A Taste of Immortality

and Eternal Tranquility


Swami Vishnudevanand Saraswati

Copyright 1995. You may copy this file in its entirety, without alteration of the text, and make a copy on a computer printer for your own personal use, but obtain permission from Swami Paramananda <swamipar@yahoo.com> before any other use.



(Skip this introduction?)
This little collection, published on the auspicious occasion of the 1995 Arddha Kumbha Mela at Prayag as my revered Guru, Swami Vishnudevanand Saraswati, begins the ninety-second year of his life, samples his most recent writings. As he handed me the manuscript to edit, he complained, in jest, of an increasing inability to write without rhyming; hence most of this collection consists of verse. He begins in the traditional manner with a few lines to Lord Ganes. Then in "My Experiment with My Guru's Teachings", he thinks back over sixty years to when he, as a young seeker, accepted the guidance of his own Guru, Yogiraj Handiya Baba. "Universal Story", considers the futile life of the ordinary man, caught on the wheel of birth and death. "What Happened?" goes further into the disappointment, pain and sorrow that results from seeking worldly pleasures and suffering the inevitable painful results. Self-Realization is the only means of escaping this trap. One of its requisites is "Vairagya", the attitude of detachment and disinterestedness which arise through observing the consequences of passion and attachment. True Vairagya is not a revulsion for the world but rather a lack of concern or inner involvement with it. calls on all to devote themselves to spiritual practice without delay. The first of the two hymns that follow is a prayer to God without name, while the second, praising Lord Siva, draws upon the legends and symbols of Lord Siva's ancient tradition. Every year, at the time of Guru Purnima, the day when all pay special homage to their gurus, he composes a message for his disciples and devotees. His two most recent Guru Purnima messages and a description of Guru Purnima comprise the prose portion of this booklet. The pressing message pervading it is the necessity for spiritual practice which should commence right away. Beginning with its opening line, "Vacate your mind; naked make your brain", it is full of instructions for spiritual practice, details of which may be learned from other books and the personal instruction of an able guru. May it provide inspiration for all to follow the spiritual path to its conclusion. The author wishes to convey his specal blessings to Mr. Nandu Menon for transcribing the manuscript, and to Ms. Irene Vincent for providing gracious hospitality during its writing. Be ever free, Paramananda January, 1995



At first I pray to the God Ganes.
He's the sole bestower of success.

I remember His beautiful gajanan pose,
Shining brilliantly with garlands of red rose.

My heartfelt salutations to Him,
To thus complete this divine hymn.

My Experiment with my Guru's Teachings

"Vacate your mind; naked make your brain.
Clarify your heart; let your intellect drain.

You will recognize life has a purpose and cause.
Then you will understand the body and its laws.

You will realize the Innermost Self is something.
Except for the Supreme Self, there is nothing.

Your ultimate existence is That Supreme Soul.
That is your ultimate refuge and your real goal."

So then I obeyed his orders with self-confidence,
And I practiced fervently with deep obedience.

Sincerely I practiced transcendental meditation,
With heart and soul to attain Self-Realization.

Day and night I tried my utmost to think of nothing.
After three months I realized the source of everything.

As butter comes from milk by constant churning,
So Self-Knowledge comes by intellectual turning.

