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295Birthday of Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj

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  • Pannirselvam Kanagaratnam
    Apr 25, 2002
      Om Namo Bhagavate Sivanandaya!

      Meditation on Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj on the occasion of
      Swamiji Maharaj's 80th birthday anniversary (April 25, 2002).

      Excerpted from Srimati S. Bhagyalakshmi's book "Swami Krishnananda in

      Vedantin, sage, sanyasin, friend and guru--Swami Krishnananda is a
      many-splendoured personality. This personality is what is described by the
      Vedic term hamsa, the Swan. The hamsa abides on the surface of the waters
      of the phenomenal world and in the ocean of cosmic consciousness--in the
      Absolute. And yet he takes interest in our mundane problems and issues and
      clarifies them for us. All problems disappear in his presence.

      Sri Swami Krishnananda's maiden attempt at writing was his commentary on
      Swami Sivananda's Moksha Gita. Swamiji was very young, hardly
      twenty-three, when he wrote it. Yet the commentary reads as coming from a
      mature mind of a full blown jnani. Even earlier Sri Gurudev had conferred
      on him the title of "Vedanta Kesari". This first work of Swamiji at once
      earned the admiration of Sri Gurudev:

      "How many Sankaras have been rolled into this young Sanyasin. He is a
      great tapaswin, he is a great jnani. Beyond that I should not say in his
      presence. When a man performs tapas, he is a well that will never dry up
      thereafter. Swami Krishnananda is our Dakshinamurti; and Dakshinamurti was
      young too".

      Since then Sri Swami Krishnananda has written many books, among which are
      two philosophical works of outstanding worth: Realisation of the Absolute
      and The Philosophy of Life. He has also written minor works like Bhagavad
      Gita Explained and A Short History of Religion and Philosophical Thought
      in India. In the words of Sri Chidananda Swami Maharaj:

      "Inestimable indeed are the services that he has been rendering ever since
      his advent in the Ashram, to Gurudev's spiritual institution and to
      Gurudev's great mission of the dissemination of spiritual knowledge. In
      fact, he is the institution. The Divine Life Society and the Divine Life
      Mission live in Swami Krishnanandaji".

      When I had felt the urge to collect and record Swamiji's conversations
      through which spiritual knowledge and subtle truths got passed from the
      speaker to the listener, I asked him for a message of blessing. He wrote,
      "the aim of life is god-realisation and every other duty is only
      contributory to this supreme duty." And this message is in fact what
      emerges from the compassionate words collected here. Areas like
      metaphysics, meditation and yoga are rendered intelligible through these
      responses to a variety of doubts raised by the advanced yogi, the
      aspirant, down to the curious, casual tourist or visitor.

      It is not as if Swami Krishnananda did nothing all these years but write
      and give discourses. A karmayogi that he is, he has rendered exemplary
      service to the sick in the Sivananda Hospital.

      Multifarious were the activities the young Swami was called upon to do.
      From sweeping the floor and arranging in detail for the night satsanga to
      the polemical level as the professor of Vedanta lecturing in the
      Brahmamuhurta classes of the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy under Gurudev's
      auspices in the different categories or subjects, he has gone through the
      whole gamut of the activities of the Ashram from its very initial stages
      to the present day.

      Swami Sivananda Maharaj, my most honoured guru has made this mandate that
      we give and share everything we have; thus purifying ourselves as a means
      to God-realisation. It is of such a sharing that Gurudev speaks of in his
      autobiography when he mentions that his writings were a source of joy to
      the seeker as these sought to communicate spiritual truths otherwise
      beyond ordinary comprehension. Swami Krishnananda's words also represent
      the same spirit of sharing--they are a gift from him to the people.
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