Life of Swami Venkatesananda

23. Story of Venkatesananda

The Divine Life Trust Society

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Venkatesaya

Sri N. Srinivasan

'Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, unknown,
And waste its sweetness in the desert air.'

The fragrance of the flower that was born on the 2nd January, 1922, in a remote village in Tanjore District, was smelt by Gurudev Sivananda at Ananda Kutir. Even before the flower could give its fragranca in its birth-place, Swamiji, by his mystic power, drew the flower while in bud, and planted it in his Ashram, to give fragrance not only to him but also to several thousands of his devotees. If Gurudev's Kripa had not fallen on this flower, it would not have given such sweet fragrance and in an unknown corner it would be wasting the nice smell.

The Divine child, christened Parthasarathy, was born in the most sacred month of Margasirsha in 1922, in a village in Tanjore District.

Fondled by the dear old paternal grandmother, and brought up by the great disciplinarian, Sri Ramanuja Iyengar (paternal uncle), the boy developed divine qualities like Dhruva and Prahlada.

The boy was simple, humble and nobility-personified, and knew not mischief.
Even at the age of 12, he began to write to Gurudev Sivananda, beseeching him to accept him as his disciple and guide him in the spiritual path.

While at Madras, he walked up the sacred Tirumalai Hills, times without number, to have Darshan and blessings of Lord Venkateswara.

After a short service in the A.R.P. and in the Supply Department of the India Government at Calcutta and New Delhi, his official career was given a go-by.

When the Divine Call came, like Siddhartha, he moved to the Saint's Abode of Bliss, early in September 1945, and fell at the Lotus-Feet of his Gurudev.

Blessed by his Gurudev, Swami Venkatesananda shines in the Crest-Jewel of Siva, along with the Kohinoor of the Mission, Swami Chidananda, and other gems.

Divine Parthasarathy is now driving the Chariot of Sivananda.

May the Lord Venkateswara bless his Bhakta with sound health, to serve his Gurudev Siva ind through him the world at large. Glory to Guru-Bhagavan Jaya Sivananda.

This Divine child Parthasarathy underwent many trials and tribulations like Dhruva and Prahlada early in life, but by Guru Kripa crossed all obstacles, and now shines like the Pole Star in the Abode of Bliss of Gurudev Sivananda. With his genial temperament and endearing personality, the young Swami captivates the minds of all those who come in contact with him. He has earned the approbation of his Gurudev who describes him as 'The Crest-Jewel and the Resplendence of my Mission.' Who else can shower better laurels on Swami Venkatesananda than those of his most revered Gurudev? Gurudev Sivananda is his God.

Swami Venkatesa in his book 'Bhagavad Gita for Students' says: 'I have only one Guru, and he is God on earth, the truest embodiment of the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.' If every Gurubhai lives up to this ideal, there would be no doubt that this Bharata-Varsha would become Heaven on Earth.

Though Swami Venkatesananda is always by the side of his Gurudev, he has not forgotten his mundane Poorvashram father. As the proverb goes that the thread which binds the flowers would also give some smell, he has made his father rise up in the spiritual plane. Gurudev has showered his choicest blessings on Srinivasan by awarding several titles and also the rare gift of giving his own name to be prefixed to his disciple's name. Swami Venkatesananda has thus, like Prahlada, got salvation to his father. Which son will do this in this Kali Yuga? He has injected Guru Bhakti into his father. Whenever Srinivasan hears the name or sees the picture of Gurudev, he sheds Ananda Bashpa. He has enshrined Gurudev in his heart. To him also, like Venkatesananda, Gurudev is everything. Gurudev has blessed him with peace and bliss. Recently Sri Venkateswarananda of Arogya Ashram, Adyar, while having a jovial talk with Srinivasan, said: 'Swamiji has unbounded affection towards you, and your Guru-Bhakti is also very great. I wonder whose affection is greatest', The answer was: 'Certainly Gurudev's.' Who can fathom Guru Kripa? In Srinivasan's case, whether he deserves it or not, he gets it through the instrument of Swami Venkatesananda.

Swami Venkatesananda has not forgotten his brothers and sisters. When his father asked him to guide his brothers in the right direction by writing to them, in 1952 Venkatesananda gave his brother Ramakrishnan lessons on the Bhagavad Gita, which were printed by the Yoga-Vedanta Forest University, and copies of which were sold out and distributed by Gurudev within a short time. Boys who read this book will certainly improve a lot and go in the right path to prosperity and Immortality. His brothers have been greatly benefited by his books and letters of advice, and they anxiously await the summer holidays to run up to the Ashram to spend their time with their beloved brother. These boys have been so nicely trained by Venkatesananda to serve Gurudev. They have also received the blessings of Gurudev, and they are today very proud of their brother.

The blessed father of Swami Venkatesananda, after the celebration of Gurudev's birthday at Madras on the 16th September 1954, rushed to the Ashram to pay his respects to and to receive the blessings of Gurudev. He heaved a sigh of relief when he saw his Gurudev in normal health after his serious illness. After paying his respects to Gurudev, he said that Sri Seshachalam Chetty of Curzon & Co., Madras, had come to Rishikesh for going to Badrinath and that he was also thinking of making the trip to Badri the next day along with Sri Chettiar. At once Swamiji blessed him and said: 'Yes. You can go with Sri Chettiar. This is a very pleasant season. May God bless you.' At that time Sri Krishna Iyer of Madurai was present. Swamiji said: 'Krishna Iyer, you have company. Why not you, too, go? You can take Vijayalakshmi also with you'. In spite of heavy going, en route to Badri, due to unprecedented rains, the party had a wonderful trip and Darshan of Lord Badri Narayan, and without any mishap returned to the Ashram in good health and in record time. All these would have been impossible but for the grace and blessings of Swamiji.

On return from Badri, Srinivasan stayed in the Ashram for about a week during Durga Puja. On the 8th October, 1954, when he had the good fortune of performing Pada-Puja to Gurudev, he requested Gurudev to place his Lotus-Feet on his head and bless him, to which Gurudev reluctantly yielded. The thrill and joy Srinivasan felt at this time is indescribable. Who will have this rare fortune? Who is the Moola Karta for all these ? He is none other than the beloved Swami Venkatesananda who has brought glory to his father and other members of his family.

Avatara Purushas and other Bhaktas, like Sri Rama, Krishna, Prahlada and Dhruva bave suffered a great deal in their early ages. If these Avatara Purushae had not thus suffered, they would not have attained Godhead and redeemed the world from Himsa and Adharma. Swami Venkatesananda stands a comparison in this respect. May Gurudev Swami Sivananda's grace be upon him always. May he be blessed with sound health and long life to serve Gurudev, is the prayer of all on this happy occasion of his 34th Birthday.