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Sivananda's Personality-64.

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27.11.2016.
64.
Again, it was the Master’s habit before he went to bed each day, to pray for the welfare of a number of people whose names he kept in a special list, which he revised from time to time. One devotee might be suffering from a disease, another from mental worry, a third might be fearing an impending crisis in his business. The Master prayed on behalf of these sufferers. It was his way of practising love for others.

Whenever there was a calamity, or threat of calamity, like famine, flood, war, rail accident or earthquake, in some part of the world or the other, the Master organised collective prayer.

It was the first week of November, 1946. Tension ran high in most North Indian States. There were countless rumours that the Muslims were coming to Rishikesh to murder Hindu Sadhus. The Master called the Ashramites to the Viswanath Mandir and suggested that everyone should do Japa of Om Namasivaya, and that a Homa be performed after five lakh repetitions, to restore Hindu-Mus…

Sivananda's Personality-63.

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63.

Noticing a sick person, or reading an obituary report, or observing a lame dog, or an ant accidentally trodden underfoot, the Master would breathe a hidden prayer with a feeling heart. In the Ashram he regularly conducted Kirtan and collective prayer on behalf of devotees on their birthdays, or when they were sick, or when they desired success in some undertaking. After invoking the Lord’s aid for the specific purpose, the Master would invariably pray in a general way for the welfare of the person concerned.

"May Lord bless Sri ... with health, long life, peace, bliss and prosperity; with health, long life, peace, bliss and immortality."

And most importantly, after listing the persons for whom prayers were being conducted on a particular day, the Master would never forget to add at the end, "And for the whole world at large."

The Master asked his disciples to always pray for the welfare of the whole world, and would ask sweetly, "Are you not included in t…

Sivananda's Personality-62.

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62.

After a little reflection he added, "Nurses serve patients in the hospitals, but there is no inner purification for them, because they do not have the proper feeling when they serve."

The Master then noticed that some Ashram inmates had also joined in the Ganga Puja and were offering bael leaves to the holy river.

"Each person is offering only his own bael leaves to the Ganges. How grand it would be if one had the feeling that he alone was offering the worship through all hands! How much more effective that worship would be!" he remarked.

A most effective way in which the Master served people was to pray for them. He had great faith in healing through prayer and through utterance of the Lord’s Name. He called it "Namapathy."

Sri N. Ananthanarayanan
 To be continued ...

Sivananda's Personality-61.

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61.

While he did not hesitate to act thus in an emergency, the Master warned his followers that they should at all times be uniformly decent, delicate and courteous.

"Always have consideration for the feelings of others," he would tell them. "Never be discourteous and rough in the name of service."

How great an importance the Master attached to the service of God’s children was revealed by a small incident. On the evening of November 25, 1949, R. Anantakrishna Sastri, a well-known Oriental scholar, arranged to perform ceremonial worship of the Ganga at the Ashram waterfront. It was nicely washed, and the Ashramites and visitors seated themselves comfortably on the clean steps. The Master was also there.

Sastriji and his wife began the worship. The Master watched it all intently and then commented, "One year of daily ceremonial worship of the Ganges like this is equal to one week of whole-hearted service of a typhoid patient—washing his clothes and cleaning hi…

Sivananda's Personality-60.

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60.

Once, he carried Sadhu Leik, a European Sannyasin, on his head in a rope-cot, and admitted him in the Punjab Sindh Kshettar Hospital in Rishikesh. On a different occasion a Sannyasini fell down unconscious. The Master carried her on his back to the hospital.

On another occasion the Master went to Ganga Sagar. The water was rough and the ferry-boat heaved alarmingly. While all the pilgrims somehow got onto the steamer from the ferry, an old woman, a member of the Master’s party, was frightened beyond her wits. She was at the same time too full of the instinctive feminine modesty to accept the Master’s aid. He immediately saw her plight and did not waste time to argue. In a trice the protesting woman found herself gently and reverentially lifted up, and safely deposited on board the steamer, good-naturedly riled by her daughters, laughing merrily at the Master’s effective tactics!

Sri N. Ananthanarayanan
 To be continued ...