Essays on the Upanishads and Other Essays
A Souvenir released on Swami Krishnananda's 33rd Birthday
REFLECTIONS ON HIS LIFE
Greetings and Contributions received on the occasion of the celebration of Sri Swami Krishnanandaji's 33rd Birthday – 25th April, 1954.
(English translation of above)
Professor M. Ramakrishna Bhatt
I bow to Swami Krishnananda who is solely engaged in metaphysics, a stream of ambrosia flows from whose clean and sweet, speech, who is effulgent through the light of the Spirit, who is engaged in the service of others, who is free from attachments, who is the foremost of ascetics, who has destroyed the internal enemies, who has an unruffled mind, who is sinless, whose spirit is pure, whose multifarious virtues are well-known and who is brilliant with his lovely lores.
Whoever knows well this great ascetic who is self-controlled, who is by nature tranquil, who has secured liberation from the terrific fear of the ocean of Samsara, who has given up all unworthy deeds, whose words are measured and wholesome, who is capable of conferring benefits on the world, who is an efficient exponent of the hidden meanings of the Vedas and the Smritis, who is adorned with a sweet and charming voice and whose heart is fixed on the lotus-feet of his Guru!
I salute the noble Swami Krishnananda whose mind is immersed in the Supreme Brahman that is self-effulgent and pure, who is the elixir of the Yoga-Vedanta Forest University, who is established in full knowledge, who is modest, who has bright and lustrous teeth, whose activities are firm and charming and who is eulogized by the learned.
I praise the ascetic who is a devotee of Lord Krishna, who takes delight in the vast Vedic literature, who spent his childhood and boyhood exercising control over his mind by means of vows, who in youth took up earnestly the vow of renunciation being determined to enjoy the beatitude of emancipation, who is now doing the Yajna of Knowledge and who is immersed in the pleasure of his own awakened Self.
This great sage who is always serving his Master Siva who is a Jivanmukta, with devotion, who observes the three-fold Yoga shown by his Guru, simultaneously with a single-minded devotion, who practises well the threefold penance on the peak of the Himalayas, who has the brilliance of the sun, shines like a gem in the assembly of his friends.
May this Sadhu who has now stepped into the 33rd year, be blessed with a long span of life, health and the attainment of spiritual eminence by the grace of the Lord Visvanath and by the good wishes of all the learned who are present physically or mentally on the occasion of his holy birthday which leads to the prosperity of the world!
THE LIFE AND PERSONALITY OF SWAMI KRISHNANANDA
by Sri D.S. Krishnier, Poona
Sivananda is the Primer Power of ‘Sivam' at the Ashram. Under his unitary force there has arisen a triple force working in the Ashram. This triplicity is in the personalities of Chidananda, Venkatesananda and Krishnananda. If Chidananda is the creative genius and Venkatesananda the genius for Art and Order, Krishnananda is the silent, solemn non-differentiating Power.
One can see, in the midst of Sattwic dynamism of the Ashram, the Nishchalata and Sthirata of Krishnanandaji's mental poise, a quietude resting on the Universal Awarenese. That is why our Gurudev has called him “the modern Dakshinamurthy.” When seen in his Kutir he is a Dakshinamurthy. When he addresses a chose audience, he takes the form of Sri Sankara Bhagavat-Pada, and his exposition of Vedanta flowing from the Sattwic ravine of his Manas can only be likened to the smooth, unbroken flow of Ganga nearby. I have personally listened in his discourse. I have noticed the simple cadence of words from his lips. I have felt at that time that Sankara was redictating his Bhashya. There is absolutely no flaw in any concept. His Vedantic utterances are in, fact a unique expansion of Sankara's commentaries. The Yoga Vedanta. Forest University is extremely fortunate in having secured Krishnanandaji as the Vedanta Professor. He is indeed an asset to the Ashram itself.
One cardinal circumstance which is associated with Sankara's life is that he took to Sanyasa Ashram immediately after Upanayana without entering into householder's life. So also, if I remember right, Krishnanandaji took to Sanyasa Ashrama immediately after his Upanayana. Unless his soul was prepared by Poorva Samskara to take up the Sanyasahood, the real lifelong Brahmacharyahood, he would not have taken up the highest Order at such an early age. Very few would be able to take up such a step. Krishnanandaji is a slim figure like Sankara himself. There is likeness of him in every plane of life. He has the piercing intellect of Sankara. He has his intuition.
Sahaja Samadhi is discernible whenever he descends to the mundane plane. He is a ‘Citizen of the Universe'. He is a simple, unostentatious man, yet he is as mighty as Sankara himself in his light. He is a born Vedantin.
Krishnanandaji says “Everything is one Mass of Infinite Consciousness”. To him there is no second but that Infinite Consciousness. He gives us a “Mass” Concept of Consciousness. The invisible becomes visible to him. Any philosopher or any Pandit would give in an abstract idea of that Consciousness or Transcendentalism. It is given to Krishnanandaji to present us “Mass” Concept of the Chit. We know “Mass” means “concrete” as opposed to an idealism or an abstractism, if I may so use a word. At one time Swami Sivananda said of him, “He is a seer-sage in the making”. One IMIUt say with truth now he is a finished seer-sage.
Of his works, his commentary on Moksha Gita and his book “The Realisation of the Absolute” are the high water-mark of his intellectualism blended with the deepest experience of transcendentalism. It is said that even Shakespeare cannot go beyond “Lear”. So also, we might say that Krishnanandaji cannot go beyond “the Realisation of the Absolute”. This book is bristling with the Transcendental experience of Reality. It is a marvellous work unequalled by any in the world on such a theme. He has reached his pinnacle, the sublimation of Mind through the Mind and attained his own true state. This is what I felt of him, when I read the book myself. Every sentence of the book breathes the profound innermost experience of the Self. To quote a passage in support of it is unnecessarily to discriminate. One should read the book in order to know this truth.
