Param-Vidushi and poetess Smt. Ratan Fojdar Behen having received the sharan(shelter) of Sadgurudev since 40 years is associated with the seva(service) of Guruji. She also remained in the seva of Gurudev during His foreign tours and has published the detailed Jeevan-Charitra of Shri Swamiji Maharaj by the name of “Yogeshwar Guru Gangeshwar” in three parts
Anant Shri Vibhushit Param Pujya Ved-murti, Sadgurudev Swami Shri Gangeshwaranandji Maharaj is from those divine Vibhutis which we call Eashwar’s Kala-Avtaar based on Shrimad Bhagwad Gita’s sentence “Yadya Dwibhutimat Satvam”.
Sadgurudev Maharaj is a unique Saint who has obtained Deeksha in the Udaseen Sampradaya of Sanatan-Sant-Parampara. Based on available words, the pravartan of this Sampradaya was done by Bhagwan Vishnu in the form of a Swan Avataar (Paramhans) and the Updesh of this Darshan was given to Shri Sanatkumar, Brahma’s Manasputra(son born out of mind).Muniraj Shri Sanatkumar gave the Updesh to Devarshi Shrautmuni Shri Narad who in turn promoted this Updesh amongst his disciples. Acharya Shri Chandra Bhagwan became an Avataar in the middle of the 16th century in the Shishya-Parampara of Narad-muni. ShriChandra Bhagwan is the son of Adhi-Dharma-Guru of Sikh Bandhus, Shri Nanakdev and is at the level of 165th generation from Shri SanatKumar. These Acharya-Charan have saved again the Udaseen Sampradaya , which was almost lost in time. Paramhans Udaseen-Sant-Shiromani Shri Ramanandji Maharaj who was at the level of 16th generation of ShriChandra Bhagwan’s Shishya-Parampara and whose position is also said to be 181st from the Mool-Purush. Our Aradhya Gurudev Shri Gangeshwaranandji Maharaj, is the disciple of Shri Ramanandji.
Swamiji’s Birth and Early Years
With the boon of Shri Ramanandji, our Sadgurudev came into this world on Paush Shukla 7, Tuesday, Samvat 1938 as a son of Shraut Karma-nishthh Pandit Shri Ramdutt and his wife Smt. Sarladevi in a village in Punjab. At the auspicious time Shrotriya Vidwans did the Jaat-Karma Sanskar and on the 11th day as per the Naam-Karan Vidhi, kept the name of the child as Chandreshwar. Hardly had the child completed one year when suddenly one day, a unique Sant Yogi became the guest of Panditji and after looking at the hand of the child, said, “He has a Brahma-Rekha, hence he will be a great Brahma-Rishi, great Tapaswi, Tejaswi, Bhagwad-Bhakt and Akshay Bhandar of Lakshmi and Saraswati. He will have a uniform sight for all beings and like Brahma will be the saviour of the Vedas. He is an avatar of some Maharshi. After saying this, the Saint disappeared. Panditji himself was a great-learned person and he also felt the same way after looking at Chandreshwar’s horoscope, and he then bcame involved in the upbringing of the child. But the child was hardly 2 or 3 years old when His mother who was affected by a non-curable disease passed away and the entire burden of his upbringing fell on Panditji. As soon as the child entered his 5th year, he knew by heart a few elementary books in Sanskrit.
Pandit Ramduttji also got the Yagyopaveet Sanskaar of the child done in an auspicious mahurat. On the occasion of putting on the Yagyopaveet by Chandreshwar, suddenly the Kul-Guru Swami Ramanandji Maharaj came and gave many Amogh blessings, inspiring him towards Bhagwad-Bhakti, to read the BhagwadGita and Vishnu-Sahasranam and gave him the Updesh of doing Jap of 12-letterMantra. Panditji also gave him the inspiration to do daily Sandhya 3 times a day, Gayatri Jap whereby the divine Sanskars accumulated in the previous birth automatically sprang up and he became a great devotee of Bhagwan in his childhood itself.
