Birthday of Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj
- 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.