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Sivananda's Personality - 8.

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The late Swami Tapovan of Uttarkashi, who knew the Master from the latter’s Swarg Ashram days, traced the boundless love and modesty of the Master to what he called the "Sarvatma Bhava", the saintly vision which saw God in all, which saw the self-same Spirit pervading all creation.

"When I remember Swami Sivanandaji," he said in a birthday tribute, "this quality of that great saint comes to my remembrance more readily than his learning, authorship, religious leadership and all the other uncommon qualities and activities."


In the early days of their Sadhana, the Master once went to Swami Tapovan and said, "A Bengali Sadhu is staying with me.

For the last few days he has been very ill.

I have been trying to get a little milk for him.

I have gone from Ashram to Ashram just to obtain a few ounces, but no one has any.

There seems no way of getting it except from some shop.

If only I had two annas..." And the Master lapsed sadly into silence.


Swami T…

Sivananda's Personality - 7.

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The Master felt at home everywhere and with everyone.

During the 1950 tour, after a meeting at Madhav Bagh, Bombay, when he and his disciples attempted to come out, they encountered a big crowd, and in the confusion got into the nearest car, half supposing it was for them.

Within seconds the Master suspected a mistake. He spoke to the driver.


"Whose car is this?"

"It is the Sethji’s car, Maharaj-ji."

"Oh! We have got into the wrong car!"

"No, Swamiji, it is the right vehicle; it is your own car."

"Do you know where we are to go to?"

"Wherever you wish to go, Swamiji, I shall gladly take you."

"Will not the Seth be annoyed with you for going away like this?"

"No, Swamiji, on the other hand I am sure that he will be greatly pleased with me, and with the car, too, that we were of some service to you."


There was no more questioning.

All were happy with the arrangement, since it would have taken an hour to get…

Sivananda's Personality - 6

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The Master often bowed to a visitor even before the latter could make up his mind to bow to him.

On many an occasion he touched the feet of the visitor before the latter could conquer the hesitation to touch his.

He would not hesitate to put the shoes on for one who found it difficult to bend.


Early in 1938, N.P. Kaliandasani, the hypnotist of Kalyan, read an article wherein the Master had mentioned that to bake roti on coal kept on the palm was only a trick and not magic.

Wanting very much to learn the trick from the Master, Kaliandasani went to Rishikesh in August, 1939.


The hypnotist related his experience later on, "The Swamiji did not know me at all. As soon as I entered his room and bowed down before him, he himself placed his hand on my foot. At this I flinched as to how the great saint repaid our salaams, and I really forgot the object of my going over to him. The current of his eyes compelled me to think high in life. My tongue at last said to him that I had come to h…

Sivananda's Personality - 5.

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The Master spoke and referred to everyone in terms of respect.

Even if it was only a child whom he wished to call, he would say, "Aap ayiye."

Similarly, when in Malaya, he always addressed the Tamilian coolie on the rubber estate as "neengal" and never as "nee".

The second person pronouns, "aap" in Hindi, and "neengal" in Tamil, are used while addressing elders and superiors, and sometimes while intending respect to equals.

The corresponding terms for equals are "tum" and "nee", and for inferiors "tu" and "nee".


In this regard the Master did not distinguish even between man and animal.

A sickly stray dog had once laid a litter in the Ashram, and the pups, skeletons all, were lying here and there on the terrace.

The Master passed that way and, noticing the pups, remarked most spontaneously, without the least premeditation on his part, "Ivalukkelam sappadu ille pole irukku—these people seem t…

Sivananda's Personality - 4.

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It so happened one day in 1956 that an old South Indian lady walked into the Ashram office to have Darshan of the Master.

He greeted her with an "Om" and folded hands, showed her a seat and made kind enquiries about her health and her pilgrimage.

When he resumed his work the lady quietly walked out. Near the dispensary she asked an Ashramite, "Where is Swamiji? When can I see him?"


"Swamiji is in the office. Why, you are coming from there only!" said the Ashramite, visibly amused.


With tears in her eyes the old lady went back and prostrated at the Master’s feet.