"My mind has merged into the transcendental light. How wonderful is the feeling of Divine delight. With inner dazzling light and celestial sound, Is pervaded That Supreme Goal, the eternal ground. Resplendant, the superconscious mind of immortality, Beholds the super-sensuous perception of divinity. I have totally forgotten physical perception, Worldly phenomena and the intellect's conception. Nobody can kill the spiritual personality. The eternal Soul is ever-glorious immortality. Knowing That, what remains to know is nothing. That silent witness, the eternal Self is everything." Then I returned to the plane of physical sensation, With new knowledge, new life and new realization.
Signs of Realization
A Self-Realized Soul lives like a lotus in water. He acts in this world like a theatrical player. From thralldom of phenomena, ever he is freed. His life is not bound by caste and creed. As a boat in water, lets no water in the boat, He lives in the world without world within his coat. He is ever-free from question and curiosity, From doubt and desire, and from all absurdity. Philosophers, knowing of phenomena's falsity, Appreciate his Self-absorption and tranquility. With direct knowledge of the innermost spirit, He is truly endowed with complete divine merit. Believing in God, with unflinching faith, He never argues about birth and death. His mind is full of purity and equanimity. His heart is full of tranquility and serenity. With life endowed with Self-control and reliance, Every word resounds with full Self-confidence. Contact with him bestows great spiritual vibration. Truly he is enlightened, a person of liberation. After the demise of his body, lives his immortal teaching, With devotees and disciples who emulate his preaching.
On The Spiritual Path
On the spiritual path, he who would walk the incline, Should have a life of self-restraint and discipline. A spiritual aspirant should have an honest nature, In order to progress in his esoteric culture. Abundant mental energy is required for the meditation, A seeker must perform in his spiritual cultivation. He should be endowed with perennial patience, Perseverance, tolerance and a clear conscience. In spiritual practice, he should have no doubt, For sure success is guaranteed to the devout.

Universal Story

A particle of the semen of the father,
Playfully enters the womb of the mother.

After a few months there forms a child.
It emerges as an infant looking mild.

Day by day through practice long,
The child learns its mother tongue.

In city or village, this innocent childhood,
With toys or with boys, is playful in mood.

Its life is a mix of the sweet and the bitter.
Day and night, there's weeping and laughter.

As it gradually grows in all respects,
More and more, it many things expects.

Growing, passing through it's childhood,
It gains a taste for many kinds of food.

As the days and months and years do pass,
It acquires knowledge in increasing mass.

Day by day grows its height and power.
You may call a youth, this energetic tower.

A God-gifted power, blind is this young age:
Let it go; I don't care; don't turn pleasure's page.

As time passes gradually, after some days,
An opposite-sex companion then it craves.

Naturally, the opposite sex will always vex.
This interaction is intricate and complex.

Daily they young go to school with regularity.
They study many subjects at college and university.

After their education, to earn money, they march.
For a marriage partner, anxiously they search.

For their maintenance, they work in any field.
To live comfortably, spacious houses they build.

To go somewhere, they use ship, car, plane and train.
In every walk of life, they best employ their brain.

Parents are very happy when an infant is born.
If the infant dies, parents sorrowfully mourn.

The mind of adults is ever-undulating,
Undecided and ever-fluctuating.

Old people retire to a life of idle thinking,
While passing their days in medicine-drinking.

They depend upon the service of nurses.
Inevitable old age is the worst of curses.

They get unsure help from a medical doctor.
They do not know their true benefactor.

They cannot fix their minds on the Almighty Lord.
They repent over their many past works of fraud.

To burning ghat, crematorium or burial ground,
They go as birth and death endlessly go round.

Here king and beggar are the same in every way.
Death, the impartial, brings for each his deeds to pay.

The family cries; friends and relatives are sad.
The feelings at that time, are really very bad.

Together with the subtle body goes the Immortal Soul.
The uncultivated intellect does not know the final goal.

Knowledge of the Self provides the only way out,
To escape the endless wheel of birth, death and doubt.

The external world is a mix of light and darkness.
The internal personality is unchanging delightfulness.

In this sensory world, those who flit about,
In the existence of God, deeply having doubt,

Have lives of rising, falling, always of perplexity.
Their lives are intricate and riddled with complexity.

Those who do not believe in divine kindness,
Show simple foolishness and intellectual weakness.

Those who have good habits with mind and heart so pure,
And full of faith, have successful lives for sure.

Those who hear and care are really rare.
Those who love God, to Him are very dear.

What Happened?

Yesterday your prosperity made you so glad.
What happened? Today, you are so very sad.

