midst, but his spirit would always rejoice in every step taken for helping the needy.

Bapuji was a monk, but he also had a modern mind. He would constantly update his own medical knowledge, endeavor to obtain the latest equipment and ensure that the patients at his no-cost hospital could be served as best as any wealthy man would be. 

What has set Bapuji and his colleagues’ work here apart is the quality of the medical work, and the courtesy and affection extended to the needy as if each penniless was a millionaire, the patient in the world to be cared for The bane of charity organizations often is they treat rest of the world as if it were being obliged by a few uplifted souls. At Virnagar, even a casual visitor would feel that he was an honoured guest and the hosts felt gratified for the opportunity of serving them. 

One of the invisible achievements of Bapuji is that although his is a superior organisation, manned by superior people, it has resolutely shunned a superiority complex. Bapuji’s own letter-head - he was a compulsive letter writer - carried the unusual slogan -Manav Seva Ej Prabhu Seva - Service to Mankind is Service to God. It was not an empty slogan; every word rang true, rings true and hopefully will ring true now that Bapuji is no more. 

Bapuji faced innumerable hardships, but always made light of it. When he first came to Virnagar it was a hand-to-mouth existence, with inadequate facilities, poor water supply and harsh living conditions. Yet, the Virnagar complex developed into a most modern eye care hospital, attracting favourable response even from the normally fastidious Swiss. 

Money matters a lot for charity institutions, but never was it a cause for worry. Bapuji used to say: “Given a worthy cause, money always pours from somewhere or the other “Nor would he agree to make compromise in services owing to money A special feature of the working at Virnagar is that the hospital does not wait for the patients; it goes out to them. Every month, at least 30 locations, some as far away as 200 km. are visited by mobile units. The village level work is normally done in co-operation with local workers and donors, but as Bapuji used to assert “we do not stop from going to a place just because no donor comes forward.” 

I met Bapuji in the autumn of his life I had never believed in Godmen and I was a sort of apprehensive. The picture is still very clearly itched in mind when I first saw him. It was beautiful day with the sun warm in a clear blue sky. He spoke to me as if we had known each other for ages. In the first visit, his work impressed me,

in the second the man himself fascinated me. I must have paid him a number of visits over the past few years, yet I cannot say I had seen all of his multifaceted personality. My cynicism got wiped out completely at least as far as Bapuji was concerned. 

Some years ago, he got interested in education. Having started a high school at Virnagar earlier, he had realised that if society were to improve it first needed an improvement in education. And, education could not improve, if the standard of the school teachers were not bettered. It was imperative to do something. The idea of holding camps for trainees at education colleges, where students were training to become teachers sprang from this. He once explained that “if we can interest ten pupils training to become teachers and helped them become even a wee bit better teachers in years to come, thousands of students will benefit in turn.” He was right. But, some like me, wondered if it was not a drop in the ocean. It was, Bapuji readily conceded, but that did not mean even that one drop should not be added to make the matters better This perhaps was the corner stone of his karm yoga no matter how daunting was the task, Bapuji would contribute his mite, regardless ofthe results. The gigantic nature of the problem never deterred him; nor did it ever undermine the quality of his effort, his zeal, his toiling.  

I have known many sadhus and mahatma, but Bapuji was the only person I have ever known who could be called a real karm yogi. It was not his words that made you think of him as a saint; it was his work Till the end, he never gave up hard work, keeping as fit as a person 30 years younger would dream of being. His recipe as simple; get up early do some yogabhyas, some exercise, work, work and work, not for personal benefit but for the benefit of others. Set apart some time for offering a soulful prayer to the Almighty. “If you learn to take care of others with a full heart, God will take care of you.” 

On August 15, l998, I came to Virnagar unaware that this was to be my last meeting with Bapuji. He took us - me, my wife Hansa and my mother Manjula, -personally to Ghela Somnath. In the morning, as the world lay bathed in tranquility, Bapuji asked me to accompany him into his room in the old house where he had started living when he came to Virnagar first. 

