This section is from the "Advices on Spiritual Living" book, by Sri Swami Chidananda.See also A Call to Liberation.
Blissful Immortal Atman,
Beloved Seeker After Truth,
Om Namo Narayanaya. Greetings in the name of Swami Sivananda.
This month, through the will of the Lord and worshipful Gurudev's mysterious hand, this servant of his has to visit Malaysia. This journey is to me in the nature of a pilgrimage rather than a spiritual tour because Malaya is sacred to us as a land where Sadgurudev in his poorvashram toiled incessantly as Dr. Kuppuswamy to bring solace and relief to the suffering people about a half century ago. It is the land wherein through fiery Karma Yoga, dynamic selfless service he attained purity of heart, Viveka, Vichara and keen aspiration for God-realisation. It is the country of his great renunciation. From Malaya he came to Himalaya. Singapore Joharbaru, Penang, Seremban are all names familiar to us due to their frequent mention by Gurudev in answer to our question regarding to that wonderful period of his life. Wonderful because it was rich with radiance of his exuberant personality, his Universal Fellowship, his Spontaneous charity, his magnanimity and lofty humanitarianism. It is replete with thrilling incidents of his generosity, love and rare equal vision. The Capital of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur, and there is a Centre of our Divine Life Society in the city and a Sivanandashram at its outskirts near Batu Caves at the foot of a mountain. In this Ashram, the Society members are installing a life-size marble statue of worshipful Gurudev Sivanandaji unto a special altar in their main Prayer Hall. The auspicious moment for it is on 9th April and I have been invited to preside over this unique function.
I shall be leaving Delhi on Tuesday the 5th April to arrive the same evening at Kuala Lumpur. The next three days will be spent in public engagements. On the 9th the consecration will be solemnised in the forenoon according to traditional ritual and colourful ceremony. In the afternoon will be a great public gathering in which peoples of all faiths will participate and bless the new Prayer Hall. Sri Swami Pranavanandaji (formerly Sri Ponniah) is back to Kuala Lumpur, after a successful tour of South India and Ceylon, awaiting arrival of this servant on 5th evening. They have arranged for a tour through important cities of Malaysia after finishing the Kuala Lumpur programme in the second week. I have written and requested the organisers to try and locate the various spots connected with Gurudev's residence and work while he was in Malaya during the first quarter of this present century. I wonder if there are also persons alive who have met him there during the period, prior to his renunciation and journey to Himalaya to take up Sannyasa life? May be there are and I shall be able to meet them. If I do I shall certainly tell you about them when I write next.
After this pilgrimage to this Theatre of Gurudev's Seva, Karma Yoga and Tyaga, I shall next be proceeding to Hong Kong for a ten-day-programme at the very pressing request of numerous Hong Kong devotees. There is an excellent Yoga Centre running there, originally established by Yogi-Raj Sri Swami Vishnudevanandaji Maharaj, which is now successfully doing excellent Yoga work in Canada and the U.S.A. This Yoga School having numerous enthusiastic students is actually sponsoring my visit to Hong Kong. I shall tell you something about their activities after seeing them, when I return to India in the month of May. I think I shall be back in the Ashram by the end of the third week of May.
I must tender my apology to some of the foreign Centres of the D.L.S for disappointing them on the present account. They seem to have been given the impression that I am soon to take a tour round the world. So many of them wrote very eagerly and asked for more details. I had to tell them all that actually I never had any plan for a world tour at this time. My trip abroad was mainly to attend the Kuala Lumpur functions in Malaysia and to tour that country and Hong Kong. This I had to agree to upon the loving insistence of the Divine Life Organisers of these two places. However, to obtain endorsement upon the Passport for any future use, certain other Centres also were informed about my travel and they had sent out invitations to me under the impression and hope that I would immediately undertake a visit to their countries too. They will kindly pardon this unintentional false hope given to them.
The Ashram has just now celebrated the holy Sri Ramanavami festival. Special prayer have been offered for all of you and I remembered all members and devotees generally and specially Sri Hiralal Mehta, a noble devotee and solicitor of Bombay and his family, the pious Srimati Saraswati Mehta, Hemlata Mehta, Ajit Mehta and others who are the donors of Bhagwan Sri Ramachandra, Mother Sita, Sri Lakshmana and Hanumanji now showering their grace from the holy Mandir at the Ashram. May Lord Rama grant Sri Hiralalji and his entire pious family health, long life, peace, bliss, prosperity and immortality.
