- Bodhi Shuddhaanandaa
- Agartala Maa
Bodhi Shuddhaanandaa (in Sanskrit means Pure Bliss) is lovingly called “Bodhi” on this website to distinguish him from Baba Lokenath or “Baba”. He is a living teacher and humanitarian who translates the eternal teachings and principles into actions that embody the feeling heart. In Bodhi’s own words: “On 11 July 1976, on the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima my Beloved Master Thakur Bhajan Brahmachari, living Buddha of my life, initiated me into monastic life and named me as Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari. Today, after 42 years, on this most auspicious day of Buddha Purnima, 18 May 2019, he renames me as Bodhi Shuddhaanandaa. It is my Guru, the eternal light who shines in my heart as BODHI.
Born on 10 May 1949, Bodhi felt a deep spiritual calling at the tender age of 16 when he first met his Gurudev Sadguru Sri Sri Bhajan Brahmachari (Thakur), see Bodhi’s Gurudev . Under the advisement of his Gurudev, Bodhi finished his schooling and received a Masters in Commerce in 1972 at Andhra University, Vishakapatnam, India. From 1972–76 he taught Commerce at Andhra Vidyalaya College, in Hyderabad, India. He was then initiated by this great sage of India, his beloved Gurudev, Thakur Bhajan Brahmachari, who ordained him in the order of Brahmacharya at the age of 26. Ever since he has been in the service of guru and God by traveling around the world for the last three decades touching thousands of seekers of peace through the path of karma yoga.
On 15 October 1978, Baba Lokenath appeared in a vision to Bodhi and commanded him to spread the Word globally as his divine instrument, instructing him to “Write and spread out”. Several years later the inspiration came to Bodhi to write the first ever English Biography of Baba Lokenath, which is currently called The Incredible Life of a Himalayan Yogi: The Times, Teachings and Life of Living Shiva Baba Lokenath Brahmachari .
It is available on Amazon and is a life-changing book for one and all.
In 1985 Bodhi founded Lokenath Divine Life Mission (LDLM), on the inspiration of Baba Lokenath who taught the world about peace and prosperity for all, putting into practice his philosophy of service is self-help. The street schools and slum projects are in Kolkata, and the children’s education and women’s micro credit self-help groups touch the poorest sections of the remote villages of Sunderban islands. His work has transformed not only the economics of the villages but also life as a whole. LDLM provides free medical care to hundreds of thousands and pension schemes for destitute seniors in the villages and everyday food to the destitute street dwellers in Kolkata, bringing into light the broad spectrum of his humanitarian work both for rural and urban sectors of West Bengal. India. While LDLM’s primary focus is on women and children, it is always identifying additional ways to address the needs of underserved populations.
Bodhi began touring and speaking globally since 1990. He lectured at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1993 and in Barcelona in 2004, and was the keynote speaker at the Global Youth Conference held in Washington, D C. the same year. He was invited as a delegate to the Millennium Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders of the World organized by the United Nations in August 2000 and was a keynote speaker at the International Conference on Spiritual Paradigm for Surmounting Global Management Crisis in Varanasi, India in 2012 and 2013.
Founding Stress Management Academy in 2005, he created two programs, the Simple Art of Managing Stress (SAMS) and Course in Mindfulness (CIM), which he has presented worldwide. He has presented his programs to businesses, universities and general audiences in India, UK, Germany, Poland, Spain, Kenya, Bahrain, Australia, Mexico, Costa Rica, USA and Canada.
Wherever he goes, his vibrant intelligence, fully engaged heart and remarkable presence touch his audience. His essence bears the mark of his 40 years of practice of meditation and mindfulness and his relentless service to humanity. He walks the talk. He has inspired hundreds of thousands of people globally through his workshops, which are popular with youth, the corporate sector, parents and those who are interested in deepening their spiritual life, whatever their tradition and belief.
He became an honorary citizen of City of Naperville, Illinois, USA in 2005. He received the Man of Peace Award in Mexico in 2012 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the S.T.A.R foundation at the House of Lords in the United Kingdom on July 21, 2015 for his invaluable and outstanding contribution to society. He was a lead presenter at the All Ladies League Women’s Economic Forum in May 2016 and was presented the Iconic Leaders in Peace and Spiritual Change award.
Bodhi has authored several other books in addition to “The Incredible Life of a Himalayan Yogi“, including “Your Mind, Your Best Friend“, “Cleaning the Mirror of Mind: Clutter Free Home, Clutter Free Mind” and “The Little Book of Meditation“. These books have been acclaimed by thousands of readers all over the world as the transforming experience of their spiritual life.
