This section is from the "Advices on Spiritual Living" book, by Sri Swami Chidananda.See also A Call to Liberation.
Beloved Immortal Atman!
Blessed Seeker After TRUTH!
Om Namo Narayanaya! Salutations in the holy name of worshipful Master Sivananda. I send you my greetings for the joyous Holi, the festival of Spring, the bright season of flowers, when the breeze comes to you filled with the fragrance of blossoms, and the sky is radiant with a warm brightness, after the chilly dullness of cold winter. May the fresh breeze of the Lord's Divine Grace waft Peace, Joy and Universal Love into your heart and lift up your life into a higher realm of spiritual vision and beauty. May this festival of Holi not only mean joy and brightness to you but may it also bring Purity and Holiness into thy life. Spring connotes the springing up into activity of fresh life impulses after a period of dormancy and inactivity. So too may it be in thy own life. Blessed Sadhak. Let the new season bring into your life fresh enthusiasm, new aspiration and vigorous quest after Dharma and Divine Realization. I wish you a new awakening and a new vision and new conquests and victories in the inner realm of the spirit. May God bestow upon you great achievement in self-culture, Yoga Sadhana and integral spiritual life.
Glory be to Gurudev Sivananda! Glory be to Divine Life of Yoga Vedanta! This servant had the holy privilege and joy of serving spiritual aspirants and Gurudev's work during this past one month and fifteen days through the entire month of January and up to the middle of February. On the morning of 17th February (Thursday) I arrived back at the Ashram and received the loving blessings and kind welcome of the gracious Guru Bandhus at the Ashram. Then we went directly from the road up to the sacred Samadhi shrine of Gurudev and worshiped here, as it was the day of the special weekly worship, being Thursday.
The next day, the Holy Mahashivaratri day the all night worship and vigil at the temple of the Lord of Universe (Viswanath) commenced at 8 p.m. This servant took bath at 10 p. m. and joined the worship at the temple where he offered Puja to Bhagwan Viswanath with Abhisheka, Archana, etc. on behalf of you and prayed for and invoked the lord's Divine Grace upon you for your health, happiness, welfare and highest spiritual Blessedness and Divine Peace and Bliss. The Ashramites and numerous visiting devotees all chanted Kirtan of Lord's Divine Name, prayed and worshipped at the Temple that night upto the Brahma-Muhurta the next dawn at 4.30 a.m. It was indeed an inspiring holy night, solemn and yet filled with fervour.
On the 20th this servant had the unique blessedness of going on foot to the holy shrine of Nilakanth Mahadev, seven miles from the Ashram, on the other side of Ganga, across the majestic Manikoot Pravat. Dr. Sivananda-Adhvaryoo and family, who had come to Ashram specially for the Mahasivaratri function, expressed a desire to make this short but strenuous Yatra, and so went in a party of ten persons through the forest, up steep mountain footpaths to this ancient temple, situated in the heart of the hills, a mile below the temple of Bhuwaneshwari. It was a chill winter day and night we spent there offering worship to Bhagwan Nilakanth Mahadev under a towering ancient Peepul tree. Returning to the Ashram on 21st evening Adhvaryooji left the next day, and I found myself in the midst of much work, accumulated during my month-and-a-half's absence.
I want to avail this page to express and convey my many thanks to all of you who worked so wholeheartedly in arranging the various programmes during my recent tour through Poona, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Enkatagiri Town, Kothapalam, Gudivada, Chevendrapalayam, Tanuku, Undrajavaram, Relangi, Kovvur, Chodavaram, Berhampur, Chatrapur, Khallikote, Khurda Road, Puri, Cuttack, Bhuvaneswar, Calcutta and Lucknow. My grateful thanks to the wonderful work done by the organiser of the two conferences at Vijayawada (A.P.) and Jagannath Puri (Orissa) and the devotees headed by Sri Venugopal Reddy Garu at Kothapalam. They have all shown rare devotion to Gurudev and his Spiritual mission of Divine Life and have worked with the noble spirit of dedication and selflessness. It is indeed a blessing to have such Guru-Bandhus and devotees sincerely eager to serve their Holy Master's cause. God shower His Grace upon you all.
During this tour I availed the opportunity to visit and pay my homage to the following holy places:
The sacred Samadhi of the late Holiness MALAYALA SWAMIJI MAHARAJ at Vyasashram, Yerpedu, Srikalahasthisvar Bhagwan of Kalahasthi the renowned Deity Who revealed Himself to the wonderful devotee Kannappah Nayanaar, the sacred Samadhi of Beloved SWAMI RAMDAS (PAPA) of Kanhangad where I also sanctified myself by the holy Darshan of Mother KRISHNA BAI MATAJI, the Darshan of the well-known Vdanti saint of Andhra-Pradesh SWAMI PRANAVANANDAII MAHARAJ of Pranav Ashram at Gudivada, Lord SRI JAGANNATH (in whose blessed presence I remembered you all), Divine Mother KALI of DAKSHINESWAR, the sacred Samadhis of SWAMI VIVEKANANDA, BRAHMANANDA, Sri SRI MA (The HOLY MOTHER) and the shrine of Bhagwan Sri SRI RAMAKRISHNA DEV at Belur Math, where I had Darshan of his Holiness Sri SWAMI VEERESHWARANANDA MAHARAJ, the Ramakrishna Institute of Culture where I had Darshan of Pujya Shri Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj and the beautiful new temple of VAIKUNTHANATH also in Calcutta. Then on my way back to Rishikesh this servant went to meet Paramahamsa Swami Satyanandaji at his Bihar School of Yoga at Monghyr (Bihar) and bowed adoration before the Akhand-Jyoti lit in memory of Gurudev in the main assembly hall of the School, then to sacred Varanasi where I met Swami Nijabodha Maharaj, an elder Guru-bhai after more than 15 years and Sri Shridhar Bhatt Maharaj, the Incharge of the Sringeri Sankara Mutt in Kashi. While in holy Kashi this servant worshipped Lord Vishweswar to heart's content one day invoking His Grace upon each and every one of you.
On the day of Holi Poornima is the birthday anniversary of the great Gauranga Mahaprabhu, the supreme devotee of the Lord. Sri Krishna Chaitanya was Bhakti incarnate and gave new life in this Kali-Yuga to practice of the Lord's divine NAME and to SAMKIRTAN YOGA. He called upon man in this Iron Age to live a life of true humility renouncing pride, arrogance, haughtiness and egoism, to bear with utmost fortitude all vicissitudes in life. Shun honour and renown but ever give respect to everyone without distinction an to ceaselessly worship the Lord with whole hearted devotion. With courage and determination conquer this demon Ahankara (egoism) and be humble, be a hero in the battle of life and bear afflictions boldly and with endurance know that Divinity resides within all beings and therefore honour all beings and everywhere, at all times, in all conditions ever remember, love and worship the Supreme Being with unbroken devotion and faith. Become divine and attain the highest bliss, peace, and felicity here and now. Now repeat for a while the MAHA-MANTRA which Gauranga Mahaprabhu propagated into the four corners of the land.Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Thus auspicious by the life when the New Year commences this month with the advent of Chaitra Sukla Paksha when Phalgun ends presently. God bless you.
With my best regards, Prem, Pranams.
Yours in Sri Gurudev
1st March 1966.
Sivanandashram Letter No. XXVII