Similarly in the forties, one Adiga from Tirthahalli visited the Ashram.

Chancing to come upon the Master and taking him for just another inmate, he asked to be guided to the room of his friend, Sridhar.

The Master did not disclose his identity but took the visitor courteously to Sridhar’s room and left him there.


Not for the Master to assume manners or put on airs.

Principal R.N. Nathani of Kand…

Sivananda's Personality- 3.

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Paying a handsome tribute to his voice, Dr. Hari Prasad Shastri, founder of Santi Sadan, London, once commented, "We cannot describe our joy when we heard on the gramophone the sweet and holy voice of this great advocate of spiritual life.

It was indeed an unforgettable thrill."


The Master’s walking made no sound.

For years he walked barefoot, but in later life took to canvas shoes.

There was a poise in his every movement.

When he spoke, the flow of language was steady and natural, and tongue-slips were conspicuous by their absence.


In appearance the Master was far too simple—no colourful marks on the forehead, no matted locks or flowing beard, no rosaries around his neck, no beads, bangles or ear-rings—just enough clothing to protect his person from the weather and to ensure decency in society.

In winter he wore an overcoat and in summer two large pieces of cotton, one around his waist, and the other over his shoulders and across his chest.


Sri N. Ananthanarayanan
To be co…

Sivananda's Personality- 2.

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SWAMI Sivananda was about six feet tall, with a shining copper red for his complexion.

He had broad shoulders and long arms.

His head and face were clean shaven.

His countenance was childlike—no guile, no gall in it.

His eyes sparkled.

The Master’s titanic proportions of head and body reminded one of the Deities of Grecian mythology.


In the simplicity of a monk, the Master seemed like a monarch.

He was a picture of serenity and youth.

It was impossible to judge his age from his appearance.

He refused to grow old.


"You look like the rock of Gibraltar," commented a visitor from Indiana, U.S.A., when she saw the Master on his sixty-eighth birthday.


The Master had a vibrant, powerful voice.

Often at a meeting he would gently push aside the mike, saying, "I don’t need it."

His stentorian voice could reach an audience of thousands without the need of amplification.

Sri N. Ananthanarayanan
To be continued  ...

Sivananda's Personality- 1. Introduction :

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Sivananda's Personality
By

Sri N. Ananthanarayanan


Sri N. Ananthanarayananji


He was born at Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, in 1927.

After obtaining a triple first class in B.Sc. in 1946, he had a 3-year stint in a bank.

Thereupon, he further studied for two years to obtain an M.A. degree before he secured a post in the Planning Commission, the Government of India, at Delhi.


Having a strong religious and spiritual bent of mind from his early life, his conviction in higher values of life was further strengthened by being exposed to the literature of Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Rama Tirtha, etc.

In mid-forties, he happened to acquire for the first time Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj’s well-known book "Sure Ways for Success in Life and God-realisation" which opened up unlimited avenues for him to Gurudev’s vast spiritual literature.


In mid-fifties, he visited the Sivananda Ashram Headquarters three times and had the Darshan of Gurudev, who overwhelmed him with a ge…

APPROACHING THE GURU : 3-3.

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

Indeed the seed should have been a divine one; for, now the tender plant grew into a nice little tree when Sri Swamiji shifted his Kutia from Lakshman Jhula to Swargashram.

That was somewhere in 1929. 'Satya Sevashram' paved the way for 'Swarg Ashram Sadhu Sangha' but the former's motto remained the same, that is, practising cosmic love and selfless service.


All the time, even though Sri Swamiji was busying himself with writing books, he was touring many places holding Satsang and Sankirtan.

All this formed part of the Society's work.

The work was continued with renewed vigour and enthusiasm at every step.

Swamiji travelled from Mount Kailash in Tibet, to Rameswaram in the southern tip of Deccan, and from Srinagar in Kashmir, to Gangasagar in the Bay of Bengal.


In the mean time, he had settled at the present site of Ananda Kutir (in 1934).

After a while, in the year 1936, when the little tree of 'Swarg Ashram Sadh…