Bodhi also appears on several Kolkata Cable TV Channels, reaching out to 2.5 million everyday of the week, talking on Baba Lokenath and how to face the challenges of life and lead a stress-free, happy life. He is an avid Social Media blogger and contributes regularly to several e-magazines and websites.
Bodhi’s Core Teachings
~ Prana (breath) is the gateway to reach the core within; take deep, loving breaths welcoming all positive possibilities.
~ Live life totally without any regrets.
~ On the Nature of your relationship with God: As you move through the day things will keep happening, expected and unexpected. Keep your eye of awareness open; you will see the Divine coming to you in different forms to seek your love, for He seeks nothing from you other than You. Love God in man, you will never regret. Man deceives but God never! May your day be filled with romance with the Divine.
~ We are driven by our subconscious programming all the time, the patterns of thoughts and emotions created through repetition over births and since birth. Until you bring the light of awareness and consciously work to change the patterns, your state of natural bliss is deprived; your inner restlessness persists in the midst of all comforts in life. Mindfulness is that light of awareness that brings heaven into the little things of daily chores. Your heart throbs with the love of the universal rhythm of harmony and peace.
~ As you make meditation your daily priority, you will find all suppressed negative samskaras (conditions of mind) will surface to conscious mind, don’t be disheartened, first allow the seeds of pain and suffering to be burned in the fire of your pure awareness. Gradually as you persevere, you will find small things are making you happy, relationships are improving; you are becoming calmer and peaceful!
~ It is not what you say to others but what you say to yourself, your unconscious inner dialogue between two minds within, the higher and lower mind, which creates the thought and emotional patterns. Let the inner dialogue be one of appreciation, affirmation and awakening.
~ Don’t try to control your mind; no one wants to be controlled. Befriend your mind; lovingly take the mind to its Divine Source. Impregnate positive affirmations, trust in its infinite creativity when calm, and dance your way to your one and only goal in life: awakening to who you are in essence!
~ Just be Aware and be Conscious when any physical response of negative or positive emotions or feelings is evoked, due to certain internal or external provocation. This practice is how we could be the witness to these manifestations that happen within!
~ Every trouble that comes only comes to clear your path for only when all your karma is burned through your bit of physical mental issues you move in the path of spirit that needs a cleaner mind and a happier heart.
My prayers are with you, but make it a point to dwell on the contemplation of Baba Lokenath’s Lotus Feet and His Holy Name. That is the simplest way to remain less perturbed when faced with difficulties.
~~ Bodhi Shuddhaanandaa
If there is someone in my life next to my Gurudev whom I saw as the very manifestation of the Divine in human form, it is Agartala Ma. As such her name was Kanaklata Bhattacharya, but as she hailed from the city of Agartala, the capital of Tripura- a small North Eastern state of India, I called her Agartala Ma. She was the very embodiment of Mother Divine. When I first saw her she was in her seventies, a mother of 5 children, but a saint of ultimate attainment. Born to a mother who was a worshipper of Mother Kali, she would often ask her mother, “Ma, how can I have the darshan of Mother Kali and talk to Her?” Her mother in her usual humility told her to take a small bowl in hand and sing to Mother Kali and cry and pray for Her darshan and collect the tears in the bowl and then wash the Holy Feet of the Mother. That is what the child did for days and months till one day the Mother Divine manifested Her self-effulgent form of light and blessed her. Later on as she grew up the Divine Mother would come to her very often in the form of an adolescent girl and pick flowers along with her or play with her or even assist her in her daily chores of family life when she was married to a man who did not have enough means to comfortably support the family.
A time came in Ma’s life when she passed through a phase of one and a half months of intense yogic sadhana which happened to her without any kind of practice or effort on her part, similar to what happened once in the life of the great saintess Ma Anandamayee. During this time the most unimaginable yogic postures happened to her or rather passed over her body when she was in a state of trance.
Her nephew’s wife and her spiritual son Narayan were the only ones who took care of Ma’s body during this time. Narayan told me that during this time he had seen the most unbelievable things happen automatically to mother’ s body as she passed through some advanced states of yoga and that She was continually visited by great ascended sages and saints of yore.
During this time She would talk in a language unknown to humans, (Narayan later found out that she mostly muttered this language that belongs to the celestial kingdom of celestial deities).
