Stand on Your Own Feet

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

The temperaments of my guru and myself were diametrically opposed. He was like the humble, holy cow, whereas I was like a ferocious Alsatian dog. To this day there is still some vestige of that die-hard habit left in me, but my guru was very calm and serene and I placed all my trust in him. He invariably said that everyone must learn to stand on their own two feet. I believed him because he told me that I should never think of living in the ashram permanently. I would never become a frog in the well.

He gave me just one piece of advice, which was to have unshakeable faith in God. He told me not to be ruffled by hope and dejection, not to worry about my talents or the powers I would obtain later. I followed his words with full faith. I never planned to do this or that. I decided to do as he bade me. Everyone is born with a predetermined destiny. We are all preprogrammed and our journey through life follows that program.

It is extremely difficult to explain what kind of relationship I had with Swami Sivananda. I think of him very often, but it is not like the way you think of your near and dear ones. My guru always guided me and put me on the right track.