LECTURE IN MEMORY OF SWAMI CHINMAYANANDA
H.H. Swami Chidananda
President of Divine Life Society
Chinmaya Mission Chicago
August 30, 1993
Worshipful homage to the supreme, eternal, universal Spirit Divine, beginningless, endless, cosmic being, whom the ancient vedic Seers and Sages realize in the deepest depths of transcendental meditation. Due to which reason with in Tattwa betas, Brahmagyanis, Jivatunuktas, Mahapurushas after thousands of years, millennia, we still remember the great Vyasa, Vashistha, Yagnavalkya, Parasara in the lineage of Brahma Gyanis, the eternal benefactors of the whole human race, for the good they have done to us with adoration and gratitude.
They are the Adiguru descending from the great Dakshina Moorthy onwards up to Sri Bhagavan Shankarachaya have manifested to keep alive the spiritual living experience of the reality that transcends mind, intellect and speech. That intuitive experience of the Reality, Aparokshanubhuti is the panacea to all worldly afflictions. Alas, without pursuing it, man is destroying man, destroying the earth and making life more and more difficult.
Descending to this planet of ours in that unbroken succession of Guru-sishya-Parampara, down the corridors of century's of revelation after revelation, of this great illustrious luminous lineage, your beloved Guru Bhagavan, Pratah Smaraniya, His Holiness, Sri Swami Chinmayananda Maharaja was illustriously representing this atomic age of ours, keeping it in the same vein of Gyana Yagni which burns to ashes the karma's of countless births and makes a person liberated. Not only did he fill himself with that light and wisdom , but he wanted to share it with everyone.
He preached incessantly for over 44 years doing the greatest dana (charity). Among the danas however, laudable or praiseworthy they may be in the context of socio-economic fields and in human life, yet Gyana dana is the highest as it liberates them forever from any necessity of other kinds of danas or fame by making the Paripoorna (complete) and destroys the ever recurring wheels of birth, death, rebirth and death again. That's why Gyanadana is far superior to Anna dana (food), vastradana (clothes) for or pitridana (oblation to forefathers). Apara vidya dana is taktalik (limited utility), not nityaprayogana.. But paravidya dana is of etemal use. It takes one beyond the scope of time and change.
After gaining which, there is no retum. That is what Swamiji Maharaj Chinmayanandaji was doing until his last breath. Giving, giving, giving only. Going in all the directions of the globe, east, west, north, south, orient and occident, both hemispheres. He himself a vast source of Anugraha and Ashirbada, due to the great experience of the pure knowledge. You are the most fortunate recipients of his bounty (krita). He lived a full life and in every respect completed his mission. He left nothing undone. It is for you who have been blessed by being his followers to carry on his mission. May he give you all the necessary strength, peace, inspiration, humility and unity. If all of you live the mission pledge given, you will feel the oneness of a family and united in sharing tasks and carrying out his work. That is the greatest Gurudakshina. That is the greatest practical demonstration of Guru bhakti. May his vision flourish and make him immortal.
We saw that even though the Being whom he loved and the One who loved him, called him back to His heavenly abode, yet he will live through you, work through you and His mission will go onward and onward, progressing by leaps and bounds through you. Just as a son makes a father immortal, tradition makes the Guru immortal. You know Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa attained Mahasamadhi in 1886. Hundreds and thousands herald him. Even today more than a century ago, there is a craze because he has become immortalized by his line of Sanyasis in the Ramakrishna Mission. They bring his message to people and he continues to be a living force through them in Guru-shisya-Parampara. That is your privilege that in your heart there is blessedness.
I have come here not only as his Gurubhai, but also as his friend, I cherish a great love for him. We were together for almost two years with one wall separating two rooms, side by side, in the Shivananda Ashram in 1945 and 46. We are grateful for this privilege. He was a man of great humor. He liked to laugh and make others laugh also. He endeared himself to everyone because he cherished affectionate love for everyone.
