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Report: Sri Swami Sivananda's 94th Sannyas Anniversary

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After reading the book, Jiva Brahma Aikya Vedanta Rahasyam by Swami Satchidananda, Dr Kuppuswami developed an ardent desire to "tread the path of the wise and unlock the realms of immortality". From Malaysia, he journeyed to Rishikesh where he met his Guru, the venerable Swami Vishwananda who initiated him into the Holy Order of Sannyas on 1 June 1924. Dr Kuppuswami was now dead. Swami Sivananda Saraswati was born.

The 94th Sannyas Anniversary of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda was observed at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills, on Friday, 1 June 2018. Apart from the invigorating morning session from 6–6.45am, there was a well-attended Satsang in the evening from 5.30 to 7.30pm.

We heard from a reading at the Satsang that evening that Sannyas is essentially a mental state. In the book, Bliss Divine, our Master states, "Sannyasa is Gerua or colouring of the heart and not of the cloth alone. He is a veritable Sannyasin who is free from passion and egoism, and who possesses all the sattwic qualities, even though he lives with the family in the world. True renunciation is the renunciation of all passions, desires, egoism and vasanas".

Pujya Swami Sahajananda's audio message was taken from an address delivered on 1 June 1981 on the occasion of Sri Gurudev's 57th Sannyas Anniversary. On this day also, Swami Atmananda, a young disciple at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills, was ordained by Pujya Swamiji as a Sannyasin. Swami Atmananda was the only Swami ordained by Pujya Swamiji in his 58-year spiritual ministry. Pujya Swamiji read from the book Necessity for Sannyas. The speech, which was delivered by the Master on 28 December 1945 to the inmates of the Ashram in Rishikesh, was delivered in a fiery style by the Master, and read with equal intensity by Pujya Swamiji. We reproduce a few excerpts from this inspiring speech:

Sannyasa is an absolute necessity. The mere desire to remain aloof and alone shows that there is an Advaitic inclination in you. Every moment you should be ready to take Sannyas. The very longing for Sannyas shows that there is growth of spirituality. Sannyasa destroys all worldliness, all evil Samskaras and establishes you in Advaitic meditation.

You want to eat, drink and enjoy all the day and night. You are immersed in sensual pleasures. There is no dispassion, no Vairagya, no renunciation. That is why you are afraid to take Sannyasa and try to justify your worldliness through foolish arguments. You are afraid to bear suffering. You always want to be carried away by your sense craving. How, then, can you know the glory of Sannyasa? The attachment to men and women, friends and relatives, money and gold, has to be ruthlessly burnt down to ashes. All the so-called duties of the world have to be kicked away for the sake of the glorious state of Self-realisation. The Mahabharata proclaims that for the sake of Self-realisation, even the whole world should be renounced without hesitation.

Why do you roll in this miserable Samsara? Are you not ashamed? If you have real manliness, you must break the chains of earthly bondage, the bondage of birth and death, old age and disease, hunger and thirst. That is courage! That is heroism! That is manliness! Do not be cowards, start now! Fight for that state of absolute freedom.

What is the use of working in an office with a slavish mentality, which is but the outcome of ignorance? The pay you receive in the office is only bait in this world of Maya. How much have you eaten, how much you have drunk, how much you have enjoyed, how much you have slept? Is there any end for this?

Remember that all you see in this world and get attached to is the object of your own imagination. Open your eyes! All this is pure Satchidananda. All this is undivided and immortal Consciousness. Where is father, where is mother, where is wife, where are children? Where is the world? Where is society, where are nations? You are moving and breathing in the mass of universal Consciousness. Wake up now! There is no way in this world to get eternal happiness and supreme satisfaction. You do not know where lies the real cause of misery and suffering? You do know where lies the source of real knowledge and bliss? You are sunk in ignorance. Assert now your real birthright, the freedom of Self-realisation!

The Spiritual Darlings of the Reservoir Hills Sunday School presented a simple but convincing sketch entitled, "The Six Steps to Salvation". In a clear message from the young ones, we heard about the profound teachings of the Master, SERVE, LOVE, GIVE, PURIFY, MEDITATE AND REALISE. The sketch was interspersed with songs and a poem, concluding with the Master's favourite Om Tat Sat Kirtan.

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