May Swami Krishnanandaji live long and lead the world with his Light.
A VIRAKTA MAHATMA
by Sri Narayana Swamiji
I am very happy to write a few words about this great Swamiji who is a very strong pillar of the Divine Life movement. In the words of His Holiness Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, our Revered Gurudev, Swami Krishnanandaji is the “Modern Dakshinamoorthy” who imparts knowledge and wisdom to the earnest Sadhaka who thirst for Vedantic knowledge. His face is brimming with the wisdom of the Upanishads. He has a keen intellect which grasps thoroughly the Vedantic Truths in the twinkling of an eye. His thoughts are sublime. His very breath has the rhythm of the Mahavakya, of ‘Soliam'.
The books ‘Realisation of the Absolute', Mundakopanishad, etc., speak very high of his wisdom.
His truths are sublime. He speaks measured words. He speaks very little. He is an introvert. He is quick in understanding philosophy. He has a clear grasp of the subject he wishes to expound. His style is that of philosopher and is above the reach of ordinary people.
He is ever busy. He hates to be idle. His Vairagyi or dispassion is very intense. He hates luxury.
He is the Registrar (and virtually the chancellor ) the “Yoga Vedanta Forest University” established by Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj at Sivanandanagar.
Sri Swami Krishnanandaji was born of a very high noble and respectable family in the Kanada Desa in South India. A short sketch of his early life is given in one of his books which gives us an idea of his deep spiritual inclination and his spiritual legacy.
He first came to the feet of Sri Gurudev in 1943. He had only a few clothes and a few books with him. His thirst for meeting great saints and sages was great. He spent much time in the search after saints and sages. His one ambition in life was to meet sage Vyasa in person. He travelled many places in the Himalayas in anxious search. Ultimately the more he studied the saint of Ananda Kutir, his own Gurdev, the more he was convinced that his own Gurudev embodied in himself the essence of the wisdom of the Upanishads and the spirit of all saints. Finally he settled permanently in Ananda Kutir. He commenced his deep research in philosophy in 1948 and wrote a number of books on his findings in philosophy. He had delivered a series of lectures on the philosophy of Upanishads in his learned outpourings during university lectures. He is our first Vedantic lecturer and he is rightly styled ‘the Vedanta Kesari'.
Swami Krishnanandaji is one of the secretaries of ettio Instils Life Society, He is the right hand of Sri Swami Sivanandaji in philosophy. He is an able secretary in managing the affairs of the Ashram. He has worked in every branch of the Divine Life Society, He is an excellent writer, an orator, a good Hatha Yogi, and an all-round worker, in every field of the Divine Life Society's work.
Many of his exercises have been recorded in film and slides. He is very abstemious in his diet. He has worked as a doctor in the Hospital. He is regulated in his speech and actions. He is the friend of all. He hates none nor anyone hates him.
He managed the entire work of the Divine Life Sociey in the absence of Sri Swami Sivanandaji during his All India Tour in 1950 for two months.
Though Sri Swami Krishnanandaji is a staunch Vedantin, he never neglects Bhakti Yoga or Karma Yoga. He is a great devotee of Lord Krishna, the Gita and the Bhagavat. He is never idle. He is ever busy and active.
May this great light of Divine Life live long to illuminate the world with his knowledge and wisdom! May his inspiring presence and intense activity guide us in the right path of Sadhana and enable us to follow the right lead of Sri Gurudev! We all Gurubhais wish him many happy returns of the day and robust health! Long live Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj.
A UNIQUE STAR IN THE GALAXY OF SEERS
by Sri Vedanand Jha, M.A., L.L.B., Chopra
Swami Krishnanand, a scion of the Magnificent order of sages and saints of spontaneous growth around the Mighty Sage of the Himalayas sprung forth during the early years of this century from the south sanctified by the descent of the untarnished soul in Sivananda. The Young Subba Rao, as he was called before donning the yellow robe, found the glamours and charms of a mundane turmoil uninviting enough to cut it asunder for a more picturesque wandering existence and was drawn surreptitiously to his durable abode in the family of likes at the feet of the benign father. Here he was to adorn an office exalted and unique, as the spokesman of the science of sciences, as an exponent of the subtle all and nothing, in the university of universities, the Forest University, though to many creating the illusion by his young age and unassuming looks like the illusion he dealt with, that he was still a student, may be postgraduate one, of any of the humdrum universities. That the chancellor considered it fit to appoint him as such is in itself a glowing tribute to his high talents exemplified later by publishing the ‘Realisation of the Absolute', the illuminating commentary on the ‘Moksha Gita', whose study even was to bring aspirants closer to the highest goal of existence, and the discourses on the ‘Mundaka Upanishad', the epitome of unitary consciousness of the ancients.
I should be keeping a secret if I do not disclose the agreeable surprise felt and the insignificance to which my vanity in learning was reduced on scanning the lines this brilliant exponent of the mysteries of the unknown just when I was gloating over my erudition for having appreciated a few Slokas of the Upanishads here and there. Frail words cannot but fail to convey the magnitude of his penetrating genius that bewilders many a keen analytic intellect unable to fathom the depths of his insight hidden in an unassuming demeanour, polished at the feet of the Great. Expressions of sublime wisdom compressed in his writings or annotations not only provide thought-provoking material to the earnest seeker, as the superficial cannot even approach him, but also indicate the heights to which he has soared and the depths to which he has penetrated. A unique acquisition to the galaxy of seers, counted amongst the foremost follows of the Prophet of the New Age, his sharp an dazzling intellect has blazed forth to assail and to demolish the scientific dogmas of the agnostic world, revelling in the mire of materialism.
