Tuesday, August 28, 2007



Born : 25th April 1922
Passed Away : 23rd November 2001

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swami_Krishnananda

Sri Swami Krishnananda Saraswati Maharaj (April 25, 1922 – November 23, 2001) was a Hindu saint. He was a foremost disciple of Swami Sivananda and served as the General Secretary of the Divine Life Society in Rishikesh, India from 1958 until 2001. Author of more than 200 texts, and lecturing extensively, on yoga, religion, and metaphysics, Krishnananda was a prolific theologian and philosopher.

Swami Krishnananda was President of the Sivananda Literature Research Institute and the Sivananda Literature Dissemination Committee. He served as editor of the Divine Life Society’s monthly paper, Divine Life, for 20 years

Sivananda Ashram, headquarters of the Divine Life Society
The eldest of six children, Swami Krishnananda was born on April 25, 1922, into a highly religious and an orthodox Madhva[disambiguation needed] Brahmin family. He was named Subbaraya by his parents. He had his high school education at Puttur, Karnataka.

By the study of Sanskrit works like the Gita, the Upanishads, the Vedas, etc., Swami Krishnananda became rooted in Advaita Vedanta philosophy, though he belonged to the traditional Madhva-sect (Dvaita Vedanta), which follows the dualistic philosophy. In 1943, Subbaraya took up Government service at Hospet in the Bellary District, but it did not last long. Before the end of the same year, he left for Sivananda Ashram, where he arrived in the summer of 1944 at the Divine Life Society.

 First meeting with Swami Sivananda

When he first met Swami Sivananda, Subbaraya fell prostrate before him and the saint said: "Stay here till death; I will make kings and ministers fall at your feet." In later years, Krishnananda came to realize the prophecy of the saint's statement. Swami Sivananda initiated the young man into the holy order of Sannyasa (Hindu monasticism) on the Indian sacred day of Makar Sankranti, January 14, 1946, and he was named Swami Krishnananda.

 The young scribe

Swami Sivananda found that Krishnananda was suitable to do works of correspondence, letter writing, writing messages and even assistance in compiling and editing books. Later on he was given the work of typing up the hand-written manuscripts of Sivananda, which were brought to him daily. For instance, the entire two hand-written volumes of the Brahma Sutras of Sivananda's were typed by Swami Krishnananda. He confined himself mostly to literary work and never had any kind of relation with visitors; people who came from outside never knew he existed in the ashram. It was in 1948 that Sivananda asked him to do more work, along the lines of writing books in philosophy and religion, which he took up with earnestness. From that year onwards he was absorbed in writing, conducting classes and holding lectures, as per instruction of Swami Sivananda. During these early years at the ashram, Krishnanada experienced the heights of God-consciousness and became a perfect Jnani.

   General Secretary of the Divine Life Society (1958 -2001)

When it became necessary for the Divine Life Society to co-opt assistance from other members in regards to management, Swami Krishnananda was asked to collaborate with the Working Committee of the institution. It was at this time that he received a position of secretary, concerned especially with the management of finance. He continued this work until 1961, when, due to the extended absence of Swami Chidananda—the President of the Divine Life Society from 1963 to 2008—Sivananda nominated him as General Secretary of the Divine Life Society. Krishnananda served in this capacity until his death in 2001. He was the longest serving General Secretary in the history of the institution.

    Sivananda Literature Research Institute

Due to his considerable literary skill and understanding of the entire gamut of the works of Sivananda, numbering about 300, Swami Krishnananda was appointed President of the Sivananda Literature Research Institute, by Sivananda himself, when it was formed in 1958. Krishnananda was also appointed as the President of the Sivananda Literature Dissemination Committee, which was formed to bring out translations of Sivananda's works in the major Indian languages, simultaneously. In 1961, Swami Krishnananda was made Editor of the Divine Life Society's monthly publication, Divine Life. He held the position for 20 years.

On the morning of November 23, 2001, Swami Krishnananda related to those attending on him a dream he had the previous night in which it was indicated that he would soon leave his body. He had further said that his cook and the doctor from Rishikesh who had been attending on him must be paid their dues that very day. According to those close to him, Krishnananda was very cheerful that day and met with Ashramites and visitors as usual. He also talked very freely to the persons attending on him. In the afternoon at 3:00 p.m. Krishnananda asked for a copy of the Bhagavad Gita with the commentary by Swami Sivananda to be kept by the bedside. When the holy scripture was brought, Krishnananda began to read it periodically. Around 3:30 p.m. he had his usual light supper. At 4:25 p.m. he felt a little difficulty in breathing and asked his attendant Swami Satyakamananda to recline him on the bed indicating that the last moment had arrived. He died at 4:30 p.m.

An excerpt of an article that was published in the December 2001 edition of Divine Life entitled "His Holiness Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj Attains Mahasamadhi" read:
"Our Guiding Light over the past five decades, His Holiness Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, whom Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj used to call as our 'Dakshinamurti' and 'Sankaracharya', has merged in the Cosmic Being. Revered Swamiji Maharaj, who has been our General Secretary since 1958, our guide, administrator, philosopher, mentor and much more, entered Mahasamadhi on Friday, the supremely auspicious and holy Gopashtami day, the 23rd of November 2001, at 4.30 p.m., in his Kutir in Sivanandashram on the banks of the sacred Mother Ganges, in Shivanandanagar, at the foot of the Himalayas. The Divine Life Society records its deep reverence to the towering stature of the Spirit of Worshipful Swamiji Maharaj as well as its heartfelt gratitude to a sublime career of unremitting labour of love that came to a glorious close in that momentous afternoon. Though Swamiji Maharaj had not been keeping well for quite some time, the END came rather suddenly. Swamiji was conscious till the very last moment."

The last rites were carried out on Sunday, November 25. Many devotees and most of the local people came to pay their last respects. Thousands of people were present. Krishnananda's body was carried in a sitting position in a palanquin covered in flower garlands. He was carried in procession to the Samadhi Shrine, the Viswanath Mandir, and the Bhajan Hall of the Sivananda Ashram, then along the road to the Sivananda Ghat where abishek was performed.

As Swami Krishnananda was being taken in the boat to be immersed in the Ganges, three large flocks of birds appeared in the sky, each flock in a V formation. They were flying in the direction of Badrinath, the abode of Lord Narayana and the holiest temple in India.


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