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APPROACHING THE GURU : 3-2.

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3. HOW THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY WAS BORN-2.

He would go to every Mahatma living around him, fetch them water from the Ganges, attend to their needs and serve them to their satisfaction without their asking.

I have seen Sri Swamiji doing the very same thing even while at Swargashram (i.e., from 1930 onwards when I first met him).

On one occasion when I stepped into his Kutia (hermitage) to attend to his need, I remember Sri Swamiji asking me to serve all other Mahatmas living, washing their clothes, sweeping their kutias and so on.

On another occasion, he told me that I should always look out for opportunities to serve others in any capacity.

He would insist on keeping a small handkerchief in our pockets so that we might clean the shoes of the Mahatmas and Yatris while they were at Satsang, without their knowledge.

Such is his zeal and enthusiasm for serving the Virat Swaroopa (cosmic manifestation) of the Lord.


As he put into action his love for service in the year 1923 in Rishikesh, …

APPROACHING THE GURU : 3-1.

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Young  Paramananda with his mother before sannyasa at Swami Sivananda Ashramam

3. HOW THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY WAS BORN-1.

Many are curious to know when Sri Swamiji wrote his first book, how he was able to establish his second-to-none Divine Life Society within a few years of his coming to Rishikesh.


The first book that was written and published by Swami Sivananda is his master-piece Practice of Yoga.

The year was 1929.

That, as all of you know, is an excellent book.

I had the opportunity to see a 'deluxe' edition copy of the book at the Connemera Library in Madras.

The book was priced as low as rupees two only.

Even in those early days of Sannyasa life, when it was very difficult for him to procure money, Sri Swamiji brought out costly editions of books for supplying free of charge to all public libraries and poor aspirants who would treasure them.

For those of ordinary means there were cheap editions priced very low.

Incidentally, it also happens to be the book that brought …

APPROACHING THE GURU : 2-2.

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2. DO NOT HURT OTHERS-2.2.

Mark, how large is the heart!

What an amount of gracious kindness!

Swamiji liked the book very much.

But because someone feels offended, the book should not be brought out.

'Do not offend any one. Do not hurt anybody's feelings' :-  this is what Sri Swamiji Sivanandaji preaches to everyone.

This is what I learned from him on that day.


I implicitly obeyed Sri Swamiji's wishes.

The second volume was never brought out and the books already printed were never put for sale.

And this was not at all difficult for me, nor was I affected.

I am ever happy.


All this was because, I had no idea of my own, no plan of my own.

Sri Swamiji puts the idea and chalks out the plan.

I simply execute them.

He moulds me and I allow him to do so.

Next : 3. HOW THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY WAS BORN

SRI SWAMI PARAMANANDA
To be continued  ...


APPROACHING THE GURU : 2-1

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2. DO NOT HURT OTHERS-1.


It was in 1930 that I first met Swami Sivanandaji and in a couple of years I wrote a book under the pseudonym 'Ananda'.

The book was published only two years later in 1934 at Madras.

Now you will not be able to find any copy of the book, except two copies in the Sri Ramashram library, Muni-ki-reti.

I myself do not know what happened to the rest of the copies.


In that book I wrote all about the relationship between the Guru and the disciple, how the disciple should conduct himself in the presence of the Guru and ever-so-many other items of practical importance to an aspirant just stepping into the spiritual path.

In the very same book, I had also mentioned about the various Ashrams where I stayed before as well as about their different managers and presidents, while describing the unique nature of Swami Sivanandaji and his institution that kept me spellbound.


A copy of the book was duly sent to Swami Sivanandaji who wrote me back, 'Wonderful; excel…

APPROACHING THE GURU : 6.

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Part-6.


Such was the trouble he took in those days to collect the inmates for the morning class, in spite of the fact that Ananda Kutir had not grown up then, and therefore we had to lodge at different buildings, not close at hand.

The inmates, then, had a keen desire to get their personalities moulded spiritually by Sri Swamiji Maharaj and they were all happy.

Now, too, if you all have a keen desire to surrender your individuality at the feet of the Guru, he will definitely come forward with his practical instructions.


Go to the Guru with a clean slate.

Have no idea of your own.

Let him write on it. Let him chalk out a plan for you.

Allow him to mould you into a spiritual genius.

This alone I consider as surrender unto the lotus feet of the Guru.


Go to the Mahatmas.

See who will guide you properly.

When once you have selected your Guru, stand by him always with unswerving faith and devotion.


Carry out all his instructions.

Never allow your individual imaginations and ideas to play.

APPROACHING THE GURU : 5.

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Part-5.

Early morning classes used to be conducted in the Ashram, when Swamiji himself would go round every room at 4 a.m., stopping at every door and telling in sweet words, "It is Brahmamuhurta. Wake up!"

On hearing his words, everyone would run to the morning meditation classes.

But later, aspirants were not so enthusiastic in attending the early morning classes.

People did not want to get trained and face some hardships.


In this connection, I shall just tell you a humorous incident.


I was then (in 1934) put up in a room at Brahmanandashram.

It was mid-winter.

One day at 4 a.m. Swamiji came to my Kutia all the way from Ananda Kutir in that biting wintry morning to wake me up.

It was a distance of nearly half a mile.

Peeping through the window he called 'Maharaj! OM! Maharaj! OM!"

Twice I got annoyed and replied, "Maharaj, Kya Chahiye?" (What do you want)

I could not make out who was standing at the door (Swamiji, it seems, had his voice purposely chang…

APPROACHING THE GURU : 4.

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Part-4.

I shall now recollect certain instances which shall be of help to you all.


Once Swamiji introduced saltless diet on Saturdays.

Some inmate-disciples did not like this. And they used to keep ready with them, even on the previous day, small packets of powdered salt.

Swamiji on learning about this incident abandoned giving this personal training to the inmates, save the instructions:

"I have given you everything. I have shown you the path. If you have good aspirations, you will definitely adopt the correct measures; otherwise, if you are not sincere, you may hardly evolve. I shall no more insist and force upon you all any instruction, however good it may be."

 Such is the method of Swamiji Maharaj.

When you do not admit yourself humbly to get trained by Swamiji why should he forcibly train you? If he does so, you will begin to abuse him.

SRI SWAMI PARAMANANDA To be continued  ...




APPROACHING THE GURU : 4.

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Part-4.

You should not ignore highly evolved souls like Swami Narayanji and Swami Poornabodhji as some insignificant personalities.

They are the happiest persons.

You should resort to them often and often and learn from them in first-hand detail how Sri Swamiji had trained them.

They are ever ready to serve you all with the nectarine instructions they received directly from Sri Swamiji while he was actively engaged in training the aspirants individually.


You may ask why Swamiji was not giving those instructions in later times.

Those days things were different.

On one side the volume of work that drew his immediate attention had attained a colossal magnitude and on the other side none was willing to sacrifice his individuality to get himself properly established in the spiritual path and enjoy the Supreme Bliss.

If Swamiji asked a new aspirant to observe a fast, at once the other man thought that Swamiji was making him weak by forcing starvation on him.

SRI SWAMI PARAMANANDA
To be con…