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Birthday of Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj

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  • Pannirselvam Kanagaratnam
    Krishnananda: The Purest Crystal By Swami Venkatesananda Gurudev Swami Sivananda used to call it battlefield pratyahara. It is the ability to live right in the
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 25, 2000
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      Krishnananda: The Purest Crystal
      By Swami Venkatesananda

      Gurudev Swami Sivananda used to call it battlefield pratyahara. It is
      the ability to live right in the middle of the intense, multifarious and
      fiercest activity and yet be able to direct one's attention to the
      desired objective. He himself used to sit in a crowded office,
      surrounded by clattering typewriters, chattering children, contemplative
      sadhaks and chanting pilgrims and carry on his conversations and
      communicate his instructions as calmly as if he were alone with just the
      other person in a cave.

      Almost the same is the case with his illustrious disciple, Sri Swami
      Krishnanandaji Maharaj. The ashram has grown enormously since 1963, and
      so have the duties and responsibilities of the General Secretary.
      However, these have not diminished the spiritual radiance of Swami
      Krishnanandaji or his readiness to make himself available to spiritual
      seekers.

      Seated in the courtyard outside his kutir, under a tree with a few
      seekers in front of him, he reminds one of Dakshinamurti (though the
      seekers at his feet may not all be aged sages). Interruptions are
      countless and unpredictable. They may be routine--cheques to be signed,
      bills approved, leave granted and so on; or they may be bothersome
      problems relating to Ashram administration, personality clashes or
      complaints and quarrels. Suddenly his discourse on a transcendental
      mystery is interrupted. For the next ten minutes another universe arises
      around this mysterious being. That which arises soon ceases; Swamiji
      returns to his original discourse and continues as if nothing had
      happened. The interruption, too, had been satisfactorily dealt with.

      Each one approaching Swamiji gets the appropriate treatment! One day a
      young Japanese lady approached Swamiji with some problem. Swamiji curtly
      silenced her, apparently indifferent to her problem which he was
      unwilling to listen to. A few minutes after she had left, a young man
      asked: "Swamiji, why were you not sympathetic to her?" Swamiji quickly
      answered: "She is all right." Of course, she was. Later she came and
      prostrated herself before Swamiji and confessed: "You have saved me. I
      am perfectly all right." No one returns without receiving his or her
      deserts. Even if one is not immediately "satisfied" one is sure to
      discover that that was precisely what was needed then. Swamiji alone
      knows it; he alone can administer the right remedy who sees the malady
      without the least distortion.

      People who come to him are not only seekers and ashram officials. One
      day a few missionaries had come; their mission was mysterious, perhaps
      known only to themselves! They were plying Swamiji with questions
      provoking him to pronounce unfavourable judgements on religious or
      spiritual leaders they did not approve of. The way Swamiji handled them
      was classic. It is said of Lord Krishna that "He was a friend of the
      cats, who at the same time was guarding the milk pots." Swamiji would
      not pronounce any judgement and he did not annoy the missionaries
      either! He had indicated the truth which is beyond all these polemics
      and conflicts.

      Swami Krishnanandaji is the purest crystal which reflects whatever is
      placed near it. He has placed this crystal close to God, Brahman or the
      Self: therefore this crystal is ever in communion with the Supreme which
      is reflected in his very personality. In his vision there is no
      division, in his thoughts there is no vagueness and in his words there
      is no ambiguity.

      Spend a few minutes at his feet. He will make you crystal clear to
      yourself!

      -----------------------------------------------------

      Om Namo Bhagavate Sivanandaya!

      Namaste!

      Today (April 25) is the holy ocassion of the 78th birthday anniversary
      of our beloved and worshipful Swami Krishnanandaji Saraswati Maharaj.

      In celebration of Swamiji's birthday, a newly redesigned website of
      Swamiji's has been uploaded. A book by Swamiji titled "Spiritual Import
      of Religious Festivals" has also been uploaded. This books is a
      compilation of different lectures delivered on various occasions
      throughout the twelve months of the year highlighting the significance
      and importance of the concerned occasions every month. This book is a
      highly religious compendium and deeply philosophical. Swamiji's site is
      at:
      http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/

      Let us all offer the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra (below) to Lord Siva for
      Swamiji's good health and long life.