One cannot but visualise a glorious future for the savant and servant of humanity in proclaiming the sublime precepts of his preceptor, unfurling the banner of Vedanta in climes unchartered and hearts untutored. May he live long to carry on his mission with jest and unhampered with the benign grace of the power manifest at Rishikesh.
A LOVER OF TRUTH
by Sri Swami Nityananda
Simple and loving Sri Swami Krishnandaji, though young and short, is pure in mind and true in heart. Many call him a saint and a scholar; for me who is blind to this, he is a loving brother of all and a fellow-traveller. I know him as lover of truth and one who dislikes flattery, insincerity, irregularity, selfishness and slavishness.
He feels he is a sincere seeker and servant of the Master. As changing the physical cravings to the mental and spiritual satisfaction is only the real Yoga, let our desires, promises, hopes, works and words be true and let the lives and heart, thoughts and deeds of every one who wishes to live the divine life be one.
Sri Krishnanandaji, the gem of the Forest University, friend and guide of all, needs no introduction or praise as he is well-known to everyone through his valuable writings and speeches. He believes that life will never grow great until and unless it is disciplined, denied and dedicated, with love for the Truth. I pray on this happy occasion to everyone to be man and to stand up before the world firm in one's convictions like Sri Swami Krishnanandaji and radiate peace. May he live long and enjoy the hard-earned bliss of the Upanishads with good health.
RAMA TIRTHA REBORN
by Sri S.D. Shroff, New Delhi
I have had the privilege of attending the classes held by Sri Swami Krishnananda Saraswati at the Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh when I had been there on my short visits of pilgrimage. He is a great Sanskrit Scholar and a deep thinking philosopher with wonderful original ideas. His exposition of the Vedantic philosophy is highly impressive and lucid. He is very regular in practising Asans and Pranayam, over which he has acquired a great mastery. When one meets him, one is impressed by him as a truly great saint who has renounced everything worldly and thereby obtained real peace and happiness. Unfortunately, he does not keep very good health, yet in spite of his suffering he is always cheerful. He appeals to one as a real and sincere Sadhak in earnest search for truth, and by his living example teaches us what every Sadhak ought to be. He never wastes even a minute of his time in idle gossip or mere chit-chat and is always busy studying Shastras and writing notes therefrom, many of which have come out in book-form.
Some have compared him to Saint Dakshinamurti of South, but I always think of him as Swami Rain Tirth of Northern India living with us once more.
A life like his is not only a great national treasure but a boon to all the humanity at large and I pray to God that may be spared to carry on his useful work for a many a year to come for the benefit of not only the inmates of and the visitors to the Sivananda Ashram at Rishikesh, but the whole of the Hindu nation and humanity at large, and thus add further glory to the already glorious name of the Great Sage and Saint Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati, whose worthy, dearly loved, iraaltly respected disciple he is.
SAGE and SEER and SAINT: Juana-Bhaskara Dewan Bahadur
by Sri K.S. Ramaswami Sastrigal
His Holiness Swami Sivananda is not only a Siddha Jnani but is also a Premabhakta, and it is no wonder that he has not only realised the Self of All but has also radiated love to all and hence received the love of all. I have always felt fascinated by the crescendo of verses in Gita:
Swami Sivananda sees the Self in all and sees God in all and loves God in all, and shares in the feelings of all—the grief of all and the joys of all—and sublimates them while being full of detachment and dispassion. Let no one think that Asanga and Vairagya mean avoidance of the ordinary persons or that Viveka means contempt for the unillumined, The best proof of Asanga and Viveka and Vairagya is that the more they increase, the more increases compassion for all and love and affection for all. “Suffer little children to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” says Lord Jesus Christ. The greatest sage and saint and seer will be like children. Swami Sivananda's face lights up like that of a child when he looks at a person. Song—Sankirtan—gushes from his lips. Service to all in his passion.
No wonder that he has attracted to himself a large number of Sanyasins and a large number of lay disciphles. Ananda Kutir (the Hut of Happiness)—what a beautiful name! The whole hill rises with a gentle gradient from the right bank of Mother Ganga, and beholds its beauty as reflected in the limpid heavenly stream! Swami Sivananda and his loyal learned illustrious band of Sanyasins have their abode there and strive their best to give the pure sweet Gangamrita of spiritual thought and Sadhana to all. One of that band—loved and respected by all—is H. H. Vedanta Kesari Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj. He is shy and retiring by nature, and immersed in study and reflection and meditation except when he is teaching the Vedanta as the Professor of Vedanta in the Yoga Vedanta Forest University at Ananda Kutir. I am glad to learn that his thirty-third birthday will be celebrated at the Forest University on the 25th April, and I gladly pay this humble tribute of admiration and reverence to him on that occasion. Swami Sivananda has aptly called him as “the modorn Dakshinamurthy”. He is a man of few words; he always feels and looks happy (Mudita Vadana); and he is happiest when he teaches the Vedantic truths.
His Holiness Swami Sivananda said in his speech on Swami Paramanandaji's birthday this year: “Here all are synthetic Yogis. You cannot divorce action and love from wisdom; therefore, Karma Yoga and Bhakti are rooted in the Knowledge of the Unity of Consciousness. All the three Yogas—Karma, Bhakti and Jnana—are necessary to become perfect and attain the Goal”. This description applies also to H.H. Swami Krishnananda, H.H. Swami Chidananda (General Secretary of the Divine Life Society and Vice-Chancellor of the Yoga Vedanta Forest University) recently called by Swami Parmananda as “a duplicate of Sri Gurudev”, and referred to the dynamism of Gurudev. This description applied to and Krishnananda also.
