A Short Message given on the Occasion of the Birth Anniversary of Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, 25th April, 2018
by his Gurubhai, Sri Swami Vimalanandaji Maharaj at the Samadhi Mandir
Glory to Worshipful Gurudev, Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj! Glory to Revered Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj!
Today is the 96th Birthday of Revered Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj. Swamiji loved Lord Krishna and therefore he took the name of Swami Krishnananda Saraswati. In the room where he lived, right in front of him he had placed a picture of Lord Krishna in His universal form – the Vishwaroopa Darshan. Every morning when he got up from his bed, he used to fold his hands first to this picture and offer his worship mentally.
Swami Krishnanandaji was born on 25th April, 1922 in Puttur in Karnataka State to a highly religious family. All the members of the family were well-versed in Sanskrit. Even at a young age, Subbaraya (this was his pre-monastic name) had conceived great love for Sanskrit. He memorized the entire Bhagavad Gita at an early age.
Subbaraya had studied in a high school and passed the S.S.L.C. examination in First Class. He could not go to college for higher studies. There was no college at his place. His parents could not afford to send him to a far-off place for higher education.
After his high school, he took up a Government job at Hospet. His love for study of the scriptures was so great, he resigned the job and travelled to Varanasi (Kashi). Kashi is a sacred city. There is great scope there to study Sanskrit and all the sacred scriptures.
Subbaraya stayed at the Shankara Mutt in Kashi, and started studying Sanskrit. The manager of this Mutt saw his love to study scriptures and his love for seclusion, and directed him to go to Rishikesh and join Sivanandashram.
Subbaraya came to Sivanandashram in 1944 and joined the Ashram. When he had his first Darshan of Gurudev, Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, Gurudev told him, "Stick to this place. Kings and ministers will bow to you." Ever since, he never wavered and stuck to the Ashram.
After joining the Ashram, Subbaraya did all kinds of menial services. He did not have any comfort. He occupied one of the rooms at Yoga Sadhana Kutir block. Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj, then known as Sridharji, was his neighbor. He took Sannyasa in the year 1946 and Gurudev gave him the name Swami Krishnananda.
Swamiji lived a very hard life in the Ashram. For nearly fifteen years he lived an austere life. He did not have even a cot to sleep. He had only a mat and no pillow. He used his hand as a pillow. There was no water in the Ashram. Everyone went to the Ganga to take bath and bring some water for drinking purpose.
Swami Krishnanandaji continued to do all sorts of menial service in the Ashram. In summer he supplied cold water from earthen pots to pilgrims. He swept the floor and washed his own clothes. There were no servants in the Ashram then.
Swamiji always loved seclusion. He used to sit for hours together at Dattatreya Temple. For many years it was a forest and no one used to go there. Now it is very different; so many buildings have come up.
Swamiji spoke on all important occasions. He is the author of several books. Satgurudev appointed him as the General Secretary in the year 1959. Until his departure from this world, for more than 40 years he served in this capacity.
Swami Krishnanandaji had mastered both Eastern and Western philosophy. He had such clarity of mind till the end of his life. His talks were inspiring. There was a clarity in his talks. He served Gurudev's mission with single-minded devotion. He was unique in every way.
May his life inspire all of us for many more years to come. May his benedictions ever be upon us for all times to come!
In the Service of Gurudev,