HIS LIFE AND TEACHINGS
News reached Swamiji by wire that Swami Saradanandaji was ill. The Swami then had a carbuncle on his leg, there were breaches in the Railway lines on account of heavy floods, the route was therefore round-about. Not minding any of these, he started at once for Calcutta. The journey was not broken at Ottapalam – it was the first and the last unbroken journey since 1912. He reached Madras on the morning of the 14th of August 1927. Religious classes used to be held at the Mutt every Sunday evening. The students requested the Swami to hold a religious conversation instead of the class. He acceeded to the request and spoke on what must have been the uppermost feeling in his heart at that time – Love – Love for the Lord and His children. He said: "The Bhakta is prepared to take any number of births and undergo all kinds of sufferings in order that he may serve and enjoy the presence of the Lord within and without.' The same night Swamiji left for Calcutta via Bombay. Six days of continuous travel took him to Calcutta. When he reached the Udbodhan Office the Swamis received him, and offered him refreshments. Declining all offers and unmindful of any other thing he went straight way to his beloved Gurubhai, a mighty Karmayogin and heroic Jnanin, lying on his death bed, waiting for the arrival of his dear Tulasi, a Bheeshma lying on his bed of arrows waiting for Uttarayana. The Swami approached him and announced himself. Slowly Saradanandaji opened his eyes and beheld the form of his beloved brother. Tears rolled down the eyes of both. What unfathomable depths, what infinite love; what exquisite spiritual forms did they see in each other's eyes ?
Slowly the eyes of Sri Saradanandaji closed; joy and a beatific smile overspread his face; very calmly and quietly he entered into Mahasamadhi! The solemn chant 'Hari Om Ramakrishna' announced the heart-rending event to the outside world.
Swamiji felt a deep void in his heart. The passing away of Sri Maharaj had itself made life insipid to him. But he had to carry out the Maharaji's wish to complete the Trivandrum work. Then SaradanandaJi was alive. Now he had also disappeared from view, Swamiji felt as he expressed it'a deep cut', in his heart. Yet there was work to be done and he literally carried the burden of his body as a tool to do that work.