Tulsidas says in Ramcharitamanas: Karama chahai raghupati guna gaha, laghu mati mori charita avagaha – “I want to recount the virtues of the Lord of Raghus, Sri Rama, but my intellect is poor, whereas the exploits, character or story of Rama is unfathomable, immeasurable or unlimited.” Similarly, Sri Swamiji was the ocean of virtues. Therefore, to write anything about him, for a person like me with little intellect, is really very difficult.
Sri Swamiji possessed deep knowledge of most subjects and could speak fluently, non-stop on anything. Whenever and whatever he spoke, it seemed as if he was answering the questions and problems haunting the minds of all the members of his audience. Once you were sitting in front of him, you never wanted to leave, however important the work you had to attend to.
Sri Swamiji laid great emphasis on the growth and development of children, being the citizens of the India of tomorrow. The Bal Yoga Mitra Mandal of Munger and the Kanya and Batuk movement of Rikhiapeeth are great examples in this connection. Today, they are learning the English language and computers on the one hand and yoga, stotra chanting, havan, abhisheka and bhajan-kirtan on the other. You cannot find this type of samskara-building movement anywhere else in the world. Sri Swamiji told us that just as a strong foundation is the most important aspect of a building, children with good samskaras constitute the foundation of a healthy society. All his teachings are in keeping with both the present and future needs of society.
Ganga Darshan Yogashram and Rikhiapeeth, the two main institutions established by Swami Satyananda, are well known throughout the world. Whoever comes and lives here, a sannyasin, student or guest, receives the spiritual energy pervading the environment. One receives the necessary direction to properly discipline and manage oneself so that one can experience happiness and harmony in life.
Swami Satyananda propagated, with great conviction and force, the teachings of ‘serve, love, give’, as propounded by his guru, Swami Sivananda. The variety of activities continuously going on at Ganga Darshan and Rikhiapeeth are living examples of the operational dimensions of these teachings. Only a saint like him can achieve this, it is beyond the capacity of any other person, whatever their power, position or wealth.
His personality was like the philosopher’s stone; whoever came in contact with him had the direction of their life thoroughly changed. While describing the virtues of a saint, Tulsidas says in the Ramacharitamanas: Bichurata eka prana hari lehi – “A saint causes mortal pain while parting,” meaning his separation is as painful as death. Today Sri Swamiji is not among us and no doubt this is painful to some extent, but his purifying and holy presence will always be experienced at Ganga Darshan and Rikhiapeeth. Moreover, his directions and blessings will also be ever available there.
Garuda says to Kaka Bhusundi in the Ramacharitamanas: Jivana janma suphala mama bhayau, tava prasada samsaya saba gayau – “My life and birth into this world have both been rewarded, and by your grace all my doubts have been removed.” On account of Sri Swamiji’s blessings, I feel that my life has become useful and meaningful. His darshan and satsang changed the course of my life. Please continue to shower your grace Sri Swamiji. With prostrations at your lotus feet.