      Yours in the service of Gurudev,

      Pannir

      -----------------------------------------------------

      MAHA MRITYUNJAYA MANTRA

      Om tryambakam yajamahe
      sugandhim pushtivardhanam
      uurvarukamiva bandhanaan
      mrityor mukshiya maamritaat.

      MEANING

      We worship the three-eyed One (Lord Siva) Who is fragrant and Who
      nourishes well all beings; may He liberate us from death for the sake of
      immortality even as the cucumber is severed from its bondage (to the
      creeper).

      BENEFITS

      1. This Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is a life-giving Mantra. In these days,
      when life is very complex and accidents are an everyday affair, this
      Mantra wards off death by snake-bite, lightning, motor-accidents,
      fire-accidents, cycle-accidents, water-accidents, air-accidents and
      accidents of all descriptions. Besides, it has a great curative effect.
      Again diseases pronounced incurable by doctors are cured by this Mantra,
      when chanted with sincerity, faith and devotion. It is a weapon against
      disease. It is a Mantra to conquer death.

      2. It is also a Moksha Mantra. It is Lord Sivas Mantra. It bestows long
      life (Deergha Ayus), peace (Santi), wealth (Aisvarya), prosperity
      (Pushti), satisfaction (Tushti) and Immortality (Moksha).

      3. On your birthday, repeat one lakh of this Mantra or at least 50,000,
      perform Havan and feed Sadhus, the poor and the sick. This will bestow
      on you long life, peace and prosperity.
    • Pannirselvam Kanagaratnam
      Om Namo Bhagavate Sivanandaya! Namaste! Today (April 25th) is the holy occasion of revered and worshipful Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj s 79th birthday
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 25, 2001
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        Om Namo Bhagavate Sivanandaya!

        Namaste!

        Today (April 25th) is the holy occasion of revered and worshipful Sri
        Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj's 79th birthday anniversary. With the help
        of Srimati S. Bhagyalakshmi we shall recollect how it is like to be at
        the feet of Sri Gurudev and Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj who
        recreated the atmosphere of Sri Gurudev's morning Satsang. I have
        attached below a section from the book "Swami Krishnananda in
        Conversation" for this purpose. There is another book titled "Facets of
        Spirituality" in which the author has recorded Swami Krishnanandaji's
        morning conversation with seekers. I have seen both these books listed
        at Amazon.com at the following URL:
        http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/index=books&field-author=Krishnananda

        "Swami Krishnananda in Conversation" was also available at:
        http://users.erols.com/nataraj/RELIGIO.html

        Sri Swamiji's autobiography "My Life" which was recently published at
        Swamiji's website (http://www.swami-krishnananda.org) is now available
        in book form and can be purchased from our e-bookstore at:
        http://www.SivanandaDlshq.org/books.htm

        Let us all offer the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra to Lord Siva for Sri
        Swamiji's good health and long life.

        MAHA MRITYUNJAYA MANTRA

        Om tryambakam yajamahe
        sugandhim pushtivardhanam
        uurvarukamiva bandhanaan
        mrityor mukshiya maamritaat.

        MEANING

        We worship the three-eyed One (Lord Siva) Who is fragrant and Who
        nourishes well all beings; may He liberate us from death for the sake of
        immortality even as the cucumber is severed from its bondage (to the
        creeper).

        BENEFITS

        1. This Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is a life-giving Mantra. In these days,
        when life is very complex and accidents are an everyday affair, this
        Mantra wards off death by snake-bite, lightning, motor-accidents,
        fire-accidents, cycle-accidents, water-accidents, air-accidents and
        accidents of all descriptions. Besides, it has a great curative effect.
        Again diseases pronounced incurable by doctors are cured by this Mantra,
        when chanted with sincerity, faith and devotion. It is a weapon against
        disease. It is a Mantra to conquer death.

        2. It is also a Moksha Mantra. It is Lord Sivas Mantra. It bestows long
        life (Deergha Ayus), peace (Santi), wealth (Aisvarya), prosperity
        (Pushti), satisfaction (Tushti) and Immortality (Moksha).

        3. On your birthday, repeat one lakh of this Mantra or at least 50,000,
        perform Havan and feed Sadhus, the poor and the sick. This will bestow
        on you long life, peace and prosperity.

