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Essays on the Upanishads and Other Essays
A Souvenir released on Swami Krishnananda's 33rd Birthday


by Sri Swami Sivananda

It is very rare to find such a Synthetic Yogi as Swami Krishnanandaji. One may be a Vedantin condemning Bhakti and Karma Yoga. But Swami Krishnanandaji is like myself; he is like Lord Krishna. Integral perfection can be had only when you combine service and devotion with Jnana. You can declare: “There is no world in the three periods of time.” But if you find a sick man on the roadside, you must rush to relieve his suffering, giving up your meditation. That is the sign of a Jivanmukta. Externally he appears to be only a Karma Yogi; but he views the whole world within himself. Lord Jesus, Lord Buddha and Sri Sankaracharya—how much service they did! It is because Swami Krishnanandaji is also a Synthetic Yogi that I have got the greatest admiration for him.

He is very quick in his work. He has a vast and deep knowledge of Vedanta. It is all God's grace. It is not merely due to study in this birth. It is all due to Purva-Samskaras. His knowledge is a treasure for those aspirants who care to learn, study and imbibe the knowledge from him.

Krishnanandaji is a wonder to me! He has excelled me. He has excelled Sankara. He has excelled Dakshinamurthy. He came a few years ago. As usual, I asked him to stay in the Ashram. After six or seven days, he told me, “I know the Gita a little.” I asked him to recite the Gita. And he recited a chapter of the Gita beautifully. Then, gradually... how he evolved and grew in knowledge and wisdom is a wonder to me!

Swami Krishnanandaji is a master of Western philosophy also. This is because of the intense thirst for knowledge that he has. He wants to compare Western philosophy with Indian philosophy. It was because he was proficient in both philosophies that he was of great help to Prof. Edwin A. Burtt of the Cornell University, when the latter was here. We should study Western philosophy also and find out the grandeur of that philosophy. Of course, Western philosophy cannot satisfy an absolute idealist like Krishnanandaji. People are stunned by his knowledge. With poor nutrition, ill-health, and many inconveniences, how Swami Krishnanandaji has done so much is a wonder; it is all due to God's grace. It is all due to his Purva-Samsakras. One lecture of his is quite sufficient to inspire and elevate you.

Not a single harsh word he has spoken. He never becomes angry. He never complains. I think there is none in this Ashram of his type. These are all divine attributes. He has more divine qualities than are mentioned in the Gita. Lord Krishna was in a hurry; therefore, He enumerated some major virtues only, and we have to add to them the virtues that Krishnanandaji possesses.

He is the proper man to go to the West. But if that is not to be, even his mere presence in the world is sufficient. His books are treasures for us. I am sending them all over the world. A man remaining in his own Kutir can send powerful thoughts that would stir the whole world. It is not necessary to go here and there, delivering lectures; it is not necessary even to write books. It is good that a great man remains in his own place; bees will come when the flowers bloom. Swami Krishnanandaji is silent dynamism.

Celebration of Krishnanandaji's Birthday is worship of Brahman. Many people's faculties are developed. Every man's eyes are opened. Everyone begins to think. Such celebrations are very necessary. Today we have only talked of Brahman. It gives us all inspiration. It produces a drastic change in the minds of people. You will be greatly benefited. You should note down in your diary the noble qualities of Swami Krishnanandaji. You should become like him. You should become like Shuka. You can learn something from everyone. This world is a vast university: it is a great teacher. Chidanandaji has talked very nicely. He is an intuitional lecturer. I am much benefited by his talks. He is a saint. You should worship him. He is your Guru. Only if you have this attitude will you be benefited. You will have to take down notes of his lectures. Krishnanandaji is a treasure; Chidanandaji is a treasure. God has been so gracious that He has given me so may previous gems.

Let us pray that Krishnanandaji may have good health and long life.