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Glorious Fifty Years of Wisdom and Service
A Souvenir released on Swami Krishnananda's 50th Birthday

The Living Sankaracharya

by Sivanand-Kripalani, New Delhi

Of late, I have come to realise that after all this life has not been in vain because of my contact in March 1954 with the Holy Feet of the Great Master, Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, the Divine Magnet to whom were attracted such elevated souls as Swami Krishnanandaji whose Golden Jubilee we now have the joy of celebrating on 25th April, 1972.

In the beginning, we were told about the greatness of some of the top Swamis in the Ashram, but in my own brain it was just 'greatness' as the word means, and nothing beyond. A little of respect for them, mixed with awe, and that was all. According to me, understanding of great spiritual personalities is a revealing process which takes its own time depending upon our own inward awareness that attracts grace. It is not a mere intellectual etiquette.

During my second or third visit to the Ashram, I had the good luck of having been shown round the Yoga Museum by Swami Krishnananda. It was memorable experience; so much that the Yoga Museum and Swami Krishnananda became synonymous to me. The curator himself entered my mind as the crest exhibit. This stirred up my feelings to the tune that I realised how small and dull I was. I developed a deep reverence for Swami Krishnananda which is since growing. To me he is the symbol of Spiritual Knowledge.

The greatest impact on our Guru Bhais, and other seekers has been through the medium of Swami Krishnananda's powerful writings. His masterpiece "The Realisation of the Absolute" was first published when he was just 30 years. His regular articles in "The Divine Life" are the most valuable thing for me every month. They make a nice dose of Swadhaya. They are extremely impressive and penetrating. They reveal the depth of his knowledge and of understanding.

Many of us know, in November 1960, the so called Swiss party of about 25 visited the Ashram with Sri Sivananda-Maragarita as their leader. The Ashram was aglow with activity. Some of the party wished to have Swami Krishnananda's Darshan at close quarters. Gurudev obliged them, and the learned Swami was presented to them on the stage. Gurudev said, "He is the living Sankaracharya. I have learnt some of the intricacies of Vedanta from him." Was Gurudev flattering? The truth is known to many who read Swami Krishnananda's writings.

His contribution in the administration of the Ashram for the past 20 years has been enormous. He is mostly there. He goes out of the Ashram the least, next only to the stones that constitute the hills on which the Ashram stands. He revealed the grandeur of Karma Yoga aspect of his personality during the transition period after Gurudev attained Maha-Samadhi and for long period Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj was away from the Ashram recently.

There is no adjective to describe his discourses on the Bhagavad Gita. They are simply superb. The classes are attended by such learned Pandits as Sri Swami Jnananbajee. Swami Jnananandaji says "Thus I get understanding of the meaning of Gita. Who can explain like that? "

On this joyous day, our prayers go out to Gurudev and God to grant this great Sanyasi-Jnani many, many years of healthy life, for the benefit of the humanity.