I wish to make here a special reference to Swami Krishnananda's brilliant exposition of Vedanta (Brahma Darshana) in his unique work: “The Realisation of the Absolute”. H. H. Swami Sivananda has said well about it that in it “we have a forceful and brilliant monograph on him theme which forms the central core of the Upanishadic texts”. Swawiji says further: “He is one who is himself living the life of strenuous quest after Truth. Though quite young in age, Swami Krishnauanda is a seeker of high attainments, full of fiery aspiration, and a monk of a very high order.
“The Realization of the Absolute” is a practical seeker-Sanyasin's revelation of Jnana and Jnana Sadhana. Is replete with the sublimest conception of the Vedanta. It is a dazzling light focussed upon the true essence of Vedanta Sadhana.”—The work is powerful and rousing. Swami Krishnananda has written also other excellent works: “Essays on the Upanishads” and “Commentary on the Moksha Gita of Swami Sivananda”. All glory to such Sanyasa and such Sanyasins.
BLOSSOM OF DEVOTION AT HIS LOTUS FEET
by Sri K.Lakshmi, B.A B T., Mangalore
Swami Krishnananda is one of the foremost disciples of Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj. He is the “Vedanta Kesari” of the Forest University. He is the living embodiment of love, purity, kindness, humility and gentleness.
He is a dynamic Karma Yogi He does everything for the sake of his Guru, Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, who is the incarnation of Lord Siva in Himself.
Swami Krishnananda is a great writer. He is the personification of simplicity both in his appearance and writing. He is the most inspiring teacher of humanity. His writings are highly inspiring and illuminating, touching the core of everyone's heart. Here is a great Self-realised sage teaching humanity the ways and means of attaining Supreme Knowledge.
The wisdom stars which always glitter in him, mine all those who come in contact with him. The wisdom spark which ever shines on his lips is this: “The whole life, from birth to death, is a period of studentship. The subject matter of study is the Supreme Knowledge of Atma Vidya and nothing else. Realising this knowledge Absolute, there is nothing to be known or attained. This is the highest duty of every human being.”
Let us all march in the light of the footsteps of Sri Swami. Krishnanandaji. May he live long.
THE LIGHT OF SIVANANDA MISSION
by Sri Indrajit Sharma, Simla
“Wisdom is the name God gives to religion, so telling the world, what it will hardly believe, that the two great things whoch so engross the desire and designs of both the nobler and ignobler sort of mankind, are to be found in religion, viz., wisdom and pleasure, and that the former is the direct way to the latter, as religion is to both,” so said the well-known philosopher, South. It is wisdom born of discrimination of Reality from unreality, that gives man the highest pleasure, nay, the sublimest bliss. Real religion provides both wisdom and pleasure. An ignorant person engulfed by darkness of stupidity and cupidity can never know what bliss and mental peace are. One of the greatest tragedies of the modern life is that moral and spiritual values are being ignored mercilessly and deliberately for pursuing the path of the pleasant objects, which in reality hide the most poisonous sting of tremendous pain. But look at the apparent folly of the man, even pain is taken to be as pleasure and vice versa! A sort of mental perversion and a spiritual collapse has plagued the mind of the modern man. Just like unto the blind-folded bullock, the passionate man perambulates round the altar of stupidity and lustful vanity, it is only the rarest few who escape the clutches of Maya. They are the luckiest persons who disconnect themselves from hum-drum mundane activity.
One such person is Swami Krishnananda. He is one of the most prominent and illustrious disciples of H. H. Sri Swami Sivananda of Ananda Kutir.
Swami Krishnananda is now completing 32 years of his precious life. He is a short-statured, proportionally built and a very smart and active monk. He puts on only a few clothes just to cover his body. He is very humble, gentle and noble person. He is a man of few words. He is very serious aspirant for Moksha. He is very fond of taking regular baths in the Ganges. During my stay on many occasions in the Sivanandashram, the only person who impressed me most, next to Gurudev Sivananda and Chidanandaji, of course, with his saintliness and sagely scholarship, is Swami Krishnananda. He is a very learned philosopher, with sublime gift of originality and clarity of thought.
Swami Krishnananda is a well-known writer on spiritual subjects. Gurudev Swami Sivananda has spoken very highly of his literary brilliance and mental fecundity. He is a spiritual gem of high quality. Swami Krishnananda has written a first-rate commentary on his Master's monumental work entitled, “Moksha Gita”—the book that imparts knowledge of Supreme God. Another excellent book that he has written for the benefit of Yoga and Vedanta students is “The Realisation of the Absolute”. Any person who bothers a little to go through this book will be convinced beyond doubt of the author's wide scholarship and shining wisdom. Still another book that has emanated from his pen is “Essays on the Upanishads”. Need it be stated that he is unexcelled in expounding the wisdom of the Upanishads to the modern world. Another pamphlet, called “Search for Reality”, is the production of this brilliant person, but a very wise saint.
Another beautiful trait of Swami Krishnananda is his ringing oratory. He can deliver inspiring lecture extempore. Several books owe their birth simply to these lectures delivered by Swami Krishnananda to the students of Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy at Ananda Kutir. Swami Sivananda has called him “the modern Dhakshina Murthi”. Indeed, he is so. Out of his lectures comes the fragrance of flowers of purity, devotion and kindness that richly grow in the garden of his heart.
Swami Krishnananda is primarily a Jyana Yogi and a practical Vedantin. He is very fond of meditating on Vedantic formulaes, viz., “Aham Brahma ami” (I am God ), “Tat Twam Asi” (Thou art that). “Brahma Satya Jagat Mithya”, (God is the only Reality, World is false), etc. etc. He is a person pre-eminently fit to carry on the spiritual researches in the laboratory of his own heart. He lives, moves and has his being in that Supreme Silence whom we call GOD. He is properly equipped with a sharp, subtle, exploring, penetrating and probing intellect so very essential for a student of Vedanta and Jyana Yoga. I really appreciate his way of looking at things from the spiritual point of view. Swami Krishnananda is the light of Swami Sivananda's Mission and the most deserving person to go abroad for interpreting Swamiji's philosophy and Mission.
