| FEBRUARY 18
It is very difficult to describe such a unique and unfathomable Being as Sivananda-Valentina. Little is known about Her* personal life before She attained God-realization and She spoke very little about Herself. We do know that She had been a Prima Ballerina, a choreographer, a concert pianist, a brilliant singer, a poet, a genius of the intellect and could speak at least six languages, that I know of, and She had a thorough understanding of Latin and Greek. Yet, in spite of all these talents, Her deepest interest was to increase Her absorption in Her spiritual seeking. And, eventually, She was led to Her Guru, Sri Swami Sivananda. Although She never went to India and never met him in person, She had a deep spiritual bond with him and he gave Her his Name, so Valentina became, consequently, Sivananda-Valentina.
From then on, She dedicated Her life to spreading the Teachings of Her Master, the Yoga of Synthesis, in Her own colorings. While his approach was Vedanta, She was a Bhakta and emphasized those colors, yet it was combined with and perfectly complemented the Wisdom of Her Guru. See the Chapter in Vol. 1 on "Guru."
At one point, Sivananda-Valentina completely renounced all of the glamour, gave away all of her expensive gowns and jewelry and went into seclusion. She lived in an old garage that was infested with bugs, yet She did not mind the dramatic leap from great luxury and glamour to the seclusion in a little hovel because She was so absorbed in Her inner spiritual life that nothing outside mattered. However, the Light and Love which emanated from Her, transformed the little garage and the garden behind it into a paradise. People who had just seen Her in passing began to leave little gifts at Her door, a little flower, a poem, little offerings of the heart. And others would just stop Her on the street and ask for advice and She would sometimes teach them the Yogic exercises. Many were healed and as word of mouth spread, more and more people came to Her. Then Her little hut was torn down to make way for a parking lot and Her devotees found a little bungalow with separate rooms that could be used for an office and a Sanctuary. This period of our Holy Mother's life was very charmingly captured in a little book by Her late secretary, Frl. Gusti.And so, for a period of about twenty years, Sivananda-Valentina spread the Synthesis of Yoga to everyone who came Her way, gave many people new lives and, in general, blessed the whole world by Her Presence. And, most importantly, She lived everything She taught to the minutest degree. She was total sincerity in every aspect of Her life. And even when She left this earth, in spite of great suffering, She never once complained and, in fact, radiated such great peace and joy that no one could realize how ill She was. She had true equal vision, not only in life but in death. She conquered both.
* The use of capitilization when referring to Sivananda-Valentina reflects the deeply rooted reverence of Her devotees.