At the back was a small cupboard full of books. “Pick up any books you want”, he said. I took four He then spoke to me for nearly 45 minutes, on the meaning of life on God, on everything under the sun. He had always shunned talking about himself but on that day at my pestering, he made an exception, a rare gesture of recalling his early years and struggles. In measured tones, not betraying any emotions he spoke glowingly of how others had helped him. Never did he take credit personally for anything. God guided him, he said, and his Guru provided spiritual sustenance.. Good people gave their money Everybody chipped in and he was a mere instrument only, he said. In my three decades of journalism, I have never met a man who had done more than what Bapuji did, although I have met countless who had done a tiny bit and claimed Himalayan credits. Bapuji was a living example of an egoless person, something that separates mere mortals from the divine.

he said: “I would like to go for a last visit to Rishikesh, the abode of Swami Shivananda. God willing, I will come back. I may not. Who knows? ”His eyes twinkled, with what in retrospect I think was a celestial shine. I was leaving for Ahmedabad in a few hours. He affectionately placed his right hand on my hand by way of blessings. This again was, as I realised later, something he had never done. 

Bapuji never came back from Rishikesh. But, then, I fondly think he had never left Virnagar For, I think Bapuji was a man of God.

There was no rancor or regret in his ancient voice. There neither was any tiredness. His dream was to work harder now that he was getting on in age. “If I live up to 2000 A.D. I would love to reduce blindness rate owing to cataract further in Saurashtra. I would also like to hold more camps for the B .Ed students.” 

Then, afar-away look came over his face. Slowly,

A Giant Among Men 

By Dr J. N. Kaihan (Dehradun)


Bapuji used to say “you  judge a person life the way he dies”“. 

It was a beautiful day, slightly cloudy sky, along the banks of turbulent Ganges, a back drop of giant Himalayan range and sun was just about to rise behind the hills. The funeral fire was being lit by half a dozen saffron clad sadhus. Flames were rising gently in to heavens, he lay on it, motionless going up in thin air wishing us all goodbye. He was still alive in our heart, A perfect shot right out of settings of mythological movie. 

Evening before, he had taken just sixty minutes to complete the process. Without a word of complaint, no frown on his forehead, His pulses which had beaten incessantly all of ninety three remarkable years gradually, gently faded away till he was gone, smiling, surrounded by all family members with wet eyes. 

Dr Shivananda Adhvaryoo was a giant among men. All his life mission can be summarised in one word. “SEVA".    Service to as many people possible, in as much ways as possible and for as long as a time as he could possibly carry on. He would drive three hundred kilometers in a day to attend the inauguration of an eye camp, travel another one twenty kilometers to visit a boy ‘s hostel, drive back the same evening. While we who had the privilege of accompanying him on a few of such jaunts would be exhausted after so much hot travel. He would say “you go and rest. How many lakhs of people are seeing today directly because he spared not a moment in doing all that he was able to achieve in his half century of missionary zeal. Whether it was an eye camp in such remote places as adivasis forest in Madhyapradesh or Uttarkashi and of course length and breadth of Gujarat. Or he may be out fund raising in USA. or meeting certain officials in bureaucracy for concessional import of equipment, prevention of blindness though was his first love. He also involved himself in de-addiction, education and Spirituality. 

Great men are mentors that consume themselves to light the earth. You could not tell that he cannot see. The way he walked and carried himself. 

But Jam least bit bothered about it were his words. He had no time for himself In fact his “self” had vanished decades ago. His was a human body whose soul had merged with the universe. An embodiment of compassion. Love for all nothing for himself Swami Yagnavalkyananda had attained saint hood in this very life.

