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Sivananda's Personality - 16.

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It was a hot day in 1955. "Let it drink," the Master’s voice suddenly rang out, as an Ashram monk tried to frighten away a monkey which wanted to drink water from a mud-pot kept near the office for drinking purposes. The man who ran with a stone halted; the monkey had its fill.

"You cannot judge a man’s heart from the big charity that he does, and the huge hospital that he builds," commented the Master. "Watch for such little incidents. When you have brought water from the Ganges and a monkey spoils it, how do you react during the first split-second? What is the first impulse? That determines whether you are a saint or not."

If the Master showed such consideration and compassion for animals and insects, his thoughtfulness and love for human beings was no less. His every word and gesture reflected his deep, unexpressed love and concern for those who suffered.

"To me the world appears as a ball of fire," he wrote. "To me the whole world appe…

Sivananda's Personality - 15.

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In 1949, opening a cupboard, the Master’s attendant found a bedsheet bitten by a rat, and inside the sheet were four of its newborns.

They had hardly opened their eyes.

He took them to the Master.

When the Master saw the baby rats, his heart was flooded with compassion.

He felt greatly pained that they should have been disturbed.

He asked the attendant to put them back immediately in the same place and condition, lest their mother should miss them.

This was done.

But in a day or two, the mother rat got killed by a cat.

Soon after, the little ones also died.

When the Master saw the dead rats, he felt sad and did Maha Mantra Kirtan for a pretty long time for the peace of the departed souls.

His attendant also joined him in the Kirtan.


The Master fed ants with sugar, birds with rice, monkeys with gram, fish with bread.

He kept water in pots for birds.

"This will develop mercy and cosmic love," he said.

"It will soften the stony heart and instil the sense of oneness or Adw…

Sivananda's Personality - 14.

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During Kirtan time one night the Master saw a visitor suddenly crush a scorpion with the butt of his torch.

After Kirtan he asked the person why he killed the creature.

"It stings people," replied the visitor.

The Master retorted, "By killing one scorpion are you able to save people from the stings of scorpions of which there are millions all over the world? To kill this creature it took you only a few seconds, but can you give its life back again? When you have no strength to give back life to the dead, what right have you to take life from the living? You are the worst kind of scorpion. The scorpion has poison only in its tail, but you have poison all over the body; you are full of hatred, anger, pride and other evil qualities. You should be crushed now!"

The visitor was taken aback and promised the Master that he would never kill a creature again.


It was October 4, 1948. "What a nice cottage! Is it for meditation purposes?" wondered a visitor, gazing …

Sivananda's Personality - 13.

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The Master saw God in animals, nay, even in inanimate things. He bowed mentally to ants and asses, to stones, trees and rivers, to the sky, the sun and the moon, to chairs and tables, to pillars and posts. He talked to them. He told his students again and again, "Practise this Sadhana and see.
Do this for some months and mark the change in yourself.  You will be a different and changed man, a God-man with God-vision."

"First, I bow to the Ganges through the window, then I salute the Himalayas. I salute the door, the window, the commode," he told a stunned Swami Krishnananda, then general secretary of the Ashram.

The Master then went on to recite stanza after stanza of Sanskrit verses in praise of the numerous Deities beloved of the devout Hindu, saying that all these hymns he recited while in the toilet.

A direct result of this habit of seeing the Divine in everything was that the Master could not suffer to see even an insect injured. While he was bathing in the …

Sivananda's Personality - 12.

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Within minutes, Dilip Kumar Roy, for that was the name of the man, became a showroom exhibit.

Curiosity-mongers came from every direction.

Some took pity on him, some scoffed at him and said that he deserved what he got, while others made many remarks about the helpless man.


It was now dark.

The Master was coming on his way to the Satsang.

They told him about the injured man.

The Master changed direction and turned towards the hospital ward.

He went near the patient’s bedside and stood still for awhile as the onlookers eagerly awaited his reaction.


"Let us now chant the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra for the health and speedy recovery of Dilip Kumar Roy."

With the announcement, the Master began chanting the Mantra.

He called for a tin of biscuits and placed it on a bedside stool.

He instructed the attendants, "Lord Narayana has come in this form. Please give him the biscuits in the morning with tea or milk."

The gossiping devotees were silenced!

Sri N. Ananthanarayanan
T…

Sivananda's Personality - 11.

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On February 19, a letter addressed to the Master came from Govindan, stating that he had reached Salem safely, and that he was grateful to the Master for what he had done for him.

He prayed that any pitfalls that may beset his path of life be removed by the Master’s Grace, and that he regarded himself as the Master’s disciple.


On seeing the letter the Master smiled and requested Muruganandaji,

"Put Govindan’s name on the magazine free list. Include his address in the prasad register also. All free literature should be sent to him. I will send books to him also. I will write to him to come again."

Such was the Master’s glorious heart!


The Master remarked to the disciples,

"I hold Jayadeva as my ideal. He was robbed by dacoits, who cut off his hands and threw him into a well. When the Gods arrived with a celestial car to take him to paradise, he refused to ascend it till the dacoits who had cut off his hands were also taken. That is my ideal."


Exactly ten years late…

Sivananda's Personality - 10.

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"Do you mean to say that anything would happen without the Lord’s Will behind it?" he argued.

"God alone prompted Govindan to do what he did.

Are the words of the scriptures: ‘I am the gambling of the fraudulent’, and ‘prostration to the chief of the robbers’, mere words?

Does not the same omnipresent Lord indwell the robber and the dacoit, the murderer and the burglar?

No, no, I will not let the police charge Govindan.

The Lord has spared my life as there is still some service to be performed through this body.

I must go on with that service.

That is all this incident indicates to me."


So saying, the Master went to the police station the next morning with fruit, books, clothes and rosary.

With his own hand he applied kumkum and bhasma to Govindan’s forehead, and then prostrated to him.

He gave him books with his autographed blessing, and initiated him in the Om Namo Narayanaya Mantra. After imparting some simple instructions, the Master sent him to Salem, his hom…

Sivananda's Personality - 9.

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The Master saw God in women.

He saw, not sex, but Goddess Durga in every female form.

One Vijaya Dasami day, he felt the urge to worship the visible manifestations of the Divine Mother.

Immediately he sent an Ashram worker to the Rishikesh market to procure fruit, flowers and silk for the worship.

And who were the Goddesses?

They were the little girls of the school run by the Ashram.

Aged three to ten, they were seated in a row on a long mat.

It was a most entrancing sight to see the tall, burly Swamiji bend down with feeling before each little girl, applying kumkum on the forehead and offering worship with flowers.

Then he gently waved the camphor Arati before them and served them with sweets specially prepared as offering.

Such was the Master’s worship of the Divine Mother.


The Master saw God in enemies and in dacoits.

On January 8, 1950, during the evening Satsang at the Ashram, a disgruntled inmate, Govindan by name, aimed three blows at the Master’s head with a crude axe.

But in…

Sivananda's Personality - 8.

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True it was that this Sarvatma Bhava became second nature with the Master in his later years, but then, it was the result of assiduous cultivation.

For instance, there was in him in the early years a lingering feeling of caste superiority, an instinctive bias that dies hard.

The Master erased this subtle feeling by constantly prostrating to sweepers and scavengers, and treating them as equals.

He called the scavenger the "health officer", the barber the "beautifying officer".

He entertained no contempt even for the prostitutes, whom he characterised as the "fallen sisters".

For years he deliberately let himself be served by disciples not belonging to the Brahmin caste, till the last traces of the deep-seated complex dropped from him.

He began to see God in people of every caste.

Sri N. Ananthanarayanan
To be continued  ...