Sri Sri Bhajan Brahmachari
SRI SRI BHAJAN BRAHMACHARI
Relationship between Baba Lokenath, Shuddhaanandaa (Babaji) and Sri Sri Bhajan Brahmachari
The question is often asked that if Sri Sri Shuddhaanandaa (Babaji’s) Gurudev is Sri Sri Bhajan Brahmachari then what is Babaji’s relationship with Baba Lokenath and Baba Lokenath’s relationship with Sri Sri Bhajan Brahmachari?
Sri Sri Bhajan Brahmachari (lovingly called Thakur), Baba Shuddhaanandaa’s Gurudev, initiated Babaji into the path of Lokenath Bhakti as Thakur, from his early childhood, received the infinite grace of Baba Lokenath in the path of his sadhana. Baba Lokenath used to appear in gross physical form (in flesh and blood) to Bhajan Baba all through his sadhana days and instructed him about his course of the highest form of Yoga. In later years, when Bhajan Baba became a self realised Master, Baba Lokenath appearedto him in gross physical form and ordained him to do his unfinished work of initiating devotees in the path of Yoga.
After Sri Sri Bhajan Baba initiated Babaji, he sent him to the Himalayas for sadhana and when the time came he instructed Babaji to carry out the Order which Baba Lokenath had given to Babaji in a divine vision.In the divine vision, Baba Lokenath lifted his hand, waved it in all directions, and told Babaji, “Spread Out”. This was again the unfinished work that Baba Lokenath had ordained to Sri Sri Bhajan Baba that was delegated to Bhajan Baba’s spiritual child (Manasputra), Babaji, to carry forward and spread the Word of Baba Lokenath all over the world. Baba Lokenath appeared in this vision when Babaji was living in the ashram of his beloved Gurudev Thakur, on 15 October 1978. He went and narrated the whole vision to his Gurudev, Bhajan Baba, and Gurudev told Babaji, “Do as he said”.
Sri Sri Bhajan Baba thus becomes the Master who brought Baba Lokenath to Babaji’s life, and through Babaji, to the world. Babaji has been travelling all over the world since 1990, relentlessly trying to serve his Gurudev, whom he identifies as one and same as Baba Lokenath. His relentless service to the suffering humanity stretches from both the seekers of light and love to the under privileged children in India.
Babaji (Sri Sri Shuddhaanandaa) talks about his own Pujya (His Holiness) Gurudev
I was only 16 when I had my first experience with my Gurudev Baba Bhajan, whom I call Thakur. I had seen many sadhus during my visits to my grandmother in Varanasi, where I used to go during my vacations, but I never saw such divinity and light in any person as I saw in Thakur. I was pulled like an iron filing being attracted to a very powerful magnet. He was melodiously singing and the assembled devotees joined him in Kirtan as he started singing Hari Bol. The whole premises was flooded with divine vibrations, everyone present felt a deep connection to the divine and here was a person in front of me who was in the world but beyond. His body was glowing with light, his voice melting in the ecstasy of profound communion with the divine. I could not take my eyes off him; my heart was at the feet of this man.
His eyes met mine for a few seconds, but I was transfixed. I felt a deep attraction toward him, felt as if I had known him for ages, as if he was the man to whom I could totally surrender without a speck of doubt. Something was happening in me about which I hardly had any idea as I was at such a young age, but it was happening from my deepest core.
I slowly came close to him, put my face next to his ear and then whispered, “Would you please give me deeksha (initiation)?” He whispered through my ear, “First finish your education, then I will initiate you”. I wasn’t happy, as if I were deprived. But I was kind of in a different world, something changed in me, a deep inner call, as if I only belonged to him. As if only that world where he went during his enthralling music was the world that I belonged to. And only he could take me there, no one else.
And so I followed his wishes, finished my education, taught for a few years and then left to follow him at his Ashram. And so began my journey (See About Shuddhaanandaa) .
I became curious to know how this rare person who, in the midst of the crowd of humanity running after gross materialistic things of life, could attain to such a state where he could be so simple, so humble, so much at ease with himself. How could he radiate such peace and share that with all the people? How could he have such magnetic power to bring the thirsty souls to his holy company? He appeared to me most ordinary. Yet he had an extraordinary energy in and around him that made people listen to his nectarine words of wisdom and feel the depth of his intense love for the Divine.
