Life of Swami Venkatesananda

31. The Spiritual Luminary

The Divine Life Trust Society

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Venkatesaya

Sri Om Narayanananda, Madras

Prostrations and adorations to the feet of Sri Swami Venkatesananda, the devotee of Lord Venkatesa, an embodiment of love, affection and modesty, whose life was spent and is being spent in the region of spirituality, who is the right hand of Sri Swami Sivananda Maharaj, the glory of the Ashram, an unfailing guide to millions of aspirants, a blend of the East and the West, and a sheet-anchor to unified, dynamic, synthesized, sublimated, non-sectarian practical Hinduism.

Swami Venkatesananda has just completed the first one score and 13 years of his sublime life of universal service and spiritual ministry.

India's ancient history records the case of the king who kept one of his hands on burning charcoal, while he was discussing metaphyical problems with a learned Brahmin. Swami Venkatesananda is really the 20th Century replica of such a person. He is an embodiment of benevolence and politeness.

Always smiling, never frowning, he is essentially a man of peace. His utter simplicity, and integrity command respect, while his radiant smile incites all immediately to prostrate themselves before his holy feet. His adorable simplicity and quick grasp of things places him on a par with those blessed ones that are at peace within.

He possesses, in a remarkable degree, the sterling qualities of head and heart, i.e., spontaneous and unrestrained love, nobility, humility, mercy, patience and a spirit of self-sacrifice.

Venkatesananda, born of a noble family, well educated, hails in the spiritual realm, even at this age, and goes to prove his inborn saintliness and resplendent spiritual aptitude. Undoubtedly he is an example of simple living and high thinking.

The poor and the rich, young and old, national and international, the worldly and the spiritual - all those who come to the Sivanandashram, situated right on the banks of the Ganges, and pay a visit to the pivot of the Ashram, Swami Sivananda Maharaj, who, for the past quarter of a century, has worked unsparingly for elevating mankind and alleviating misery, through the inspiring life-giving doctrine of Vedanta, by teaching the noble tenets of selfless service, universal love and charity, will never fail to notice Swami Venkatesananda, for he is the right hand of Swami Sivananda. Wherever Swami Sivananda goes, wherever Swami Sivananda lectures, wherever Swami Sivananda sits, Venkatesananda's presence will always be there. He is the very shadow of Swami Sivananda.

Saints are generally ot two kinds all the world over. There are saints who transcend the world and live more or less perpetually in an ecstasy of Bliss, having a direct vision of the Absolute Spirit. They occasionally come down to give us the glad tidings of what they have seen and experienced in the transcendental state, start a great movement of spiritual revival, and affect a change in the spiritual history of the nation to which they belong.
But there are also saints who remain in the world, going through the humdrum of life and its vexatious experiences, but having a steady vision of the ultimate ends of life, fight incessantly with evil, and both by precept and example promote the cause of truth, love, peace and holiness.

Swami Sivananda is a saint belonging to both the classes, and viewing from an angle it would be clear that a member of the second class of saints is Swami Venkatesananda. When I said 'viewing from an angle', I mean 'in the capacity of an agent.' It is a well-known fact that the act of the agent is an act of the principal. What the principal commands, the agent obeys and carries out. Swami Sivananda, the principal, through the agent Venkatesananda, spreads his gospel and noble tenets all over the world.
It is not an exaggeration to say that Venkatesananda is the Kaliyuga-Avatara of the Lord of the Seven Hills, in view of his universal love and selfless service.

Countless grateful souls who come to the Ashram to see Swami Sivananda Maharaj look up to Venkatesananda, as their guide, friend, philosopher, and well-wisher. His services to the Ashram are beyond my capacity to describe. If I may be permitted to say so, with utmost respect to the revered sage, I would say, 'He is a master of all arts and Jack of all trades'. A few minutes back he could be found at the Forest University, giving suggestions; a few minutes after he will be in the Viswarath Mandir, praying to the Lord; a little after he will be in the printing press correcting proofs; in the photo-studio, selecting pictures and photos; by the side of Swami Sivananda, ardently listening to his precepts; by the side of guests who visit the Ashram, talking with them in a sweet and simple manner; and in a short time he will be seen busily engaged in replying to the spiritual souls all over the world. This goes to prove without controversy that he is a Jack of all trades, but with mastery over them.

Above all this, his art of stenography contributed very much for the successful bringing out of so many volumes of Swami Sivananda's literature, his teachings and precepts in the form of leaflets, bulletins, etc

His writings and contributions to the society's monthly journals, on various subjects, reveal his great abilities. These facts go to prove that Venkatesananda is a master of all the arts of practical life.

His abiding love can be yours at a mere glance at him; his services are yours for the mere asking; and his advice is always available to the seeking world. Every inch of him is a man exceedingly humane. Every atom of his being is Sannyasa itself. A great part of the responsibility of the world-wide organization of the Divine Life Society lies on his broad and powerful shoulders.

If Swami Sivananda is considered as a tree of spiritual knowledge, Venkatesananda is water and manure for its growth. If Swami Sivananda can well be compared to a philosopher, Venkatesananda is an aid to spread the philosophy of the philosopher. If His Holiness is compared to a musician, Venkatesananda is considered as the amplifier of the music of the musician.

Ripe with his fruitful and lofty ideals, Sri Swami Venkatesananda is at peace with himself and is one of the happiest of men.

Prostrations to the blessed feet of Swami Venkatesananda, the pure and holy prism which radiates in splendid and brilliant colours the supreme light.

Prostrations and adorations, again and again, to Venkatesananda, who is living in the sacred environments of Ananda Kutir, where every ripple of the Ganga, every rush of the forest wind, and the very soil of the Himalayas, gives a thrill characteristic of the ancient Tapasya and Dhyana.

I pray, again and again, to the Lord to give this renowned sage long life, peace and plenty. I once again pray to the Lord Tryambakeswara to bestow on this dynamic spiritual soul radiant health and supreme joy.