        Yours in the service of Gurudev,

        Pannir

        -----------------------------------------------------

        Gurudev's Durbar

        At Swami Krishnananda's morning darshan hours, when he sits with his
        devotees, one gets a flashback of Swami Sivananda's morning Satsang.
        Whereas the durbar of Gurudev was held in the Diamond Jubilee Hall the
        devotees, visitors, seekers or Ashramites or any one that drops in at
        that time, sits around Swami Krishnananda in the closed verandah of the
        Kutir or in the terrace outside. So let me recall for you Gurudev's
        "Durbar". Around 10 in the morning Siva used to take his seat in the
        armchair or easy-chair when his health was too poor for him to sit
        upright. He would start the Satsang with Jaya Ganesa ..., together with
        all those sitting around the chair crammed into the small space where
        the three or four typists also are working. The devotional singing ends
        with a Namavali on the deity of the day (Lord Suryanarayana is believed
        to be the lord of Sunday. Monday is attributed to Siva, and Saturday to
        Vishnu and so on). May be a particular devotee was also asked to give a
        Namavali for about another five minutes.

        Soon after this the typewriters, half a dozen in number, start to
        clatter away once more. Siva paid his respects to all and then enquired
        of each individually his or her welfare, problems, the purpose of his or
        her visit in a manner that convinced each person that Siva had been
        longingly awaiting meeting that person in particular. "Devanand, come,
        give us the prasad, ‘morning glory'," which was his code-word for
        cashewnuts.

        Or, sometimes: "Kutia Krishna, where are the Dosais and Chutney? O! You
        are a great man; see! he has prepared Dosai with chutney. Give, give
        half a Dosai to everyone--O! not enough? All right one-fourth to each
        but put Chutney on every bit." He would turn to a housewife and ask,
        "Taste it and tell me what the ingredients are! No, No, it is not
        prepared with rice flour--can't find out? It is prepared exactly as the
        usual Dosai--with rava [Suji i.e. rollon]. Ah! Badrinath! Give us a
        short lecture on your pilgrimage to Badri." The young boy of about
        fifteen squares his shoulders and speaks.

        Piles of parcels of books safely packed and addressed to different
        people are brought in. Each of about twenty parcels with one or more
        books is individually shown to Siva, who scans the address and such
        relevant details. A short tap with the forefinger on the parcel meant
        that it is O.K. and may be posted. A few parcels are disposed of thus.

        Badri who had been speaking suddenly has stage-fright and fumbles to get
        to a finish! Siva looks up: "Wonderful! Thank you! Thank you! Sit down
        and take rest. How did you learn to speak so well?" Thus Siva saves
        Badri from embarrassment. "Hm... O!... Mataji, give us a song on Lord
        Shanmuga. You are His devotee." Or, it was: "...Mataji, you recite
        Trisati so that all can be blessed by Devi." Siva continues to check
        parcels. The song or Trisati is over and the parcels have been checked
        and the despatch person takes them away. "Wonderful!" smiles Siva at
        Mataji. Another visitor in the meanwhile says: "Swamiji, please ask her
        to sing another song."...Mataji: "My throat is not all right due to the
        bath in the Ganga." Siva, speaking to one of the Brahmacharis at the
        typewriter: "O; Ji! A good song on Shanmuganathan is wanted."

        The young "novice" a Brahmachari at the typewriter stops typing and
        gives a beautiful Tamil hymn in a melodious voice while the other
        typists continue their typing slightly slowing down so that the noise
        from the typewriters is subdued.

        "Hm...O! Ji! Yes, what happened to the article to be printed?" The Press
        personnel is sent for, comes in, gives the report and returns to his
        work. By now the song is over.

        A purohit has to perform a Yajna and says with a Dandavat Pranam:
        "Swamiji's blessing and... help only can enable me to carry out my
        Sankalpa..." The ritual details of the yajna are discussed with him and
        thereby he finds out the truth and strength of the vow. "Hm ... Give him
        ten Pandavas." From one of the four bags (one bag contained
        "prasad"--biscuits, fruits, etc. The second, money--in cash. The third
        had books for free distribution. The fourth contained pens, pencils,
        papers, pads, etc.) the attending Sannyasi or Brahmachari has with him
        ten × five (fifty) rupees are given to the purohit. Pandavas were five
        in number! So this was Gurudev's code word for five rupees. Only the
        donor and the receiver knew the total amount; the others did not.
        Santosh Mataji has come from the hospital. "At least three hundred
        rupees are needed immediately while we may wait for further supply
        whenever God chooses to give us. I have requested ...Mataji to donate
        this sum of money to us..." "Is that so?" asks Siva of the would-be
        donor. "Yes, Swamiji, whatever Swamiji says." A cheque is given to Siva.
        Siva touches it to his head and then turns to the donor: "God will bless
        you thrice for this great help you are giving to the poor who cannot
        afford to buy medicines. God will give you ten times in reward."

