Monday, 21 January 2019

Swami Brahmananda Jayanti

When Swamiji, who was still in America, heard of Swami Brahmananda's return to Calcutta, he felt relieved of any further anxiety regarding the conduct of the Ramakrishna Order in India. His letters to Maharaj were full of the spirit of universal service; and Maharaj, in his turn, would inspire his brother disciples with the same ideal. All felt an unbounded confidence in Swamiji and Maharaj; but the love of these two for each other was so deep and so spiritual that no one else could fully understand it. Two years after Brahmananda's return from Brindaban, Swamiji came back from America. A public reception was prepared for him at a house in Calcutta, and Maharaj himself was the first to welcome his brother, placing a garland of flowers around his neck. Swamiji in turn, touched the feet of Maharaj, quoting a saying from the scriptures: "The son of a guru is to be regarded as the guru himself," (meaning that Brahmananda was the spiritual son of Sri Ramakrishna). Smiling sweetly, Maharaj touched his feet and returned the compliment with another quotation: "One's elder brother is to be respected like one's father."

Swamiji was then taken to the Alambazar Monastery. Here he placed in Brahmananda's hands all the money which American devotees had subscribed towards the Indian Mission. "All this time," he said, "I have been acting as a trustee. It is a relief to give this back to its real owner -- our Raja." The natures of the two friends were widely dissimilar, and yet, in a sense, complimentary. In the words of Sri Ramakrishna: "Naren dwells in the realm of the absolute, the impersonal. He is like a sharp, drawn sword of discrimination. Rakhal dwells in the realm of God, the Sweet One, the repository of all blessed qualities. He is like a child on the lap of his mother, completely surrendering himself to her in every way."

Vivekananda was like the flaming fire, the midday sun -- burning up all evil and impurity. Brahmananda was like a soft, cool light, soothing the aching heart. Vivekananda was like the deep and restless ocean - always fighting against ignorance and superstition. Brahmananda was like the blue sky, vast and patient in spirit. The manner of his working was inward and silent.

Vivekananda laid the foundation for the spiritual undertaking entrusted to him by his master: Brahmananda built the edifice. Vivekananda, with his dynamic, aggressive personality, could wake a man from the sleep of ignorance: Brahmananda with his characteristic serenity could show him the way to mould his life in God.

Each paid memorable tribute to the other. "Through Swamiji," said Brahmananda, "the world has come to know of Sri Ramakrishna. But for him, very few could have understood our master's genius." And in the words of Swamiji: "Raja is the greatest treasure house of spirituality." Once a European devotee came to visit Swamiji in the monastery, wishing to have his spiritual problems solved. Swamiji sent him to Maharaj, saying: "There you will find a dynamo working, and we are all under him." After talking to Maharaj, the devotee expressed his gratitude and told Swamiji that
all his doubts had been removed.

Swami Saradananda rightly remarks: "If Swami Vivekananda was loved and cherished by the Master as the means by which his spiritual mission was to be proclaimed to the world, Swami Brahmananda was no less valued by him as the future head of his organization."


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The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji

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