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Heritage of Swami Sivananda

The ways of gods are said to be mysterious; and equally mysterious are the ways of saints, sages and great masters. Whenever there is an "Avatara"-Incarnation or descent of the Lord in this phenomenal world, He has a specific purpose and he brings with him the needed forces for the accomplishment of his purpose. Ever so great masters are born on this earth, to fulfill the mission of god, at different times for different purposes, who draw towards themselves the necessary forces in the form of disciples, devotees and well-wishers who contribute to the fulfillment of their purpose. The masters do so not because they need the help of those forces for their purpose, for they can work single-handed, but to provide the favorable atmosphere for the ripening of evolve souls, while fulfilling their purpose. The purpose of "Avataras"-Incarnations and great masters is never single, but multifaceted and, rather, cosmic. Thus does the divine work in this creation of His - the transformation of negative forces and, simultaneously, the evolution of positive forces by providing them with the favorable circumstances needed for it. Thus did Swami Sivananda cause the gravitating of exceptionally talented, rare and evolved souls towards himself. These fortunate ones who were drawn towards the master, like iron filings towards a magnet, formed the stones, the bricks and the mortar of which the beautiful mansion of his mission was built and completed,-the stones and the boulders which went to make the foundation and supporting pillars; the bricks with which provided the cementing force that brought shape, beauty and smooth finish to the mansion,-the Divine Light emanating from which illumined the hearts of countless seeking souls around the world. A brief account of the life and contribution of these rare and blessed souls is given in the Top-Menu; if we can imbibe a fraction of the spirit of their devotion, dedication and utter selflessness, our lives would become fulfilled.

His Legacy: Gurudev Swami Sivananda was a very versatile man, and his personality and life had many facets. It is, therefore, difficult to pinpoint any particular legacy as his sole legacy. Some of them are: (a) a large band of sannyasin and non-sannyasin disciples of very high spiritual states; (b) his writings; (c) the Divine Life Society; (d) free medical aid to the poor through the free medical camps, charitable hospitals and dispensaries and the leprosy relief colonies; (e) his own exemplary life as reflected in so many biographies.

A) Disciples: When Gurudev was asked what is his legacy, he had pointed out that Swami Chidananda is his legacy. Even if he had not left behind anything else worth mentioning, Gurudev would have been remembered respectfully for a very long time as the Guru of his great disciples. A guru who can give to the mankind a saint of the caliber of Swamiji must be himself a great saint. Gurudev continues to live through his disciples and his teachings. In fact, Gurudev gave many capable sannyasins who initiated a new spiritual awakening throughout the world through the institutions they established and through their writings.

B) His Writings: A common problem with the spiritual literature is that the reader is lost in the maze of the words, verbosity and intricacy. He fails to understand what the writer has to convey. But, Gurudev had a distinct inimitable style of his own. He did not write scholarly or erudite treatises of abstruse and abstract principles. He wrote in easy-to-understand simple language. His was the language of the heart. The force of his Experience took shape of a powerful fountain through his pen. His writings were more like a father speaking a few words of advice to his son, or a guru to his disciple. He preached only that which he had practised to perfection. As such, his words had spiritual vibrations and force that will penetrate the hearts of the readers. His writings continue to guide and inspire many thousand of spiritual seekers even today. His books are always in good demand, and will continue to be in future also.

C) The Divine Life Society:

D) Medical Aid: Helping the poor was the main mission of Gurudev's life. Be good, do good was his mantra. Even during the days of most intense sadhana, he had continued to serve others, mainly the poor. In the year 1927, he started Satya Sevashram, a charitable dispensary. And when he moved to this side on Ganga on January 17th 1934, on the very same day he started a charitable dispensary. He kept one room for this purpose though there was acute shortage of rooms. Major General Dr. A.N. Sharma and good many eminent specialist doctors were Gurudev's disciples. They imbibed Gurudev's spirit, and Gurudev organised free medical camps with their help from 1950 onwards. Swami Chidananda became the champion of the leprosy-affected persons. The Divine Life Society established three leprosy relief colonies and gave direct and indirect help to two others. The Society looked after these partially disabled persons provided physiotherapy, rehabilitation, and even built houses for them. Sivananda Home is providing invaluable service to the poorest of poor destitutes.

E) Exemplary Life: As per the ancient Indian tradition, guru's life itself is his best teachings. The disciples learn more from his exemplary life than his writings. The best example of this tradition is found in Gurudev's life. All about his life was a lesson for his disciples. All those who came in his contact found an invisible force leading to spiritual elevation. Even during his own lifetime more than a hundred biographies were written on him, and more have come out afterwards also.

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