Life of Swami Venkatesananda

9. Pen Portrait of Swami Venkatesananda

The Divine Life Trust Society

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Venkatesaya

Swami Omkarananda

A little above medium height, broad chest and shoulders, strong frame, a fine nose, fair complexion, sparkling eyes - this is, in a phrase of the Upanishads, the material sheath of Swami Venkatesananda. He is as brilliant intellectually as he is wholesome in emotional expression; and, as though to balance his less-noticed deep devotional nature there are in him a few heterodox propensities. He is witty and boisterous too, but these and similar other qualities of his, evidence his liveliness and sanity. No doubt he is childlike - he is childish too; he cannot strike a pose; he cuts capers - but all these stand as testimonials to the absence of snobbery and his simple and unassuming nature. Quickness of grasp, ever jolly moods, a disposition to oblige, an endearing mode of speaking, strict and immediate obedience to Swamiji, are some of the special characteristics of our comely and most sociable editor of the Yoga-Vedanta Forest University Weekly.

This loving and lovable personality is a picture of boldness, originality and optimism. None is a stranger to him; only two-minutes' talk and a look at his winning smiles - you are his dearest friend.

With his fertile imagination, eye for detail, and command over good English, this expert stenographer can give you any number of brilliant and illuminating pages on any subject, or a report on any event, within a given time. He has, in an appreciable measure, a knack for discovering the soul of goodness even in things evil and transforming a profane subject into a spiritual one. Though a bit untidy where his own personal things are concerned, he is incomparably active, day and night, in the sacred service of his Master.

This young Swami, whose dispassion is commensurable only with his wisdom, throwing aside a most successful lucrative career, and rejecting the vulgar, yet dear to the popular view, prizes of life, has whole heartedly consecrated his youth, his talents, his genius, his life, in the divine service of the great World-Teacher, Swami Sivananda. Within a short span of a few years, to the astonishment of the old disciples of the Swamiji, he has become the right-hand of Swamij - the indispensable limb of any great hero.
Swami Venkateananda is so able, so intelligent, so efficient, and so rich in experience that he is a holy-wish-fulfiller of Swamiji; he is Swamiji's Chintamani. Is there a work that is to be done forthwith, and is it of great importance, then it is to Swami Venkatesananda that Swamiji entrusts it. This central pillar of the society is all things to its Founder-President; he is Swamiji's strength, and his quite indispensable staff at the Ashram and abroad.

Without him, Swamiji would not think of moving out. He is so completely in tune with the Spirit of Swamiji, and has, to a great extent, imbibed many of the excellences of Swamiji, that one might unmistakably say that he speaks for Swamiji and that Swamiji thinks and acts through him.

Venkatesananda is an enviable flute in the sacred hands of the greatest Sage of our times, that has purged itself of all the dross of the thoughts of self, emptied itself of personal welfare and unhealthy earthly ambitions. Few are fortunate as he is, literally to dance to the tunes of the holiest of holy men. Human nature is so bad to the core that man's ego aggressively shows its ugly head in all his physical and psychological expressions and activities. Swami Venkatesananda stands for complete self-surrender to the Guru; he is an exemplar of unquestioning obedience to the Guru; he would have none of his own thoughts, words and deeds vitiated by egoism and by the play of personal will and idiosyncrasies. He is the most blessed 'empty' medium through which is coursing the will of his Master. Every act of such a soul rendered in the great Cause of his Masters Mission is purely selfless and phenomenally successful.

This short note on Swami Venkatesananda was published in 1950. Since then he has grown much in inward greatness, outward achievement and also in importance.