        A new visitor came in. "O! Welcome, welcome! How are you? O! Ji! Put a
        chair for the honourable visitor."

        A chit is handed to Siva: "I am invited for lunch, a feast by... And I
        am to bring as many guests as I want. You, you... please have lunch with
        me. Not the Ashram food."

        Another day perhaps it was when a visitor with dreary looks and dismal
        expression comes in. Even as he enters, Siva as an aside remarks, "Now,
        this man will come and cry. He repeats the same thing and the same cry
        no matter how much you have advised him as to what to do and be
        happy...Yes, Namaskar! How are you? O! Ji! You should not cry in public
        and laugh in private. The other way round, laugh in public and cry in
        private. Do not make others unhappy by crying in public... O! Devanand,
        has Swami... been sent fruits and milk? He is not well." "Yes, Swamiji."
        "O! Ji! Come here, go to... and find out if fruit and milk were sent to
        the sick Swamiji last night. Ask Kutia Krishnan to prepare tasty Kichadi
        and send it to him."

        Smt. S.B.S. enters with a panchang (ephemeris). "Swami Sadanandaji has
        fixed the Muhurtam for the thread ceremony for next month, in July."
        Siva: "O Good! He is a very good astrologer." Starts Jaya Ganesa, Jaya
        Ganesa... This invocatory prayer is sung for about two to three minutes
        for the success of the auspicious function.

        Here comes another mother carrying a child of about three or four with
        all the signs of being blessed and whose mundan (ritual first shaving of
        an infant's head) ceremony had been conducted with havan earlier that
        morning up on the hill at the Vishwanatha Mandir. The father of the
        child brings prasad, offering it to Gurudev, garlands and the family
        prostrate before Siva. They are duly blessed and the prasad distributed.

        The manuscripts of Siva have been typed and are brought in to be seen by
        Siva. The young Swami had typed all night and towards the early hours of
        the morning he had probably got a little slack and the last few pages
        were finished rather indifferently thinking that Siva will not have time
        to go right through to the end. The typed sheets were placed before Siva
        who at once pulled out a few sheets from the bottom of the pile, noted
        the indifferent turnout; looked at the Swami but said nothing. This
        devoted disciple did not need any chiding, only a gentle pointer, that
        Siva knew everything, every trick. Now it is lunch hour. "The meal is
        getting cold," comes the reminder from the guest kitchen. The Shantipath
        is being chanted: Om poornamadah.

        As Siva comes out of the Diamond Jubilee Hall, "Swami Satchidanand! Are
        you writing a diary of all the morning satsangs? Yes, yes. Keep it very
        carefully. Note down everything and all present."

        Such was Gurudev's durbar, the morning satsang. A relevant fact may be
        noted here--the young Sanyasi Swami Krishnananda was hardly ever present
        at any of these morning satsangs of Siva. Yet Swami Krishnananda's
        darshan hours recreate the very atmosphere of these satsangs. This is
        because Swami Krishnananda is a Guru amsa (part of the Guru). Over a
        period of four years very many of the morning darshan hours which are
        from about 9.30-11.30 A.M. when the Guru-amsa is available for every
        type of person, problem and request have been recorded for the benefit
        of those who are interested in philosophy, yoga, meditation, etc.,
        whether they be his revered Self's devotees, admirers, visitors or
        passing tourists or like have sought and seek guidance on spiritual
        matters like the context of Isvara in Sankara's Advaita philosophy.

        - S. Bhagyalakshmi

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      • Pannirselvam Kanagaratnam
        Om Namo Bhagavate Sivanandaya! Meditation on Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj on the occasion of Swamiji Maharaj s 80th birthday anniversary (April 25, 2002).
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 25, 2002
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          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
          Conversation"


          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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