Sri N. Ananthanarayanan
When the Master was in Swarg Ashram, there was a neighbour of his called Rajarajeswarananda, who was a worshipper of the Divine Mother. His worship of Devi went on for twelve years, but he attained no perfection. On a Durga Puja day the Swami longed to worship the Goddess with silk and ornaments, but he had no money. The day before the worship was to begin, there was a knock at the door. He opened and saw some Punjabi girls. Each one carried a plateful of silk cloth, fruit, ornaments and money.
"Swami Sivananda, your neighbour asked us to give these to you for your Navaratri Puja," they said. The Swami believed their words and accepted their gifts.
"Whose plates are these?" he asked.
"They belong to the alms-house," replied the maidens, taking the empty plates and departing from the place.
The Swami could not contain himself. He went to the Master’s Kutir. As usual, it was bolted from within. He knocked and the Master opened the door.
"Who were those Punjabi ladies, Swamiji?"
"Those that you had sent to me with silk cloth and ornaments for the Durga Puja."
"I did not send anyone."
The Swami was mystified. He ran to the office of the almshouse. The maidens were not there.
With tears in his eyes, Rajarajeswarananda himself narrated the above incident to a friend. "I had been doing intense spiritual practice for the vision of the Mother for so many years. This Swami Sivananda, for all that I know, knew no Tantrik spiritual practice, and yet, when the Mother did choose to grace me with a sight, it was at Sivanandaji’s prompting. She gave me ornaments and silk cloth and gave him Self-realisation."
This was true. The Master did not do any formal worship of the Divine Mother. He himself clarified this point when a learned Pundit of South India remarked that the Master must have attained perfection in Sri Vidya Upasana and that was why he succeeded in all this undertakings.
To be continued ..