It always appeared as though the devotees assembled in the room with him were transfixed and only looking at the Master who was flowing like the Ganges. They had all totally forgotten the pains and sufferance of the worldly life. Satsang, the company of the Holy Master, is like the ever-purifying water of the Ganges. These words of the Master are not the borrowed knowledge, like that of pundits, but the profound experiential wisdom of the very incarnation of God. He had come down from the lofty heights of the Himalayas into this mundane world only to dispel the darkness from the minds of the suffering humanity. Hence, the devotees hearts too are flooded with divine ecstasy, as yours, too, will be if you dwell upon His Name and Presence.
Who is Babaji’s Gurudev who came to Bless all of humanity?
Sadguru Sri Sri Bhajan Brahmachari was born in 1925 in Ririkhal village, presently in Bangladesh. His parents gave him the name Amal. From early childhood he was always sick and deeply introverted. His longing for God was expressed in his play in making beautiful idols of Gods and offering his worship in silence. His mother, Priyabala Bose, once went to meet the great yogi of Haridwar, Sri Bholagiri Maharaj, who lovingly took the child on his lap and said, “You are Shiva’s child, you are Shiva, why have you come here?” Turning to Priyabala, the sage said with compassion, “Don’t worry about his health, he will be all right, but he is not born to be a householder, don’t ever try to bind him to the worldly life”.
One day, Amal, who was fondly called Ranu by his parents, was very sick. He was almost dying. All hopes were given up. Then, out of the blue, an old saintly woman with long matted hair appeared at their door, expressing her wish to see the child, as if she knew everything! She was in a hurry and said, “Let me quickly see my Haribhajan.” When Priyabala, took the Bhairavi (Tantric yogini) inside, she went straight to the bedside where Ranu was lying unconscious. She looked at the child with an eye of compassion and healing and said, “Quickly get me a pot of Ganges water”. The water was brought and the Yogini sprinkled the water on Ranu’s face and body, murmuring some occult mantras. In no time the child’s condition improved. Bhairavi instructed them, “From now on call him as Haribhajan. He will be popular in the world by that name. From then on, he was called Bhajan, a shortened form of Haribhajan.
In later years, while studying in the school and in the college, Bhajan used to disappear from time to time, only to return again later. On these occasions, he would go into isolation for deep meditation and to be in the company of saints and sages. Bhajanbaba said, “Baba Lokenath followed me as a shadow all through my spiritual life. He would manifest in the gross body and give me instructions in the path of Yoga.”
Once Bhajanbaba was caught while he was traveling in a train from Delhi to Mathura without a ticket. The ticket collector threatened him, saying that if he would not get down from the train, he would throw him from the running train. The train was moving and he was about to jump. The ticket checker caught him from behind and pulled him back inside the train. In a voice mixed with awe and humility he said, “Who is with you?” Bhajanbaba said, “Me and my God”. “Does your God look like a tall man with matted hair and fixed eyes? He appeared from nowhere and with anger in his voice said, “What are you doing? Take him safely to Vrindavan.”
In Vrindavan, at the Banke Bihari’s (Lord Krishna) Temple, he did the deepest penance and was in Samadhi for days until he attained Self-realization. The ticket collector became his first disciple. Finally, he came to Calcutta and, as the honey bees were attracted to the fresh bloomed fragrant lotus, he gave the devotees who came to him shelter and direction on treading the path of love and devotion to God. He initiated thousands of seekers in the path of Bhakti Yoga and Japa Yoga. He had the most melodious divine voice and would go into ecstatic samadhi while singing bhajans (devotional chants).
Miracles were natural manifestations of this God-intoxicated saint of simplicity and humility. Siddhis (yogic powers) served him as obedient servants. There are hundreds of stories of his miraculous powers of healing and of protecting his disciples and devotees from danger and disasters. His simple teaching has been, “Always take the name of the Lord in your heart and keep doing your duties. Japa yoga (repeating the Divine Name) is the simplest way to reach God and self-realization in this difficult age when other forms of disciplines are difficult and at times risky. Have faith in God and Guru and keep practicing the Japa with all your heart and trust in the Grace of the Guru. You will surely reach Home, your original abode of peace which you have been searching and seeking for many births.”
On the 6th of July, 1992, he left his mortal body. The child of Shiva merged into Shiva for good. He came to prove that to be enlightened you need to have the longing of your heart for the Divine, for where there is the deep urge, God manifests His Grace and opens the doors of realization of the highest reality of life.
