A Messenger of Peace and Wisdom
A Souvenir released on Swami Krishnananda's 75th Birthday


Swami Krishnananda – As I See Him

by Swami Yagnavalkyananandaji

It was 16th May, 1952 when I had the privilege to have had the Darshan of Revered Gurudev and Swami Krishnanandaji, in the Hall which is now a Book-Stall. He was talking on Upanishads. About 20 people were there. I sat down. In about a few minutes his lecture was over. I saw Swamiji just like a boy and from a distance. You could count his ribs. He, straight, left for his room upstairs. In those days he would hardly move out of his room, so even if you move about in Ashram, you would hardly see him.

On several visits I had no chance to have his Darshan, because our visit was in connection with Eye Camp. After about two years I felt I should read something about Indian Philosophy. So one day I went to Swamiji's room. The room was like a bookstall. He was sitting on the cot, bare bodied, books all around. I requested "I want to study something about Indian Philosophy, what should I read?" He replied, 'Introduction to Indian Philosophy' by Chatterjee & Banerjee – published by Calcutta University." Before I could speak anything he joined hands and said "Om." This literally meant I should leave.

In 1959 Swami Chidanandaji then Gen. Secretary was deputed to U.S.A. and Swami Krishnanandaji was appointed as Gen. Secretary. Temperamentally he is a person who does not like to mix with people and have random talks, but as Gen. Secretary he had to meet number of people, discuss various items and this activity exposed the latent quality of administration. He managed and led the Ashram into development in various directions. He has to keep himself very busy because Ashram has expanded and with expansion his work also expands. The characteristics of his character is very clean and clear in his talks and writings. That has helped greatly in the development of Ashram. I would cite one small incident. Once, about eight army officers and myself were sitting in Gurudev's Kutiya. In the meantime Swamiji came for signature. He was standing near the door. Gurudev said, "Krishnanandaji tell these people what is Divine Life in ten minutes." Without any preparation and hesitation, like a tape recorder his speech started. He completed in ten minutes and left. After he left, Gurudev told those officers "He is the rebirth of Shankaracharya."

During all these years of management he never allowed his spiritual activities to be slowed down. Books after books have been coming from his pen. We could see that over and above, he being a Spiritual wizard, he has become a practical man – quite polished. His language appears to be tough to understand for an ordinary man. When he starts his lecture, a flow of Ganga comes out from him continuously. I think he is second to none except Dr. Radhakrishnan, whom I have heard in Mumbai.

The essential qualities of an ideal Sannyasi are Punctuality, Discipline and Self-Control – all these qualities are visible in every cell of his body.

May this "Amrit-Mahotsav" be the foundation stone of His Centenary celebrations as well.