Virabhadranandaji’s Visit

Swami Virabhadranandaji
Swami Virabhadranandaji

Swami Virabhadranandaji is the Head of Ramakrishna Mission’s Malaysia branch. His visit to South Africa was memorable in many ways.

He arrived in Durban, on 10 June from Kuala Lumpur. On his arrival he was given a welcome reception held at HQ on Saturday weekly satsang. During his 15-day stay, he met the officials of our Centre, had meetings with many devotees, addressed different public programs, conducted inspiring Meditation Classes, performed holy home-satsangs and gave interviews to spiritual seekers. He also visited Ramakrishna Sub-Centres in Ladysmith, Newcastle and Dundee in Northern Natal.

At Ladysmith Sub-centre, Swami Virabhadranandaji gave his Keynote address on 16 June which is a National Youth Day in South Africa. More than 250 youth members participated. A special satsang in honour of Swami Virabhadranandaji was held at our Pietermaritzburg sub-centre, where he conducted Guided Meditation and also addressed the congregation. At Chatsworth sub-centre he participated in the half-day Vedanta Retreat wherein he gave his keynote Address.

Earlier the Swami addressed a Satsang meeting held in Sri Sarada Devi Ashram at Asherville. In HQ, he spoke to the members of the Sarada Devi Women’s Circle. At Phoenix sub-centre he gave Talks to the Senior Citizen Forum members. The Meditation classes conducted by him including the Vedantic meditation and Class on Bhagavad Gita in HQ, drew lot of appreciation.

The visiting Swami Virabhadanndaji with Swami Saradaprabhanandaji at Abandi Home talking to a terminally ill patient
The visiting Swami Virabhadranandaji with Swami Saradaprabhanandaji at Abalindi Home talking to a terminally ill patient

He was taken to Abalindi Home, one of the NGOs with which the Centre is associated for nearly a decade. The Ramakrishna Centre of South Africa has used a multi-dimensional approach in all its welfare activities over the last 65 years. This vision and strategy ensures that our support and services reach those in need in all areas of society irrespective of race, gender or creed. The Centre works with many NGOs with similar aims and objectives to provide much needed community services.  The Swami was moved to tears when he saw the plight of Terminally Ill Patients. But he was happy that with our Centre’s help, the Home is giving a decent and dignified living just before death.

Dolphins' dance at Ushak Sea World
Dolphins' dance at UShaka Sea World

The divergent flora and fauna of South Africa delighted him.  A special visit was arranged at one of the Drakensberg Resorts for a night’s halt on 19 June. That was a good relaxing experience for the Swami after a hectic tour of 7 days. The rural beauty of this country, with rolling hills and rising valleys, fascinating freeways, expansive open spaces of the country side with enticing autumn gold trees in the horizon and a vast vista of waves of mountains vying with each other in meeting the skyline, made a deep impression on him. Visiting Ushaka Marine World to see the Dolphins’ dance and aqua creatures in the undersea ship wreck, the crocodile creek, the South Coast and also the Botanical gardens made him feel thoroughly rejuvenated.

He evinced keen interest in the local Zulu culture and enjoyed the Zulu people’s hospitality with their feet tapping music and dance. He visited Valley of Thousand Hills where he interacted with many Zulu people.

The visiting Swami with the resident Swami
The visiting Swami with the resident Swami

On 25 June, the Exco officials bid him farewell and thanked the Swami heartily for his brilliant and inspiring lectures.  The Swami, in his reply pointed out, his delight with devotees who are serving the Holy Trio with unconditional love and how he was brimming with joy in witnessing the Master’s work being carried out in South Africa so meticulously. He was full of praise of sincere devotees who served the Centre from decorating the altar to dishing out the prasad.

On the morning of June 26, Saradaprabhanandaji, officials and self saw him off at Durban Airport. On his way back to Kuala Lampur he would stop for a short while in Mauritius branch of the Ramakrishna Mission too.

