Life of Swami Venkatesananda

3. In His Foot-steps

The Divine Life Trust Society

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Venkatesaya

Sri Kamalamma, following that of Swami Sivananda.

The lion is the king of the jungles. When the lion roars, naturally, all the petty inhabitants of the jungle lie down low on the ground. The voice and the echo penetrate not only the very heart of the jungle, but every nook and corner of it. For the time being all the other animals are paralysed with fear. They dare not even move. Such is the tremendous roaring of our Majestic Lion Swami Sivananda, our great Master, whose den is Ananda Kutir in the Himalayas. His majestic roaring of the Vedanta silences all the 'beasts' of vices lording over the hearts and minds of men. But this silence is a short-lived one. It exists only so long as the voice is thundering. Then again, slowly, the beasts rise up. They are up once again - monsters working havoc, dragging every human being into the jaws of death.

Can the sweet music of our Eternal charming Sivananda penetrate into the hearts of vicious selfish people whose minds are filled with vanity, egoism, pride, selfishness and a thousand other vices?

The mind and heart should be cleansed of all impurities. Swami Sivananda asks us to give one-tenth of our income towards charity. A man is prepared to spend and waste a fortune on his wife's amusements and fancies and on his children, but where does he have the heart to contribute even a small sum towards a good cause, even if it be to save one from death? Such are the selfish, the mean, the heartless. Yet they call themselves noble men. Where is the nobility? Swami Sivananda says, 'They have a small heart'.
The world looks down on a Sadhu or a Sannyasin who, in the eyes of the world, is a beggar going about from place to place. He really depends wholly on God's mercy and love, doing good to humanity, offering up his very life as Prasad to God, for the benefit of the world.

Swami Sivananda says that these are the very people who save men that are rushing headlong to their ruin, their destruction. These Sadhus are verily the saviors of the world. It is they who divert men from the path to destruction, men who, like the waters running at their full speed into the ocean, are seen to be running towards death. It is they who save them by diverting the channels of their minds from evil to good, from selfishness to selflessness, from impurity to purity, from the path of death to the path of Divinity. The good they do to one and all is indeed great. Even in millions of lives one will hardly be able to repay even an atom of the debt that one owes to them.

They are the kings of kings. They are the saviors of mankind. So, how great should be our reverence towards these saints. But for them the world would be in a state of chaos. Swami Sivananda says, 'Who tries to think about his own faults? Do men ever think what good actions they have done each day? How many vices have they eradicated, and how many virtues have they developed?' This human birth is very precious. This birth in given to us to know God and to be free, ever enjoying the eternal bliss. One cup of milk will do; the second cup loses its taste. The third cup produces nausea. One gets sick of it. Such is this world! Drink that nectar, that which you could be eternally drinking and enjoying. Instead, you run after the cheap pleasures which give you momentary sensual gratification, and then bring only pain. Just as a man suffering from itches derives some pleasure in scratching himself, there is an apparent pleasure in sense-contact. Such are the pleasures of the world. Swami Sivananda says that all men here are slaves, slaves of slaves, ever slaves of the mind and the senses. All are beggars. He exhorts us to do Sadhana and get rid of this slavery. He says that we should get up early in the morning and do Japa, meditation. We have to be good, and to do good. Do not be selfish. Speak a few words. Speak sweetly. Speak gently. Speak truthfully. Share with others what you have. Do not live for yourself alone. Live to serve God, by serving humanity. Give away one-tenth of your income towards charity. This will purify your mind. Thus you become blessed.

My Pranams to my own Father, whom I have found at last, though in this old age of mine. I wish to serve my Father to the utmost of my capacity, though I am poor and weak.

My heart and soul and body are Thine, I completely surrender myself at Thy Lotus-Feet.