The swami Chidananda Sevashram website is dedicated to the life and teachings of Gurudev Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj. Here is a note about how it all started from Gurudev’s disciple Swami Yatidharmananda describing the inspiration for the website and his life’s mission following the footsteps of his Guru.
“My beloved Gurudev Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj is my life’s breath and purpose. My day begins and ends with him. My wish is to share with others the love and happiness He showered upon me. This mission is my humble seva and love-offering at His feet.”
In 2002, Swamiji told me something that has stayed with me. He said, “When Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji was in his body, I served him; and when he left the body, I served his mission as him. I am your Guru and I am giving you this order, that you must take up archiving as your life’s seva”.
His final directive to me, just before his Mahasamadhi in 2008, yet again was: “The Idea and vision with which you have started this work—you must complete it”. Since then the work Gurudev wanted me to do, became the mission of my life. I consider it my sacred duty, in keeping with Gurudev’s direct mandate.
All my time and energy was dedicated to collecting and preserving any material—letters, pictures, audio and video recordings of Him that could be found. This was not just my seva; it was the only way I knew how to express my love and gratitude for all that he has blessed me with.
There then came a time, as in every seeker’s life, when I had to make a difficult choice. My choice was now not where to complete the task, but how best to complete it. I prayed to him for direction. The answer came. Ultimately I felt that I could only fulfil the mandate given to me by my Gurudev, by stepping out of the Divine Life Society headquarters in Rishikesh where I served for 16 years.
I know that one thing will never change—even if I am not physically in the ashram, the ashram is and always will be in me—my heart and soul are rooted there. It is the tree of life that nurtured me. It is here that I was born and where I grew up. It is here that I was blessed to see Gurudev Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj’s unflinching devotion and service to his Guru. For him, every beat of his heart was a joyful offering to his Master. Day after day, for twelve memorable years, I witnessed a perfect embodiment of true discipleship, humility and surrender. This is how he taught—simply by BEing.
Those years left an indelible imprint on my life. The remembrance of this dedicated selflessness urges me to share his thoughts, words and actions, his celebration of life with everyone whom I come across. This is the guiding light behind the formation of Swami Chidananda Sevashram and School of Well-Being.
– Swami Yatidharmananda