Chapter 5: Sivananda – The Fire of Sannyasa
From the year 1924 till the year 1936—for 12 years—he was an incognito mahatma doing his own tapasya for a purpose which he alone knew.
None of us were there, and no disciples were there.
He had neither associates nor friends.
What we hear from people who had seen him in those days amounts to this: that he wore little clothing and ate no delicious diet—which, of course, was not available at all even if he wanted.
The only food that was available to mahatmas in those days was dry bread (chapattis, rotis, which had no ghee or oil) and dhal which also had no fat, neither ghee nor oil.
People say that Swamiji did even not take the dhal; he used to take only the dry bread from the kshetra and drank Ganga water with it.
You know what will happen if you eat only dry bread and drink Ganga water.
You will have diarrhoea instantaneously in that atmosphere.
Anyhow, he bore it.
He was a doctor himself, but he had no medicines with him.
He continued to live that austere life with dry bread and Ganga water.
There was no question of milk, or tea or coffee—not even dhal, not even pulse.
Vegetables were out of the question.
This went on for some years, and people held him in great regard for his tremendous renunciation which he held as his ideal of personal life.
To be continued ....