The Master's Personality
The Master was simple and childlike in his attitude, yet he had the bearing of an ancient sage. He prostrated to saints and scavengers and bowed to stones, bricks and donkeys. He addressed even little children with courtesy. He respected the rights of animals and showed them extreme love and compassion.
Divine wisdom flowed from the Master's lips in a continuous stream. His powerful, inspiring thoughts influenced people all over the world. Such was his unparalleled literary charity that most of his books were given away free.
In his own lifetime, the Master received the homage of saints and holy men, of ministers and politicians, of philosophers and doctors, of film stars and cultural artists.
We relate an incident that brings home to us graphically the essence of the Master's teachings and his inner vision of God. Once, the monks avoided a certain path that led to the alms-house. The Master discovered that en route was the cottage of a sick monk who suffered from the dreaded cholera. He at once went and nursed the ailing monk. And he chided the monks: "You all came here to seek God. God in the form of a sick monk is in a dying state, yet you have not the heart to see God in him and serve him". Such was the Master's vision!
The Master was an optimist. A negative attitude had no place in him. Every word he uttered, every sentence he wrote, was charged with a rare spiritual power, because he taught what he himself practised in his daily life. This was the outstanding feature of his personality.
The Divine Master radiated peace and serenity because he was himself filled with the peace and serenity of God. He radiated love because he was filled with the love of God. He shed the light of joy because his heart was filled with the light of God. His practical life taught us that we, too, can realise God in and through life, without having to resort to caves and jungles. His life was a perfect example of the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.
The gift of divine knowledge occupied a unique place in the Master's heart. He reasoned thus: Give food to the hungry, and after a while they will be hungry again. Give clothes to the naked, and very soon they will be in need again. Give money to the needy, and when they have spent it, they will be in want again. But give divine knowledge to all, and you would have provided them the wherewithal to take care of themselves.
The all-merciful Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda merged in God on July 14, 1963, leaving behind numerous followers all over the world to spread his great gospel of love and service.
Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of the world-renowned Self-Realisation Fellowship, and author of the famous spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi, paid a glowing tribute to the Master during the Master's own lifetime:"The life of the great Rishi, Swami Sivananda, serves as a perfect example of selfless activity. He blesses India and the world by his presence".