A few days ago you were beautiful and laughing.
What happened? Today you are dull, sick and coughing.

You were wealthy and healthy, having malady never.
Today you are sick and suffering from fever.

Some time back, you were proud of your property.
What happened? Today, you have fallen to poverty.

Yesterday you did not heed words of Heaven and Hell.
Why today, when you are morbid, destitute and pale?

A few month ago your friends were plenty.
What happened? Today your house is empty.

All wished to join you in prosperity and pleasure,
To take of your joy and share in your treasure.

Once tragedy struck and you became poor,
Now nobody wishes to enter your door.

A few weeks ago, she loved you very much.
What happened? Now she loathes your touch.

After youth, you are gradually going to fade.
This is a universal law which the Lord had made.


O, Omniscient Lord, I pray to Thee,
Kindly cast a compassionate look at me.

Let me be endowed with deep detachment.
Help me to be free from worldly attachment.

Let me play dispassionately everywhere.
Let me work detachedly here and there.

I do not want any perishable property.
I want Your unchanging celestial serenity.

O, Omnipotent Lord, show Your power more and more.
Secretly You are dwelling in my innermost core.

Let me concentrate on Your dazzling light.
Let me meditate all day and night.

From my eyes let flow these blissful tears,
As I sit in a cave like the ancient seers.

O Lord, will ever come that time, that day,
When in Your holy temple, always I may stay?

Into the transcendental state, allow me to enter.
In my Innermost Being, thrust me to the center.

Let me have a deep, disinterested mind,
That nothing can catch and thus me bind.

Allow me a life with mind of renunciation,
Profound compassion and deep dispassion.

Let me forget the illusive world of perception.
Allow me a life of permanent divine conception.

Upon me, bestow perpetual peace and perennial joy.
Let me forget this sense-world, Your delusive toy.

O Lord, save me from terrestrial temptation.
Let me go beyond this tormenting tantalization.

Give me shelter; let me live at Your lotus feet.
Let me taste the eternal divine nectar sweet.

Let me pursue permanent peace and happiness,
For everything depends upon Your kindness.

Restrain me from the profane world of nature.
In Your hand, I am a trifling creature.

O God, reveal to me Your name to repeat and pine.
The thought of You must absorb this mind of mine.

Let me always remember Your holy name.
Let me go beyond worldly name and fame.

Let me meditate on Your smiling face.
Day by day, quickly increase the pace.

Let me see Your most splendid, beautiful aspect.
Let me enjoy the mystical light so perfect.

Let me sing regularly of Your divine glory,
Thus forgetting my corporeal pain and worry.

Let me forget all physical and mental affliction.
Let me enjoy Your perennial divine affection.

At the very moment I commence my meditation,
Let me be completely free from mental tension.

Song of Awakening

Oh! dear devious soul, time is gliding fast away.
Accept the truthful path; tread it now, today.

Awake this very moment from ignorance's slumber.
How long will you remain in this impermanent chamber?

Comes a whisper from eternity that calls upon your number.
Don't lose this cosmic chance; escape the twisting tumbler.

You are absolute existence; you are the whole.
Be quick; be ready; complete your ordained role.

You are the electricity, not the fan.
You are the transcendent, spiritual man.

Divinity is your essential nature.
You are a blissful, peaceful creature.

Perpetual peace is within your pocket.
Hidden inside your Inner Being's jacket.

Wake up and walk on the path of the loftiest.
Enjoy divine delight; drink nectar, the sweetest.

The unending love and joy of the other shore do reach.
Then play and take pleasure at this beautiful beach.

This profane world is not your ultimate destination.
The goal is Almighty God and inner Self-Realization.

Between the real and unreal, have keen discrimination.
Be free from this tantalizing terrestrial temptation.

Real freedom is within your heart and intellect.
Meditate on the Inner Being, go within and reflect.

