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Rewind. Go back to February 1977. We reproduce here some invaluable pictures and an editorial from the House magazine of Sri Gnana Advaitha Peetam aptly titled Voice Divine. Let your eyes feast on them...

“Take me. O Mother, to those shores where strifes for ever cease:
Beyond all sorrows, beyond tears, beyond e’en earthly bliss.”
Her Holiness at the Tiruvanmiyur Temple, on 31st Dec. 1976
Her Holiness being received with full traditional temple honours at Vadapalani. Poornakumbham offered by the chief Gurukal while the Executive Officer, Sri Parthasarathy waits with a garland.
Vadapalani – 12th Jan. 1977
At the main entrance of the temple.
Making Her way into the temple.
Devotees pay respects.
And continues the pradhakshanam.
Sri Sathguru moves along.
Bhajan by the Sadguru Swami Sri Gnanananda Sarasvathi Bhajan mandali.
With the children of "Karunai Illam".
Recital of "Thevaram" by orphans from the "Karunai Illam".
With the children of "Karunai Illam".
“Parashakti Herself has come to our doorstep”…
The people thronged the streets as our Revered Sadguru walked past. Showering Her Blessings on all alike.

Some Food For Thought (Reproduction of editorial appeared in Voice Divine, Volume 2, Number 2 )

One of the interesting details of Her Holiness Sadguru Swami Sri Gnanananda Sarasvathi Devi’s life is the near starvation diet on which She is subsisting most of the time. People wonder how Her Holiness gets so much of energy and vigour from such little nourishment. The same thing has been said of many other saints and religious leaders as wall. In fact, this phenomenon is not confined to religious savants alone. There is the reported case of an ordinary housewife who, for the last four decades, has been subsisting only on coffee and, from all accounts, she seems to be getting plenty of energy from this much-condemned beverage.

The phenomenon takes on the picture of: a near-miracle only because most of us are at the other end of the pendulum, having habitually over-eaten all our lives without any real necessity. This is particularly true of office-goers and other sedentary workers and those on the wrong side of forty. In the western world, however, there is a greater awareness of the need to control eating at least to avoid certain diseases, if not to promote health. Dieting has also something to do with the feminine figures and the fashions there.

Lest dieting be taken lightly as a bourgeoise fad, we would like to add that even the well-fed Soviet population is waking up to the merits of abstinence. Prof. Yuri Nikolayev, who has been doing research into controlled fasting for the last 25 years, points out that people have resorted to fasting for curing illness right from pre-historic times. And even animals, when they fall ill, stop eating till they get well.

A number of Soviet clinics are said to be using controlled fasting in the treatment of a variety of diseases ranging from cardiovascular disorders and skin ailments to allergic conditions like bronchial asthma. What is more, controlled fasting is said to have been useful even in the treatment of psychotic and neurotic cases including schizophrenia and hypochondriac fears like fear of illness, loneliness, darkness and so on.

Prof. Nikolayev explains that during fasting, the brain, like all other organs, “rids itself of toxins and undergoes the process of renovation. Besides this, it is given a considerable period of rest because the entire digestive tract, which ordinarily consumes a collossal volume of brain energy, is in a way switched off“.

Thus apparently, both Ekadasi and Ramzan have merits which are beyond the purely religious. Her Holiness emphasises in most of Her discourses that Self Restraint and Self Control in eating habits are the first steps in spiritual sadhana on the physical plane. But nowadays we seem to be re-discovering the wisdom of our Ancients through Western eyes!

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