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was the one who visited most to take her through these supreme yogic states. Finally, it was Rishi Agastya who came to give her the power to pierce the third eye chakra and reach to sahashra, the seat of supreme consciousness. Thus her third eye was opened and she could see beyond time and space.
She reached the highest state of enlightenment even though she lived a very common family life fighting the battle of impoverishment due to acute poverty and her daily task of taking care of a larger family.
I have seen face to face Her life as the ultimate expression of human excellence attained without running away to the Himalayas or to any isolation for the penance to reach this exalted spiritual illumination. I once told her, “you have proved to me that you are greater than even the sun, for the sun cannot hide its light, but you do so by hiding the light of a million suns inside you, away from anyone’s eye, just by hiding behind your veil.”
She came into my life as my Gurudev had left his mortal body and there was a gap in my heart. I had no one to talk to or even ask any questions. She came, she accepted me as her own son, and started guiding me through my spiritual path. She was my Guru in mother’s form. She was indeed my mother.
She once told me, “In this Kali Yuga, Baba Lokenath is the most powerful living Presence.” Baba Lokenath would often come to her and Ma would say, “If you pray to the gods, they may come or may not come, but if you pray to Baba Lokenath he will surely come to you and help you out of danger”. She would often say, “Baba Lokenath is the Living God of this age.”
Though she was beyond all external worship but still in her altar she had the picture and small murthy (idol) of Baba Lokenath and she would offer flowers and bilwa leaf every day at the time of her formal worship. During her illness Baba Lokenath would come in his materialized form and heal her.
My Gurudev Thakur Bhajan Baba had told me during my ashram days, “you will have to be a Guru one day” and I had replied,“I would never be a Guru.” He smiled and said, “Ok, see it”. At the command of Baba Lokenath when I started the global tours and spreading the message of Baba and His divine grace, many many people wanted to have formal initiation or deeksha mantra from me accepting me as their Guru. But I was extremely reactive to this concept of being a Guru, for I had seen during my ashram days, staying at the feet of my most compassionate and loving Master, how the disciples take mantra from the Guru and then how they take advantage of the Guru’s kindness and his childlike divine innocence. Two things I almost hated, one to be a Guru, and the other to establish an ashram and create a band of monks.
But it was Agartala Ma who came into my life to make my Master’s word come true. She told me one day, “Baba, it is time you give Guru mantra to those who are thirsting for spiritual life and it is the wish of the Mother Kali that you give mantra; Mother Kali told me to tell you that you should not delay it any more, you have done it for so long. She told me that it is She who will take all the responsibility of your disciples and you don’t have to worry about them for their salvation.” I would often take these words lightly, and tell her ” go, give mantra to whomever you wish, but don’t you ever push me into the business of Guru and mantra”. She consistently kept pursuing me with infinite patience and love, that I cannot and should not stand between the Divine Mother and Her children who need to be initiated as a process of spiritual upliftment and final redemption. Finally, when I was 61 years old, (requests for Guru mantra started coming to me when I was 40 years) I surrendered to Agartala Ma and said ‘thy will be done, My Guru wins”. My Gurudev’s words came true and I started initiating those whom I got a subtle message from my heart that I need to give the mantra deeksha.
Agartala Ma had the boon of iccha-mrityu or death by will given to her by Mother Ganga the Hindu Deity of Mother Ganges. When the time was ripe for her to leave her mortal body, she decided to leave it like an old garment. It was in the morning she was serving food to her spiritual son, Narayan, and then some exchange of words happened, Narayan was once told not to tell Ma some words as that could make her leave her body. But that morning Narayan was totally oblivious of this forewarning. He said those words, and Maa instantly decided to leave her body.
That very day, by 3 pm she was almost ready. She did her evening aarti to her deities at that hour of the day, and then lay on her bed, then she called one of Narayan’s assistants who was nearby to immediately send for Narayan wherever he was for the time was short and she was about to leave. Then she made him sit before her and as he looked on, she sat in meditative posture and started pulling her prana (the vital life force) and then Narayan came rushing in and she caught hold of his hands and said, “I am going, God will take care of you all”, and then she left her body for the eternal abode to which she eternally belonged.
Ma brought to me many messages from the Higher world, which I would possibly never ever know. She truly embodied to me the grand Masters of the astral world in the feminine form. She was my Guru as embodied purity and perfection. My prostrations to her lotus feet and the lotus feet of my Master who thought it fit that he would reappear to me in her form, and embrace me as her son and take me through the path of light toward the eternal Presence that is Baba Lokenath, the Shiva and Shakti in One.