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


The Thirty-third Birthday of Swami Krishnananda: Birthday Celebrations

The 33rd Birthday of H.H. Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Yoga-Vedanta Forest University, was celebrated on the 25th April,1954. Early in the morning the students of the University assembled on the banks of the Holy Ganges and recited Guru Stotras, Shand Path, and the Maha Mantra, and, as was most appropriate to the occasion, there was group-meditation, too. This was followed by Nagar-Kirtan with a decorated palanquin in which had been placed a portrait of Swami Krishnanandaji along with those of Lord Krishna and Sri Gurudev.

At midday there was a grand Birthday feast in which Sri Gurudev and Sri Swami Krishnanandaji also took part.

The evening Satsang held to felicitate Sri Swami Krishnanandaji, was devoted to speeches on the Swami's life and personality. There were a number of speakers on the occasion—including Sri Gurudev himself, and Sri Swami Chidananda; several devotees had composed poems and songs on Swami Krishnanandaji, and these were sung during the Satsang. An address was presented to Sri Swami Krishnanandaji by the students of the Forest University; and Gurudev conferred upon him the bored Title of M.Ph. (Master of Philosophy).

Address Presented to His Holiness Vedanta Kesari Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj on His Thirty-Third Birthday by The Students of The Yoga-Vedanta Forest University

Please accept our humble and devout prostrations by the crore at your holy feet.

This is not only a great event in the annals of the history of the Divine Life Society, but an occasion afforded by Guru-Kripa to enable us to gather round your holy feet and pay our humble and meek homage at the altar of an incarnation of true wisdom that your Holiness is. We are convinced that in the lives of many of us assembled here, who have been your devoted pupils, this great occasion would, whether we feel it or not, become a memorable one. For, today we shall remind ourselves of the great ideal that you embody in yourself, and the divine qualities of which you are an abode.

While we contemplate upon your Holiness' life and personality, our conceptions of life and personality are themselves revolutionised. For, we realise that the lives of monarchs with all the pomp and show, the lives of the oft-publicised social and political leaders of humanity on whom encomiums are showered by the credulous public “for the great services they have rendered to humanity,” dwindle into nothingness before the austere life that you lead, remaining in the seclusion of your Kutir, living and working on a plane of which the modern man with his gross intellect has absolutely no idea. We realise that that real personality consists in spiritual aura, in Brahma-Tejas which shines on your face and which has got nothing to do with the gross physical form. Perhaps your constant and insistent proclamation that the supremely subtle Self alone is real and that the gross physical phenomena are only illusory appearances is truly reflected in your own personality.

There have not been many Nachiketas in history, in a world where Vairagya has become a rare commodity, you have manifested in yourself Para-Vairagya; only Nachiketas had done so, before you. Had we been endowed with a spiritual vision, perhaps we would see in you the great Nachiketas reborn, to give mankind the great wisdom that Lord Yama taught him. This is confirmed not only by the age at which you renounced the world and its illusory pleasures, but by your clear-cut exposition of the great truths that lie hidden in our Upanishads. We recall to our mind the apt remarks of Srimati Rukmini Arundale who heard your lectures spell-bound and said: “Swami Krishnanandaji has the right word for, every thought that he has to express; and in the exposition of Vedanta, to have the right word is the greatest thing.” The right word comes to you without effort because you have right vision, the realization of the Truth as clearly as an Amalaka fruit held in the palm of your hand.

Glorious Vedanta-Keseri

It is our great good fortune to have been granted by Providence this rarest blessing of living in the closest proximity of Sri Gurudev, and his illustrious sage-disciples, Sri Swami Chidanandaji and your Holiness. We are frail human beings; you are mighty divine personalities. Yet, the little spark of spiritual aspiration that you yourself have ignited in us has established between sages like you and seekers like us—a relation similar to the one that Sri Alavandar alludes to in his beautiful prayer :

And, it is with such a prayer, sincerely and earnestly offered at your holy feet and those of Sri Gurudev that we once again bow to the dust of your holy feet, heartily wishing you a healthy and long life, and many happy returns of this day, for our sake.

May the Almighty grant you a long life of the supreme service to humanity that you are rendering today!

We remain,
Thy Humble Pupils,
Students of the Yoga-Vedanta Forest University

Sivananda Nagar,
25th April, 1954