30 comments

  1. OM Namo Narayanaya!
    Maharaj!
    The visiting Swami from Kuala Lampur conducted a session on questions and answers. This was very informative. Thanks to him and the Centre for exposing us to someone of that nature. His answers on certain questions have given me more knowledge on different aspects of religion.
    Regards
    Sunil Sonpal
    (the photographer)
    Glencoe satsang group, Northern Natal, KZN, SA

    Like

    1. Dear Sunil Sonpal
      It is heartening to note that you have gained insight and knowledge from Revered Maharaj ji. May I add that you were at the right place at the right time! and yes! sometimes it is important to be in the Holy Company, answers to nagging spiritual questions are brought to light!
      May Mother Sarada, who is verily Saraswati bring us enlightenment!
      Swami Vimokshananda

      Like

  2. Respected Swamijee
    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    Our humble pranams to Revered Swami Virabhadranandaji Maharaj! The divine love and warm personality that emanates from Revered Maharaji is unspeakable! Maharaji captivated us, devotees with his illuminating and absorbing Meditation classes. Maharaji’s talks and conversations contained a deep inner meaning. His relaxed and calm nature gave us a glimpse of his tender personality, and made us feel at ease in his presence.

    Our grateful thanks to Swami Vimokshanandaji Maharaj for affording us the opportunity to spend time and associate with a Holy, learned and loving sadhu.
    Pranams!
    Avitha
    Pietermaritzburg, SA

    Like

    1. Dear Avitha
      How refreshing to read your comment! Yes I share the same sentiments. Devotees who spent time with Revered Maharaj ji were really blessed with his inspiring talks and Meditation techniques.
      May Master afford you more and more of sadhu-sanga!
      Swami Vimokshananda

      Like

  3. Srimat Swami Vimokshanandaji Maharaj
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    We offer our pranaams at the holy feet of most Reverd Swami Vimokshanandaji Maharaj.

    How blessed we all are to have had this wonderful experience of being in the Holy Company of Sri Swami Virabhadranandaji Maharaj! Maharaj’s captivating discourses and most elevating guided meditation sessions have certainly been a treat for us all.

    Our sincere and heartfelt thanks to Revered Maharaj for giving us the wonderful opportunity to be in the company of this remakable and God intoxicated soul.

    Yours in the service of Master
    Avinash and Anu
    Durban, SA

    Like

    1. Dear Avinash and Anu
      How encouraging to hear Maharaj ji’s Guided Meditation class was enjoyed by both you and Anu. Many devotees are of the same opinion: “Tranquility, peace and quietness of the mind” during Maharaj ji’s Guided Meditation sessions.
      May Master bestow delight in your daily dhyana practice!
      Swami Vimokshananda

      Like

  4. Om Namo Narayanaya
    || Sri Ramakrishna Sharanam||

    My salutations at the feet of Master, Holy Mother, Swamiji and revered Swami Vimokshanandaji Maharaj. It is through the interaction with the visiting Swami’s of the holy order of the Ramakrishna Mission that I truly appreciate and understand the value of affiliation to Belur Math. Our gratitude must go to (late) Swami Shivapadanandaji and Swami Saradaprabhanandaji for their efforts in facilitating the affiliation. Through the success of thier efforts we also received our most revered President Maharaj, Sri Swami Vimokshanandaji.

    The visit by Swami Virabhadranandaji was inspiring and remarkable. I look forward to further visits by Swamijis of the order.

    Om Namo Narayanaya
    Yogan Naidoo
    Tongaat, SA

    Like

    1. Dear Yogan
      Thanks for the comment. It is so endearing to note that you are eagerly awaiting the arrival of more sadhus from our Order. Yes, the Swamis are learned and highly evolved souls, and to hear spiritual truths and to be in their presence is a blessing on its own!
      You will see many such sadhus in Belur Math, our Headquarters where you are likely to spend a week or so.
      May the Holy Trio make your visit to India a true pilgrimage!
      Swami Vimokshananda

      Like

  5. Revered Maharaji
    Om Namo Narayanaya!

    It was a great privilege and blessing for Sunil and myself to experience a quiet and spiritual “Getaway” at the Magnificent Drakensberg Mountains with Revered Swami Virabhadranandaji Maharaj, who without a shadow of doubt is a Great Soul. Wonderful opportunities like these are rare, and it is Most welcome when it presents itself to us By the Grace of the Master.