I convey my good wishes to Swami Krishnananda and pray for his health and long life.
THE KOH-I-NOOR OF VEDANTA
by Sri Shanti, B.A., B.T., Mahadevi Kanya Pathasola College, Debra Dun
There is a saying “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. But in his case it is not true. Swami Krishnanandaji has a weak body but possesses a healthy and sound mind.
Swami Krishnanandaji is the image of peace and purity. He is a born saint. In no time he became the professor of Vedanta in the Yoga Vedanta Forest University.
He is a carefree saint. He cares neither for others nor for himself. He does not care even for his health. After his treatment at Roorkee when he came back to the
Ashram, Swami Sivanandaji instructed him “Do not come downstairs till you regain your health.”
He is a great observer. He observes things from the distance and selects the good. His smiles are rare but significant.
He is a reserved saint. Hardly ever he comes out of his Kutir. He always keeps himself busy either in studying or in meditation.
He is the pride of the Ashram. Once he got a chance of delivering a lecture before a number of military officers. All of them were so much impressed by his thoughts that they all became the followers of Siva.
He is the Kohinoor of the Yoga Vedanta Forest University. As Kohinoor has not its parallel, so also in has no parallel; no one can excel him in Vedanta.
My adoralions and salutations unto him upon this great day.
May he live long.
by Swami Ramananda, Virudhunagar
Sruthi Smrithi Purananam Aayam Karunalayam
Namami Bhagavatpathant Sankaram Lokasankaram
The world has not yet produced a greater intellectual giant than our Jagad Guru Srimat Sankara Bhagavat pada of hoary memory. In his line (SiAyoparampara) comes our Modern Sankara: H. H. Sri Swami Krishnananda Saraswathiji Maharaj, the beloved and worthy disciple of our revered Gurudev H. H. Sri Swami Mivanandaji Maharaj, the lord of Sivanandanagar and countless devotees. Sri Swami Krishnanandaji is a rare personality. He is a crest-jewel among saints, a Guru to those who tread the path of Jnana. He is the Registrar and Professor of Jnana Yoga in the Yoga-Vedanta Forest University of Siva.
Sri Krishnanandaji is a great teacher, orator and writer. He is a master of both the pen and the tongue. He has perfectly mastered his tongue in its dual aspect of Jnana Indriya and Karma Indriya. Even though the Ashram looks to the needs of all its inmates in an exemplary manner, Sri Krisbnandaji takes only a regulated and restricted diet. He takes food only as a medicine to keep up life going. To hear him speak is a great fortune and pleasure. His thrilling words of wisdom pour out like a torrential rain on the Himalayas and flow out like the Ganges to thirsty hearts. Gurudev himself is so much attracted by his speech that there will not be any important function when Krishnandaji will not speak. Besides contributing to the spiritual journals of the Divine Life Society, he has written masterly bookslike his lucid commentaries on the Moksha Gita of Siva and the Upanishads. His lectures on the Upanishads, Jnana Yoga, are simply inspiring.
His administrative capacity was well proved when during Gurdev's famous All-India and Ceylon Tour. Krishnanandaji was forced to be in charge of the Ashram. As the acting Secretary, he very ably managed the affairs of the Ashram and the Society to the entire satisfaction of Gurudev and all the Ashramites and visitors.
He is a great Jnana Yogi, an ardent lover of study and seclusion. He always wants to be alone and will try to avoid company of his admirers. Yet he is a true disciple of Siva. His development is all-round. Though Jnana Yogi, he performs Asanas and Pranayama very dexterously. He is an expert in poojas and other rituals. He is in charge of Viraja Homa, etc., and he looks to the preliminary initiation of aspirants into Sanyasa, leaving the final stroke to Gurudev. He attends Bhajans and Kirtans. He is a great Karma Yogi and a Bhakta blended into one Jnana Yogi. That is the make-up of Siva.
It is the 33rd Birthday of such a great sage that is befittingly being celebrated in the Yoga-Vednta Forest University on the 25th April, 1954. This young Sannyasin with an ancient brain has really transcended time. So it is not possible to fix a time-limit for him or to measure his immeasurable age by means of years. Yet the University and his Guru-Bhais joyously celebrate his birthday to show their affection and reverence to the great Krishnanandaji. By celebrating his birthday we can just dwell on his noble qualities and draw inspiration from him to tread the path trodden by him. The best way to celebrate his birthday is to mould our lives on the pattern of his—to become so many Krishnanandas by steady and strenuous Sadhana. May there be many more happy returns of this holy Birthday! May his blessings make us all to be like him! May Gurudev's abundant grace be upon us all!
Jai Sri Sivananda! Jai His Disciple Sri Krishnananda
SRI SWAMI KRISHNANANDA—THE LIGHT OF VEDANTA
by Sri Sivanando-Vijayalakshmi
It affords me a very genuine pleasure to pay my humble tribute of homage to Sri Swami Krishnanandaji on the happy occasion of his 33rd birthday. He shines in the Divine Life horizon with a lustre, peculiarly his own. To the Yoga-Vedanta Forest University in the Sivananda Ashram, of which Swami Krishnanandaji is an outstanding professor, he gives of his best and in abundance, in a quiet and unassuming manner. He still has studious habits, and the range of his studies is far beyond the average.
