Little is known of Shri Govindananda Swami who ever courted of security, but we have been told he was a prince of northern India who became a disciple and later a pillar of the holy Swami Shri Krishnanada, thus embracing the tradition of the holy Manava yoga and becoming the co-disciple of Swami Nirbhyananda, Swami Mangalnath and Shri Dada Maharaj.
Swami Govindananda was noted for his supreme attainments in the spiritual realm and after becoming illumined shows the position of an Abbott in a great monastery as the life the preferred to lead in the world.
His Holiness was so manifest that he was known as the ‘Crest Jewel of the Himalayas’ and it is under this appellation that he was recognised by members of Shanti Sadan, though later his yogic name was given to them with his permission. In the year 1952 he was still known to be living in a holy retreat in northern India.
Some of his teachings are appended here:
Whenever there are courses there are effect – whenever there are affects we can lead back to causes – in fact, effects are causes transformed. There is matter and there is mind, mind issuing from a subtle effect of its cause, matter. Mind is an evolution of matter, but mind when purified reflects the light of God within. It can transform the week -kneed, helpless sinner who becomes endowed with equanimity into a true saint.
“Being attached he, together with the work, attains to the results of which his subtle body or mind is attached. Exhausting the results of whatever work he did in this life, he returns from the world to this for fresh work. This is the fate of man who desires, but the man who does not desire, never transmigrates. Of him who is without desires or free from desires, the object of whose desire has been attained and to whom all objects of desire are but the self – his vital forces do not depart. Being but Brahman, he is merged in Brahman. (Brihadaranyka Upanishad 4.4.6)
Here we find the key to spiritual progress. First of all we must do those at which do not lead to rebirth, acts of compassion, perpetual devotion to the Lord, subordination to the one great desire of knowing God or self. Promote and nourish this desire by selfless devotion and association with fellow yogis, and by serving God in the holy yoga in its five-fold aspect of sacrifice – that is giving up avarice, attachment, anger, pleasure desire and egoity.
King Janaka proclaimed that he would acknowledge as his guru, any saint who would teach him to know God in a few minutes. Several saints came but failed, the word was brought to the King that the holy Astavakra would undertake to show him the way. “Tell that the saint come to me at once, cried Janaka. At that the king was told, “not so, the king must come to the forest – it is the first who go to the world to drink – the world does not go to the thirsty”. The King then set out humbly to see the teacher. “ What dakshina with you give me in return for the teachings?” Asked holy Astavakra. “I will give half my kingdom.” Astavakra answered “it is not really thine.” “I will give my body,” said the King. “It also does not belong to thee.” “Then I will give my mind, the surely it is mine.” Thus the King realised the truth.
The Stoics have formulated a similar doctrine to this story “the only thing belonging to man is time, the only thing controlled by man is mind”, writes the philosopher Zeno. Give your mind, therefore, to the Guru, think only what the Rishi’s wish you to think, and worship Shri Krishna in any of his aspects.
The Holy Guru has three aspects on which his disciples on Shri Kund meditate:
- The absolute which has no form. Its nature is eternity, omnipresence, immutability and bliss.
- The achievement of the holy guru through his purified and devoted mind and its enlightenment. It includes the enlightenment of his own self as well as that of others.
3 His desire to give enlightenment to others. (Each human being has this threefold aspect, and by meditation on those of the holy guru daily in a spirit of self surrender, it can be wakened in each of us.
The true disciple takes for vows:
- I must free all things from the bondage of ignorance.
- I must eliminate my desires and exhaust my sanskaras for ever.
- I must comprehend the great truth of the holy yoga.
- I must attain self realisation.
Nobody comes to the teacher unless their minds are akin. Then together they bring to birth the holy Wisdom in the mind of the pupil, that mind having been prepared by teachings and discipline. Therefore, blessed ones, respect the holy truth, be alert, have full faith, study yoga and give living service to all you meet.