Life of Swami Venkatesananda

43. Dhruva-Tara of Sivananda Jagat

The Divine Life Trust Society

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Venkatesaya

Sri Sivananda-Padasevak

Of a minimum of about 1200 letters (excluding those relating to the other Departments not directly connected with Swamiji) which Swami Sivananda Maharaj receives monthly for his personal consideration, a few pertain to aspirants of the Saiva faith, a few to the Vaishnavas, a few to the Saktas, a few to the Buddhists, a few to the Jainas, a few to the Christians, a few to the Mohammedans, a few to the Parsis, and so on, in the world of existing faiths. But all these persons accept the authority of Sri Swami Sivananda. The universal love and indisputable approbation he gains is due to the fact that he is a pukka Saiva to a Saiva, a staunch Vaishnava to a Vaishnava, an ardent Sakta to a Sakti worshipper, a rigid Christian to a Christian, a stiff Mohammedan to a Mohammedan, a cleanly Parsi to a Parsi, a first-rate Jaina to a Jaina, a front-ranking Buddhist to a Buddhist, an open-hearted Sikh to a Sikh, and so on. A realised soul's nature it is to be such.

Quite early in life, a young man in service, belonging to the Dravidian Vaishnava Brahmin community, found out through books and correspondence that Sivananda Maharaj is another Ramanujacharya, and took resort in him. This youth is none other than Parthasarathi Iyengar. Parthasarathi means 'Charioteer of Partha - Arjuna, i.e., Sri Krishna. How wonderful is the name. How deftly he is charioteering the modern Arjunas through his vehicle, The Forest University Weekly. He was born on Thursday, by 1.15 pm., on Amavasya with Purvashadha constellation in ascendence. in the Dhanur Rasi, Margali of Durmati Samvatsara. The Bhakti instinct that is naturally predominant in a Vaishnava, somehow drew Parthasarathi aside from the world and made him cling to the lotus-feet of Ramanuja in Sivananda Maharaj. But lo! The moment he clung fast to Him, he turned into a Saiva, a Sakta, a Ganapatya, a Saura, and so on, to ultimately shine as a blend of all the various existing faiths.

O Destiny! Am I to call thee cruel or kind? No, I do not decry thee. How nice art thou to present this soul as an instrument for the betterment of the world, through the unique and unitary Sivananda.

Swami Venkatesananda is extremely silent in speech, humble in manners, loving in temperament, devotional in frame of mind, dignified in writings, thorough in his dealings, and perfect in his entrusted tasks. He is not garrulous in any way, nor is he self-exhibiting in the matter of his superfine attainments on the intellectual plane. Undoubtedly he is one of the few best brains of the Ashram. Likewise he is one of the brilliant souls that would surely draw the attention of even casual visitors, without any self-advertisement. His sole and singularly inspiring message to the world under the guidance of his Guru is: 'Swakarmana Tamabhyarchya Siddhim Vindati Manavah'. (XVIII.46)

To him, Seva of Guru is Archana of Govinda. That is why he hunts Swamiji Maharaj with his bow and arrow - the shorthand note-book and the pencil - and compresses his Guru breadthwise in unknown strokes, and releases Him at large for the benefit of the world to effect an ideal inner transformation.

Though a Vaishnavite, Swami Venkatesananda repeats Siva Stotras, Devi Stutis, etc, without any bias or prejudice. What a nice lesson he teaches to all his brethren. Spiritually he is very catholic; not conservative. He is a good Yogabhyasi and a good Sankirtanist. Not only is he a Sankirtan-Premi, but a votary of histrionics. He is also a staunch Gita-Pracharaka. He is an advocate of Surya Namaskara. He delights in seclusion and silence, and so he remains unbefriended in his Kutir. The absolute ascetic indifference which he normally has, has induced in him a sense of non-attachment to all things. He has no idea or notion of brother, father, sister, mother, etc. To him, all are the Pancha-Bhautika symbols of God. Even if his own mother has been living in the Ashram in which he lives, he has evinced no special affection for her. He treats her as he treats others.

Truly Swami Venkatesananda is the Dhruva-Tara (Pole Star) of Sivananda-Jaqat (World of Sivananda). May Lord Venkatesa bless Swami Venkatesananda ever. May the Universal Guru, Sivananda, guide his disciple Venkatesananda and his fraternity ever.