Shishu Sansaar | Stories-Indian Reformers
|Swami Pranavananda Ji|
Swami Pranavananda Ji Maharaj
Birth: 19 January 1896
Death: 8 January 1941
Yugacharya Srimat Swami Pranavananda Ji Maharaj, Founder of the original Organization known as the Bharat Sevashram Sangha is remembered for his pioneering efforts to bring the modern Hindu society into the new age without compromising the essential values of ancient traditions of ‘Hindu’ spirituality.
Yugacharya Srimat Swami Pranavanandaji Maharaj was one of the greatest spiritual leaders of modern India. He is still revered very much for his message of universal love, compassion for all humanity and social reform without giving up the nationalist zeal, the love of mother land.
He was born on January 19, 1896, the auspicious day of Magha (16th Magha, 1302), in Bajitpur, a village in Faridpur district in undivided India (presently in Bangladesh). His parents Bishnu Charan Bhuia and Saradadevi were very pious and blessed by Lord Shiva to have a son for the mitigation of human suffering and universal emancipation. He was affectionately named Jaynath by his father at birth and later in his boyhood he was called Binode.
Binode showed uncommon philosophical inclinations since childhood and often could be seen in deep contemplation at the village school. He was popular with the children of the locality because of his helpful nature. He visited Gorakhpur in 1913 and met Yogiraj Baba Gambhirnathji Maharaj. This meeting proved to be a landmark event in his life and he was formally initiated by Baba Gambhirnathji Maharaj into the world of spirituality.
Swami Ji launched a mission to carry out social services and spread his spiritual ideas in the tradition of Hindu (Sanatan Dharma) religion. The mission took a formal shape as Bharat Sevashram Sangha on the Maghi Purnima day in the year 1916. He wanted this organization to strive tirelessly and selflessly to awaken and unite all sections of the people to build strong India. Overseas missions were also founded to spread the traditional Hindu message of universal love and devotion to all humanity.
The Sevashram built many cottage industry centers, monastic schools, primary schools and free dispensaries in urban and rural areas in east India. Branches were started in different parts of the country for various humanitarian tasks, including relief work at the time of flood, famine, earthquake and pestilence. One can not fail to notice the Bharat Sevashram volunteers dressed in saffron robes and wearing traditional Hindu turbans at every major religious or cultural congregations and fairs, guiding devotees, pilgrims, tourists and lending helping hand to local civic authorities in traffic management. They also run many non-profit guests houses, clinics and hospitals all over India, helping any body that shows up to seek help, irrespective to any discrimination of religion, caste and creed.
Swami Ji was an avid traveler and has contributed to the enrichment of knowledge by taking a pilgrimage to Kailash Man-sarovar in Tibet and chronicling minute details about the geography and culture of the land. He had always been a source of great inspiration to many freedom fighters of India, extending moral and material help to them. He continued to work tirelessly till the last day of his life (January 8, 1941) — awakening, uniting, and strengthening the people of India.
The great Acharya propagated practical spirituality in preference to theoretical philosophy. Though the literature on his teaching is not elaborate, the essential truths have been codified as the “Sangha Geeta”. This book offers adequate guidance to his followers in achieving self-realization. He emphasized in the ideals of sacrifice, self-discipline, truth, and continence. He urged his followers to shun all idleness, procrastination, slumbering habits, and lust. He wanted the country to rise above the divisions of communalism, caste and creed.
PS: The author was extremely blessed to know one of the direct disciples of Swami Pranavananda Ji Maharaj (Swami Nikhilananda Ji Maharaj) who inherited the task of managing this huge organization. A lot of the material mentioned in this write-up is a result of the feed backs from the disciples and followers of Swami Pranavananda Ji.
Created by Sushma Gupta on March 15, 2009
Modified on 05/05/13