A Rewarding Reply to a Humble Query – by Swami Chinmayananda

Respected Swamiji,

I am anxious to learn about you. I have been hunting for some biography (or autobiography) of Swami Chinmayananda. You seem to have written or revealed so far nothing. Your Upanishads and Geeta and other books have been glanced by me; but they are all regarding the great Truth. But who are you? Were you like Buddha – a prince, or like Shankara — a poor brahmin boy, or like Ramakrishna — an uneducated simple villager, or like Vivekananda — an intellectual agnostic seeking Truth, but getting disgusted by the vague explanations of the Pundit class? We have a right to know you….

You must give us a glimpse of your own person. Hence I write this note. I have heard, honestly I confess, so many contradictory versions of you — that from what I am told you can be anything from an irredeemable rake to the sublime instance of a born divine….

Please console me, comfort me. Am I asking too much? Where can I meet you?

Chandra Bhanu Adiyar
26th April, 1966


Blessed Self,

Om Namo Narayanaya ! Salutations !

Only because I have got more interesting and very useful fields of many other works in hand at present, I cannot give you an “Autobiography” But here are some positive points which should satisfy you for the time being. Later, I am sure you will try to shift your attention from me to the Rishis and make your life beautiful and sublime.

I was born in Kerala, raised in the north, hardened in Punjab, softened in Uttarkashi, criticized everywhere, applauded in some places but accepted and worshipped by everyone. I am a riddle to myself.

Prattling was my profession, preaching is my profession now, and I know practice should be my future job. But everywhere I earned a lot so far and squandered it all in the community.

I am by training a Religious man, by experience a Vedantin, by inclination a Bhakta, in temperament a Karma Yogi, in practice an integral Yogi; my faith is in democracy; I am convinced by socialism; I am habituated to communism; and I am committed to the impossible theory of “Love All”.

Thick skinned, hard boned, I have a mail – of – laughter to cover and protect both my head and heart, and so stabs do not penetrate me, spears cannot cleave me, whippings do not lash me.

I eat and drink, take regular baths and sleep, wear clothes, have no jata, work for 18 – 19 hours a day and preach the rest of the time. When audiences are not available, of course, I preach to myself.

I have my lovers and many beloveds in this country and abroad. I play the beloved to my lovers, and am an enthusiastic lover to my Beloveds. We, together, thus step ahead and march through love towards the Lord’s Palace of Bliss and Wisdom.

Your goodself may meet me easily in my 35 books, or in the pooja room of any healthy young Indian, be a Hindu, Christian or Muslim.

The white men adore me, the yellow men recognize me, the brown men worship me, the black ones love me.

My teacher was a divinely sweet, incandescent, noble soul and I must tell you of Him when you grow a bit more.

May I hope to hear from you often, plenty of the similar rubbish, but sprinkled with more and more of the sensible stuff ? Try. You can. Don’t be shy. This is how everyone grows