Beyond mundane mind and reason is the true reality.
Realize that Divinity, the unity beyond diversity.

Absorption in materialism is simple foolishness and sin.
For the Self and the Divine only, let your mind be keen.

External pleasure is changing reflection and hallucination.
Internal pleasure is endless happiness and God-realization.

With drink and drugs, don't let yourself be mad.
Don't follow your deviant, fallen friend's fad.

If you want to attain spiritual perfection,
You need true physical and mental dedication.

Spiritualism is a matter of demand and supply.
First your heart and mind, you should purify.

Practice fervently with unflinching faith.
Realize the truth of life beyond death.

The essence of the immortal teachings of the seers ancient,
Is self-control, self-discipline and self-restraint.

Obedience and regular practice make a man perfect.
Experiments and experience do his faults correct.

Perfect peace cannot be attained by the scatter-brained.
The mind must be controlled, with practice must be trained.

The mind is like a bird always wanting to fly,
Hither and thither in trees and the sky.

With a disciplined life, train the mind carefully.
In time it will obey and work for you cheerfully.

Your divine existence and ultimate destination,
is Self-Knowledge and absolute liberation.

For permanent peace, don't wander outside.
Within your heart, sincerely search inside.

Wherever you go, the wise prescribe prayer.
Don't run hither and thither; sit by me here.

Cultivate virtue; control your mind; command.
Search within yourself; fulfill your real demand.

Change into joy your inner mood.
Try your best to always do good.

Promise this firmly with heartfelt prayer.
Soon you will realize that God is near.

Devote day and night to spiritual practice,
Is the court order of the Divine Chief Justice.

Are fish thirsty in the limitless clear waters?
The Master is laughing in His divine headquarters.

You are the embodiment of freedom and wisdom.
You are living within your own Divine Kingdom.


O God, You are everything, all in all.
Your mysterious play does rise and fall.

You are latent in form and name.
In everything You are the same.

Your love and care is everywhere,
From surface to the deepest layer.

Your maya does appear and disappear.
You are the secret witness, the silent seer.

You secretly exist in every particle.
This reality is a subtle miracle.

You are both tiny and zenith-tall.
You are both player and the football.

You transform the male into the female,
And the female, as well, into the male.

You have Yourself no name and hue,
For every name and form is You.

You are the student and the teacher.
You are the audience and the preacher.

You are the smallest minutest creature.
You are the universe's largest feature.

Your maya is diversity.
Your power is multiplicity.

I call on You by so many a name.
You are finite and infinite, the same.

From eternity, silently You whisper,
But nobody wishes to hear and answer.

You are the Only, the Supreme Self.
I cannot live without Your help.

Kindly cast a kind look at me,
Compassionate Lord, I pray to Thee.

For the fallen, You are the redeemer,
Whom everyone in distress must remember.

I pray to Your infinite divinity,
Show Your eternal, limitless felicity.

O Lord, shower us with Your perennial peace.
We thirst forever for Your endless bliss.

Except for You there is nothing.
You are the whole and everything.

We cannot live without Your care.
We cannot move without Your power.

O Lord of eternal cosmic compassion,
Grant me permanent universal realization.

Take me from ignorance to eternal light.
Kindly bestow on me Your divine delight.

God, endow me with better conscience.
Dispel the deep darkness of nescience.

Let me enjoy celestial serenity.
Give me transcendental tranquillity.

Shower Your grace upon us all.
This is our constant heartfelt call.

My salutations to Thee.
Forgive and bless me.

Hymn to Lord Siva

O glorious God Siva, I pray to Thee,
Kindly cast a compassionate look at me.

You are the eternal, not the new.
Your infinite glory know but few.

Thou art the Supreme Being, the Godhead.
The whole universe Thou alone have made.

Thou art the Godhead, the Supreme Being.
I am deeply overwhelmed by Thee seeing.

On the snowy mountain peak, Thee I see.
Again and again, my obeisance to Thee.