His inspiring commentary of the Mundaka Upanishad and his book “Realisation of the Absolute” bear the impress of his rare genius, and possess a rare charm. They combine the strength, dignity and soft beauty of Sanskrit, with the verve and vigour of English. His works are marked by lucidity of thought, clarity of vision and judgement, and sense of preportion,—not a little of which is due to the discipline of the hard and simple life he liven, in meditation and utter seclusion. His simplicity, spontaneity, divine aroma and child-like nature exercise on all such lucky souls who come in contact with him a tremendously profound influence. He is quite naturally a Vedantin, not academia, but a genuine practical spiritual living Light of Vedanta, working for realisation of the ideal of ‘Sthita-Prajna' of the Gita.
May the Swami, who is still young in years though old in Vedantic Wisdom, live long to guide the many seekers to the Ashram and lead them in the path of Vedanta!
SWAMI KRISHNANANDA: MY INSPIRER
by Sri J. Sebramania Iyer, Madras
I rejoice that Sri Swami Krishnanandaji's birthday is be celebrated on the 25th April and I hasten to offer my humble tribute.
The first time I met Swami Krishnananda was in May, 1945 when I visited Rishikesh. He was a new-comer at that time and had not taken Sanyasa. Myself and another schoolmaster from Nagpur were asked to do Gitapath before Sri Viswanath Mandir alternately. One morning when my friend was not able to do so, Swami Krishanandaji came and recited the whole of Gita from memory. I was much impressed by this performance and later by his profound knowledge of Sanskrit.
Next when I had the good fortune of staying at the Ashram and being blessed with the company of Sri Gurudeva, and all the inmates, I attended the morning Yoga Vedanta Forest University classes daily, from July to November, 1948. Swami Krishnananda was the professor of Vedanta. One of the books we studied was Vasudeva Mananam. His regular attendance and his clear method of expounding Vedantic terms and ideas were admirable and an inspiration to us all.
One thing that made everybody wonder was that he could work so hard in spite of his poor health and puny frame. This reminded me of the poet Goldsmith's saying about the village schoolmaster that so small a head could carry all he knew. Another thing I admired was his child-like simplicity and cordial and unostentatious manner in which he moved with all.
The little knowledge of Vedanta which I gained then and which I strive to improve, is entirely due to Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj for which I am much bounden to him.
THE MODERN DAKSHINAMOORTHY
by Srimati B. Sita Bai, New Dehli
My Lord is the Lord of the Universe;
My Guru is the Guru of the Universe;
My Self is the Self of all Beings;
To that Divine Guru I bow.
These are the preachings of Guru Gita and such a young Guru I saw at Ananda Kutir at the feet of my Master Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj. The young Rishi whose face was radiant with an inner light and whose serene presence made it evident that he was a dynamic personality was reading his manuscript to Sri Gurudev. With a silent power of inspiration he was reading the record of his highest spiritual experience and knowledge in a simple way of his own. In a few days it was published as the commentary on the sacred book, Moksha Gita.
I was introduced to this young Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj. “Do you know, he is a professor in our Yoga-Vedanta University?” said Gurudev. I was lucky to attend the classes. “Ha! Ha! What a wonder this is! The disciples are old, the Guru is young. By the Gruu's silent teaching the disciples are freed from doubt and enjoy the Bliss of Samadhi.” This description of Dakshinamoorthy indicates the Divine Power of the Guru as well as the strength of purity of the disciples' hearts and such a modern Dakshinamoorthy I saw in Ananda Kutir on the banks of the sacred Ganges. There at the feet of the Himalayas stands the Yoga-Vedanta Forest University under the guidance of the great sages Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj and Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj as Chancellor and Vice-chancellor respectively.
In this sacred University this young sage imparts the spirit of spirituality to all the students and helps them in their Sadhana bringing them together in one spiritual bondage.
My most humble salutations and prayers for the Modern Dakshinamoorthy on the happy occasion of his Birthday.
SWAMI KRISHNANANDA—A PEN-PORTRAIT
by Dr. (Mrs.) Janakti Sharma, Udaipur
I bow my head in adoration and salutation, wishing Rev. Swami Krishnananda, my Gurubhai, a very happy Birthday and many happy returns, on this graceful occasion which marks another milestone of his ardent discipleship under an able master Rev. Gurudev from whose power-house of knowledge, he has obtained the present spotless Holiness, unfathomable knowledge, peacefulness absolute, silence full of speech and wisdom and his all-absorbing love for the eternal Truth! In this silence, full of charm, he has no other thought, occupation, relation or friend than God, the Absolute. No wonder Rev. Gurudev so kindly conferred on him the appellation of—Lord Dakshinamurthy!
He and his silence are full of purity, reality, joy and eternal Bliss.
He is a living evidence of that Absolute, calm existence of the Infinite Brahman!
His book entitled “The Realisation of the Absolute” is a proof of the abundance of knowledge in which he has complemented, commented an I assimilated the complex philosophy of the spiritual truths of the Upanishads.
Not only does he possess wisdom to assimilate the subject of philosophy but realisation as well which is revealed by the refuge under which he lives, his great master, whose mission is not only to realise the Absolute but to produce as many realised souls as possible, irrespective of caste, creed, religion, age or sex.
His impassioned devotion, simplicity and contentment demands nothing but reverence and admiration.
His grace, silence and philosophy are but a faint reflection of the Divinity of his inner Self!
Wonderful solemnity pervades the atmosphere around him.
I bow to him and to Gurudev, thus closing this an I find my words expressionless when compared to the feelings I have, and I only gather when I reflect mentality on him, a calm, serene form immersed in the fountain of Advaita Philosphy.
May Lord bless him with choicest of blessings and long life.
