Dr Max Borkman, a Frenchman, called him bon papa, a "good father". But was the Master just another good man? Good men there are many in this world, but they, too, have their flaws. The Master had none. He was immaculate. He was a perfection of virtues. He was a God-man.
The Master was not so much a person in flesh and blood; he was a sacred presence, a pure spiritual radiance.
"The real Swamiji is not just the person you see and hear at Satsang," said Leslie Shephard, an Englishman and an earnest student of Yoga. "The real Swamiji is an uncanny force, affecting you by thought-currents, and moulding your spiritual development, often without a single word being spoken."
The human side of the Master was like the lantern—and a beautiful lantern it was. But within the lantern burned the unquenchable spiritual Light, and it was this Light which radiated through the lantern, not only to those in the immediate vicinity but to the whole world.
While even the human side of the Master made a deep impression on those who came in contact with him, the Divinity in him left an impact which was more enduring and lasting.
"It is impossible to think of the world and its petty little pleasures, material gains, earthly ambitions and fame in his flaming presence," wrote Swami Chidananda, in his World-Guide Sivananda. "Swami Sivananda is a fiery blaze in whose vicinity all the little ideas of sensuality and worldliness curl up and shrivel away into ash and nothingness."
The Master did not discuss. He did not make an attempt to impress, but the visitor got enveloped by the calmness of his presence. The force of his magnetism was irresistible.
To be continued ...
Sri N. Ananthanarayanan