Many childhood incidents of the child Chandreshwar are famous with which this child’s divine avatar is proved. Pandit Ramduttji also accepted Him as a divine avatar and due to attachment considered Him as his son only and seeing his Bhagwad-Bhakti, used to tell Him regularly about special references of Shrimad Bhagwat and the divine leelas of Shri Krishna, Garg-Samhita and stories of Harivansh.
Listening to the childhood leelas of Shri Krishna and the springing up of sanskaras of the previous birth; once, Chandreshwar thought of doing baal-hathh before his father of going to Vrindavan whence Ramduttji set out for Vrindavan along with his Krishna-premi son. In those days, tirth-yatra by foot was considered more important and they resumed journey by foot. Before the boundary of Braj-mandal started, they halted at the ashram of Shri Santram Baba Fal-aahari. This Baba was a Sidh Yogi. This Maharshi who could see the past, present and future with his Yog-bal. He visualized the past and future of Chandreshwar and knowing that this Baal-Yogi had taken re-birth for lok-kalyan, He requested both Father and Son to stay back, which they could not refuse.
One day, finding a suitable time when there was no one else around, the Sidh-Saint told Chandreshwar, “With Yog-bal, I have known everything, the purpose for which you are going to Vrindavan, will be fulfilled here only; Bhagwan Shri Krishna will give you the darshan here and you need not go to Vrindavan. Now I am going into meditation and I will meet you after 4 days; remain alert here; keep your mind in the smaran of Bhagwan only.” Having said this, the Sant Yogishwar went inside his cottage and Chandreshwar spent 3 days without taking any food, by showing no interest in food due to stomach-ache, in the expectation of the darshan of Shri Krishna. Father was worried and the son was immersed in the bhaav of Krishna-Bhakti and was experiencing the divine Anand. On the 3rd day in the night, an event happened. The night was going to end, when suddenly as if a divine electrical current passed, and in a moment and existing inside his Man-Mandir, Jyotirmay Bhagwat-roop took a form in front of Him. Looking at his deity in form in front of Him, Chandreshwar seemed to enter into a Samadhi, then in a strange voice, he heard the Amrit-Vachan of Prabhu, “ Vattsa! With your previous birth’s accumulated Tapo-Bal, speciality of Bhakti and at the request of my Ananya Bhakt Sant-Yogi, I have appeared before you, Varam Bruhi (Ask a boon)”.
With the Prabhu’s Amrit-Vachan, the voice of that Baal-Yogi was articulated with the words of an aged Tapaswi. He said “Dayamaya(Kind) Prabho! I am looking at your Divine Appearance which is difficult for great Rishis and Munis; this itself is a boon for me; I should always be adhikari of these darshans; besides these darshans what do I have to see or left to be attained? I don’t have any desire”. With the satisfaction of this desire-less Bhakti of Chandreshwar, that same divine voice came forth from that Tejomay Prakash in the form of Shri Krishna, “Dear Vattsa! My darshan does not become fruit-less, you will always be in my presence; automatically you will get all the Siddhis and Vidya-Vibhutis and doing Lok-Kalyan only, in the end you will become Brahmleen.” With this clear sound that Jyotirmay Form merged in Chandreshwar and he went into a deep sleep.