KRISHNANANDAJI: A MASTER-MIND
by Dr. B.N. Sharma, M.B.B.S., F.A.C.2„ F.V.A.C., F.V.A.G., Jodhpur
My first meeting with Swami Krishnanandaii was in the last week of December, 1953. On this occasion, I lived Sivananda-Ashram for about five days and had the unique opportunity of receiving the epiritual radiations from H.S. Sri Swami Sivanandaji.
The Ashram atmosphere is surcharged with spiritual thought and activities.
My personal conviction is that, nobody whosoever he may be, can escape the influence of the Ashram. It is all elevating and enlightening. It sets a man thinking about remodelling and recasting himself. In this Ashram of spiritual charm and magnetism lives Swami Krishnanandaji, one of the chosen disciples of H.H. Swami Sivanandaji.
I expressed my desire to understand something of Vedanta from Swami Krishnanandaii. He was so kind and nice to me that in spite of heavy rush of work, he allowed full one hour to me. I don't know how much I could grasp from his talk on the subtle subject of Vedanta, but I remained spellbound silently admiring the depth of his knowledge of Vedanta. His explanations are so clear and lucid that even a layman like me who is neither a philosopher nor a student of philosophy could understand a good deal of it.
Nowadays I am reading his book “The Realisation of the Absolute”. It appears that it would take me one full year to understand this book. I have to read every page several times, before I can make out the real import of this great philosopher and scholar's words on this subtle subject of the Absolute, the Reality of the Upanishads. The more I read of this book, the greater is my admiration of his scholarship. In a few words, I can say that he is a Master-Mind. By character and nature he is an embodiment of a Vedantin. He appears as if absorbed in the quest of Truth. He is serene, quiet and humble. It seems the world does not exist for him. He is a scholar, a saint, a philosopher and a guide.
May Lord bless him with long life, good health and fulfil his purpose of life for which he has renounced everything, to sit at the lotus feet of Gurudev H.H. Sri Swami Sivanandaji. I remain one of Sri Swami Krishnananda's admirers.
CHARACTERISTICS OF HIS LIFE
Sri Yogi Gauri Prasad, Retired Judge, Swarg Ashram
Sri Swamiji Maharaj, and brother-Sadhaks, I have to thank Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj to have allowed me the privilege of affording me an opportunity to pay my humble tribute to Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, Professor of Vedanta, of the Yoga. Vedanta Forest University, whose birthday we have gathered to celebrate today .
I notice that the idea or notion of celebrating birthdays of some of our prominent Swamis of Ananda Kutir is taking root. This is all very good. But lest the basic idea underlying these celebrations be overlooked and they may be converted into mere social functions, I would, with Sri Swamiji Maharaj's permission, like to say a few words about this subject before coming to our main object. We all know that on this earthly plane, life, as a whole, is only a process of evolution for the unfoldment of the Self—the divine spark or energy permeating and pervading the whole universe. This process of evolution and unfold-meat goes on eternally and automatically, until a stage is reached when the sheath or covering in which that Divine Spark is encased assumes the form of a human being. This subject is very vast and there is no time to dwell on it at any length, but let me put it tersely that the Divine Spark or Self works in at its sheaths or coverings as Chit-Shakti, which for want of a better word or expression may be termed as “Consciousness.” As sheaths after sheaths are evolved and more and more of that Consciousness is unfolded, a stage is reached, when that sheath or covering assumes the form and shape of a human being. At that stage, consciousness becomes self- consciousness. In other words, it becomes possible for a human being either to accelerate the process of evolution and unfoldment or to retard it. The time at the disposal of a human being to regulate that process is termed as his life on this earth plane. Birthday celebrations are thus annual reckonings of that process of unfolding of that consciousness of the Self or Atman. In other words, it is an annual striking of a balance-sheet of life. A balance-sheet to show us profit or loss at the end of the year. As this balance-sheet- relates not to any material gain or loss, but to the measure or degree of enfoldment of self, annual celebration of a birthday is tantamount to an introspection of the self.
But a question may then be asked, if all this is self-introspection, why should others feel concerned about it in any manner. The reason is twofold: first, to profit by the experience and life of those who are constantly showing an ever-increasing profit in the balance-sheet of their lives; secondly, to help in accelerating the process and expanding the scope of that unfoldment of consciousness by extending our own co-operation to that mode of life. Permit me to state here the three great principles or characteristic features of consciousness and its unfoldment in a human being as a unit of consciousness. The first is that the whole is in the part, the total is represented in the unit. For, though the consciousness in a human being be like a pin-point of consciousness, yet that tiny unit is linked to the vast totality of Cosmic Consciousness of the Supreme, and all of it is there, though we, with our limitations can only find so much of It as makes our individual being. The second principle of evolution of consciousness in man is self-giving or self-sacrifice. While animal and vegetable kingdoms grow by competition, rivalry and self-seeking, human beings grow by co-operation, renunciation and self-sacrifice. The Brahman is eternally sacrificing Himself in creating, sustaining and dissolving the Universe; only as man imitates Him, does man grow into His Likeness. Sri Swami Sivanandaji's life is an apt illustration of this great principle which is ever to be kept in mind. Then we have to remember that the consciousness in man unfolds its veiled or hidden possibilities, stage by stage, but without self-sacrifice there is no passing from one stage to the next.
Let us, in the light of these principles look into the balance sheet of the glorious life of our Sankaracharya Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj. Although I have not had the privilege of coming into close touch, with him, nor had I the good duck of attending the classes which he has been addressing as Professor of Vedanta of the Forest University, still from what little I have been able to see of him, I felt greatly impressed by three prominent characteristic features of his life. First, the calm and tranquil reserve of his mind which cannot be easily disturbed by external conditions round about him, however much they may be in disharmony with his own inner feelings. In other words, he can adapt and adjust himself to his environments without losing his peace of mind and self-control.