Bhagavan declares in the Geeta to Arjuna "That devotee is extremely dear to Me". Though for Lord there is nothing of the sort "dear" or "not dear", nevertheless that devotee is very dear to the Lord who propagates the nectarine words of wisdom, as told by the Lord, among the masses and brings them to the fold of spirituality. From this we can clearly understand how extremely dear Swami Chinmayanandajii Maharaj is to his Ishta Devata. As a sanyasin, he worshipped Lord Shiva. But in the heart of hearts, he is a Krishna Bhakta. He himself is Balakrishna and Balakrishna Bhakta.
So he extremely endeared himself to the Lord in propagating the message of Bhagavad Geeta, Krishna Bhakti, Bhagavad Bhakti, living a life of Bhagavad prapti. Therefore, when one becomes very dear to someone, that someone does not want that individual to remain far away for a long time sweating, toiling or playing. So the Lord said, "It is enough. You have done a wonderful work in such a wonderful way in bringing people from Preyas to Seyas." Therefore, the Parampita wanted him back to the eternal Goloka where the Lord is sporting with His devotees.
Generally, devoid of abidance in our real swarup, which is Bliss, we identify ourselves with body and mind and slip to the lower states of joy and sorrow. How much the teacher may tell us to raise the consciousness to the higher spiritual level, into the swarupavastha through Upanishads and Geetagyana or upadesha of identification of Jiva-Brahma, yet the power of Maya is such that, while listening to it is OK, but after sometime, man slips back to his old habits of sorrow and misery. So it is the prime duty of the sadhak to lift himself again and again.
It is Maya's job to pull us to the world of joys and sorrows. Teacher's duty is to, instruct the disciple how to go beyond it. Swami Chinmayanandiji has already done his duty so it is only your role to obey and proceed. No secular, educational, power or position will help you in this regard. Swami Vivekananada's Guru, Sri Ramakrishna Pararnaharnsa had not gone to any school. He is from a very small, unknown village in Bengal, had not studied anything. But when his devotion to Mother Kali increased , he became a very powerful instrument in Her hands. By Her grace he became a great spiritual man.
Then he shared his spiritual wisdom in the ordinary village language. The examples he was using were of cows, bullocks, rivers, trees, village ladies going with earthen pitchers on their heads to get drinking water, etc. The village ponds were generally covered with moss. But below that, water is very clean and cool. So to bring water, one had to remove slowly the moss to a distance. After sometimes, the moss again covers the water. Similarly our mind gets veiled by Maya. So by constant and alert Sat vichar that veiling is to be removed till one's mind is completely purified.
Negating the perishable physical body, the restless mind and imperfect intellect, one has to constantly identify with the inner Self which is eternal, pure, nondual and free from all agitations. This is called Mananam or reflection. If it is done for a period of time, one gets established in that knowledge. After that, for him there is no birth or death, no joy or sorrow. He becomes ever liberated. After that state is reached, however calamitous may be the situation outside, it cannot have any effect on that individual within.
Due to Swami Chinmayananda Maharaja's incessant love for you and mankind, he was trying to elevate you again and again through his discourses on Bhagavad Geeta, the Upanishads and by conducting yagnas. But due to our habitual error of considering ourselves as human beings, we deliberately keep ourselves away from our true nature. How so ever much the teacher may advise, we slip into that old habit due to lack of personal sadhana and become a victim of sorrows and tribulations. So it is the prime duty of the disciples to strive hard to live the Guru's teachings and become his worthy disciples.
H.H. Swami Chinmayanadiji is a Vedanta kesari, the Geetacharya. He has done a lot for posterity. He is the great revivalist. He had the good fortune of reviving the birthplace of Adi Shankaracharya in South India. It is the duty of all his foreign devotees to contribute to that great cause.
Who is born will die one day. Now where is Bhagavan Buddha and Bhagavan Shankara? Even Avataras have to leave the form. Where is Rama or Krishna Avatara? So never be discouraged by the seeming death of the great master. He is always with you. His presence is always there. Fearlessly, all of you go on the path he has shown you. Now the mission is in the hands of worthy disciples. It will prosper manifold.
Let Lord grant you courage and peace. Hari Om, Tat, Sat!