Shri Shri 1008 Shri Swami Aatmavivekanandji Maharaj Paramhans

Since ages Shiva's Kashi (now known as Varanasi) has been known to be city of tatvagyani saints and has intrested the learned people from all parts of the country.From Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Vallabhacharya to Tulsi, Kabir and Raidas, they all made Kashi their Karmasthali.

Chandauli is a tehsil in Varanasi district. At a Distance of 7KM from Chandauli there is a village Kharhuja which was dominated by Kshatriya.There were some very cultured and educated Bramhin family also. In the same village a very nobel Thakur Nawab Singh resided who came from a prosperous family and was very famous for his sense of fairness and discipline.He also happened to be the Mukhiya of the Village. His name was quite well known in the nearing villages around Kharhuja. His wife was shrimati Umeeda Devi.

Birth and Childhood

Despite everything in his life going fine for him, Thakur Nawab Singh used to feel sad at times as he had no Son, his wife Umeeda Devi was an educated and spritual.She used to visit lots of visit lots of religious plances hoping for a Son.Finally on the day of Chaitra Ramnavmi, in 1884, She gave birth to a Son, who was named as Baikunth Narayan. Later Thakur Baikunthnath Singh had two more sons-Batuknath and Vishwanath. The religious atmossphere prevailing in the village added to the Spritual learnings of his mother created a great impression on Child Baikunthnath.Wherever in the village satsang or Ramayan Path or Bhagwat was arrange he used to be there.He was being brought with great love and affection. There was an Aakhara(Gymnasium) in the village which helped baikhunth to develop in a very healthy person.On account of his simple, polite and social behavior, he was very powerful in village. In those days schools were very scarce and used to be great distance..Despite his wish, Thakur Nawab Singh was not able to provide higher education to his son. So Baikunth's exposure in intrest in books like Ramayana amd Gita. Slowly his inetrest in religion an spiritualism started increasing. During his youth, once he had gone on hunting with friends and shots a deer in jungle. After seeing the dying eyes of the deer he was so overwhelmed with guilt and emotion that he quite violence and pledged never to hunt again.

An Ideal Grihastha

Thakur Nawab Singh's family was very happy go lucky type (Akkhar). Once one of his family members was accused of firing in Chandauli tehsil premises which was a government office. A case was lodged against him. As the family was involved in other litigations, lots of money spent in Court and the economic situation of family became precarious. His father started getting worried. Baikunthnath Ji now decided to improve the condition of his family and despite being from a kshatriya family where business is looked down , he opened a shop dealing in woods and earned lots of money in some time. Slowly-Slowly his family became prosperous again. While handling his family responsibilities well, he also learned a lot about Ayurved. He had developed skill to prepare Ayurvedik medicines like like Ras,Bhasma,Churna, and other medicines himself. Gradually he became more famous as Vaidya.Because of his knowledge of Ayurved , he was required to visit different places to take care of patients who used to respond very well to his medicines. He made a lot of contracts now and his prosperity increased to a great extent. Now his mind had started getting diverted towards spiritualism even more.

Sadguru Milan

One of his relatives who was a resident of Gajadharpur in Gazipur, had become a disciple of Shri Swarupanad Ji Maharaj. He Finally went on to be initiated into sanyas and was known as Shri Yuktanand. In 1925, when Shri Swarupanand Ji was travelling towards Vanarasi, Yuktanand Ji told him about the religious orientation of his relative Shri Baikunthnath Singh. from Mugahalsarai Station, They Came straight to Kharguja the villagers of kharguja were spell bounded to see the divine Shri Swami Swarupanand Ji looking glorious in his white dress.The whole village spared no efforts to welcome Swamijee and enjoyed his satsang to the fullest. Lot of people took Diksha from him. Incidentally Baikunthnath Singh Ji had gone to prayag to attend Kumbha mela.Shri Swarupanand Ji moved to Gajadharpur from Kharguja. When Baikunthnath Ji came from 'Prayag' he heared of Swami Ji Visit. Without having his food or water he rushed to meet Swami Ji in Gajadharpur.Here he had long discussion with Swami Ji on all the aspects of spritualism and questions where he was not clear. After getting satisfied completely he took Diksha and learnt Brahma Vidya from Shri Swarupanand Ji.


