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How to Get Vairagya: Editor’s Preface

Abbot George's Reflections on Monastic Life

How to Get Vairagya was first published in 1938 and went through several editions during and after the lifetime of Swami Sivananda Saraswati, the founder of Sivanandashram in Rishikesh and the Divine Life Society throughout the world.

Swami Chidananda, Sivanandaji’s successor, in a talk about Sivananda said that his entire thought, night and day, was how to better serve humanity and remove the ignorance and pain of all. To do this he wrote over three hundred books, most of which he gave away. I well remember being told by those involved in the publishing department of the ashram, that if they did not hide copies of his latest books he would give them all away and there would be none for those who would see their ads in the magazines published by the ashram.

In Sivananda I saw every possible virtue developed to the maximum degree, and that included supreme spiritual wisdom and renunciation based on vairagya. He longed to share his vision with the world, and did so through his living example and his writings. This desire was based on absolute love for humanity–and not in an abstract way. Each person who came into his presence experienced an infinite love from an infinite consciousness. Sivananda was truly a god upon earth, a god that, as the Beloved Disciple wrote, is Love.

Through this book he hoped to awaken readers to the glory and value of vairagya. And he did; and still does.

May it be a blessing and an awakening for you.

Abbot George Burke
(Swami Nirmalananda Giri)

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Chapters for How to Get Vairagya

Preface: How to Get Vairagya