Showing posts from March, 2016

Sivananda's Personality - 23.

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-Muslim unity.
Even …

Sivananda's Personality - 22.

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 the w…

Sivananda's Personality - 21.

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 - 20.

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 his bed-pan. Such service will at once purify the heart and bring about inner illumination."

Sri N. Ananthanarayanan
To be continued  ...

Sivananda's Personality - 19.

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!

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."

Sri N. Ananthanarayanan
To be continued  ...

Sivananda's Personality - 18.

The Master delighted in doing personal service.

If anybody came to him in the hot sun, he often fanned him and gave him some refreshing drink.

Sometimes he hastened to hold the umbrella over the head of a sick or aged person.

At other times he hurried to untie the bootlaces of stout or aged people, when they found it difficult to bend down.

To him no service was menial; all was sacred.

When H.H. the Dowager Maharani of Mysore visited the Ashram in 1949, the inmates brought chairs and benches, and placed them outside the Diamond Jubilee Hall, but the austere Maharani said that she preferred to sit on the bare ground.

As soon as she said that, the Master stooped down and removed the stones and pebbles on the terrace, making room for Her Highness to sit.

The Maharani began to protest, "Swamiji, you should not trouble yourself to do all this."

Quick came the Master’s reply, "No, no, please do not stand on formalities.

‘Ghar ka ladka—I am your own son’!" "What is …

Sivananda's Personality - 17.

A lady from South Africa came and prostrated. The Master inquired about her welfare. She started weeping. She had lost her son in an accident.

"Do not weep. All here are your sons and daughters," assured the Master. The lady felt comforted.

A young woman, out to commit suicide, came and wept. Unmarried, she was yet carrying a baby. The Master did not gave her a sermon on ethics, but gave her a room in the Ashram, deputing an elderly woman, an inmate, to attend to her needs. When in due course the unwanted baby arrived, the Master thoughtfully passed it on to an issueless couple who had long been in correspondence with him over their singular misfortune.

The Master was ever on the watch for opportunities to serve. Even small instances stood witness to this eagerness to serve. One night in the Ashram Satsang, a child stood up from its mother’s lap and started toddling towards the male group. The Master at once guessed the child’s intent, and flashed his torch in such a way th…