Message to the People of Bombay

Swami Sivananda Saraswati

26th October 1950: Arrival in Bombay

During his four-day halt in Bombay, Sri Swamiji covered a number of functions held at different parts of the city. He addressed a public reception held in his honour at Madhav Bag, and attended several meetings held under the auspices of the Bombay Spiritual Centre, Astika Samaj, Bhajana Samai, Chaitanya Prabha Mandali, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Vanity Vishram, and other organizations. Regular satsang was held at Lakshmi Bag near Sandhurst Road, where the Swami stayed.

Sri Swamiji broadcasted a talk over the local AIR station and held a press conference. He also visited the Sannyas Ashram at Vile Parle and granted interviews to many devotees. On 29th October he left Bombay for Amalsad on his way to Baroda.

On 26th October 1950 at 4.30 pm, Siva was interviewed by the press. He gave his message in writing and added, "I have put the essentials of all Vedas and scriptures in an aphoristic manner: serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realize, be good, do good, be kind, be compassionate. Enquire 'Who am I' Know the Self and be free. Bear insult, bear injury – this is the highest sadhana. Adapt, adjust, accommodate."

He then did kirtan and sang the Song of a Little, the Song of 18 ITIES and the Song of Chidananda.

To the people of Bombay

"During my past month and a half of travel through the length and breadth of this sacred Bharatavarsha, I have found, time and again, that everywhere people are perturbed about the one question of what the role of India is to be in the world of tomorrow.

From the Himalayas right up to Lanka, people have asked me again and again what light we, belonging to the order of monks, have to throw upon this point. I have but one invariable answer. That is: be true to yourself. Let every son of Bharatavarsha make himself a faithful, loyal embodiment, representing the highest element of the true essentials of Bharatavarsha's culture.

This great culture could be summed up in a few short sentences as: Paropakaraartham idam shareeram– Human life is meant solely for spontaneous service to one and all. Papaya parapeedanam– Sin is the greatest torture. Ahimsa paramo dharmah– Non-violence is the highest dharma. Satyameva jayate na anritam– Indeed, truth triumphs not falsehood.Achara prabhavo dharmah– Dharma is rooted in ethical perfection. And above all, Yo vai bhuma tat sukham na alpe sukham ast – In the fullness of spiritual experience alone is lasting happiness to be had, not in this imperfect world.

To the people of Bombay I have to say this that more than any other state, it is you who have to do this duty in the largest measure. For, the sons of exotic cultures enter India through your shores. Bombay is the Gateway to India, and when one enters this gateway and steps into Bharatavarsha, he must behold everywhere such ideal representatives of the true Indian culture, entirely free from any vestige of blemish acquired by the impact of alien culture during the past few centuries. Be true to yourself. Be a true Indian."

—From Sivananda's Lectures, during All-India and Ceylon Tour – 1950, Chronicler Swami Venkatesananda