Sample from the Winter 2003 issue of Integral Yoga Magazine

A Talk by Sri Swami Venkatesananda about his Guru, H. H. Sri Swami Sivananda

When we discuss the life and teachings of Gurudev, we are really contemplating the spirit that lives with us as Sri Gurudev. I have no doubt that his presence is still here. We may not be able to see him now only because our vision is limited it may even be as it was in those days when, on certain occasions, he wouldn’t come out. So even though one may not be able to see the physical presence, the spiritual presence is ever here.

There is one fundamentally vital question that should occur to us concerning which we should be quite clear. Gurudev was a phenomenon and so are you. Is it possible by listening to his life or his teachings to become like him? The thought itself is absurd! I suppose we can imitate him, that’s not difficult – but it’s not the reality. He didn’t pattern his life on somebody else. What you are looking for is self-realisation, not “other-imitation.” That is the example. Imitation is a waste of time, absolutely useless, apart from the fact that he himself could not be imitated.

He was too great. You could perhaps in a whole lifetime of contemplation on the Guru catch a glimpse of one aspect of his personality. When you think you have understood him you suddenly discover that there are too many other aspects which are baffling…

Read the rest of this article in the Winter 2003 issue of Integral Yoga Magazine .