The Master heard the doctor's words clearly and gave him a steady look. Then in his unfailing hospitality saw to it that the doctor was offered uppama, coffee and books. He finally concluded with a farewell and an Om Namo Narayanaya.
After the doctor had left, and before he could take his own food, the Master developed fever and began to shiver. The breathing hardened. He took two or three spoonsful of Horlicks, and at about 3pm asked for water. As was the usual practice the disciples wanted to give him barley water or jeera water, but he wished to have Ganges water, pure and simple. The water was brought. The Master, who had experienced difficulty in taking the smallest quantity of solid or liquid, gulped down half a glassful of Ganges water without apparent trouble—and with that the Being that was Swami Sivananda laid aside its mortal vesture. It was now 11.15pm.
The time the Master chose to merge with the Supreme proved to be a holy Muhurta of extreme auspiciousness. An expert horologist, who was also a capable astrologer, had mentioned only upon the morning of that fateful Sunday, that around about midnight there was going to be such an unparalleled and auspicious planetary conjunction that any Yogi who was getting ready to depart would never wish to miss it. The prediction proved correct and the Master chose the moment.
In the poem of the night entitled, I have won the Game of Life the Master wrote:
I am Brahman-intoxicated.
I have attained perfection and freedom.
I live in the pure consciousness.
I have won the game of life.
I have won! I have won! I have won!
In a recorded message delivered on 6 September 1987, Pujya Swamiji once again stressed the importance of surrender. We quote a few lines from the 10-minute audio message:
"Remember that lesson. If you have troubles, and if you find that relief is not coming, the answer is not coming, then it means that your surrender is not complete. It is no doubt difficult, but you will have to practise it. When the time comes, don't lose the opportunity. Every opportunity that is lost, is gone. An opportunity for spiritual progress has gone. You will have to wait for another time. Welcome all the problems that we have to face today. That is the message that Gurudev wants us to follow—the message of courage. We have to face our difficulties, not try to escape from them."
We conclude this report with the Master's own words of advice to disciples who survive after their Guru's passing: "A true disciple in one who serves his Guru till the end of his life. If the disciple survives after the Guru leaves his mortal body, he should lead the remaining portion of his life in accordance with his Guru's teaching and live to preach them to others by practising them himself."