Memorium of Sri Swami Kailashananda

In Memory of Sri Swami Kailashananda

by Chandra Om

A great sage has withdrawn from this physical realm to go back to the Infinite Source, but his spiritual presence will now be everywhere and will continue to help, guide and inspire all.

On May 6, 2011 on Manikoot mountain, deep within the Himalyas, beloved Master and the parapara Guru of our school and lineage, Sri Swami Kailashananda Maharaji entered Maha Samadhi.

A true, illumined Master, Swami Kailashananda has inspired, guided and enlightened countless spiritual seekers for over 60 years. He was an embodiment of renunciation and deepest devotion to God. His spiritual personality and vast knowledge of the Vedas were indeed a testament to the sublime ideals and qualities of viveka and vairagya. In this great Guru merged the unique combination of highest jnana and deepest bhakti. His wisdom was unfathomable.

Born in 1913, the Guru was in his 99th year of service on this earthly plane. A native to India, Yogi Gupta (as he was affectionately called) was both an accomplished ayurvedic doctor and a lawyer in the high court of India. A contemporary and friend of Mahatma Gandhi, Yogi Gupta practiced law as an advocate for the people of India for many years. He was in the middle of a major case when Lord Siva came to him and called him to the spiritual path. Heeding the Dharmic call, he finished the day in court and then walked away from both law and his personal wealth and property forever, to begin study with his Guru.

The only initiated disciple of his Guru, after many years of seclusion, service, tapas, self restraint and renunciation, Sri Swami Kailashananda emerged to begin the work and service of the Divine cause, tirelessly and joyfully spreading the knowledge of the Self. He immediately set about establishing the Kailashananda Mission and Nature Cure Center in Rishikesh and started a sanitorium with the great Swami Sivananda in the late 1940's. He embodied and imparted the teachings of renunciation, dedicated service, love and spiritual idealism, and espoused these virtues not only within the Mission, but within the hearts of the innumerable students throughout India who continually sought his advice, help and guidance. His sincere and committed interest in their spiritual progress and welfare remains a testament to these early years of establishing the work.

In 1954, Yogi Gupta was invited to America and after touring for several months ultimately settled in New York, founding the Yogi Gupta Ashram, the very first hatha yoga institution in the US. Designed to establish the protocol of yoga, the New York Center taught tens of thousands of students the true essence of yoga and the sublime truths of the Vedas. Over the years, Swami Kailashananda made the arduous trip between America and India countless times teaching and imparting his inner spiritual knowledge and power.

In addition to being a Master of Yoga, Yogi Gupta was one of the first proponents of a live diet and believed that a natural state of health must be established first and then the student may proceed along the path of Self-realization from there. There are countless stories of students who were healed under the Guru's guidance, care and intelligent direction. An ayurvedic doctor, the Guru helped those who came to him with specific and unique programs designed for their particular maladies. As a testament to his life of service, the Guru was in fact doing consultations right up until the end of his earthly life.

The Guru has now drawn himself into the Infinite but will forever be enshrined in the hearts of countless Sadhakas and students of Yoga and Vedanta. I personally wish to express my sincere homage and highest reverential prostrations to Sri Sri Swami Kailashananda Maharaji, my beloved Param Guru. A Master who God decided to make a channel and an instrument for the manifestation of His active expression of kindness, love, compassion and wisdom, with a unique and distinct role to play in the modern world. He is one of India's greatest spiritual ambassadors.

Many inquiries have come in asking how best to honor Sri Swami Kailashananadaji. Upon reflection on the life and work of a Self illumined Master it becomes clear that the highest honor we can pay is to emulate them and the ideals for which they stood and embodied in this life.

These great souls, having attained the highest experience of the Absolute, Eternal Truth live on to illumine the three worlds with the spiritual light of their Jnana and the ineffable peace of their God communion. May their blessings be upon all.

Aham Brahmaasmi. Sivoham, Sivoham.

~ Chandra Om

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