To a friend who wrote concerned about derogatory things being spoken about some people who, being departed from this world, had no defence.
Not only are falsehoods spread, but so are faults in understanding. I want to tell you about one I myself encountered.
Before I went to see the great Master Shivananda, a very serious and good sadhaka, Brahmachari Haridas who was living at the Yogoda Math in Dakshineswar, told me that letters were being sent from Sivanandashram with the signature of Sivananda that he did not really write. This was told to me in all sincerity and as a caution for me to not think everyone in Sivanandashram was fully honest.
Here is the actual situation I found out.
Sivananda was incredibly busy with people coming day and night seeking his blessing, help and advice. His very advanced disciple, Swami Venkateshananda, would sit in his room with a typewriter and as Sivananda spoke with people in another part of the ashram he would at the same time psychically dictate letters to Venkateshananda who would type them out and bring them to Sivananda who would sign them. The situation showed the yogic capacities of both guru and disciple. But it can easily be understood that people might not understand the truth of it.
As Swami Brahmananda, the great disciple of Sri Ramakrishna used to say: “Just see the fun!”
Further Reading and Listening:
- 10 Sagely Sayings of Swami Sivananda
- Podcast: Swami Sivananda’s Humility
- Podcast: Swami Sivananda’s Humor