You are seated on the highest peak.
You are ultimate refuge I seek.

Your features are those of an eighteen-year-old,
Preserved through Your meditating on Kailas, cold.

Your abode lies on the mountain so high,
To climb on the ice, with fervour I try.

My body is a mortal mass of clay.
My inner emotion is Your play.

You are so full of eternal dazzling light,
That meditation is difficult, day or night.

All Gods and Goddesses of You do fear.
Worship and sing of You, both sage and seer.

Your beautiful lotus pose forever,
I remember fully, forgetting never.

From Your matted hair Mother Ganges flows,
Down towards the ocean from the snows.

Near Your snowy mountain is Manasarovar Lake,
With divine swans playing on it for Your sake.

The celestial, crystalline, crescent moon,
On Your head symbolizes Your divine boon.

The cobra king coiled around Your neck,
Is Kala Nag, the venomous snake.

A rudraksa rosary You hold in Your hand.
Your damaru drum resounds through the land.

Your rudraksa mala is very good.
But I fear Your coiling cobra's hood.

A tiger skin is wrapped on Your loins,
Far from city, market, gold and coins.

Your half-open eyes and smiling face,
Bestow Your enchanting divine grace.

In Your lap, right hand on left palm,
Is Your symbol of steadiness and calm.

The bull Nandi is Your gatekeeper,
Allowing only the real seeker to enter.

Your abode is decorated with sun, moon and star,
Through out the whole universe near and far.

Your pair of dazzling diamond earrings,
Are Your expression of cosmic hearing.

Your whole body, You with ashes smear.
On Your forehead, sandal paste You wear.

Your Trident is a powerful, destructive missile,
Killing devils and demons, demolishing their castle.

Your third eye is like a shining sun.
In anger it acts as an electronic gun.

Once You destroyed the Lord of Lust, Kama,
Making the mind much quieter and calmer.

Your third eye like a supernova star,
Pervades the universe; You see near and far.

With the highest mountain in the ocean turning,
A deadly poison was made by this churning.

From it demons and deities fled in great fear.
For drinking the poison, to You they came near.

Drinking poison, made Your throat deep blue.
By saving the world, You obtained this hue.

On beholding Your image in tall mountain ranges,
On entering Your presence, one's character changes.

Though some say that nothing is impossible in this universe,
It's not possible to describe Your true glory in verse.


Dear Divine Devotees,

You are celebrating an annual spiritual function to create and enjoy a divine atmosphere of holy vibration. I thank you for this soul-elevating, uplifting performance. May God bless you.

Life has a purpose; that is Self-Realization. Man is not only a mental being with thoughts and ideas; this sensory world and the perishable body are not all in all. To some extent, this changing world and mortal body are something but are not perfe ct in all respects. In every walk of life, every creature is searching for immortal life, unchanging happiness, perpetual peace, eternal wisdom and freedom forever. That can only be fulfilled by attaining knowledge of the Self or God-Realization. God is the supreme reality and the ultimate refuge of the universe. Your innermost Self is the source of wisdom, freedom, peace, bliss and life.

The problem of life cannot be perfectly solved by mere empirical knowledge because Self-knowledge is direct knowledge without any medium. If you do not believe in the existence of God and reincarnation, the riddle and trouble of your life will not b e absolutely solved. Your real existence is the infinite, divine entity, the Supreme Being. You provide food for the perishable body; your primary duty is to provide food for the soul. Prayer is the food for the soul. As you take food every day for th e body, so you should pray to God every day to attain peace of mind and happy life. Do not miss prayer even for a day. Mould your life with good qualities and divine motives; it is uplifting and soul-elevating.

Do not give your mind leniency. Keep your mind occupied with divine thoughts. Celestial thoughts will bring serenity to your mind. Cultivate virtue. Practice discrimination. Honesty is the best quality. Man has risen from animality to humanity; now he has to rise from humanity to divinity, to attain endless liberty in all aspects of life. Tear the veil of ignorance and obtain divine insurance. Attachment is bondage; detachment is freedom. The mind is the cause of bondage and freedom.

