This section is from the "Advices on Spiritual Living" book, by Sri Swami Chidananda.See also A Call to Liberation.
This is actually the MESSAGE of His Holiness Sri Swami Chidanandaji, given on the auspicious occasion of his 50th Birthday which was celebrated in the Ashram on the 24th September, 1965, on a moderately grand scale and dignified manner. The same is reproduced below as the Ashram Letter.Beloved Atmaswaroopa!
May His blessings be upon you all! May this letter find you all in excellent health, good cheer and peace of Divine contemplation.
Blessed Self! You are now called upon to manifest in life the Truth, you have received and absorbed from Gurudev, when He lived. By the Divine will of God, a time has now come, a time of trial, testing and strengthening. Life now asks you to practise and to prove that your awakened spiritual consciousness within is more than the mere physical and mental part of your being. All that you have up till now heard, read, learnt, believed and reflected and meditated upon must now be lived with calm resolution, strong determination and firm faith. In the challenging context of this modern world your Mother-country finds itself confronted by asuric forces of Adharma and wickedness that threaten to destroy our sacred culture. You are all involved in this struggle being part and parcel of the Mother-country.
In this situation I address you all, as seekers and Sadhaks leading the Divine Life of Yoga and Seva. I call upon you all to keep up high, the great tradition of Vedanta and Bhakti, of Yoga and Tapasya which is the life-breath of your time culture. I want you to be practical Vedantins, dedicated devotees and courageous Karma-yogins. Gurudev expects this of you and Bharatavarsha needs this from you. Live up to the Ideal of the fearless Sadhaka. Be a true Yogi and Bhakta, keen in Seva and unshakenly firm in Nishtha. Remember that your life is rooted in a grand culture that is based upon the Immortality of the Self and the passing nature of earthly wants. EVEN THIS WILL PASS AWAY! I AM IMMORTAL. Live in the light of this Truth. Practise this truth and be fearless child of the Divine.
I wish to urge you all to remember that you are spiritual aspirants and Sadhaks. Remember that you have been inspired and guided by the sublime ethical and spiritual teachings of Sadgurudev Sivananda. Remember again that Gurudev ever laid emphasis upon Karma Yoga, selfless service. Remember also that he admonished every disciple and student to fulfil his duties without fail. Do your duty in spirit of worshipfulness and dedicate it to God. Thus Gurudev gave importance to the performance of unattached Nishkamya Karma Yoga and carrying out Swadharma.
He never approved of shirking of duties or neglect of Karma Yoga. Service also was supreme Yoga to him even as meditation and worship. When duty calls, as it does at this present moment, convert yourself into a ready and willing servant of anyone or any situation that needs your seva. Heed this reminder of Sri Gurudev's practical instructions to be ready to serve. Serve all. Serve the general public and the country at large. Serve in all ways you can or are called upon to do. Serve, regarding your actions as worship, considering duty as devotion and seeing the Lord alone. Be firm in faith. Be unshaken in your trust in the Divine. Be bold and fearless in the face of all the vicissitudes and changes. Face with calmness and with cool courage all events and occurrences. Know that the supreme inner director of all movements in this Universe is the Divine-Being, the Paramatma. Rooted in His remembrance, worship Him through duties faithfully done. The DIVINE is present Here and Now. Knowing that the name and forms of this created universe are subject to decay and dissolution you should act your part in the scheme of things as dictated by the situations in which the Lord places you. You are where you are, and what you are, due to the Will of Lord, who is the Supreme inner Ruler of all the created Universe. Based upon this awareness act. With this knowledge and perception do that which you see to be your duty as an individual in human society.
Gurudev Sivanandaji was dazzling Sun of Vedanta. He ever addressed you as BLESSED IMMORTAL ATMAN! Never as My dear So-and-so or Such-and such. It was always IMMORTAL ATMAN or SELF. Proclaim this great Truth. Hammer this idea into each and all. Rouse a courage, a Fearlessness and a Strength from within the depths of their beings. Make them bold and strong with Soul-force. Tap the source through collective Sadhana at every week-end and create spiritual power from within. Work to spread that calmness and fortitude that springs out of such inner strength. Specially work to educate the womenfolk and the school-going children in the control of emotions and in the basics of dealing with emergencies. I and all here in the Ashram, we do pray that God would set right men's hearts and minds and soon make their actions Sattvic and benevolent. We wish, hope and pray for this. Until this prayer is granted may you all be guided to trust in the Lord and do your duty with supreme spiritual heroism. To be a Dheera is the call of your cultural genius!
A clear word of caution is to be given here. Let not the activity break away from its mooring in the purity of Sattva. Act, but be based on Sattva always. Work with understanding and with love. But never allow Hatred to stir within your being. HATRED is NEVER GOOD. Not under any circumstances, at any time or for any reason whatsoever. It is the direct contradiction of the Divine in every way. By no means can it be allowed to have entry into the truth-seeker's heart. Do your duty with your body and mind but retain the purity and sensitivity of your spiritual nature. God is love. You are a ray of that Eternal Light! You are Divine! Be rooted in divinity. Act with consciousness of your divine nature. Face all situations unflinchingly. Do duties resolutely. Engage in action wisely. Fulfil Dharma unattachedly. But at all times cherish only LOVE in your heart. Love God, Love the whole Universe. Never swerve from the path of your duty. Verily be rooted in Love. Thus uphold the Ideal of Divine Life here and now! May God bless you!
Co-operate in all works of public safety, service and welfare. Be ready to become volunteers. Offer your willing services to the agencies set up for various aspects of national Seva. Be a true Karma Yogi and a Bhakta who is ever a Dasa of Lord manifesting in and through all beings. I close with nay regards, Prem and Pranams. Jai Gurudev Sivanandaji! Om Tat Sat!
Yours in Gurudev,
Sivanandashram Letter No. XXII