Loss of Eyesight
In the morning, only when his father woke him up, Chandreshwar came into consciousness. At the same time, Sant Yogiraj got up from his Samadhi and came there and for a few days he taught the child to do Yoga Sadhana there itself. Yogiraj thought all the work is complete and gave permission to father and son to go to Vrindavan but something else was to happen. The next day itself, Chandreshwar had a high fever and the anger of Badi Mata (small pox) also did the kripa on him. The child Bhakt alongwith Bhagwat-darshan accepted this unlimited Kripa of Bhagwati, but with the severe attack of chechak (small pox), Chandreshwar lost his eyesight forever and He was filled up with the Aatma-Jyoti. As if this was Prabhu’s indication that having been accomplished with Prabhu’s inner Jyoti, that child should not be caught up in the worldly dazzling outer things due to Moha-Bhram(attachment and confusion). Panditji, who was worried about his beloved son’s condition, was made to understand the truth by Yogiraj Shrisandtdev about the Krishna-darshan who told him “ Now this child’s worldly sight’s place has been taken by divine sight. Now he is accomplished with Divya-Drishti(divine sight). One whose normal eyes have seen the Bhagwad-darshan, for him nothing else remains to be seen. You understand this Chandreshwar is accomplished with Divya-Drishti (divine sight) as Acharya-charan of Sanat Kumar and others who are Bhakti-Gyan-TapoNishth Brahma-putra. Thus giving solace; after a few days, when the child became completely well, he sent them to Vrindavan, where Chandreshwar stayed and did the Shravan, Manan and Adhyayan (Hearing, Thinking and studying) of Shrimad Bhagwat-katha from the Vidwans. The Father and Son went to Haridwar on the occasion of Kumbh for bathing in Ganges and after coming back and again, reaching in the seva of Shri Ramanandji Maharaj, Chandreshwar obtained from Him the Sidhi of Gayatri and Panch-Dev Upasna.
After a few days, with a lot of persuasion and requests brought his Father’s charan to agree and having got the permission, came back with Swamiji to Haridwar where he did the study of the scriptures and with Swamiji’s auspicious command and after with-standing a lot of inconvenience for a long time in the Himgiri cave, He also obtained the Bhagwad-Archana Yoga.
Till now the divine-eyed Chandreshwar Sharma had become a youth of 22 years and had turned his face away from worldly pleasures and with Tap-Anushthan had become radiant and had become a complete Adhikari of Guru-Kripa. Hence after two years in Vikram Samvat 1960 in Haridwar, on the pure occasion of Purna-Kumbha, Shri Ramanandji Maharaj according to Sampradaya-Vidhan initiated Him in the Audas-deeksha-pradan. From then onwards, Chandreshwar Sharma began to be addressed as Shri Gangeshwar or the Deeksha name of Shri Gangeshwaranand Swami.
With Bhagwat-Kripa, all the Shastras had sprung up in Swami Gangeshwaranandji’s inner space but to follow the Lok-Maryada; Shri Ramanandji Maharaj sent Him for studying Ved-Vedang-Darshans etc. to Kashi and made all the arrangements there. After the study of the Shastras, His Guruji made a commitment for the upliftment of Vedic Dharma and giving Him a command to be involved in the Lok-Kalyan bade him farewell from there. Going to Kashi, Shri Gangeshwaranandji following the Shishya-Parampara, having learnt well the entire Sanskrit-Vangmaya of the Shastras from Mahamandleshwar Vamacharan Bhattacharya, Shri HariNarayan Tiwari, Mahamandleshwar Ambadas Shastri and Mahamandleshwar DeviPrasad Kavichakravarti and all Vidwans well-versed in the Shastras, won in several Shastra-arths with unusual Pratibha whereby our Sadgurudev was not only a Bhagwad-Bhakt but appeared before everyone as a unique erudite scholar and a great Vidwan, which everyone believed as a Daivi-Chamatkar.
During this study-time, Swami Gangeshwaranandji Maharaj passed Punjab’s Shastri Exam and also cleared higher exams of Ved-Darshan-Vyakaran etc. Besides these Shastras, Shri Swamiji also learned from his Guruji and studied Chandra Bhashya and other Granths related to Udasin Sampradaya. This way by going deep into the meanings of Shastras and an attachment for Bhagwad-Bhakti, on the occasion of His pravachans, by listening to words full of Ritambhara Pragya, all those who listened started going into the ecstasy of the Aatma and they started giving him a special place. This way on account of the unique wealth of Shastras, Bhagwad-Bhakti and strong Tapasya and Yoga-Sadhana, all the Sidhis and Vibhutis were present at the feet of ShriSadgurudev Maharaj; whereby lot of people came and took blessings for removing difficulties and considered their life as accomplished.
