This collection of inspiring incidents and anecdotes from the life of Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati is a treasure trove for the sincere seeker. The lives of saints have always been a constant source of inspiration of humanity, and Sri Swamiji is no exception. Swami Satyananda is a unique Saint and Yogi. Even after ascending to the summit of yoga and acquiring the promised fruits thereof, he did not spend his life in a state of idylic Samadhi, but employed his yogic powers unceasingly and untiringly for the upliftment and betterment of mankind. Yet he remained unattacbhed to it all. Through his magnanimous deeds, this incomparable yogi conquered the hearts of millions all over the globe. Whoever came into contact with him was immediately and irrevocably transformed.
From a spiritual standpoint, the value of Mere Aradhya: My Beloved Guru is no less than any of the ancient Indian scriptures. It is our heartfelt hope and wish that these spiritual gems from Sri Swamiji’s life bring light, joy and wisdom into the lives of all sincere aspirants on the spiritual path.
I humbly offer these few words I have managed to write, at the feet of my beloved Gurudev, Swami Satyananda Saraswati, a master of yoga and a matchless jnani, who is striving to unleash the benefits of yoga for the welfare of all mankind, and endeavouring to transform the vedantic percepts of nondulaity and unity into indestructible bonds of universal love and fraternity.
I first saw Sri Swamiji on 3rd April 1953 and then there recognized him as my destined guru. Since then I have come to know the thoughts, deed, plans and visions of Sri swamiji in great depth and detail. Sometimes I wonder whether a human being can indeed raise himself to such towering heights of divine transcendence as Sri Swamiji has. He eptimozes the qualities of a maryada purusha, the ideal human being, for whom tyaga, tapasya, yoga and sannyasa are a way of life.
Sri Swamiji set off on his spiritual quest all alone, and somewhere along the way our paths happened to cross. He intiaited me into a life devoted to surrender, service and sacrifie. My hasband , my son and myself have totally dedicated ourselves to the grand mission of Sri Swamiji. Each and every drop of our sweat and blood, each and every thought in our minds, each and every sentiment in our hearts, each and every vibration of our pranas belongs to him. We have resolved to dedicate our lives to spreading the sacred dharma which Sri Swamiji has upheld all his life.
At first Swamiji Satyavratananda, my husband related with Sri Swamiji as a guru bhai. Later, having dedicated himself to Sri Swamiji’s mission, Satyavrajit worshipped him as his guru. Guru and disciple worked like two bodies, but one soul. That there could be anything beyond working for the guru with total faith and surrender, this thought naver even arose in the disciple’s mind.
In satyavrajit’s own words, “ I consider myself extremely fortunate to have received from jagadguru Swami Sivananda and through his grace I found an exact replica of him in the form of Swami Satyananda, who become my jnana guru, my sannyasa guru. What I felt after getting initiated by swami Sivananda is indescridable. And the way I see and understand Swami Satyananda now, one day the world will do the same. Today the world may not realize his worth, but a time will definitely come when the world will recognize and honour him for what he truly is. Whether I live to see that day or not, my soul definitely will, wherever it may be.”
And for such a devoted disciple, Sri Swamiji had this to say, “I’ve come across only one man in my life who immersed himself in the service of his guru to such an extent that he became an example for the guru himself. So much so, that the guru inwardly acknowledged him as his own guru! That respect inwardly acknowledged him as his own guru! That man was Satyavrat, whom I held in the greatest esteem and respect. We understood each other perfectly. No one comes anywhere near the level of mutual understanding we shared. And that is why he will always have a special place in my heart”.
The same diligence to duty, total surrender to the guru and unswerving commitment to his mission, one finds in Satyavrajit’s image, Swami Niranjan? The unfolding events are giving us an indication, but the future is known only to Gurudev. Swami Niranjan’s total surrender towards his guru, and Sri Swamiji’s untold trust and love for him, present an exemplary ideal before modern civilization. And the mother has nothing more to say, she feels blessed beyond measure. In the words of Sri Swamiji, “She alone is a worthy mother whose son is devoted to his deity and his preceptor.”
Despite the many torments and tributions I faced, despite my own rebellious nature and revolutionary thoughts, by the grace of God I found a great guru, who treated me like a daughter, initiated me as his disciple, and groomed me for a special mission. And once I embarked on that mission, the destiny he had foreseen for me began to materialize.
Satyavarajit was well-known in family and social circles for his saintly and virtuous character. His inspiration alone made me accomplish a great amount of work for family and society. It was his inspiration that made me start writing letters and articles for magazines. With Sri Swamiji’s encouragement and blessings, my penmanship gathered momentum. Besides handling his voluminous correspondence, I started transcribing and filing his lectures as well.
One day, out of the blue Satyavarajit remarked, “You have to write Gurudev’s biography.” The remark scared me. This was a task way beyond my capability. But his insistence forced me to start compiling relevant matter as per his instructions. There was lot of written matter in my dairies, letters and files, and I started to go over it once again. Sri Swamiji used to have intimate conversations with Satyavrajit used to note it down in shorthand and later I would transcribe it into my dairy. I was having many inspirations and ideas myself, which I would often discuss with Sri swamiji.
The workings of destiny are mysterious indeed. After Satyavrajit’s accident, everything changed; and re-organized everything. With his inspiration, instructions and blessings, things began moving like before. I started working on all the pending tasks. I thought of the book as well. “There are eighteen Puranas, but this Guru Gita I am asking you to write may turn out to be the nineteenth one”.
Sri Swamiji had burst out laughing when he first heard this remark. “Okay, let’s see what you endup writing, “he had chuckled.
All these memories came flooding back to me. Thoughts of writing this book kept coming like waves upon the sesshore. It felt as if Satyavrajit was constantly chiding me, “why haven’t you started the book yet?” Swami Niranjan also wanted me to write an account of Sri Swamiji’s momentous life. I realized that I was fats approaching the concluding chapter the blessings of guru and God for the success of my undertaking, and forgiveness as well for any mistakes that I might commit, I finally brgan to write.
This book has been divided into six parts:
1. Glimpses of Sri Swamiji’s childhood
2. An account of his days in his guru’s ashram
3. Glimpses of his life as a wandering sannyasin
4. The beginning of the yoga movement
5. The expansion and consolidation of the mission
6. The culmination of the seer’s vision.
It has been my endeavour to present an exhaustive and complete account of the life and works of Sri Swamiji. His instructions and teachings have been compiled into dozens of books and translated into as many languages. This book is but a humble addition to that beautiful and growing collection.
It is not just my hope but firm conviction that these spiritual gems from Sri Swamiji’s life will light up the path of each and every spiritual seeker who reads them. If my assertion sounds presumption and vain, I humbly seek the reader’s indulgence.
Swamiji, you are the very personification of life’s eternal, inexhaustible bliss, which has inspired me to embark on this journey down memory lane, chronicling the little, poignant moments as well as the great milestones of your epic life. I pray that I receive your grace, love and blessings forever and forever.
Valmiki’s poetic genius was awakened
By the plaintive cry if a distraught crane.
My pen breaks all barriers
As I listen to the tinkling sounds of the divine name.
Spring has blossomed in the midst of autumn,
Cool nectar is flowing forth
In the middle of scorching summer.
The world will rejoice when its reads.
The scribbles made by my pen.
As it dances in sheer joy upon the surface of this paper.
My pen may not have the power
To breathe life into the lifeless,
But O God! Grant that it may write over and over
The saga of my guru,
Sublime and peerless.
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