I pray to the Almighty Lord for your success in life. May you be successful in divine prayer and metaphysical meditation. May God grant you the longevity to enjoy the free life of divinity. May God grant you keen understanding and the ability to r ealize the Supreme Reality. May you be free from mental illusion, delusion and tension. May you drown in the life of peace, bliss, wisdom and freedom. May the Lord permit you to attain knowledge of the Self. May you play like dramatic players in this puzzling, changing world. May you attain detachment, dispassion and mental renunciation. May you be master of your mind and senses. May you attain divine freedom and be free from worldly thralldom. May you taste immortality and dance in ecstasy in the transcendent field of felicity. May you attain the life of perennial joy, divine delight, perpetual peace, eternal wisdom and freedom forever. May you be free from terrestrial temptation and tantalization. May the compassionate Lord shower His unendin g grace upon us all. May you be physically happy, worldly lucky and spiritually sparkling. May you dive deeply into the core of your innermost being and be ever-happy with divine seeing. May you be endowed with divine enthusiasm, discipline and self-co ntrol. May you cross beyond mental ignorance, enter into the life of eternity, and drink the nectar of divinity.


Dear Spiritual Aspirants,

Thank you for your devotion and spiritual inquiry, but don't debate theological matters. You will not get a satisfactory solution to the problems of your life without attaining Self- Knowledge or God-Realization. In your heart, there is an eternal quest and earnest desire for immortality that can only be fulfilled by knowledge of the Self. Inquire within your own Self, "Am I this mortal body which is made of flesh, bone, blood, mucus etc., or something else?" By this question and its real answer, all problems of your life will be solved and then you will be free from all misery.

The changing implies the unchanging. The unchanging is the Infinite Lord Himself. "Tat Twam Asi", That Thou Art. To tell the truth, that unseen power, the Infinite Lord is dwelling in the innermost core of your very own being and is playing as the individual soul.

Life has a purpose. It is Self-Realization. The Self or God can be realized either by continuous thinking on one thing or by trying not to think at all, or by surrendering to God with unflinching faith and devotion.

Godly knowledge dawns in a quiet calm mind. With perfect concentration of mind comes all power, happiness and knowledge. Success in life and knowledge of the Lord can be attained by unswerving belief in the existence of the Lord. Without belief in God and rebirth, the problems of life cannot be perfectly solved.

You should make a vow to lead a disciplined life and keep a controlled mind. Behave gently, speak in a sweet voice with a smiling face. Soak your mind with the Lord's name. Merge yourself in the inner light and sound that is the divine ground. Kn ow thyself, and be free. On realizing the Self, one becomes free from doubt, question, curiosity and every misery. This is the sign and significance of Self or God-Realization. A Self-realized person is ever free from phenomenal attraction, temptation a nd tantalization. A Self-Realized person's life is ever peaceful, blissful and cheerful. This is the glory of spiritual attainment.

If you want permanent happiness and peace, search for the permanent source which is the Self or God. God is everywhere, in every particle of the universe, in every sound of the cosmos. God is the all-pervading, all-permeating, only One without a se cond. There is nothing except for God. God is all in all. He is existence absolute. You may call that unseen power either God or Goddess. You may say it is one or many. He has one mysterious power that is playing as the mind and maya.

For perpetual peace of mind and permanent happiness of life, seek enthusiastically, use discrimination intelligently, cultivate virtue gladly, practice meditation intensely and pray to the Lord fervently. Time once lost is lost forever. What you pl an to do tomorrow, do today. What you plan to do today, do at once.

Realize the Self or God quickly and immediately be free from mental tension, anxiety, confusion and ignorance. Dance in ecstasy in the luminous field of felicity. Know thyself. God is infinity.