The second is his complete renunciation of all cravings of worldly life and its comforts and entire dedication of his life to the service of human understanding at the lotus feet of his Gurudev whom he adores and worships as God-incarnate.
Thirdly, a deep devotion to his duty and to the immediate task assigned to him, without any trace of egoism about it. This rare blending of rigidity of principles, of utter self-surrender and self-effacement and whole-hearted devotion to the work entrusted to him at once raises him to the status of a Rishi or saint. His unassuming demeanour and way of working unostentatiously, his reluctance to come to the forefront unless he is commanded by his Gurudev, his simplicity of manners at once reveal how unegoistic he is by nature, but no sooner he is called upon to give his highly philosophical talk, on Vedanta, he is at once filled with the spirit of a true seer, and howsoever imposing his audience, his method of analysing critically every subtle thought or subject with a cool mind and reasoning intellect never fails to impress his audience. It is on such occasions that he reveals his deep insight and complete mastery of the subject he had been discoursing upon. For the time being, he loses all his personality and merges hie individuality entirely in the vastness and the sublimity of his talks. It is then that we see in our physically tiny Sri Swami Krishnananda a true seer and a modern Sankaracharya. How noble in his simplicity and how sublime in his thoughts and learning and how invigorating and uplifting in his exposition of Vedanta philosophy, a sage among sages, a seer among seers and a saint among saints! May Providence keep him hale and hearty for the scriptural period of 100 years to render invaluable services on be ethical and spiritual planes of life to the whole mankind. I wish you all to join me wholeheartedly in conveying our sincere congratulations on this auspicious thirty-third birthday of Swami Krishnananda, and with our best wishes for many happy returns of this day, we invoke Sri Swamiji's choicest blessings on him.
SILENT MONARCH OF SIVANANDA KSHETRA
Sri Swami Krishnananda Saraswati, born on 25-4-1922, is of Canarese Brahmin parentage in his Poorva Ashram and now of Sivananda parentage having his surname OM SAT CHIT ANANDA SIVANANDA. He has had profound mastery of Sanskrit and a very good academic education. He is quite unlike the modern and ultra-modern English educated youth who develop a mentally anaemic lothfulness towards the Deva Nagari or the language of the Devas. He is of medium stature with a height of about 5 feet 2 inches. His constitution is quite delicate and his dynamism is appallingly silent. One of the most highly advanced souls as he is. he seldom moves out of his Kutir, I mean the YOGA SADHANA KUTIR, being impelled by an innate force to devote his whole time to study and Meditation. He has had his schooling under Gurudev Sivanandaji Maharaj for well over three years after renunciation of the world in 1943. He is the fortunate recipient of Sanyasa Diksha under the universally-acknowledged Avtar Sivanandaji Maharaj on the holy Makar Sankranti in 1946. How glorious is he to have obtained Sannyas at the green tender age of 24!
From toe nail to tuft, I mean the head, he is every inch a Vedantin. He studied not only the Eastern but the Western philosophy as well. He speaks very little, almost to the point of nil. It is very hard to have his Darshan even, but he is ever obliging by nature in so far as his relationship with his students is concerned. His unmistakably serious and indubitably serene facial expression with pursed lips always indicate that he is beyond the body and world-idea and that he is deeply attached to the Nameless and Formless. He is the sole authorised PUROHIT (priest) of the by-gone and prospective Sannyasis of Sivananda Order. Though a Vedantin to the core, he takes a keen interest under the directions of Gurudev in Hatha Yoga, too, Asans, Mudras, Bandhas, Kriyas, Pranayam, etc., while under practice by this Jnana Yogi, have been filmed long ago.
He is highly terse in writing but smooth and refined in his speeches. He studied Yoga Vasishtha, Mancha Dasi, Gita, Upanishads, Brahma Sutras, Vichara Sagar, etc., not once or twice but scores of times. He is really the practical, unoutmoded edition of living philosophy. He has been offered the sacred title of “Vedanta Kesari”, the. Lion of Vedanta, by Gurudev. Recently he has been honoured with the title M.Ph.—Master of Philosophy—which is becoming of him. All the various Mantras or Slokas necessary to substantiate the verities of the abstract and abstruse metaphysical knotty points he can recall at any required moment without any struggle and satisfy the spiritual hunger and thirst of the audience. Since the inauguration of the Yoga Vedanta Forest University in 1948 he has been its Professor and Registrar as well. He is now nominated as its Pro-Vice Chancellor. No special occasion such as Sadhana Week, Gurudev's Birthday celebrations, etc., misses his august and graceful presence.
His work ‘Realisation of the Absolute' won the esteem of many. He has written “Sivananda Stotra Ratna Mala”, etc., in Sanskrit in adoration of his Guru. He is a very good commentator as well. Isa, Kena, Katha and Mundaka Upanishads, besides Moksha Gita of Gurudev, have already been commented upon by this metaphysician. He is also the Mahatma in charge of the Library and Yoga Museum. His silent dynamism consists in study, meditation on the Absolute. and contribution of articles to the Divine Life magazine of a very high order. The Virtue of his silence is the outcome of constant Atma-Vichara (Self-enquiry). Swami Nityanandaji of South India once said that he is the “Sankaracharya of Ananda Kutir”. Gurudev says of him that he is the “Dakshinamurti of Sivananda Nagar”. To me he is the “Silent Monarch of Sivananda Kshetra”.
My humble prostrations unto his holy feet and my sincere prayers unto our Guru, Almighty, to bless him and his students of the University with health and long life. May the Guru of this Noble Soul live long to spread the message of hope, cheer and redemption throughout the world!
Om Sivananda! Jai Sivananda! Om Sivananda! Jai Sivananda!