A few words about the Guru Parampara or the grand lineage of Babaji
Thakur Sri Sri Bhajan Baba was initiated by the great yogi of the Himalayas, Param pujya (means His Holiness) Sri Sri Divyananda Saraswati popularly known as Devgiri Maharaj. Devgiriji Maharaj lived in Uttarkashi, in the Himalayas, throughout his life but came down to plains only once to attend Gayatri Mahayajna at Anandamayee Ma’s ashram in Varanasi, on 14.1.1950. Great saints from all over India had come on Ma’s invitation, and Devgiriji presided over the assembled saints in the performance of this great fire ritual for world peace. He was almost a hundred years old at that time.
During this visit to Varanasi Devgiriji initiated Thakur Bhajan Baba. Devgiriji Maharaj was not only a God realized Master, but a great scholar of the Vedas and shastras. He was the Raj-Guru or the court Master of the then king of Tehri (Himalayan kingdom). Even Sankarachariyas took his discipleship and learned the scriptures under his guidance. The saints and sadhus of the Himalayas in those days revered him as mother, for he not only guided them but also served them food with his own hands.
Parapara Gurudev Pujyapada Sri Sri Vijnanananda Saraswati Maharaj
Paramgurudev Sri Sri Divyananda Saraswati (Devgiri Maharaj) was the disciple of Param pujya Sri Sri Vijnanananda Saraswati Maharaj, who was a realized Master who spent his whole life in the Himalayas and was considered in his times the greatest scholar of all Vedas and Upanishads. It is under him that Devgiriji Maharaj learned the shastras (scriptures) and followed the path of yoga to attain the ultimate self-realization. The king of Tehri was very fond of saints and sages of the Himalayas, and he would often give special honor and gifts to them. He wanted to have the most honored and enlightened Master as his Raj-Guru, the Guru of the king and the kingdom. The only sage who qualified for this was Pujyapada Vijnananandaji Saraswati Maharaj, who was the undisputed Master and tattwadarshi (enlightened) scholar of Vedas and was accepted as the greatest by all Himalayan saints and sages all over Tehri, his Himalayan kingdom.
He approached this recluse sage who was detached from everything and prayed at his feet for his approval to accept him as his disciple and also take the most honored seat of Raj-Guru or the Master of king and kingdom. Vijnananandaji Saraswati Maharaj was most reluctant to have such an honor of the material world and refused to move from his Himalayan cave and hermitage to the royal palace. But the king persisted and persisted with all humility and prayerfulness. Finally, this great sage yielded to the devotion and prayer of the king of Tehri Himalayas and accompanied him to his palace where a separate cottage was built for him to stay and be the Court Guru.
It was the practice in those days for the kings to conduct debate on the shastras (scriptures) by inviting the most renowned sages and scholars from around the country only to bring forth the highest wisdom of the Vedas to the understanding of the seekers of light. The king somehow convinced his revered Gurudev to participate in a debate on shastras with the wisest of scholars from all around. Finally when one after the other great scholars were defeated by Vijnananandaji Maharaj, then finally came Ram Tirth Maharaj, who was considered the greatest scholar. Both of them got into debating, it went on for days, and finally Vijnananandaji Maharaj defeated Ram Tirth Maharaj. Tehri king was immensely happy that his Guru had defeated everyone in the country and proved himself to be the wisest and the greatest scholar of Vedic knowledge. But an unhappy event followed this great debate. Ram Tirth Maharaj could not bear the shock of his being defeated for the first time and went to the Ganges, threw his body and took mahasamadhi in the Ganges.
Pujyapada Vijnanananda Saraswati Maharaj was shell shocked to hear this sad news and he immediately left the king’s palace and went into seclusion in the bank of the Mother Ganges and stayed there, never to return to the palace again.
All the most sacred Holy Pilgrims of the Himalayan region were under the Tehri king and both Devgiriji and Vijanananandaji Saraswati, being the Raj Guru, were also the Guru of all the pundits and priests in all the Holy temples in Uttarakhand. That way all these holy temple priests are from our Guru parampara. What a blessing indeed. Salutations to these Great Masters whose lineage we follow today in our sacred path.
Therefore Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari (Babaji) belongs to the Adi Shankaracharya’s Saraswati sampradaya (spiritual lineage).