In early 1956-1957 Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj used to go to Satsanga exactly at 7 PM , and start with chanting of OM and Jaya Ganesha Kirtan .

And before leaving for Satsanga from the inner resting room of the Kutir , Gurudev would go to the Puja room , do Arati of Lord Krishna there personally .

Then after smearing Vibhuti and Sindhur on the forehead Gurudev would come out and sit on the verandah for a few minutes to meet visitors or devotees , or to talk to personal attendants or Ashram officials on any matter that needed urgent attention .

This was Gurudev's daily routine before going to Satsanga . Sometimes after returning from Satsanga also Gurudev used to sit in the same verandah to give instructions to attendants or to the secretary .

During the year 1960 Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj started living in Gurudev’s Kutir . Since then whenever coming to the Verandah , Gurudev would call Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj to speak on any important matter .

Sometimes Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj would come and prostrate before Swamiji and tell about Ashram affairs . This was almost everyday routine upto 1963 .

In 1963 , exactly one month before Gurudev attaining Mahasamadhi , Gurudev one day came out to the verandah as usual and sat in the chair . At this time Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj , Dr . Hridayananda Mataji , Sri Swami Santanandaji Maharaj and myself were present there .

Gurudev then casually called Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj and said ,

" Krishnanandaji , I do my Sadhana daily in the morning . "

Of course Guru Maharaj used to get up early in the morning between 3:30 and 4:00 . After morning wash Gurudev would go to the inner room and until calling , no one could enter the room . So we did not know what Gurudev’s Sadhana was .

Now Gurudev told us about the daily Sadhana . It was indeed a revelation to us . Gurudev said :

" I get up daily between 3:30 and 4:00 AM .

• As soon as I get up I offer prayers to the Lord .

• Then I press the calling bell and two of my attendants come to my room to help me to go to the bathroom . When I see them I think they are two parts of Virat Purusha who has come to help me . First I mentally prostrate before them and then with their help go to the bathroom . After the bath I come back and sit in my room .

Then I start my Sadhana like this:

• First I think of the Omnipotent , Omniscient Paramatman and meditate on IT for some time .

• Thereafter I pray mentally to the Trimurtis and all gods in all their names and forms .

• Then I mentally visit all Holy pilgrim centres and bathe in all the Holy Rivers and Seas , in each and every place . I prostrate before the presiding Deity and worship mentally all the Devatas .

• Afterwards I do Japa of all Deities , one Maala each .

• Then I recite four Mahavakyas and some Vedic Hymns from the Vedas .

• Also I recite selected Mantras from the 10 Upanishads .

• I got by heart some slokas from the Epics of Mahabharata , Ramayana and Srimad Bhagavatam and I repeat them .

• I remember the saints and sages and mentally prostrate to them .

• Then I mentally think of the Acharyas — Sankaracharya , Ramanujacharya , Madhvacharya and all other great Acharyas . I prostrate to them mentally . Then I recite some of the Hymns and Stotras taught by them .

• After this I do Pranava Japa and meditate .

• After meditation I do a few exercises on the bed itself , followed by Pranayama .

The entire routine of my Sadhana takes about 2 - 2 1/2 hours .

• After this I ring the bell for my attendants to bring my breakfast .

• Breakfast over , I go to office work .

• For the convenience of some devotees who wish to have a private Darshan to talk about their personal matters . I sit on the Verandah . Before they enter the main door I repeat Mahamrityunjaya Mantra three times and pray for their happiness and health , these devotees usually come to me to speak about their problems , spiritual or otherwise . I listen to them patiently and I pray to GOD mentally to give them courage and strength to overcome their problems and difficulties .

• Afterwards the visitors sit with me in silence .

• Then repeating Tryambaka Mantra I distribute the Holy Prasad to them .

This has been my Sadhana over the Years . "

~ Swami Sivananda

All four of us were thrilled to hear from Gurudev’s own words about the Sadhana and all of us felt elevated and prostrated in deep devotion . Some times Gurudev would say to the devotees at the end of their meeting .

" Sab accha ho Jayaga . Bhagavan ko yad rakho . "

This is like reminding us not to forget our Sadhana and GOD is always with us .

May we follow in Gurudev's footprints of Sadhana and reach the Divine . May Sadgurudev bless us all to progress in our daily spiritual Sadhana .

Sadgurubhagavan Ki Jai !