When I was with Swami Sivananda I was absolutely stunned. My intellect did not function before him, because he was like a child. If you have a little kid of two years what intellect can you show to him?
He was a very kind man. He did not mind what his disciples did, he never punished anyone, he never criticized anyone.
He was an out and out God believer. He used to go to the temple of Shiva and prostrate flat. He used to bow down to every picture. He was such a simple man, but at the same time he was the highest of Vedantins.
He was a Vedantin because he saw himself in all. Therefore, whether it was a temple deity or whether it was a Rama or Krishna or Shiva or Durga or a photograph, he had absolute reverence for everything. He used to touch the feet of anyone on the road. It is very difficult and for a man like him – he was so famous!
He had a handsome personality and natural tanned skin and a very tall figure. He was a very stout man, with a very loving smile, shining eyes and a very artistic body.
I have never come across a man with such natural beauty and natural goodness. You may be a good person, because you want to be a good person, because you think it is good to be good, but if you were taught it is good to be bad, you would be bad. However, in his case the beauty was very natural. I believe you will not come across a man like him.
Swami Sivananda was great because he was like a child. His kindness, generosity, charity, love and compassion were a natural manifestation of his samskara.
3 July 1985, Raja Yoga Vedanta Centre, Antwerp, Belgium