Memories of Bapuji 

 By Swami Gurudevananda
Divine Life Society Of Maryland U.S.A 

With great regret I received the news of the passing of Swami Yagavalkyananda Maharaj, previously known as Dr B. G. Adhvryoo from Virnagar Gujarat. Swami Adhyatmanandaji, who is presently touring the USA., informed me on Oct. 22nd about the circumstances of Bapuji's death. It seems so significant how his earth life came to an end. Visiting the Ashram during Diwali, surrounded by family and friends, having had Darshan of Swami Chidanandaji, he passed away on that evening at his beloved Ashram Hospital in silent cardiac arrest. His last rights were performed by Mother Ganges at Sivananda Ashram in the holy presence of Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj. 

I met Dr Adhvaryoo (Bapuji as I endearingly called him) for the first time in 1957 when I was invited to witness the opening of an eye camp held at the Sivananda Hospital. Gurudev Sivananda himself came to inaugurate the camp with prayers and blessings and was to observe the first operation. The team of doctors and nurses was impressive. Someone pointed out to me, that the very tall and slender doctor was Dr B. G. Adhvaryoo from Virnagar, Gujarat, who came frequently to the Ashram to conduct free eye clinics. I was in awe and watched the good doctor ‘s every move. A nurse prepared the first patient and Dr Adhvaryoo himself administered the anesthetic. As he proceeded with the needle to the eye of the patient I fainted. Needless to say, I was greatly embarrassed about this event. It certainly seemed clear to me that I was not capable to volunteer for any medical work From that time on I stayed away from the hospital and engaged myself in my spiritual studies.  

It was only in 1970 in Valmorin, Canada that I met Bapuji again and this time under quite different circumstances. While visiting Swami Vishnudevananda's Yoga camp I heard Bapuji giving a spiritual discourse on Raja Yoga. His presentation was so natural, matter of fact and genuine that it left a great impression on me. When I asked to meet with him, he was very kind and accepted my invitation to visit us in Harriman, NY, which then was our residence and branch of the Divine Life Society. Bapuji loved Harriman. He often mentioned in his letters to me that he received energy and inspiration from that sanctuary. The natural and beautiful setting of Harriman reminded Bapuji of an ancient Indian hermitage.

 He felt completely at home sitting under the old maple tree instructing us in the Yoga sutras. For the week Bapuji stayed with us he took a rare break from being the “prominent eye surgeon” and revealed himself as the great Yogi and Rishi he really was. We spent several days in study, satsang and meditation and developed a strong spiritual bond. Bapuji truly became a father figure to our family Before Bapuji left Harriman we were able to collect some funds for his work and he was able to make some beneficial connections with the medical community. He was totally dedicated to his cause. He mentioned once, “ my mind is fully engrossed in doing the utmost in the best possible way for the blind in India. But What can a creature like me alone do in this direction? It is just like trying to empty the ocean with a small bowl. It only satisfies the bowl that it is doing something. I am highly obliged to you and your friends for the great help in the cause of the blind. Your help cannot be valued in coins “. 

During my second stay at Sivananda Ashram in late summer of 1971 had matured and was gratefully able to be a helper in Bapuji's eye camp it was a rich experience for me to learn about the working of a great man. We were all recruited at 5:00am for morning prayers and proceeded to the operation room where long lines of patients were waiting to receive surgery. Bapuji worked ceaselessly in total dedication to his Gurudev Swami Sivananda and Gurudev's grace was ever flowing in whatever direction Bapuji was moving What a joy it was to witness the smiling faces after had received their sight again. At the completion of the camp, Bapuji invited me to come to Virnagar to show me his hospital and the wider workings of the Sivananda Mission On route he lovingly arranged for me to visit many historical connected with the life of Lord Krishna. 

In the 1980, Bapuji visited the U.S.A. again to meet with some doctors who would help his cause. and some friends and supporters. All of them joined us for a spiritual retreat and we enjoyed once more Bapuji ‘s instruction and spiritual guidance During this period I was privileged to serve as Bapuji's driver to facilitate his meetings with his colleagues. It was a great honor and happy occasion for me to be able to serve Bapuji rather than to be on the receiving side. 

prior to the Centenary Celebrations in 1987 Bapuji organized a Yatra to Badrinath and Gangotri and invited me to join his party ft was my first pilgrimage to the sacred shrines in the Himalayas. His great organizational skills and constant caring for the welfare of all made this pilgrimage very special. Bapuji was a great provider Whenever he appeared things somehow manifested. He inherited this blessing from Gurudev. Gurudev's grace radiated through him. 

