Blessed Atma Swarupa,

Om Namo Narayanaya: Namaskara.

May the Grace of Gurudev Swami Sivananda illumine this NEW YEAR with the brightness and radiance of Hope, Aspiration, and Inspiration. God grant you all Auspiciousness, Blessedness, Prosperity and Success. I wish you Happiness, Health, Progress upon the spiritual Path, and triumph over troubles, tensions and problems of life. May this New Year herald for you many more years of joy, peace, and plenty.

With this fourth Sivanandashram Letter, we leave behind a year that has been heavy with many sombre events, and look forward on to a fresh New Year, in which the world might emerge once again, from shadow into bright light, even like the sun unclouded. Traditionally too with the Makarasankranti in January, the sun takes once again the auspicious northern-path, Uttarayana. At this juncture of mankind's periodical reckoning up the debit and credit of life and of the taking of earnest resolutions, I speak to you all to say, “Blessed Seekers upon the path to Divinity. This year dawns for us without the outward physical presence of the one who was our guide and inspirer in our spiritual life. We have not him to whom our yearly resolutions were addressed hitherto. But this very absence entails the necessity of taking certain new resolutions that were not taken hitherto. These I shall mention. But, even before anything the first and the chief of them shall be that you make your life a dynamic expression of the practical gospel of Sivananda. This is Divine Life.”

Beloved Member, in addition to your routine new-year-resolutions as a Sadhaka, the dawn of 1964, should see you getting ready to take up the work of Gurudev as his worthy child, pupil and spiritual representative wherever you are. Be you a follower or a disciple or even just a devotee of the Holy Master Sivananda, let your resolve be on record that you determine now at the dawn of this New Year to practise and to propagate his Divine life teachings every day of your life. Resolve that you will observe the principles of Satyam (Truth), Ahimsa (harmlessness), and Brahmacharya (Purity). Resolve that you will strive each day to be good, to do good, to be kind and compassionate to one and all. Resolve to excel in service, to progress in devotion, to persist in meditation and aspire for realization. Resolve to be charitable and pure, to be detached from worldliness and passing earthly objects and to attach yourself to Dharma and the spiritual ideal of life. Resolve to love all, to see the Lord in all, and to serve the Lord in all. Resolve to adapt, adjust and accommodate to yourself to all changing circumstances, to be tolerant towards all faiths and religions, and to ever seek to unify all by seeing the good in all, and the underlying unity in the midst of apparent diversity. Resolve thus to make your life Sivanandamaya. Let Sivananda radiate through your pure thoughts, your noble feeling, your kind words, and your selfless actions. Thus resolve to make Gurudev Sivananda immortal through your life and actions.

I have more to say, but that I shall keep for the Letter of February. For the present I shall confine this letter to this main request to you all. Thus loftily resolve and act upon this resolves with sublime determination. May the idea, the will and the Bhav fuse together into an irresistible dynamic urge to do all that is conceived and to do it now. This would verily constitute the true fulfilment of discipleship in this age when ideals need to be actualised through living practice, I invite you to write to me your ideas briefly on the question of, “the duty of individual disciples towards Gurudev, and how disciples all over the world can each serve the great cause of dissemination of spiritual knowledge and the spread of Divine Life.” I shall be glad to receive and consider these letters for the benefit of all. Anyone who communicates to me on this specific matter, may kindly write upon the cover, “Sivanandashram Letter No. 4”, thus underlined.

God bless you all, and grant you Vichara and Viveka, firm determination, strong will power, unshakable faith, Sadhana-shakti and supreme attainment. Greetings again, and the very best good wishes in the name of worshipful Gurudev Sivananda.

- Swami Chidananda
1st January 1964

Sivanandashram Letter No. V