H. H. Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj returned to Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh, in January 2002, after attending the 2nd Global International Divine Life Society Conference held in Cuttack, Orissa. As usual he resumed his early morning meditation talks in the sacred Samadhi Hall of Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj.
However, instead of following his normal practice of speaking on a different topic each morning, Swamiji gave a series of talks on the lives and teachings of some of the great medieval Maharashtrian saints. He then took up a verse by verse discussion of the pocket size Manache Shlok (Verses Addressed to the Mind) by the great renunciate, Samartha Swami Ramdas, the guru of the Maharashtrian emperor, Shivaji.
These teachings were so inspiring that we began to transcribe excerpts and share them with friends. One day a fellow seeker was discussing renunciation and confessed, "I really don't know what renunciation means." After some thought we suggested, "But that's all Swamiji is talking about these mornings. It ultimately means a life of surrender and trust. We'll give you a collection of excerpts to read." They were so much appreciated that the thought came, "Why not bring out a more complete selection in time for Sivaratri."
Some of the excerpts are Swamiji's paraphrases of the texts, some his introductions to them, and some are his own teachings. We have also included some illuminating passages from the "Worshipful homage to the Supreme," that Swamiji begin each morning talk with as well as his daily "Loving adorations to Gurudev." We hope that you will find the passages in this booklet as inspiring and helpful as we have.
March 1, 2002
About the Author:
Revered Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji's worthy spiritual successor has been referred to as follows, "If one wants to see boldness of spirit behind a slender appearance, irrevertible command of heart behind a benign face, unwavering peace of mind behind dynamism of action, impersonal detachment behind personal love and care-all at once in a single person, one cannot do better than meet Swami Chidananda."
Born on 24th September, 1916, into a wealthy Brahmin family in South India, Swami Chidananda absorbed love for tradition and respect for rituals. At Loyola College, Madras, Swamiji had a brilliant scholastic career. The ideals and teachings of Jesus made a deep impression in his heart, and he was able to synthesize them with all that is best and noble in Hindu Culture. The two profound influences in Swamiji's life were the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna and the example of his Gurudev, Sri Swami Sivananda. He joined Gurudev in 1943 and from then on the Ashram and the lofty ideals of the Divine Life Society became home and field of service for him
Swami Chidananda was born with an insatiable zeal to serve the sick and the suffering. Even in childhood he built huts for lepers on the lawns of his home and looked after them as though they were deities.
Swami Sivananda said about his spiritual son and beloved disciple:
"Chidananda is a Jivanmukta, a great Saint, an ideal Yogi, a Para-Bhakta and a great sage. Swami Chidananda is all this and much more. He was a great Yogi and Saint in his previous birth. His lectures are the outpouring of his saintly heart, the revelations of intuitive wisdom. And he is a practical Vedantin, his words have tremendous power. He is born to fulfil a great mission."
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