Pujya Swamiji is heralded by many saints world-wide as well as leaders in this country as one of the great spiritual personalities of our time who contributed silently for almost six decades to moral & spiritual regeneration and social upliftment programmes. Many leaders have proclaimed that Pujya Swamiji's work in this country is unparalleled. The hallmark of Pujya Swamiji's life is his complete self-surrender and intense Guru Bhakti. Swamiji lived to glorify Gurudev every moment of his life.
Out of many examples of Guru and disciple relationships, Gurudev chose to mention the rare example of Sri Adi Sankara and Padmapada, when Gurudev spoke of Pujya Swamiji on the occasion when Pujya Swamiji was initiated into the holy order of Sannyas on 10 April 1956. Sri Padmapada was one of the most prominent and most devoted disciples of Sri Sankara and like the great Padmapada, Pujya Swamiji had total and absolute surrender to our Divine Master. It is no wonder then that our Divine Master used Pujya Swamiji as his instrument to revive and propagate Guru Bhakti Yoga and to disseminate his literature.
Two letters written by our Divine Master to Pujya Swamiji were read out at the Satsang. In the first, dated 13 August 1956, the Master quotes a letter written to him by Sri Albrecht Lewald of Pretoria, in praise of Pujya Swamiji. We quote an excerpt from this letter: "Our Pretoria Group was present at the opening of the Hillbrow Branch. Swami Srinivasan (Sahajananda) spoke with convincing dignity and sincerity. (I) Am admiring and loving my young Gurubhai who strikes me as the saintliest person I have ever met in my life."Pujya Swamiji chose a verse from the Bhagavad Gita to introduce his message on the importance of the Divine Name: "He attains Me easily who remembers Me constantly and daily." In this pre-recorded audio message, Pujya Swamiji said, "Every repetition of the Name brings about purification of the heart−takes us nearer God, creates spiritual vibrations and improves conditions. We can never say how the Name helps us. But, there is no doubt that if the Name of God did not have marvellous powers, then our great saints would not be writing about it so often."
As a birthday offering to Pujya Swamiji, the Spiritual Darlings of Pietermaritzburg enacted a Dance Drama on Lord Krishna and chanted the Siva Tandav Stotram. Both these items were fitting offerings as they were very much loved by Pujya Swamiji. One of the most loved stories on Lord Krishna is that of Makhan Chor (Butter Thief). The Baby Krishna would enter the homes of his devotees in search of this delicacy. In this dance drama, the villagers complain to Mother Yashoda that Krishna has again stolen their butter and when Baby Krishna is confronted with this, his immediate response is to deny that he has done so. He then goes through an entire range of excuses designed to protest his innocence until finally admitting to his mother that he did in fact steal the butter. The dance shows the mischievousness of Baby Krishna. Pujya Swamiji would have been proud of our Spiritual Darlings from Pietermaritzburg.
Perhaps a background to the Siva Tandav Stotram would not be out of place. The Uttara Kand of the Ramayana records the story of the King Ravana who had defeated and looted the city of his brother Kubera which was located near Mount Kailash. After the victory, Ravana was returning to Lanka in his chariot, Pushpaka Vimana (the flying chariot he took from Kubera) when he spotted a beautiful place. However, his chariot could not fly over it. Ravana met Nandi, Lord Shiva's attendant, who told him that he was not allowed to pass over Mount Kailash as Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati were there. Ravana became enraged and mocked Nandi who cursed him that monkeys would destroy him. In turn, Ravana decided to uproot Mount Kailash. He put his twenty arms under the mountain and started to lift it. Mother Parvati was terrified. However, the omniscient Lord Shiva, pressed the mountain into place with his big toe and trapped Ravana under it. Ravana cried out in pain. He then began to sign hymns in praise of Lord Shiva. The Shiva Tandav Stotram is one such hymn written by Ravana in praise of Lord Shiva. Our gratitude to the Spiritual Darlings of PMB for bringing out the energy of these verses so beautifully.
On behalf of all devotees, we thank our Divine Master for blessing us with his foremost disciple, Sri Swami Sahajananda. We offer our heartfelt gratitude to Pujya Swamiji for the deep love Swamiji has for all of us and the care with which he continues to guide and shape our lives. We thank Swamiji for accepting us into the Ashram and we pray that we may have the devotion, loyalty and sincerity to follow Swamiji's directives in our daily lives. Today, as we celebrate the glorious life of Pujya Swamiji and during this most auspicious Guru Purnima period, let us resolve to rededicate ourselves to our personal Sadhana and the activities of the Mission as a gift to Sri Gurudev and Pujya Swamiji for all that they are doing for us.