Author Topic: Viswanatha Swami Liberation Day - 22.10.2013:  (Read 2126 times)


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47994
    • View Profile
Viswanatha Swami Liberation Day - 22.10.2013:
« on: October 22, 2013, 10:41:08 AM »
(By Evelyn Kaselow)

With Sri Bhagavan's Grace, I believe that few people have benefited as much as I in the company of the Saintly Viswanatha
Swami.  All of us in Arunachala Ashrama  looked on him as the embodiment of Sri Bhagavan, and he treated us, just
as Bhagavan would have, as no less than his own children, nieces or nephews.  In fact, he very graciously said as much to me
himself.  On the occasion when I went to Swamiji's room for my daily Sanskrit class, I took my seat by his side as usual.  Unexpectedly,
a Kashimiri gentelman had come that day, and Swamiji enthusiastically said to him, 'You see how, a little girl, she feels no shyness
to sit by my side?  I am an unmarried man, I have no issue, but I have brother's children -- she is like one of them!' 

This same solicitude was extended to all our Ashrama members and only demonstrates his extreme graciousness.  Swamiji,
out of his kindness as well, reprimanded us if we spent too much money on various Ashrama projects.  He would personally
advice when and how to go on pradakshina or up the Hill.  And on one occasion, a day after he had advised me not to go on
pradakshina, with a mischievous look in his eyes, he inquired, 'So, did you go around the Hill this morning?'  (naturally I had not).
He personally intervened when two other devotees in our Ashrama had intended to climb the Hill before going to Madras
the same day.  Swamiji requested them to forgo this climb, which they did.  Like Arunachala, he could appear aloof.  Yet at one
and the same time he was disinterested witness and a most compassionate father for us.

It was in August of 1973, that Sri Bhagavan ushered us into Swamiji's presence for the first time.  Ganesan introduced us to
him.  A passage from my diary follows:

'Cloudless was the day which dawned to usher us into the presence of Sri Viswanatha Swami, reminding us of the Self which
shines 'by its own light as a ruby unaffected by any outward object.'  How could we record our impressions of one whose even
seemingly insignificant remarks and actions and silences, appeared to us to be the purest teachings of the Truth? Are we capable
of expressing it in words while 'Thou in ancient days, as Dakshinamurti, couldst do so by silence only?'  He appeared to us to be
Thy embodiment. 'To see Sri Bhagavan was to see the ever present reality of the Absolute.', he said. And again, 'There is a center
in man where there is no ignorance, where there is pure Awareness.  His words, reflecting the Truth, proceeded from Truth itself.
It seemed to us that his individual being had long ago left him and all that remained was Thou. 

'Seeing his austerely furnished room containing little more than two hard benches, one for himself and one for visitors, and two
pieces of cloth he possessed to cover his body in South Indian style,  we noted the poor reflection they cast on our more complicated


Arunachala Siva.


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47994
    • View Profile
Re: Viswanatha Swami Liberation Day - 22.10.2013:
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2013, 11:08:30 AM »


'Before leaving, some verses of Swami Abhedananda were quoted for us in Sanskrit and their import given, 'we who  enjoyed
the company of one who was the Lord incarnate are not so blessed with faith as you who, upon merely hearing His name
(never having seen Him), have given Him your hearts.'  This most gracious condescension was not wasted on us by one who
whose life had been spent wit Thee.  Unworthy though  we be, such a remark was coveted as the relic of a saint and truly
more dear to us were the words and stories which were to fall as fresh dew on our parched souls for him.'

Following our pilgrimage to Arunachala in 1973, (when all seven devotees of Arunachala Ashrama (USA) had traveled together
there) I did not get to see Swami Viswantha again for five years. When I returned to Arunachala on Sri Bhagavan's Jayanti
Day in January 1979, we found he same solicitude and compassion as before.  In spite of his weakened physical condition,
numerous literary projects and voluminous editing for Mountain Path, Swamiji found an hour each day that he teach me a
Sanskrit class.  Despite my repeated requests that he teach me this or that composition of his own, Swamiji absolutely insisted
on concentrating on Sri Bhagavan's works and teachings.  However exalted his own state of mind may have been, Swamiji
was first and foremost a devotee of Sri Bhagavan.

On one occasion, I had requested Swamiji to narrate some incidents of his association with Sri Bhagavan.  Significantly,
he prefaced his stories, saying, 'Sri Bhagavan has given me the experience that He is none other than my own Self.  He is
not external to me.'  This was to be one of  my last conversations with him.

Sri Bhagavan gave me the grace not to delude myself with the expectation of seeing Swami Viswantha again in physical form,
so how much more poignant was my leave taking in March of 1979. Swamiji knew this as well, and he could not have been
more compassionate.  When I met him last in front of Sri Bhagavan's Samadhi, Mrs. McIver who was also there told me,
'He is my oldest friend here -- he took me on my first pradakshina.'  'He may not be my oldest friend, but he is my best friend,'
I said. Laughingly, Swamiji graciously exclaimed, 'Friend, child, daughter, niece, -- she is all these to me. I feel she is my own
child.'  How these parting words assured me of Swamiji's continuing solicitude and interest in me and all of us in Arunachala

Numerous are the anecdotes and incidents which one could recount about this man who so immaculately exemplified Sri
Bhagavan' Teachings, yet we are content here to offer these few in honor of him whose Presence, even as that of Bhagavan,
continues to guide us.


Viswantha Swami's Samadhi is in the back of Cow Lakshmi's Samadhi on a higher ground along with five samadhis
of Kunju Swami, Cycle Ramaswami Pillai, Muruganar and others.  Today, there will be special pujas and offerings in
Samadhi to remember this great soul.


Arunachala Siva.