From the Desk of Swami Niranjan

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, December 1988

People throng to religion, gurus and spiritual organizations for guidance and the achievement of their desires. In return they gain self-satisfaction and many of their desires are fulfilled. The problems of this planet may not be solved, but they have an opportunity to dip into the ocean of knowledge. They derive wisdom, but it remains unexpressed in their behaviour, for the droplets of wisdom which they acquire evaporate in the hot sands of samsara, the manifest gross world.

The channeling of sublime wisdom into creative action is a rare gift which only a few extraordinary individuals possess. On an encounter with Sri Swamiji, even if it is a casual one, one is deeply impressed that he epitomizes such a person. Behind his personality flows a stream in which wisdom and action are the main currents. The realization of the Supreme, from the Brahma Sutras and the selfless action of the Bhagavad Gita, are a spontaneous expression which have become one in him.

Renunciation, giving of alms, sacrifice and austerities are performed by many people, but it is rarely done with a vision of the future. Rather, we see that it is done more for self-contentment. One kind of action moves, motivates and inspires the world, another is only for self-indulgence.

We are counted in the latter category. To motivate, inspire and provide direction to the world, a leader is required who embodies anger as well as pardon and peace, brilliance and shrewdness as well as simplicity and innocence, down-to-earth awareness as well as far-sightedness. One in whom both the fiery brilliance of Parashurama as well as the astute and calm wisdom of Sri Rama are manifest. One who symbolizes the determination and righteous wisdom of Sri Krishna and Yudhishthira, the glow and warmth of the sun and the silvery, soothing and healing coolness of the moon. Such a multi-faceted, mysterious and practical leader can mould a definite future from the scattered, diverted and dissipated energies.

Upon meeting and seeing Sri Swamiji, we know deep down that he is such a leader. At present he is on a pilgrimage of India and her siddha tirthas, sacred places, with a definite constructive purpose. He is infusing the heart and mind with a new energy, a new mantra to unite the future. Be ready to receive him.

—printed in Sivananda Math, Issue 4, 1988

August 1989

There are many different stages in the life of a sannyasin. He builds an ashram at one place and serves; this is one stage. Then he abandons the ashram and his working place; this is the second stage. At first he works with a limited group and then, having been united with the universal consciousness, he works to achieve a universal aim, leaving the limited group. This higher state is traditionally called kshetra sannyasa. The aim of Sri Swamiji in leaving the ashram over a year ago was not merely to visit the different tirthas, but at that time he decided to take kshetra sannyasa.

In accordance with Swami Sivananda's instructions, when Sri Swamiji started the work of spreading yoga, he had to stop his paramahamsa sadhana for some time in order to make yoga available for all. The first instruction Sri Swamiji received from Swami Sivananda was to serve. When free from this service, when all the inner samskaras are burnt, then sadhana begins.

I had an opportunity to live with Swamiji from 5th to 11th August in Tryambakeshwar. He was living in a small room, 8 ft by 10 ft, which he cleaned himself. He slept on the floor, spreading a mat. He took only sprouted mung for lunch and khichari for dinner which he prepared himself. There was no running water or electricity. He did not meet anyone. He was totally absorbed in sadhana, observing complete silence the whole day.

Swamiji said that a time must come in our lives when remembrance of the name goes on with total awareness. It should not be like ajapa japa where unconscious repetition of the mantra takes place. This japa should be continuous with total awareness. Swamiji told me that the only aim of his sadhana is unbroken repetition of the name. If he can be aware of the name even in the dissipated state of mind, the perception of anahad nada will arise.

However, during this period when the guru's consciousness is directed towards the universal or cosmic dimension, the disciples still wish to meet him at their level of consciousness. This causes disturbance in his sadhana. Therefore, Swamiji does not tell anyone where he is and what he is doing. He will continue his sadhana and austere life, not for one or two years, but for a long period of time. The state which he aims to achieve is total merging with the atma, the universal spirit, without leaving the physical body. In order to complete that, he needs our help.

Disciples should not think emotionally about how Swamiji cooks his food and cleans his room himself. Instead they should think about how they can help him to achieve his aim. As disciples, we must follow his instructions word for word. He has given us many instructions, but we only follow those which appeal to us and forget about the others, claiming that we will do it when some inner inspiration comes. This is hypocrisy. If this is the way, it is meaningless to become a disciple. If we follow the guru's instructions in this way, it is because of our ignorance. If we tread the path of ignorance and think we are doing what is right, then there is no solution at all. Such a person will always remain backward in life. Now you have to decide which path to choose for yourself.

—printed in Sivananda Math, Issue 3, 1989