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Swami Shanmugananda

Sri Venkataraman was born on the 9th of October, 1926 in the Dist. of Tanjore in Tamil Nadu, in an orthodox Brahmin family. He imbibed from his parents devotion and adherence to daily religious routines, which made him God loving and simple. He had High School education but set up an electrical shop, though an unusual profession for his community. But that is how God works, because that gave him an opportunity to have casual Darshan of Sri Gurudev, though by sheer chance, when he got a professional order to fix up the amplifying system at the Dharmapura Adhinam where Sri Gurudev paid a visit during his All India tour in October 1950. Even this chance Darshan of Swami Sivananda worked a miracle in the young lad. He started losing interest in his business and began to ponder over the purpose of working hard for a mere livelihood. Quickly he decided, left his business and home town without anyone's knowledge, came straight to Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh, and met Dr. K. C. Roy who too left his practice after meeting Sri Gurudev at Chidambaram during the All India tour and dedicated his services to the Ashram's Hospital. Dr. Roy, thinking that he had come on pilgrimage, took him to Sri Gurudev for Darshan and introduced him as an honest and devoted person, having an electrical business. At once Swami Sivananda told Venkataraman, "Stay here and serve the Ashram." Venkataraman's joy knew no bounds, to the astonishment of Dr. Roy. He stayed and

is still 'staying, since 21st february, 1951. Soon after that electricity was brought to the Ashram. by Swami Dayananda's superhuman efforts and Venkataraman it is who did all the electrical wiring and fitting work for the entire Ashram, with whom Sri Gurudev was highly pleased. He was ordained as a Sannyasin in the year 1957. He has rendered very valuable service in the Guest and electrical departments, and is now looking after the construction of buildings of the Ashram for nearly two decades.

Though he is a follower of Advaita Vedanta, he firmly believes in the efficacy of ritualistic form of worship and devotes long hours in such worship of Lord Skanda or Shanmukha, of whom he is a very staunch devotee. He is thorough in ritualistic worship and is fully conversant with the Mantras and rituals. He is equally a scholar in Tamil literature, particularly of Lord Murugan or Shanmukha.

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