This holy Ashram of Gurudev is now looking forward to the summer season with its vacation visitors and the opening of Badrinath and Kedarnath Yatra with their stream of Pilgrims from all parts of India. This year the Badri Yatra has been rendered so easy due to extension of motor road that Badrinath is now only two days distance from Rishikesh. Times are changing. Everything is moving fast, too. Blessed seekers? May you, too, proceed vigorously on the path and rapidly reach the goal of Kaivalya Moksha. Move forward steadily and attain the Supreme Divine experience.
I draw your attention to the special article in this month's Divine Life Magazine regarding the state of the Divine Life Organisation and its present work since the Maha Samadhi of Sadgurudev in 1963. This year Guru Poornima falls on 2/3 July. I welcome all of you for the holy event. Such of those who are unable to attend the ten-day-function may carry out a similar programme of ten-day-Sadhana from 3rd to 12th at their own home or in their centre Divine Life Society. May God bless you. With regards, Prem Om,
Yours in Gurudev
Sivanandashram Letter No. XXVIII
Blissful Immortal Atman,
Beloved Seeker After Truth,
Om Namo Narayanaya. Salutations in the name of worshipful Gurudev Sivananda. Though this letter of mine bears the title Sivanandashram Letter', I am writing it to you all from the far-off Crown Colony of Hong Kong. A large group of ardent devotees of Revered Gurudev, who have made their homes here, and who with His Grace and blessing are the leaders of both the spiritual and temporal life of this beautiful and thriving colony, have by their kind and loving invitation enabled this servant to visit this place. I reached here in the afternoon of the 27th of April and have been here for three days.
According to my programme about which I had written in my letter in the last issue of Wisdom Light', I came here after a busy, extremely rewarding three weeks in Malaysia. I would like to take this opportunity of telling you briefly about some of the activities in Malaysia. This humble servant was overwhelmed by the gracious display of devotion and affection for Revered Gurudev that was shown by the members of Malaysia Branch of the Divine Life Society and the public of Kuala Lumpur. In the public meeting on the 7th April the humble agent of Gurudev was showered with the affection and devotion that could come to him only through Gurudev's Grace. The insisting love of the Malaysian devotees, led by His Holiness Sri Swami Pranavanandaji Maharaj, had brought me to Kuala Lumpur for the main purpose of officiating at the opening ceremony of the new Ashram building and unveiling the life-size marble statue of Revered Gurudevji on a special Pedestal at Batu Caves near the city. 9th April was the day on which a grand meeting was held under the Chairmanship of the Hon'ble Dato V. T. Sambanthan, P.M.N., Minister of Works, Posts and Telecommunications in the Malaysian Government. After the opening ceremonies, which were performed by this sevak, Sri Swami Pranavanandaji, the Chief High Priest of Malaysia (Buddhist), the Bishop of Kuala Lumpur, the President of Singapore Ramakrishna Mission, as also Mohammedan and Sikh leaders of the community spoke highly about the mission of Gurudev and the importance of Divine Life. This servant spoke on The Secret of Right Worship and God-Vision. It was a soul-stirring and elevating experience. I remembered all of you when offering my prayers to Revered Gurudev's image and on behalf of Divine Life members all over the world. I prayed for his illuminating light to guide our halting and faltering steps towards spiritual perfection.
The rest of my time in Malaysia has taken up by a series of lecture meetings in Kuala Lumpur and other parts of the country. At all stations, this humble servant was drenched with the spontaneous affection of Gurudev's devotees. Before coming here it was my ardent desire to see some persons who knew Revered Gurudev during his stay here. The desire has been amply fulfilled and I have been fortunate in meeting persons who had known Swamiji Maharaj, while he was here between 1913 to 1923. For want of space and time, I am obliged to differ dilating on this phase of my tour to a subsequent letter. I would like to end this one by thanking here all the principal persons who took a leading part in organising this visit to Malaysia. I would like to name them and render my thanks to them individually, but for fear of omitting important names in a hurry, I end this letter by thanking all those, who, by their active and sincere efforts, have helped to make the tour of this humble servant a very instructive and memorable experience for him.
During this month of May would be celebrated the Narasimha Jayanti on the 3rd, the Buddha Jayanti on the 4th and Ganga Dussera on the 29th. These dates mark the occasions on which Lord's Supreme race manifested itself in some way or the other on behalf of the devotee. Elsewhere in this issue, would be features high-lighting the significance of these manifestations. True to our hoary tradition, these narrations bespeak the unfailing nature of Divine Grace and its constant availability to those who seek it. Unwavering devotion of Prahlada, selfless search of Truth of Bhagwan Tathagata and compassionate efforts for the liberation of the ancestors by Bhagiratha are rewarded by this Grace. It is my constant prayer to the Almighty that He similarly Grace the efforts of you all.
May God and Gurudev shower their blessings on you all.With regards, Prem and Om,
Yours, in Gurudev.
Sivanandashram Letter No. XXIX