In 1997 when I visited the Ashram for the Christmas-New Year Retreat, Bapuji was to arrive in early January for a visit. I had heard that Bapuji had become blind . . . lost his sight! How cold this happen to a man who has given sight to thousands? I was eagerly awaiting his arrival at the Ashram. A bad cold kept me down and I was resting for several days. I did not know if Bapuji had arrived, but was overcome by a strong urge to run down the mountain and to Gujarat Bhavan to find out for myself if he had arrived. As I looked down the cliff I saw Bapuji and his party walking slowly on the long road which leads to the upper levels of the Ashram. I almost flew off the cliff trying to catch up with them only to find out that they were on their way to visit me because they heard that I was not keeping well. So deeply was I touched that tears rolled down my cheeks. We all went back to Gujarat Bhavan to enjoy our reunion and caught up with past events. Never once did Bapuji complain or have any regrets about his blindness. He seemed perfectly adjusted to his circumstances. He felt my presence, held my hand and spoke and acted as he always did. It was just remarkable to me The next day he asked me to go with him to Rishikesh to attend an eye camp. Heavy rains flooded the roads and we were delayed for two hours in reaching the camp sight. This time Bapuji was not operating any more. His team of doctors had taken over It was his presence now that brought relief to the suffering. When Dr Sahib was present, everything was all right.  

For several years Bapuji had asked me to visit Virnagar again It was not possible for me to fulfill this request When Swami Adhyatmanandaji was visiting in August we were reminiscing about Bapuji and I was seriously considering visiting Virnagar on Bapuji's 93rd birthday. 

On October 22nd I received Bapuji's letter. 

“l am so pleased that you are visiting us. It will be after several years that Virnagar will be blessed by your presence. There is no limit of my pleasure from within because Swami Gurudevananda (my dearest Sita Frenkel) will be visiting our institution “. 

On October 22nd evening I received the news that Bapuji had reached his divine abode.

Bapuji -The Great Soul 

Dr. P. N. Nagpal

For me it is an honour and a feeling of pride to have known Bapujee -Dr S. Adhvaryoo. He was a walking saint on this earth with compassion for all. His contribution to alleviation of blindness is unmatched and has been an outstanding feature of his life . I have had the good luck to attend number of eye camp where he was operating. Most of the time I was deputed by government to attend them. It was a rule that a doctor from teaching institutions must attend the eye camps. It was a treat to see him doing surgery. In those days intra capsular surgery was in vogue. The ease with which he used to slide out the cataractous lens as a whole was a learning experience. He was first of the few who started suturing the wound after the large wound intra capsular surgery. He was not an eye surgeon alone, knew general surgery too. In one of the eye camps at Shishu Vihar, Bhavanagar an operated patient of cataract developed retention of Urine due to prostate enlargement. Bapujee operated him for that too and it was very well.

He was the first to accept the change to extra-capsular surgery & implantation of intra ocular lens. That reflected his major quality of “open to correction “and change “He wanted to help the cause of training the young eye surgeons. Through the kind help of the then vice chancellor of Saurashtra University (It was Shri Dolor Bhai Mankad I think) he got a rotation of students to Virnagar He helped many to learn.  

In Indian mythology there is a mention of three stages of achievement of a thing First is to know about that thing. second is to have seen and experienced it and thirdly to have become that thing Dr Adhvaryoo - “the Bapujee” had become light himself. His presence, his work, his blessings enlightened others. he was a living legend and adored by one and all around him. 