Shri Swami Maharaj, to convert His Deeksha-Guru Shri Ramanandji Maharaj’s command into action considered this as a good opportunity and for Ved-Prachar and Lok-Kalyan actively, formed and organized a Sant-Mandali and took that along with Him and started moving all over the country and at various places attracted the attention of people towards Lok-Kalyan.
Once while doing a pravachan in Punjab, a youth by the name of “Sadhuram” was so impressed by His learned important speech, that he had a strong desire to become His disciple and in 1922 A.D. he took the deeksha of Udaseen Sampradaya from Him. That same accomplished youth became “Swami Sarvanand”, who was Swami Gangeshwaranandji’s famous great Vidwan . He followed his Guru-Charan to accumulate Tap, Yash and Knowledge. It is a great sorrow that his worldly body is no more. But it is satisfying that Swami Sarvanandji’s main disciple Swami Govindandanandji Vedantacharya is filling up His gap and was present day and night in the seva of Shri SadGurudev and does not allow us to feel the loss and is co-ordinating all the activities in a nicely organized way. In every tour in India and abroad Swamiji accompanied Guruji.
Swamiji Gangeshwaranandji has done a lot of activities with the bhaavna of Lok-Kalyan. Main activities for Lok-Kalyan are construction of School, High School, Goshala, Dharmashala, Running of Teaching Institutions, Devalaya, Library, Dispensary, with openings in an organized way, Sthapna of Vedic Anusandhan-Sansthan and Construction of various Ashram-Sansthans and writing of Vedic and religious Granths and publishing. On the occasion of Kumbh-mela organizing was done for staying in Shivirs and Food for Sadhus, Learned and Bhagwad-Bhakts. Also the credit goes to Swamiji for the construction of the famous Lakshmi-Narayan temple in Durgyana and creating a small canal for filling up a lake with water.
It is strange that Swamiji Maharaj did not ask for any contributions or daan according to his pratigya but any activity for Lok-Kalyan had not stopped for want of funds. For fulfilling your noble aims, several wealthy disciples undertook themselves to organize funds for the completion of those activities. The influence of Guruji’s Bhagwad-Bhakti and Tap-Sidhi was such that by your mere indication, several Sansthas were established and well-organised Trusts were made for providing all facilities.
Although our SadGurudev Bhagwan had been away from all political and social problems, but still on account of His unflinching Nation-Bhakti , exceptional Pratibha, unique wisdom, wonderful memory and simple living and madhur inter-action, Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Smt. Indira Gandhi and other leaders had looked upon Him with great Faith and respect and all had met Him and taken His blessings.
There are several examples of service of the country like helping in several ways for solving the problem of Rehabilitation of Refugees after the partition of Bharat, leadership and economic support at the time of China, Pakistan wars, economically and lovingly helping the soldiers posted on the front-line and unity among Hindus and Sikh-Bandhus with wonderful expertise, and several other national activities.
It is note-worthy to mention publishing of several Granths for the activities of Lok-Kalyan by Swamiji Maharaj. Guruji’s Granths have been published as Gangeshwar-Granthmala in 36 books. Amongst these the publication of Bhagwan-Ved comprising of all 4 Ved-Samhitas in a large bound compilation in large letters in a pure form. This type of publication of Vedas has been done for the first time in the world. Having done this noteworthy activity in the direction of promotion of the Vedas as per the Aagya of His Gurudev, Shri Gangeshwarandji Maharaj has done an unparalleled work by gifting Bhagwan Ved without any price to the world’s various Universities, Libraries, Devalayas and various educational institutions and famous – Maths, Mandirs(temples) and Dharamsabhas(religious organizations). Wherever Ved-Sthapna is done, that place is called Ved-Mandir.