Now Shri Baikunthnath stayed at home and started at home and started practicing Bhajan Sadhana very diligently. Now he had started feeling sense of Vairagya in him.His whole planing now was concentrated in as to how he should surrender himself completely to his Guru.All the family litigations had ended favourably. He gave the keys of his house to his younger brother and came to Pathri Tall in Gonda with his friend Shri Viswanath Singh. As he couldn't meet his Guru there he reached Gonda where he again met Shri Swarupanand Ji at Gonda Station and expressed his desire to be initiated in Sanyas. Swami Ji Initiated him into Sanyas there at the station itself and renamed him as AtmaVivekanand Ji.He Started doing Bhajan Sadhna in a cave in Lakhpera Baswara near Pathri Tal.Now lot of People Started visiting him who were affected with different type of problems.They all used to get well with his blessings .Once Shri Swarupanand Ji addressed more than 400 followers in Piparbhitta in Punjab and started praising Shri AtmaVivekanand Ji and expounding on his qualities, indicated that he might take it over from him in future. After that everyone started to look up to him with additional respect. Once while he was staying with his Guru in Punjab, he was instructed by Swarupanand Ji to go to Kashi and spread 'Bramha Gyan' over there. Atmavivekanand Ji reached Prayag from Punjab.Incidentally it was a time of Kumbh Mela Again. Many people of his home district Kharguja were surprised and overwhelmed to see their own Baikunthnath in the form of Mahatma Atmavivekanand Ji.Along with his fellow villagers he reached once again Khurguja.Everyone welcomed him whole heartedly and lot of people got took 'Diksha' from him. Thousand of people became his followers in Shirkarharia village also. He continued his satsang while staying at one of his followers residence but the amount of crowd thronging his satsang's grew so much that it started becoming unmanageable and a need of establishing an Ashram was felt. In 1930 people came together to get a big plot of forest land registered in the name of Swami Shri Swarupanand Ji.All the Bhakt's put lot of effort with 'Tan' 'Man' and 'Dhan' to Get it cleaned and got an Ashram constructed which grew tremendously in days to come.Now Followers from different places started gathering there. Lot of them expressed there desire to become 'Sanyasi'. then he wrote a letter to Swarupanand Ji and met him at Bhakrewali Ashram in Punjab and got right from him to initiate people in Sanyas.Prominent among them were Swami Shri Shivdharmanand Ji , Swami Shri Haresewaranand Ji, Swami Premsevanand Ji and Swami Shri Alakkhanand Ji. Swami Swarupanand Ji once asked all his mahatma's that for how long they do the continuous 'Bhajan Sadhana'. Most of them quoted the time anywhere between 10-15 hours. When the turn of mahatma's from Kashi came,Atmavivekanand Ji said that he is able do it hardly for one or two minutes. Swami Ji instructed all rooms, After 12 pm Shri Swarupanand Ji went on a round check the mahatma's whether they were doing it as they had claimed. Surprisingly all those who had boasted of doing it for more than 10 hours were found to be sleeping while few of them from Kashi who had said that they do it only for few minutes were found to be meditating still. Next day in morning Swarupanand Ji appreciated and praised the Mahatma's from Kashi in front of everyone present and he was acclaimed as the best of the mahatma's. Atmavivekanand Ji had just reached Kashi and had started regular satsang's that he got message from Swarupanand Ji that all Mahatma's should meet him in Chakauri Ashram in Punjab. Mahatma Ji instructed to stay in Punjab for six months and conduct satsangs there. After that Swarupanand Ji told him to go back to Kashi. In fact he had already indicated that The knowledge of Kashi now has reached in Kashi and people there need not come to Punjab for the same. Now people can hear me in Kashi only through Atmavivekanand Ji. Finally in 1936, Shri Swarupanand Ji bacame 'Bramhaleen' in 1936 at Nangli near Meerut. Shri Atmavivekanand Ji now involved himself completely in the moving the Bhakti Dhara in Kasji as per his Guru's instructions and lot of people from near areas became his followers. There were many Mahatma's in the ashram looking after different responsibilities, however Mahatma Shri Shivdharmanand ji maharaj was mainly responsible as overall in-charge most of the important activities like coordinating satsang's, administrative , responsibilities of main ashram and the branches etc. He was extremely popular among the fellow Mahatma's for his effective management of responsibilities along with his excellent knowledge and profound oration skills. At many times Swami Atmavivekanand ji openly appreciated his multidimensional qualities.

Contribution to Bhakti Sahitya

In the later phases of his life Swamijee started documenting his experiences over the years. Based on his personal realizations, he prepared an Tika(detailed write-up) on Ramcharitmanas by Tulsidas and Bhagwat Gita in his own inimitable style and simple language. It was the first instance of explanation of Namtatva in the form of Bhashya of Ramcharitmanas being done by any 'BramhaGyani saint. There are six thousand couplets in 'Dasandas Bhajan mala' which is nothing less than a miracle ! Apart from this he also wrote simple answers of spiritual queries in a conversational mode, between Guru and Shishya. For a Saint there is no discrimination done on any account whether it is Caste, religion or sect.Shri Atmavivekanand ji during his last days ,stayed for a couple of months , at the house of one of his followers Hakim Abdul Sattar saheb who was from Varanasi only.He took best possible care of Swamijee with all his devotion .His wife used to look after the well being of the visitors who used to see Swamijee everyday .Two days before Swamijee became 'Bramhaleen', he remained at the house of Hakim Sattar Saheb. On 28-Aug-1949 , Shri Atmavivekanand ji became 'Bramhaleen'. The 85 years of life of Shri Atmavivekanand ji can be segregated in two parts. The initial 60 years of his Domestic(Grihasthya) life and the rest 25 years of his Sanyas days. He led an exemplary 'Grihastha' life which was full of challenges but he lived it with extreme nobility, being very hardworking and social. There are very few examples leading of such an ideal and distinguished .When the desire of seeking 'Atmagyan' became strong, he realized it with his Guru's blessings seamlessly, and was instrumental in uplifting and blessing thousands and thousands of people who came into his contact. He never allowed material pleasures to be any Obstruction towards his goal of uplifting mankind. The illuminating life of Shri Atmavivekanand ji can be aptly Inscribed by one of Goswami Tulsidas ji's couplets very succinctly.

Je sahi dukh par chidra durawa, Bandaniya jag so jas pawa.