Monday, January 10, 2011

Swami BIMALANANDA GIRIJI MAHARAJ

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Swami Bimalananda Giriji MAHARAJ.

Swamiji constructed and indelible impression in my memory on yoga and spirituality. His physical departure introduced a void in my regular telephonic conversations with Maharaj.

He was Prema-SWARUP incarnate. His Intellectual capacity on scripture was colossal !

A tribute to a great sage and His rich contribution to a subject that is precious to the inner core of by being !

This article courtesy of Ashram.

Swami Bimalananda Giri Maharaj was born at Allahabad on 16th January 1921. His father’s name was Nripendra Sakha Ghosh. His mother Bivabati Devi was a very graceful and pious woman. The parents of Swami Bimalananda Giri Maharaj named him “Bimalendu”. Bimalendu was the eldest son of the family. Sri Nripendra Sakha Ghosh had a transferable job. He was posted at different places of northern India.

In his young age he came under the influence of Sikh religion preached by Guru Nanak. He was so impressed by the ideals and philosophy of Sikh religion that he embraced Sikhism Lind was named Babu Kehar Singh. He was a good orator and could speak fluently in several languages. By virtue of his leadership qualities and commanding personality Babu Kehar Singh rose to the rank of `Prabandhak’ of a Sikh Gurudwara. During festive occasions of the Sikhs when Babu Kehar Singh led the ceremonial processions little Bimalendu often accompanied him.

Bimalendu had his early schooling at Lucknow. His father got him admitted to a well-known missionary school there. Later when his father was transferred to Benaras Bimalendu completed his studies there. Young Bimalendu had imbibed his father’s leadership qualities and linguistic skills. He also inherited his parents’ impressive looks and dynamic personality. In his youth Bimalendu was a very handsome man.

He had keen interest in classical music, theatre-arts and physical culture. Unlike others of his age Bimalendu was indifferent towards monetary pursuits and worldly gains. He was attracted towards holy men and saints and had a pious bent of mind. During his life time he had come in close contact with many famous sages of India, such as Swami Vishudhahnanda Swaraswati, Mahamahopadhaya Gopinath Kabiraj, Sri Onkar Nath Thakur, Ma Anandamoyee, Harihar Baba of Assi ghat, Varanasi etc.

In March 1942 at a very young age Bimalendu met Srimat Swami Bhabananda0 Girl Maharaj (the founder of Mahananda Mission Home of Service) at Pyne Kutir, Varanasi. Bimalendu was deeply impressed by, `Pitaji’s0 majestic personality, amazing looks and piercing eyes’. As Pyne Kutir was very near his residence Bimalendu used to attend and participate in Bhajan and Kirtan sessions held there. Whenever Pitaji Maharaj visited Benaras Bimealendu was sure to meet him. Gradually Bimalendu came to know Pitaji Maharaj more closely and later became his disciple.

Young Bimalendu however, had to face many hurdles in life. He lost his father when he was very young and was yet to settle down with a job. Besides his mother he had to support his two younger brothers. Then shortly after his father’s death his mother also died. Family circumstances forced Bimalendu to search for a job.

After working for sometimes in Benares he came to Kolkata for better prospects. At Kolkata He joined Life Insurance Corporation of India. During his leisure hours he participated in the theatrical performance there. His acting won praise from critics and public both which opened for him an opportunity to enter the film world.

However, sensing his Guru’s disapproval for the same he did not accept it. At this time there was mounting pressure on him from his friends and relatives to enter into matrimonial alliance. Though very unwilling, he had to bow before the command of his elderly relatives and got married.

Soon after his marriage his youngest brother died which was a severe blow to him. The death of his near and dear ones within short intervals weakened his attraction for family ties and for solace he turned to his Guru. Sensing his disciple’s mental turmoil Pitaji consoled him and to pacify his mind started to guide him towards the path of eternal peace and joy. Gradually his life began to change. Ultimately in 1965 he was initiated to sannyas by Pitaji Maharaj and was given the name Bimalananda Girl. Later, Pitaji Maharaj declared Swami Bimalananda Girl as his chosen successor.

Swami Bimalananda Giri Maharaj (Maharajji) besides carrying forward the activities of the Mission added new dimensions to it. He specially enriched the publication section of the Mission by publishing a number of books, cassettes and CDS to spread the message of guru parampara among the people at large. Despite his limited financial resources Maharajji carried out extensive renovation work at the temple complex of Kankhal branch of the Mission to increase facilities for the pilgrims.

His untiring effort to documentise the glorious past of the Guru Parampara led to the publication of a booklet– “Our Guru Parampara” (ill English and Hindi). He also encouraged his disciple Smt Anandaswarupa Ratnagiri to write the book “Sadguru Bhagwan Param Yogi Mahananda Giri Maharaj” and initiated the Hindi translation of it. Besides, Maharajji also got cassettes and CDs of bhajans of Guru Parampara prepared to encourage his disciples and devotees to sin- bhajans for their moral upliftment.

Very affectionate and kind hearted by nature Maharajji tried to help whoever sought his help even at the cost of his own health and means. After serving the mission for over three decades Maharajji left his mortal coils on 30th November 2005. He was given Jalsamadhi at Gangasagar (West Bengal) at the confluence of the Ganges and Bay of Bengal. Before his departure to the heavenly abode Maharajji declared his disciple Srimat Anandaswarupa Ratna Giri as his chosen successor.

Photograph Insert:

Mahananda Giriji Maharaj
Bimalananda Giriji Maharaj

Alakh NIRANJAN