There are approximately 500 Ved-Mandirs established in India. Swamiji also did the Sthapna of Ved-Mandirs abroad in Nepal and Southeast Asia in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bhanduk, and Bali Island. Not only this, Swamiji has also done the Ved-Sthapna in Nairobi, London, Switzerland, Rome, Lagos, New York, Washington. (USA), Chicago, Georgetown and other places. Swamiji had to go to USA several times for Ved-Sthapna. There, Swamiji had done the opening ceremony of a Vishnu-Mandir. Swamiji has started a parampara of Chatur-Ved-parayan along with Shrimad Bhagwat-Sapthah Parayan along with the sthapna of Ved-Bhagwan for promoting the Vedas; and Bhakts are getting Abhisht-Sidhi.
Shri Sadgurudev has taken in his hands the work of Compiling the meaning of the language of Ved-Samhitas and got it completed as it is very important to understand the real meaning of Ved-Mantras Pathh as per the sayings of the Shastras. Sam-hita along with the meaning in Hindi has already been published. Most unusual work done by Swamiji is wherever the Ved-Bhasyakars have given the Yagya, Scientific or political meaning of Ved-Mantras; He has on the other hand given Adhyatmik (related to Aatma) meaning along with relating these mantras to that of Bhagwan Shri Krishna. Thus meaning of a few chapters of Shukla Yajur Veda have been published and Kuntaap-Sukt of Atharva-Veda whose Bhashya had not been done by earlier Bhashyakaars was also published in the same style.
Along with this new Bhashya-writing, Shri Swamiji Maharaj’s Drishti went to those several Atharva-Veda Kaands whose Bhashya had not been written by Saayanacharya and were lying like that only. It is a surprise that no Acharya after Saayana had the courage to write the Bhashya (translation) of those Kaands. But Swamiji has also got this shortcoming completed by staying for a few years at Mount Abu at “Avinashi Dham”. For this Swamiji had the special co-operation of Mahamandaleshwar NawalKishore Kankar besides that of Dr. Gautam Patel and Shri Natwar Yagyik. Kankarji stayed in Delhi and Vrindavan and co-operated with Swamiji. Along with this Saayan-Bhashya, Atharv-Vedas 5th, 12th, 14th and 16th and 20th Kaands were published in Jaipur and 13th in Delhi and 10th was published in Kaashi.
Swamiji’s Centenary and Beyond
When Swamiji entered his 100th year, then for 11 days the Centenary celebrations were done with great pomp and splendour, where many Jagatgurus, Mahamandaleshwars, learned people and politicians took part. Such organizing was unparalleled in Bombay..
His hearing started decreasing in the 105th year but even then, He always worked hard for the prachar-prasar (promotion) in his advanced age. In His 104th year, Swamiji went to America for the fourth time and in His 105th year Swamiji did the Sthapna of a new Ashram at Khar in Mumbai. In this way, with Guru-Anugraha and Tap-Yoga Swamiji who had a pratyaksha darshan of Shri Krishna with this worldly body, Himself a Divya-Swarup(Divine Form) spent his entire life in the activities of Lok-Kalyan(welfare of the people) and Ved-Udhar(upliftment of Vedas) and everyday used to get up in the morning at 4 am and get involved in activities of Ved-Udhar. His disciples wished Him a long life like Brahma.
Guru Gangeshwaranandji Maharaj became “Brahmaleen” in Mumbai at the Jaslok Hospital on February 14, 1992 at the age of 111 years.
With love, Swamiji used to say “Keera pathar mein Ghar Kare, Kya Hum Dil-e-Dilbar mein na ghar karein”. Even an insect makes a home for itself inside a stone, can we not make a place for ourselves in the heart of Shri Krishna whose heart is made of makhan(butter).
Swamiji used to say like Shri Krishna I will live for 125 years. It is now November 2006. For the last 14 years Swamiji has lived in our hearts and will continue to do so as long as we are alive. Thereafter we will live in His heart (like He mentioned about Keera above as He Himself was like Shri Krishna).
Swamiji’s mortal body was taken in a plane from Mumbai to Delhi and then to Haridwar where the body was lowered into the Ganga. Guruji was Shri-Krishna – a Kala-avtaar.