Royal Reception at Calcutta

Swami Sivananda Saraswati

Sri Swamiji arrived at Calcutta in the morning of 22nd September and stayed in the city for three days.

A royal reception awaited Siva at the old capital of the British Empire. Devotion overruled orderliness. Love overwhelmed and crushed out all formalities, pulled down all barriers. Millionaires rubbed shoulders with poor clerks. Mill owners stood behind office boys who had all assembled at the platform to greet Siva. What a contrast! When an earthly potentate is received, these human divisions would be sanctified by fresher recognition, and the gulfs that separate one strata of society from the other would be widened. But this spiritual monarch, by his very presence, bridged all gulfs and showed to the world by his benign look as he emerged out of the Tourist Car: "Here is the solution my children, to the problems that you face. Spirituality alone can unite all and make you all one."

A beautiful bungalow had been arranged on the very banks of the Ganga, right across the famous Dakshineshwar Kali temple. As soon as Siva entered the building, he was in ecstatic joy. "Throughout the journey so far, Mother Ganga has not left me," he said.

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