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. Loving salutations in the holy name of Gurudev Swami Sivananda. I am immensely happy to inform you all that there has been an enthusiastic response to the call for the Mahamantra Likhit Japa Yajna in connection with the forthcoming Silver Jubilee of the Mahamantra Akhanda Kirtan that has been in progress since the year 1943, from the December 3rd. Already Sri Gandhiji and Sri Govinda Rajuji of the Berhampur Branch and Smt. K. Gopalraj Urs of the Ladies' Branch, Mysore have set to work starting a Mantra-writing Campaign at their places. Similarly the Baroda Branch has also started a Mantra-writing Campaign and have printed special Mantra-writing notebooks for distribution to all those who join this sacred Nama-Yajna and undertake to commence the Mantra-writing systematically. May this Yajna create a sublime, elevating and all-purifying spiritual wave that will uplift the minds of all men and flood the heart of humanity with finer feelings of compassion, tolerance, brother-hood, spiritual oneness and Universal love. May the divine power of the Name purify the world-atmosphere and bring about the cessation of hatred, war and violence, and make love prevail and establish abiding peace in the world.
Since this servant's return to Gurudev's holy abode, he has become aware of the increasing interest, that is being evinced in the Divine Life Message and Gurudev's teachings in all parts of India. Correspondence from all directions makes abundantly evident this increasing trend towards the spiritual side of life. Active work in bringing more and more fortunate people into the path of ethical and spiritual idealism is being done. I would like to mention here as a typical example the exceptional noble Seva of Sri B. Narasimha Rao of Bangalore, who within a short period has enrolled more than 50 new members to the Divine Life Society, thus opening to the fortunate souls the doorway to the actual treasures of our spiritual culture and Divine science. Sri B. Narasimha Rao is indeed a Karma Yoga Veera and deserves to be congratulated for his entirely selfless Seva to the cause of noble Jnana Yajna. God bless him.
Since 1st January, 1968 numerous devotees have been enrolled as new members. I welcome them all and wish them a bright and glorious future full of ideal living, spiritual joy, divine peace and highest blessedness.
I have some good news for all members and readers in general. The two long awaited books will soon be ready and available to you. The Bhagavad-Gita' with translation and Gurudev's invaluable commentary (10,000 copies) is nearing its completion at the Ashram Press. It is likely to be ready by Gurudev's holy Aradhana Day, this year. The other book, EPISTLES OF SWAMI SIVANANDA' (4000 copies) brings you the incomparable Upadesha of Sri Gurudev in his own hand-writing. This is a rare treasure. It will be ready in a couple of months' time. I most heartily thank the numerous Jnana Yajna donors who have readily given their noble contribution towards the bringing out of these two books as also some other works that are in the Press. Great is the blessedness of these wonderful souls, who have become participants in this noble spiritual work in bringing the light of wisdom into the lives of modern men and women. They have become the instruments of God in bringing divine peace any joy into the hearts of countless beings in this restless world. Jnana Yajna is the noblest Seva of mankind. Jnana Yajna is the greatest of all Yajnas.
In this letter I must tell you something about my programme of the near future. If it is Lord's Will, this servant is likely to go abroad sometime, on Gurudev's work. He is being called to South Africa by the persistent loving insistence of the noble spiritual brothers over there. I am pressed to come there on a visit of 3 to 5 months. Nearly ten years ago, towards the end of 1958, Sri Gurudev was requested to send me by the saintly Swami Sahajanandaji Maharaj, the pioneer organiser of Divine Life work in South Africa. He had founded the First Branch at Durban in 1948-49. At that time I could not go. The next time in 1959 when Sri Gurudev sent me abroad to the States, Swami Sahajanandaji Maharaj requested me to consider the possibilities of a visit to South Africa, en route to West. I could not do so; neither could I come via South Africa on my way back to India in 1961. Since then he tried to take me there along with him in 1963 when he visited the Headquarters sometime after Sri Gurudev's Mahasamadhi but the time had not come and God's will was otherwise. It seems now that the time has come and I must go. If the travel formalities are finalised, then I shall sail from Bombay on the 2nd May. In that event I shall arrive at the Sivanandashram, Durban, on 10th May and witness the glories of the holy Master's Divine Work in that country. It will be a blessed day indeed for me.
Meantime, I am on my way to Mysore State to participate in the 3rd All-Karnataka Divine Life Conference at Chikmagalur convened by the Chikmagalur Branch of the Divine Life Society. After the Conference (which is on 5th, 6th and 7th April) I proceed directly to Coimbatore, to bring the message of Bharatvarsha's culture and idealism to my brothers in the Government Central Jail there, which is one of the largest jails, having nearly 3,000 inmates. Then I have to return to the Headquarters before the Ardha-Kumbhasnan upon Vaishaka Sankranti-day, on 13th April.
During my absence from the Headquarters, my Beloved and worshipful Gurubhai, revered Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj will be presiding over the holy Ashram and gathering, and bless all the devotees who visit there to pay their homage to Sri Gurudev at His Holy Samadhisthana. Revered Sri Swami Krishnanandaji is my own self and we are not two but one. He shall be in Gurudev's place to all devotees and disciples of our brotherhood, during the occasions of the forthcoming sacred Guru Purnima, Aradhana, Birthday, etc. Sri Gurudev's grace is fully upon him. Sri Swami Madhavananda Maharaj and Sri Swami Premanandaji Maharaj are ably assisting him in administering the activities at the Headquarters.
I shall leave you now to direct your hearts and minds toward the Supreme Divine Reality in Its glorious form of Bhagavan Sri Ramachandra. The advent of the supremely ideal Avatars is an event of national worship in this country. May you all engage yourself in the worship of Lord Rama. May the Divine Rama Nama be enshrined in your heart and constantly uttered by your tongue. Contemplate the ideal of this Divine Being. Worship Him with devotion. Meditate upon the Lord. Behold Him in all beings and things. Adore Him through truth, purity and service. Offer Him the flowers of good deeds, virtuous conduct and ideal life. Let Lord Rama be your goal and ideal. Let Him be your supreme refuge. May His grace crown your life with supreme blessedness and Divine Illumination. Om Sri Ramaya Namah. Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram. Glory be to Lord Rama. Glory be to Sri Gurudev.
With regards, love and all good wishes,
Yours in Gurudev
1st April, 1968
Sivanandashram Letter LII