    My deep appreciation and thanks to Most Revered Swami Vimokshanandaji Maharaj for having faith in us.

    Jai Sri Ramakrishna!
    With love and respect
    Rishi
    PMB, SA

    Like

    1. Dear Rishi
      Read your comment with interest! I agree, it is a rare opportunity to spend “alone” time with such high souls. That is Master’s blessings to you and Sunil at Drakensberg mountains. Yes! when opportuniites arise take it lovingly with both palms.
      May Master bring you closer to sadhus whom you can serve well!
      Swami Vimokshananda

      Like

  6. Om Namo Narayanaya
    Revered Maharaj
    It was an absolute blessing & honour for us to have Revered Swami Virabhadranandaji Maharaj in Dundee & in our home. As Brother Rishi said, a truly Great Soul whose visit will be treasured & remembered in our hearts forever.
    In such a short time, Maharaj has endeared himself into our minds & hearts and our prayer to Master is to have the
    opportunity to serve Maharaj in the future.
    Our centre’s affiliation with Belur Math has given us these unique & one-in-a-lifetime opportunities and for this our heartfelt thanks & praise to the hardwork done by Sri Swami Saradaprabhanandaji & Sri Swami Vimokshanandaji.

    We look forward to serving His Holiness Sri Swami Vimokshanandaji on his visit of NKZN in August.

    Jai Sri Ramakrishna
    In the service of the Master
    Shaiel & Sashnee Chunder
    Dundee Sub-Centre – Northern KZN

    Like

    1. Dear Shaiel & Sashnee
      The visiting Swami Virabhadranandaji personally told me how he was delighted to see you both rendering respectful seva to him when he was staying at your home. He said this newly married couple has such a good bhakti on the Holy Trio, he wanted me to convey his subhashish (blessings) to you.
      Yes, my visit to Northern Natal during Krishna ashtami celebartion has been finalised. But next week I will be at Newcastle on Saturday and Sunday (11th and 12th) for taking Gita class. Hope you will be present there.
      May the Holy Trio bless you both and guide you ever is my prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

      Like

  7. I convey my heartiest regards to Revered Swami Vimokshanandaji and Revered Swami Virabhadranandaji. I am proud to be associated with an Organisation that reverently practices Nara Narayan seva of the highest order. I wish I could be there personally to be blessed with the divine presence of the Swamis.
    pranam
    Jai Bhagwan Sri Ramakrishna Dev ki Jai!

    LISA SEN
    Kolkata, India

    Like

    1. Dear Lisa
      Thank you for visiting and reading my blog. We are all blessed indeed to be called “Ramakrishnites” (a non-sectarian sect!). I also read your articles on Holy Trio Group and must say how wonderful Master’s words come to pass… Ramakrishna Kutumba (One big family) wherever and whoever we are!
      May the Holy Trio bring more and more of us united in his Love!
      Swami Vimokshananda

      Like

  8. Revered Maharaj,
    My sastanga pranams.
    Received message of Revered Swami Virabhadrananda’s visit to S.A.
    Hope you are keeping fine by the grace of God. We are also fine here. I humbly request your visit to our Muzaffarpur Ashrama when you are on a trip to India.
    with pranams again.
    Affectionately yours,
    Swami Bhavatmananda (Mithilesh)
    Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India

    Like

    1. Dear brother
      Many thanks for visiting my blog in spite of your busy schedule! When Revered Raghunathanandaji Maharaj was the Head of Muzaffarpur Centre, I had been there a few times. By Sri Thakur’s grace, once I participated in the National Youth Day program too. I loved to sit in the Temple which is so lovingly beautiful.
      Yes, if His grace is there once more I would like to visit your place. I was happy to note that you are doing lot of seva activities among the poor and suffering.
      May Sri Sri Thakur give the energy and strength to carry on His work! My love to all brothers there.
      Swami Vimokshananda

      Like

  9. Adarneeya Maharajji,
    Saadar Pranaams.

    “The Swami was moved to tears when he saw the plight of Terminally Ill Patients. But he was happy that with our Centre’s help, the Home is giving a decent and dignified living just before death.”

