Swami Chinmayananda Saraswati (Birth 8-5-1916 Samadhi 3-8-1993) was one of the greatest Hindu spiritual leaders of our times.
He was in Himalayas. One day there was a sudden call! He himself narrated what had happened thus: “Mother Ganga in her incessant hurry seemed to tell me, ‘Son, don’t you see Me? Born here in Himalayas, I rush down to the plains taking with me both life and nourishment. Fulfilment of any possession, is in sharing it with others.’ I decided. I was encouraged. I felt reinforced. The urge became irresistible.”
Then he came down to the plains and started meeting people. He travelled length and breadth of the whole world and attracted thousands of followers. His Gita discourses were very famous. He founded Chinmaya Mission on 8th August 1953. The Chinmaya movement was born out of love and rooted in the wisdom of Truth.
His eloquence in English is very famous. Once when one devotee told him that he was always in the midst of troubles he immediately retorted saying, “When troubles come to trouble you, don’t trouble to stop the troubles, but allow the troubles to trouble the troubles, so that no trouble is free to trouble you. Trouble not at troubles; let the troubles trouble the trouble”. Everybody laughed. The questioner understood the point and was cleared of his doubt. The great Tamil Poet Thiruvalluvar said in his poem, “When trouble comes laugh at it”
He delivered several lectures in America. At the end of the first talk in Palo Alto, one of the listeners asked him, “What is your technique?”
“What is my technique? My technique is to stand on my nose and meditate” said Swamiji. “But I only practice it in private”.
He gave a mischievous laugh, and then thundered seriously, “If you are looking for shortcuts in spirituality or instant psychedelic happenings, you have made a mistake today. But don’t repeat it – don’t come tomorrow.”
His words were straight. Everyone got the message. They turned every day to hear the discourses.
Once, a young boy asked Swamiji, “What made you renounce the world? You were a postgraduate in English Literature and Law, and a very successful journalist:
Swamiji asked him in return, “when will you spit that thing out?” referring to the chewing gum in the boy’s mouth. “Oh! I am just about to spit it out. There is no juice left in it,” said the boy. “Ah! I, too, did just that,” laughed Swamiji. “I had chewed the world sufficiently and did not find any more juice in it.”
One skeptic asked him, “Whatever you teach is there in the books. What do I need a Guru for?” He replied, “Why don’t you ask the question to the books.”
How to inspire the young children imbibing the idea of God in them? In Manila, some children gathered around him.
He asked them, “What is the color of the milk?”
“White” answered all the children.
“What color is the cow?”
“What does it eat?”
“What color is the grass?”
“What makes the green grass eaten by a black cow to come out as white milk?”
The children were silent.
He said “Krishna! It is the Lord who makes the impossible possible.”
His unique way of teaching is incomparable. Devotees used to narrate hundreds of interesting anecdotes happened in his life.
Once, Mr Manian, the famous Tamil writer, journalist and editor of many magazines in his welcoming address at Madras said: ” We find in Swamiji a Good Teacher, a Popular Preacher, a Religious Leader, a Philosopher, a Rational Thinker, a Scientist, an Artist, a communicator, a Journalist, and Educationist and above all a Guiding Spirit. In him we see the wisdom of Vasishta, the vigour of Viswamitra, the knowledge of Brigu, the thought process of Veda Vyasa, the power of Kasyapa, the determination of Gautama and pardom me Swamiji, the anger and humour of Durvasa,”
Verily he was a great saint who propagated the glory of Hinduism. His life was his message!