Thursday, November 24, 2011

Swami Chidananda in Spiritual Mood (Video)





Sridhar Rao, as Swami Chidananda (9/24/1916 - 8/28/2008) was known before taking Sannyasa (embracing a life of renunciation), was born to Srinivasa Rao and Sarojini, on the 24th September, 1916, the second of five children and the eldest son. Sri Srinivasa Rao was a prosperous Zamindar (a rich landlord) owning several villages, extensive lands and palatial buildings in South India. Sarojini was an ideal Indian mother, noted for her saintliness.

At the age of eight, Sridhar Rao's life was influenced by one Sri Anantayya, a friend of his grandfather, who used to relate to him stories from the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Doing Tapas (austerities), becoming a Rishi (sage), and having a vision of the Lord became ideals which he cherished. His uncle, Krishna Rao, shielded him against the evil influences of the materialistic world around him, and sowed in him the seeds of the Nivritti life (life of renunciation) which he joyously nurtured until, as latter events proved, it blossomed into sainthood.

The family was noted for its high code of conduct and this was infused into his life. Charity and service were the glorious ingrained virtues of the members of the family. These virtues found an embodiment in Sridhar Rao. He discovered ways and means of manifesting them. None who sought his help was sent away without it. He gave freely to the needy.

Service to lepers became his ideal. He would build them huts on the vast lawns of his home and look after them as though they were deities. Later, after he joined the Ashram (hermitage), this early trait found in him complete and free expression where even the best among men would seldom venture into this great realm of divine love, based upon the supreme wisdom that all are one in God. Patients from the neighbourhood, suffering from the worst kind of diseases came to him. Service, especially of the sick, often brought out the fact that he had no idea of his own separate existence as an individual. It seemed as if his body clung loosely to his soul.

The final decision came in 1943. He was already in correspondence with Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj of Rishikesh. He obtained Swamiji's permission to join the Ashram. Towards the end of 1948, Gurudev nominated him as the General Secretary of The Divine Life Society. The great responsibility of the organization fell on his shoulders. From that very moment he spiritualized all his activities by his presence, counsel and wise leadership. He exhorted all to raise their consciousness to the level of the Divine.

On Guru Purnima day, the 10th of July, 1949, he was initiated into the holy order of Sannyasa by Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj. He now became known as Swami Chidananda, a name which connotes : "one who is in the highest consciousness and bliss." In August 1963, after the Mahasamadhi of the Master, he was elected as President of the Divine Life Society. After election, he strove to hold aloft the banner of renunciation, dedicated service, love and spiritual idealism, not only within the set-up of the widespread organization of the Society, but in the hearts of countless seekers throughout the world, who were all too eager to seek his advice, help and guidance.

To Read More of Swami Chidananda's bio visit: HIS HOLINESS SRI SWAMICHIDANANDA SARASWATI MAHARAJ

The Divine Life Society

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