    ONLY A SWAMI OF RAMAKRISHNA ORDER CAN BE SAD AND HAPPY AT THE SAME TIME! PERFECT SIGN OF “DETATCHMENT” ! TREATING “LIFE AND DEATH” WITH SAME EYE!

    These pages itself will go down in history of Ramakrishna Order, as the perfect example of EVOLVED SOULS or SPIRITUAL GIANTS.

    I cannot even mention A SMALL WORD called THANKS because IT WILL BE A MEAGRE FORM OF EXPRESSION OF OUR GRATITUDE FOR KEEPING US FLOATING IN OCEAN OF BLISS!
    Once again our humble pranaams.

    Bharat Churiwala
    Mumbai, India

    Like

    1. Dear Bharath
      Thank you for your comment. Yes! I am in total agreement with your admirable sentiments. Did not Holy Mother say ”the whole world is your own, no one is a stranger”? We believe in Mother’s Divine words and try to carry it out in our daily living.
      And special thanks for your words of appreciation.
      May Master, Mother & Swamiji enthuse you more and more in spreading Their ideas through modern EMethods!
      Swami Vimokshananda

      Like

  10. Pranams Maharaj,
    We are delighted to read every article that you are sending. I heard your speech about Sri Ramakrishna also. After hearing your speech, I wanted to read the book “Sri Ramakrishna
    Kathamritha”.

    Please let me know about your next trip to India.

    With Regards,
    Jayamani
    Kolkata, India

    Like

    1. Dear Jayamani
      Happy to note that you listened to my Talks on Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita (The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna) but more happy to note that you wanted to read that wonderful book. I will be truly happy only when you purchase one copy and start studying it!
      I have so far no plans to visit our country this year. If Sri Thakur wills, next year may be!
      May Master bless you all is my prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

      Like

  11. Revered Maharaj

    It was really so great to have Swami Virabhadranandaji Maharaj visiting our centre. I felt really blessed that I also got to meet and talk with Swamiji and that I was in SA when Swamiji was here. He is truly a captivating speaker, a kind hearted person and an enlightened soul.
    Jai Sri Ramakrishna!

    Navrishka Seebaluk
    Goa, India

    Like

    1. Dear Navrishka
      Thank you for visiting my blog so regularly and posting such nice comments. I am very happy that you were fortunate to meet Revered Maharaj ji. Well, everything happens by His Grace!
      May the Holy Trio always and guide and protect you!
      Swami Vimokshananda

      Like

  12. Revered Swamijee Maharaj
    My Respectful Pranams!
    We were wonderfully blessed to be in the Holy Company of Swami Virabhadranandaji Maharaj. The guided meditation was most certainly the highlight of Swamijee’s visit in PMB. His loving, Divine nature was a great Inspiration to me. Our sincere and heartfelt thanks to Revered Maharaj for giving us the opportunity to be in the Holy Company of Swami Virabhadranandaji Maharaj.
    Thank You Revered Swamijee for this most informative and brilliant blog.
    With Loving Pranams
    Urmilla
    PMB, SA

    Like

    1. Dear Urmilla
      Thanks for your nice comments. Yes, to get access to the Holy Company is itself a herculean task for many and without the Grace of your Guru, this would not have happened. Keep up your sadhana!
      May Master bless you is my prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

      Like

  13. Om Namo Narayanaya
    Pranams Revered Maharaj
    It was indeed an honour and priviledge to have Swami Virabhadranandaji in Ladysmith. Maharaj graced our Youth Day programme with an informative talk which was very interactive. Our branch invited the youth of all other cultural organizations, and Maharaj gave them the opportunity to participate as well.
    Maharaj’s guided meditation techniques was the highlight. It was so inspirational and relaxing.Maharaj’s calm, God intoxicated nature was passed on to all of us.

    Our sincere appreciation to Swami Vimokshanandaji and Swami Saradaprabhanandaji for arranging Maharaj’s visit to Ladysmith.

