The holy monk Krlshnananda was a well-known figure among the ascetics and learned Brahmins of India, during the middle of the last century. His appearance was remarkably handsome and dignified, and those who saw him called him a prince. His knowledge of the Sanskrita Classics and Hindu Philosophy was so profound, and his eloquence so appealing, that he was considered to be an incarnation of Shri Shankaracharya himself.
His asceticism and renunciation were exemplary. He never answered any questions about his lay life, but it is thought that he came from Southern India. He was a wandering monk, belonging to the order founded by Shankaracharya, and he had groups of disciples in many cities of India. To see him was to love him. His preaching was so effective that many hearts steeped in worldliness were reformed by hearing him once. He owned no property and never touched money. His life was extremely simple, and he took but one meal a day.
Shri Dada met him in the Temple of Achaleshwar, in Aligara and he thereupon dedicated himself completely to his service, while such great intellects as Swami Nirbhyananda and others also acknowledged him as their Guru.
Sometimes nothing would be heard of him for years, then he would suddenly appear, and his loving disciples again gathered round him for instruction. The writer heard his name mentioned with deep reverence in the Himalayan schools, and In the circles of Mahatmas. He was particularly devoted to the worship of Shiva and often stayed In the Shawaita Temples. Swami Krishnanandaji was often heard to speak of the British race with admiration and confidence – he called England “The Land blessed by the Saints of God.” He composed Sanskrit metaphysical verses of great poetic merit, and loved the holy river Ganges from whose banks he was rarely absent.
The Paramahansas of Benares knew him well, and the renowned Vishnuananda made reverent references to him in his discourses’! How little we know of truly great man! A few of his sayings are quoted below:-
“The glory of the Upanishads lie in the teachings on non-duality found in their pages.”
“Every man in the street can talk on duality; it is only a God-favoured man who studies the doctrine of nonduality.”
“Those who serve their Guru when his body is or his mind is anxious, are the true and holy pilgrims.”
’Purification of the self must precede service of man.”
THE PARAM GURU’S PRECEPTS FOR HIS DISCIPLES.
The heart of a disciple should avoid all that which is wicked and attach itself to that which is virtuous and good, keeping the five precepts – neither to steal, take life, be lustful, light in conversation, nor drink wine – knowing well how to choose and how to reject, how to open and how to screen, and to trust simply in the Golden Mouth, (the Teacher and Shruti) and to -avoid joining in the stupid conversation of the ignorant multitude. .
Co-operate with the fellow disciples In the Yogic undertakings, continually reflecting on duality, obedience, harmony and goodness. Be not lifted up with pride or conceit; regard those who are great as elder brothers and those who are low as younger. If there are in the Holy Family those who quarrel re-unite them in harmony.
Try to preserve peace with a merciful heart, and do not wound others by idle or wicked words. Do not enter the house or room of another unless you have a reason for so doing.
Avoid interference with the affairs of others. When food is served, do not seek out a good place at the table. If anyone is ill, you should show mercy by watching ever them carefully until they recover. Treat your visitors with respect. Eat whatever is set before you and remember that you partake of food only to sustain life, in order that you may obtain perfection. You must reflect on “I am Brhaman.” You must gaze on the Teacher with reverence and also on the symbols of the past saints and incarnations. You must not allow external things to distract your attention. Repent when you fall. Follow that which is true, knowing that Karma is like the shadow which follows substance, and the echo which follows sound. To the Group with which you are connected, you should yield and not quarrel. Guard always against useless and idle talk with others. Continually praise God, the Teacher and the teachings. Do not hate nor despise others. You must not study simply for the pleasure of becoming learned. If you hear the Holy Truth, and do not repress your passions, you will never attain light. You must not listen to the Holy Truth with a clouded mind. After hearing the Truth, retire into a quiet place and meditate. How can you speak of leisure and of useless matters when the days pass by so quickly, and yet hope to obtain a good re-birth? Examine yourself to find out what is wrong with your mind, and strive to change it into what is good.
How long do you expect this life to last that you put off study and contemplation until you roach old age? Why do you not cultivate your heart in the proximity of the Teacher, and meditate and serve to attain buddhi? If you cast off your selfish desires you are a true shravaka. If the world does not enter your heart and disturb the tranquillity, you are a shrotopanna. If you are above worldly ways, you are a devotee. The Yogi who thinks only of his feelings, is like the porcupine which enters the rat*a hole. The Yogi who is wise and performs all his actions in a wise manner is like the rice which when boiled becomes food. Discard the works of the world, and by gaining knowledge of the unreality of “non-self” ascend to the Heaven of Jivanmukti.
The Holy Yoga and its “Steps” are the ladder on which you ascend. If you do not overcome your passions, they will be limitless. Be speedy in Yoga. Build the Temple with all your might.