Humanity as a whole & the people in the vicinity of our state of Gujarat in particular are indebted to him for the services rendered in the field of cataract surgery and making our state a cataract backlog free state of the country.

My Heart Speaks

Shri Ashok Mehta
(International Association of Lions Club)

Forty years back, in a small tribal village on the Gujarat and Maharashtra, a place called Dharampur which originally a princely state that I met an eye surgeon whom I had never occasion to meet before but had heard a lot about. 

It was more to meet him rather than attend the camp that Dr Sunderlal Shroff Chairman, Charak Foundation took me there. I was never sure that in the month of December when it is cold the work stared 4 o’clock in the morning. Dr Shroff and I shared a small shanty room in the school building and he woke me up at 3.30 a.m. We hastily got ready and when we went near the theatre, the lamp was already lit and Dr Adhvaryoo was instructing his assistants for the arrangements. The surgery started and the patients slowly were going in like an assembly shop in a car manufacturing company It was certainly the first experience of mine and the way methodically and systematically the patients started coming in, carried out, patients taken out in a couple of minutes in a stretcher back to their bed.

The dream still continues in my mind, the devotion and dedication, the team, the system, the administration. Since then it became a religion for me and my family to go, every year to one camp and later on I started addressing Dr Adhvaryoo as Bapuji. To spend a few days in the camp was rewarding. When I used to come back after working hard for the camp, there was never a fatigue overworks or burden. I used to go back fresh even after the type of involvement and participation that I used to watch during the camp. 

I was sure and I could make out from the faces of the patients and their relatives that they were getting a touch of divinity. 

Subsequently whenever I met him during the camps along with his team, I always used to admire his capacity to stand and operate for hours together Sometimes I used to wonder from where he this extraordinary energy. To many of his admirers he was certainly a great source of inspiration. 

For me and some of my Lion friends such as Dr Pathak, Mr Vaman Mehta and Mr Suresh Mehta; it is certainly a personal loss. I wish and pray that we have many more Bapuji in the world to reverse the process of blindness.

Homage to “Bapuji”

Shri Chandrakant Doshi 

An affectionate pat, a warm welcome, a purposeful discussion these no more will be there for me to claim from Swami Yagnavalkyanandaji. Bapuji as we lovingly called him is no more with us. His warmth of heart irresistibly drew you to him, to share, to participate, to perform and above all to learn the joy of selfless service as you rise above personal motivations. Bapuji has left behind a sense of personal loss. An endearing presence is lost forever. 

I came in contact with him six years back when I visited Shivananda Mission in 1992 with my cousin Shri J. H Doshi who had taken deep interest in the activities of the Mission. Saintly presence of Swamiji impressed me. Though being simplicity itself there was a hidden strength that held your attention and drew you to him. 

As my association with him grew so did my admiration It turned into reverence. He reminded me of bygone Gandhian era when people were known for their character and claimed respect for something greater than themselves that they represented while serving the nation.

Three-four years back, when I visited Shivananda Mission for the first time, as a Trustee, Swamiji came to receive me at Rajkot Airport. When I saw him patiently waiting for me in the lounge, I was taken aback I told him “Bapuji, why did you take so much trouble to receive me here “. The soft reply came “This is what I do when a new trustee visits for the first time “. My deep regret now is that I failed to know him more intimately I missed the opportunity to learn at his feet the wisdom that he possessed. When you own such a man like him hope for the future of the country is rekindled and you feel that all is not yet lost Anyway I believe that goodness can prevail if sufficient number of persons think and work for others, That cohesive strength of the society arising out of innumerable small actions of ordinary persons which is holding the society together and keeps the nation growing. 

Bapuji indeed lived a full life. A sage in dedication informing us of the promise that life holds for all of us only we can overcome the demands of self, such a man like him needs not the usual prayer that “May his soul rest in peace “. He radiated peace while living. His soul will no doubt scale new heights in spirituality fusing together in universality of spirit of service for all living beings with worship of god in a cosmic vision of love that is all embracing.

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