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Sivananda's Personality - 30.

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30.

Again, during the occasion of the Master’s Golden Jubilee more than a hundred devotees assembled in the Ashram and made their offerings to him, with shouts of "Sivananda Maharaj Ki Jai" rending the air.

This time the Master chided them, "Don’t be emotional in anything, even in your prayers and praises of the Lord. Have full control over your feelings and emotions. The bliss of the Self cannot be fully manifested in dancing and bawling out."

The Master suffered no pride of Gurudom. In his book, Joy, Bliss, Immortality, he made the significant remark, "I am a thirsting student. I am not a teacher, but God has made me a teacher; the students have made me a teacher."

Sri N. Ananthanarayanan
 To be continued  ...





Sivananda's Personality - 29.

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29.

Again, during the occasion of the Master’s Golden Jubilee more than a hundred devotees assembled in the Ashram and made their offerings to him, with shouts of "Sivananda Maharaj Ki Jai" rending the air.

This time the Master chided them, "Don’t be emotional in anything, even in your prayers and praises of the Lord. Have full control over your feelings and emotions. The bliss of the Self cannot be fully manifested in dancing and bawling out."

The Master suffered no pride of Gurudom. In his book, Joy, Bliss, Immortality, he made the significant remark, "I am a thirsting student. I am not a teacher, but God has made me a teacher; the students have made me a teacher."

The Master himself considered everyone as his Guru. He tried to learn from whomsoever he could, in whatever little way he could. He often declared openly that his own disciples were his Gurus. "I have learnt many lessons from them," he would say.
Sri N. Ananthanarayanan
 To be cont…

Sivananda's Personality - 28.

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28.
If a generous disposition was one of the hall-marks of the Master’s personality, self-reliance was another.

He believed in a life of hardship and endurance. He would never entrust to others a work which he himself could do. When on tour people would garland him as soon as he stepped down from the train.

Immediately, without waiting for a coolie, and without giving a chance to his devotees, the Master would carry his bedding or trunk on his own head and come out of the station.

"Rely on your own self," he would say. "Be humble. Do not be puffed up with the pride of Gurudom."

Gurudom? No, not with the Master. He was dead against it. On Guru Purnima day in 1944, the devotees gathered in the Ashram to offer the traditional worship of the Guru.

The Master was reluctant. He somehow gave the slip and briskly walked to a rest-house a few yards away. The devotees found him out. The Master then tripped over to the nearby Ram Ashram.

The group went after him. Again he re…

Sivananda's Personality - 27.

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27.

A small instance: In the thirties, when the Master had just settled at Ananda Kutir and was living on rations—mostly rotis and a little rice—from the Rishikesh Kalikambliwala Kshettar, a forest ranger from the South came to stay with him. The ranger was not accustomed to wheat diet, and so the Master and his disciples gave all their rice to him. After eating all that the guest still felt hungry. The Master went to the jungle and came back with some big bael fruit in hand. The forest ranger could not eat the fruit. He said it was tasteless. Undaunted, the Master brought sugar from the kitchen and, asking the guest to try the fruit with the sugar, quoted a Tamil proverb: "Chakkarai pottal kambaliyum thinnalam—when mixed with sugar even wool is edible!"

In 1950, on a visit to Dehra Dun, the Master went to the teachers’ quarters in the Mahadevi Kanya Pathasala. Seeing some bundles on the table he asked one of the teachers, "What are those? Answer papers? You value stud…

Sivananda's Personality - 26.

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26.

The Master gave without embarrassing the recipient. Maybe a distressed man came to him with a plea, "Swamiji, I am a poor Sadhu. I am in need of a blanket. The cold wind is freezing me."

The Master would say, "Achcha Maharaj, kindly sing a Kirtan. You have a very good voice."

The Sadhu would sing or chant "Ram, Ram, Ram" or "Radhe Shyam" for a few minutes.
The Master would then quietly give a ten-rupee note to him, saying, "Kirtan bahut achcha hai—the Kirtan was very nice."
The money took on the colour, not of a lofty gift, but of a present, a token of the Master’s earnest appreciation of the Kirtan.
What mattered more than the money was the heart. The Master had a large heart.

Sri N. Ananthanarayanan
 To be continued  ...


Sivananda's Personality - 25.

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25.

"Ohji, don’t worry about funds," said the Master. "They will come. When the ancestors are pleased they will goad their descendants to contribute to the Society. When old people hear of this arrangement they will allot some portion of their properties to the Society in their will. Our motive should be pure; we should always endeavour to serve all with selfless love. God will look after us."

The Master was a person of unrestrained, spontaneous generosity. Just as he gave himself to others, he gave a myriad things as well. Flowers, money, eatables, clothes, books—whatever offerings the devotees brought to him—found their way to others. The Master acted as a centre for collection and redistribution. He knew who needed what, and always offered the right gift to the right person.

The Master often bought fruit, peanuts and ice-cream from roadside vendors and distributed to people, just to help those poor vendors. The pilgrim who lost his purse, the convict just relea…

Sivananda's Personality - 24.

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24.

The Master’s compassion was not confined to beings on the earth-plane alone.
On January 13, 1949, he confronted the Ashramites with a suggestion, "From now onward the first of every month will be observed here as ‘All-Souls Day’.

We should offer special prayer for the peace of all departed souls. In this modernised, materialistic world, Dharma has long since been lost.
Many religions have come into being in India itself which condemn ancestor-worship, Shraddhas and Tarpana.

The departed souls are in great grief.
They look to us for help.

We must do this."

The Master continued,

 "The programme will be that in the morning we should arrange for consecrated food-offerings for the departed souls. There will be a special Ekadasa-Rudra-Abhishekam at the temple. We can have feeding of the poor and Sadhus also. In the evening there will be special Ganga worship, when lights will be floated in the waters of the Ganges in the names of the departed souls. There should also…