A Souvenir released on Swami Krishnananda's 75th Birthday
I was a Sadhaka-inmate of Sivanandashram during the period between 1973 and 1983. When I stumbled into the Ashram life by the will of God, I was hardly 18 years old, little did I know that I will be face to face with an extraordinary personality, a like of which I have still not found. That was our Worshipful Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, whom I regard as my Gurudev.
What is great about Pujya Swamiji is that he is a true Sat-guru. Many of us might have seen Swamiji with a stern countenance, mildly chiding the inmates and other familiar devotees most of the time and appearing to be rough with them. The only reason why Swamiji appears to be uncompromising is that he wants us to avoid being silly-minded in our approach to anything in life. Swamiji expects us to be always serious about spiritual life, for which purpose alone we live in such holy places. Swamiji Maharaj dislikes all those Sadhakas who keep losing sight of their spiritual goal and tries to advise them through his scintillating sermons not to get side-tracked into unwanted ways of life which would lead to their spiritual fall. Many Sadhakas who have not seriously heeded to Swamiji Maharaj's advice have ended up as hopeless cases, i.e., neither able to continue in the Ashram nor able to go back to their kith and kin. The spiritual welfare of all the Sadhakas and devotees is foremost in Swamiji's mind. This precisely is what a true Sat-guru is supposed to do throughout his life-span and this noble role is being played by Pujya Swamiji Maharaj in an astounding way, unparalleled in the history of present-day spiritual reformers.
The majority of the Sadhaka-world in Sivanandashram would agree with me if I say that whatever little practical knowledge, worth-mentioning, is enshrined in our bosom today, has been solely from the holy mouth of Pujya Swamiji Maharaj. If we are something today in our spiritual knowledge, it is only due to Swamiji's blessings through his most inspiring discourses which always transported us to the realms of the ancient seers. That way we are eternally indebted to Pujya Swamiji for sowing the potent seeds of tree spiritual aspirations in our hearts. In this sense, Swamiji has been both our spiritual father and mother. Blessed are those who have come in touch with this twentieth century saint. To sit at Swamiji's holy feet is like sitting before the Almighty Himself. All our sins are burnt in toto by his mere glance. This is my firm conviction. Most fortunate are our blessed ears to have had the opportunity of listening to the voice of this living God on earth. The great Swami Chinmayanandaji once visited our Ashram and in the presence of many inmates and devotees passed the following remarks about Swamiji's discourses:
"My lectures are like the seashells on the seashore, while the sermons of Swami Krishnanandaji are like the pearls of the Pacific."
This one statement from a great man like Swami Chinmayanandaji, who himself was an eminent orator, speaks volumes on the greatness of Pujya Swamiji Maharaj. All the adjectives available in the modern dictionary may not be adequate to highlight Swamiji's greatness.
I may recall one more incident which left an indelible impression in my mind:
I served the publication league of the Ashram during the first few years of my Ashram life. Thereafter, Pujya Swamiji called me and asked me to work with Sri Karthikeyanji in the General Secretary's Office. At that juncture, I expressed my desire to Swamiji saying that I wanted to be very close to him and do his seva like typing his personal letters, articles etc., and other activities like washing his clothes, preparing food for him etc. To this His Holiness remarked: "Ganeshprasadji, I am like the Virat Purusha. The whole Ashram is my body and the various departments are my various limbs. Whichever department you serve, it will be like serving me only. So, do not get disheartened. Go and work with Karthikeyanji." I was transfixed for a few moments because the authority with which the Revered Swamiji spoke those few sentences literally transported me to the presence of the Almighty as described in the Vedic hymn Purusha Sukta.....Sahasra seersha purushah, sahasrakshah sahasrapaath.... This enhanced my faith in the divine
I do not really know as to how I got estranged from the presence of this Great Being and have come to lead the life of an householder at the moment. I have taken it as the will of God.
Let us all sincerely pray to the Almighty to grant Pujya Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj excellent health and make him live amidst us for a very long time, to guide us all on the difficult path of search for Perfection.
Our sincere efforts to put into practice whatever Pujya Swamiji has taught us over these past few decades can only be our true Guru Dakshina to this Great Being on this holy occasion of His 75th Birthday Anniversary. MAY SWAMIJI MAHARAJ'S BLESSINGS BE UPON US ALL. Hari Om Tat Sat!