    Om Namo Narayanaya
    Eagerly awaiting Maharaj’s visit to Ladysmith,

    Yushavia and Prevesh Sing
    Ladysmith, KZN, SA

    Like

    1. Dear Yushavia
      Happy that you along with your dad Pravesh Sing visited my blog. Also nice to learn that your time spent with Maharaj was inspirational. So the Youth of Ladysmith were blessed to have been addressed by Swami Virabhadranandaji who has actually conducted many, many Youth Programs where Personality Development was the main theme in India.
      May you and the other youth of Ladysmith Sub centre be inspired by the teachings of the Holy Trio!
      Swami Vimokshananda

      Like

  14. Revered Swamiji
    Om Namo Narayanaya

    Although I’m not in Durban anymore I had the pleasure of listening and prostrating to Swami Virabhadranandaji that weekend. Swamiji has a voice that draws your eyes and ears to him, an almost commanding presence that makes one want to listen to his message. I thought the Swami was a great speaker and his humour kept us going. Swamiji seems to have done quite a lot in 15 days, visiting, giving talks and moving around the sub centers. Glad Swamiji had some time at the berg.

    Om Namo Narayanaya
    Shaimel Singh
    Johannesburg, SA

    Like

    1. Dear Shaimel
      Happy to hear that you could meet Swami Virabhadranandaji. Yes, he created a very good impression on the minds of devotees. Especially his classes on Meditation drew lot of positive response.
      May Master ever guide you!
      With best wishes on the eve of holy Guru Purnima,
      Swami Vimokshananda

      Like

  15. Swami Virabhadranandaji just returned to India this Sunday after serving the Ramakrishna Mission in Malaysia branch. Swami Virabhadranandaji is the first Swamiji that my husband and I have come in contact to and we were so blessed to be able to visit and talk to Swamiji and obtain Swamiji’s blessings in several occasions.
    Swamiji always reminds us to read about the Holy Trio, understand their teaching and practice them in our daily life. Swamiji is very direct and does not belief in cosmetic appraisals and there were times that Swamiji have pointed to us of our wrong doings and we have felt very small in front of Swamiji, but we vowed to correct it fast.
    I have attended one of Swamiji’s Guided Meditation Class and yes, it is one of the best moments I have had and Swamiji’s Gita classes are a ‘HIT’.The about 2 hrs of Gita classes that is conducted in Seremban, just flies away so fast and I regret for not being able to attend all of Swamiji’s classes now……..
    I guess I did not fully utilize the opportunity of serving Swamiji, and I will make it up by following Swamiji’s advice and the teachings of the Holy Trio.

    Sankri
    Malaysia

    Like

    1. Dear Sankri
      Its always encouraging to hear about the transformation in one’s personal life after coming into contact with any of our Monks. Indeed Swami Virabhadranandaji during his short span of time that he visited South Africa, created a niche for himself in the hearts of devotees here. I can very well understand what you devotees in Malaysia could have gained with a prolonged sadhu-sanga.
      He endeared himself to everyone here by his cordiality combined with brilliant exposition of our Vedantic ideas and especially the classes on Meditation were his forte. Many devotees have given me feedback that they were all immensely benefitted.
      Even though his transfer from Malaysia has caused disappointment among some Malaysian devotees, yet, you will appreciate that our life as monks is not tied to any place or people. Wherever we are required we shall march on and this feeling that we are sent from one place to another due to the Cosmic Will of Sri Ramakrishna is of course true. This teaches us, monks, a wonderful aspect of ‘absolute surrender’.
      I quote here from Swami Shivanandaji, a direct-disciple of the Master of what he said to every monk and devotee about ‘absolute surrender’:

      Be like the arrow that darts from the bow.
      Be like the hammer that falls on the anvil.
      Be like the sword that pierces its object.
      The arrow does not murmur if it misses the target.
      The hammer does not fret if it falls on a wrong place.
      And the sword does not lament if it is broken in the hands of its wielder.
      Yet there is a joy in being made, used and broken;
      and an equal joy in being finally set aside.

      Swami Vimokshananda

      Like

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