Life of Swami Venkatesananda

22. Swami Venkatesananda

The Divine Life Trust Society

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Venkatesaya

Indrajit Sharma, Simla

God's special grace has actually descended in an ample measure on those fortunate ones who step out of the glittering mansion of worldly delusion and mundane pomp and show. It is said in our sacred books that only one whom God chooses finds Him. It is not everybody that can aspire for God-realisation. The law of Karma also is an important factor to be reckoned in connection with the spiritual unfoldment of an aspirant. Only those who had done meritorious services and performed severe penances in their past births deserve God's special grace on their onward march to the peak of perfection. But one should not fatalistically be rooted in the lagoon of inertia and let life get rusted and spoiled thereby. Dynamic and intense useful activity is the symbol of life.

Spiritual path is the most difficult of all the paths. Spiritual journey is the most tiring of all the journies in the world. But unlike other worldly destinations where one feels fatigued and morose after the end of the journey, the destination or goal in spirituality, when reached, gives unparalleled peace, bliss and comfort. Discipline in military, even in any advanced country, falls into insignificance before the spiritual disciplines and restraints. Discipline in other compartments of life may be relaxed at times, but there is absolutely no relaxation in spiritual discipline; or rather relaxation in the latter spells peril and doom.

I am glad to note that Swami Venkatesananda whose birthday we have the privilege to celebrate today is a lucky person chosen by God for the highest prize of Moksha. I can say with all the knowledge about the Swami that he is a sincere and hard working aspirant. His aspiration for achieving God-realisation is admirable. It is really significant to note that he is exercising a continuous restraint over his lower emotions and instincts. He has got emotions, of course, but those have been rarefied, refined, and properly cultured. I found him at times immersed in an ocean of spiritual emotion.

Another lesson that we can learn from the life of my Gurubhai Swami Venkatesananda is the power of concentration which he possesses in plenty. It is reported that during the All-India Tour in 1950, undertaken by our Gurudev Siva, Swami Venkatesananda had sometimes to work in latrines in the running trains. When Swami Sivananda used to thunder forth his inspiring messages before the packed houses, it was Swami Venkatesananda who quickly took down notes of his immortal words and later on edited them and prepared a monumental work, entitled 'Sivananda's Lectures - All India Tour.'

Yet another good quality in him is his sense of dedication to the responsible tasks that are assigned to him. He works with tremendous speed to execute and finish the work on hand. This is a rare quality and is a sign of progress and prosperity. But one must always be dedicated to noble and humanitarian causes, and not otherwise. We must also emulate Swami Venkatesananda in adopting this quality in our own life.

An observing eye cannot fail to find an indefatigable worker in his person. All the time he is usefully engaged in some constructive work.

He is really a pillar of the Divine Life Society. He has added many feathers to the cap of the Divine Life Society. He has taken pains to establish goodwill and the prosperity of the Society to a great extent.

He is a humorous Swami and keeps his company happy and enjoyable. But at the same time he is very serious, and does not believe in cracking foolish jokes. Sometimes he expresses highly philosophical thoughts which should be recorded for the guidance and instruction of posterity.

Swami Venkatesananda is full of Guru-Bhakti. Sivananda's heart has been captured by his high class devotion to Guru, God and Guru's Mission. Swamiji calls him 'Venkates' out of love for him. Now let us also fall in love with this young but enterprising devout Swami, and lovingly address him as Venkatesa, henceforward, in the few more lines that follow.

Venkatesa is a talented editor and knows intuitively what makes the magazine or book look more beautiful, more impressive, more inspiring and last, but not the least, more salable. I simply love the Yoga-Vedanta Forest University Weekly so ably edited by him. I have preserved every copy of this little lovely weekly since its very inception. I wait anxiously for every next issue of the weekly.

Venkatesa is a medium-sized bespectacled young man, with broad shoulders, expanded chest, red cheeks and a little raised big head. He enjoys good health. He is a master of Yogic exercises. His voice is sweet and behaviour pleasing.

He loves simplicity. This is a quality found in every great man, and Venkatesa is no exception. He is simple in everything that he does.

What I have liked most in him is his love for and devotion to Siva. It simply passes beyond my understanding to note his overwhelming love for Siva. When Siva was sick in July 1954, I happened to be there. I was spell-bound to personally witness his devotion to Swamiji. I have got no exact comparison to make in this respect. But all I can say is that his Guru-Bhakti is a phenomenon worth witnessing and worth emulating to boot.

Venkatesa is a dexterous writer and tactful speaker. He has spoken in a number of important functions. I can testify to his good command over the English language. His writings are generally very impressive and inspiring. I wish him all success in his literary career under the divine protection of Gurudev Sivananda Maharaj.

In the end, I wish Venkatesa Swami many happy returns of the day, and pray to God with all earnestness and sincerity at my command to bless him with health and long life. May he shine like a sun.