Tribute - Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati

On the occasion of the concluding day of Shraddhanjali Saptah, Ganga Darshan, 30th December, 2009

Hari Om

Swami Niranjanji, Honourable Chief Minister and the residents of Munger – my loving Hari Om to everyone. I am blessed to be present here today. Munger is not an unknown place for me. Yes, I live in Rikhia, but I had my birth in Munger, my spiritual birth. Twenty-eight years ago, I received sannyasa diksha from Gurudev here at Ganga Darshan in Munger. On that same day, the foundation stone of Ganga Darshan was laid by Sri Swamiji. I have known Munger since then. So many years have passed, and all these years I lived with Gurudev. Let me tell you a little about the teachings that I received from him during this period.

There are two founding pillars of life. A successful life has two founding pillars – one is jnana, wisdom, and the other is karma, action. If the actions that we perform do not give a glimpse of wisdom, then of what use can they be. And if we only focus on acquiring wisdom and do not let it flow into our actions, then that wisdom too is of no use. Wisdom is enhanced and grows by sharing. This was the main teaching of Sri Swamiji. Thus, in his lifetime, he established two very powerful centres – one, Ganga Darshan, Munger, which was his medium of jnana and the other Rikhiapeeth, which was his medium for the proper expression of karma.

Nothing in the whole world compares with the stream of wisdom that is going out of here. I have traveled all over the world; therefore I can tell you the truth that you will not find anything comparable anywhere in the world. This is why people from every country are continuously drawn to this place. They receive higher learning here. In essence that is what people want; therefore they are drawn to it. The other founding pillar that Sri Swamiji gave to us was – the way to perform karma. To impart this teaching, he established Rikhiapeeth. Thus he gave us two founding pillars – one, where you can know and receive wisdom, and the other where you can learn how to perform karma.

A bird cannot fly without two wings; it becomes helpless if you cut off one of its wings. In the same way, our life cannot be efficient if we do not learn these two skills. Even in his last moments, this is what Swamiji emphasized on. He drew my attention to this very subject – we all want happiness in life and all our efforts are aimed at how to be happy. But do we ever think that death should also be happy? He answered the question of how we can have a happy death by taking the assistance of jnana and karma. When we perform our actions with the help of wisdom, when they contain a glimpse of wisdom, when we think about others and especially those who are not related to us, they are called good karmas. That is what will bring about a happy death.

On 5th December, Sri Swamiji left his body as a yogi, of his own choice. There was no need for him to leave his body, just as there was no need for him to leave Munger. He left Munger of his own choice because he did not have any attachment. In 1988, he simply picked up his jhola and walked out. He strolled in the garden and then walked out. No one could even anticipate that Swamiji would never come back. In the same way, on 2nd December he addressed everyone on the occasion of his birthday celebrations. And on 5th December, he left his body, taking his good karmas with him. No one had any idea that he was going to take this step, everyone was taken aback and preempted by this move of his. He departed of his own choice.

He called me at night, at 10 p.m., and said to me, “Everything that I did in my life had a purpose, and so there is a purpose of my death as well. I have decided to go.” Have you ever heard of anyone who invites his own death? Only a person who has always performed good karmas can do this. Otherwise we are afraid of death. One who has no worries, no attachment, no guilt, who has accomplished everything in life and done everything he needs to do, can do this. He went fully prepared having organized everything to the last dot. There was nothing he left undone or unsaid. His life was an epitome of perfection and so too was his death. Therefore, the Shraddhanjali that we are all present at and the Shodhashi Pooja that was held in Rikhia are not events of mourning. Swamiji would never want that we mourn his death. He always said that he had come to Rikhia to leave his body. He never said that he came to Rikhia to build an ashram. He came to Rikhia to leave his body. He also said that the moment I get a return ticket, I will leave. So on 5th December, at the ajeya muhurta, he received the return ticket and he left.

While departing he said, “Just as you shed your old clothes for new ones, in the same way the jiva or individual soul leaves its old body and assumes a new one. It is called transition. It is not called the end. Life does not end by leaving a body; because life is eternal.” That is what he said and this is what we have to believe, for this is what the Bhagavad Gita says, this is what the Upanishads and the Vedas say. And this is what Sri Swami Satyananda said.

Hari Om