Birthday of Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj
- Om Namo Bhagavate Sivanandaya!
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:
"Swami Krishnananda in Conversation" was also available at:
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:
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
mrityor mukshiya maamritaat.
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
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,
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
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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- 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
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.