Swami Satchitanandaji on Jivan Mukti
by Hari Prasad Shastri
Note: Adhyatma Yoga teaches that the truth of the identity of the individual soul with the supreme Reality or God is realizable by man in this very life. One so enlightened is called a jnani or 'knower of Truth' and is said to have attained jivan mukti, 'liberation in life', that is, permanent emancipation of the soul from all suffering and limitations. The following article contains a description of this transcendental state, given personally to the writer by a modern Mahatma who had himself realized it. Swami Satchitanandaji left his physical body in 1949. A short biography of the saint was published in 'Self-Knowledge' in Winter 1950.
At the end of July 1911, the great sage Swami Satchitanandaji, whom I had learnt to love with fervour and intensity, visited Rishikesh. I had been informed of his intended visit, and went there a few days ahead. I stayed at the Svarga Ashram, adjoining Lakshmanjhula, and spent my days partly in private devoton, study and meditation, and partly in the company of the Mahatmas who lived in huts overlooking the slow-moving, divine stream the Ganges. These were indeed happy days.
After some search I found Swami Satchitanandaji's cave, on the banks of the holy river. With the panting heart of a lover; with the devotion of a moth for the flame; with a desire to sacrifice my body and mind at the holy feet of the saint, I came to the cave, bringing with me a jar of fresh milk.
After I had been there about half an hour, Shri Swamiji arrived and said with a smile: 'Hariji, I am glad you have come.' My tears fell, and I could say nothing. We went to the kitchen of the Svarga Ashram and partook of a simple meal, which was offered to every ascetic who applied for it. I took my meal in the brahmachari kitchen.
We crossed the Lakshmanjhula bridge, exchanging greetings with the pilgrims and sadhus, and entered the Brahmapuri forest. It was about two o'clock in the afternoon, a brilliant sun was shining and the cool breezes were kissing the surface of the Ganges and conferring ear-rings of tiny crests on the undulating wavelets. The holy atmosphere of the place tranquillized my mind and senses.continue reading