|YOGALife - Spring 1996|
|Table of Contents|
Memories of Swami Vishnu-devananda:
- A Different Kind of Swami
- The Spirit of Renunciation
- Cherished Memories
|·||The Yogi: Portraits of Swami Vishnu-devananda|
|·||Swami Vishnu-devananda speaks: Questions and Answers|
|·||How to Get Vairagya|
|·||Sex is not compulsory|
In1986 Tapaswini Bhargavi and I visited Rishikesh. Swami Vishnu-devanandaji came on his way to Gangotri. This was the first time I met Swamiji in person. I knew of Swamiji by seeing his pictures and reading his Meditation and Mantras.
I invited him to come to Madras whenever possible and Swami said, "You are
inviting trouble for yourself". I said that is okay Swamiji, we will be too
happy to have you there. And then he came most unexpectedly with an entourage
of about 20 people in 1987, February. Dr. Sankarnarayan was conducting a conference
He brought doctors from various places like Bahamas, Canada, England. We had the good fortune to have Swamiji staying with us. We had his blessings all the time by his presence in our place. Swamiji was very simple and so energetic.
One night, we heard some quick walking steps. In the middle of the night, Swamiji was walking on the lawn very fast and thinking. Swamiji always loved Mangos. He used to tell a story about picking mangos as a boy and falling down and breaking his hand. We had the good fortune of having a Mango tree by our house which had a lot of fruits.
Swamiji loved that tree and there are a lot of pictures taken of him under the Mango tree. We were surprised at the way Swamiji was moving. His energy was so great that we were not ready to tune into his vibrations; we thought he does not sleep in the night like others.
After the conference was over he flew back to London. That was the first visit Swamiji made to our house to bless us. Later, it was a regular stop in Madras to reach his ashram in Trivandrum.
Then, Swamiji sent word through one of his staff in London for me to join him
to go to Ireland. I did not know what to do but I accepted his invitation. In
London, we were to meet at the airport.
In the passenger lounge, Swamiji was already there. He was walking with all that energy up and down, up and down. He was thinking of something all the time during his walk.
The Swamiji looked at me and said, "Why didn't you have your shave?" He asked his staff to go and get me a razor. It is still with me as a momento. I realized, Swamiji wanted everybody to be looking clean, neat, and well groomed.
Since I came the previous day from India I was a little lazy to have my shave and be trim. I learned from Swamiji the importance of being sharp, clear and presentable to people when we were on the tour.
When we reached Dublin, Swamiji was reunited with his co-pilot who flew the mission to Egypt over the Suez Canal distributing the pamphlets. They talked about the flight and the peace mission there.
He also talked about the earlier peace mission to Ireland with Peter Sellers and other important people. I did not understand Swamiji because he was talking in a much higher spiritual level and a level of peace, world peace.
I was very ignorant about all these things because I was not ready to understand him. So I just followed all his lectures and watched him do various teachings and preachings which were for world peace.
That was the first exposure to me about Swamiji's interest in world peace which
I had read earlier in books and publications. He was a great man for peace.
He knew exactly what was going to happen after so many years. He was always demonstrating for peace with his great enthusiasm. In 1993 was his last visit to India and Madras.
Swamiji had been joking all the time that he is going to leave his body. In fact in 1991 when I was in Tokyo I came to know that Swamiji was going to leave the body. I rushed back to have the pleasure of seeing and meeting Swamiji again. But then Swamiji made a joke to everybody to say
"Oh no, so you expect me to leave the body, no way!" But in 1993 when he came we thought this time he need not say that he is going to leave the body. Staying in our house, he was going to the hospital for a check-up.
Everytime when he was going out I used to give my car and driver. But this time he asked me,
"You come, you drive me to the hospital". I happily got into the car and drove him to the hospital and brought him back. Recollecting these things after samadhi, I know now he wanted to give his last blessings to me, this is why he specifically asked me to drive him. I spent a good number of hours sitting next to him and driving. Swamiji knew exactly what was going to happen to him.
When he went to Mookambika he fell sick and he could not recover, he had to
be hospitalized. I went to see Swamiji, but I could not talk to him because
he was in a coma. But Swamiji's presence in our place and in Madras was so elevating.
Even till this day, myself and Tapaswini remember the fine moments and blessings he gave us. He gave his blessings to everyone whether the person was good or bad.
He was so great in that, he loved peace and he loved to bless everybody and bless them with all the good fortune, good wishes and good health. Swamiji can never be forgotten by us, our family, all my friends and relatives we always cherrish the memories of his presence here.
Meeting Swamiji changed my life in ways I couldn't see immediately. I never
realized what he was and how he was transfering his blessings to us.
After his samadhi I've been recollecting the incidences which progressively had a spiritual effect on our family. His blessings to us were directly to uplift me.
Actually the previous year when he was in Delhi on his way from Bangalore, I made a telephone call. Swamiji immediately told Pralad, "ask him to come to Delhi". He knew that at that particular moment I was disturbed.
In Delhi I asked Swamiji to give me Sannyas. At first he refused,"Go, go, go I will not give it to you". Swamiji thought over the whole night and next day he called Swami Kartikeyananda "Prepare everything for Sannyas" and Swami Kartikeyananda told me about this. I was shivering and shaking in my body.
I told Swamiji that maybe I was not ready, Swamiji's immediate reply was "At
least you start from now and in your next life you will be more ready". I had
an answer, so I humbly took Sannyas.
His very words that you start from now has brought in me so much of change. I am spiritually progressing every day and I feel Swamiji's presence so much.
Whenever I want any guidance he gives to me direct. In fact today, this interview with Swami Saradananda is only because Swamiji asked me to come to Uttarkashi. I came to have the memories of Swamiji recollected back and get the spiritual blessing for all of us. OM.
- Swami Ayyappananda, Madras, on the occasion of the second anniversary of the Jala-samadhi of Swami Vishnu-devananda
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