Guru Parampara- Our Lineage
Self-knowledge is like a ‘blazing fire’ (Jnāna-agni) that burns all our constrictions, desires, and delusions. Through Guru-śishya paramparā (Teacher-student lineage), this flame of Self-knowledge has been preserved from pre-historic times. Guru lights the flame in the disciple. The disciple through sādhanā gains realization and lights the flame in the next generation of seekers. So, Guru-śishya-paramparā is of supreme importance in the preservation and dissemination of Brahmavidyā.
The same brilliance was imbibed by Baba from Sri Kshitish Chandra Dev of his village, who was much younger to Baba and took Baba to meet his own Gurudev Swami Narayana Tirtha. Sri Kshitish Chandra Dev left his body at a very young age. The story of his amazing tolerance vis-à-vis Baba’s ‘aggressive’ enquiry, and the unique Guru-śishya interactions between them, have been touchingly narrated with unusual openness by Poojya Swamiji in his book “My Beloved Baba” (also its Hindi version “Mere Pyare Baba” and Malayalam version “Atmasaraniyil”).
After Kshitish Chandra Dev left his body, Baba spent about four years in unusual seclusion, pursuing meditation and contemplation. Enough of scriptural knowledge and meditational experience were gained. But, Baba was not satisfied. To resolve his doubts, Baba went to Varanasi to meet Swami Shankar Purushottam Tirtha, a renowned disciple of Swami Narayana Tirtha. One-pointed dedication to Swami Shankar Purushottam Tirtha’s advice – “close the door outside and open the door inside” – finally led Baba to fulfilment.
All those who got Deeksha (initiation) in our Brahmavidyā lineage carry the spiritual flame lit from the prehistoric times. Different from āṇava and śākta, it is the śāmbhava deekshā with its instantaneous and wholesome effect. It is also called Vedha-deeksha – the deeksha meant to break the knot of ignorance and delusion. It instils a subtle, spiritual vibration, which through a self-generated inner process, purifies and elevates the initiated seeker, finally leading him to spiritual enlightenment and fulfilment.
Paramahamsa Swami Narayana Tirtha
1870 - 1935
Founder of Jnāna-sādhanā Math in Faridpur (erstwhile East Bengal; now Bangladesh). His Guru was Swami Gangadhara Tirtha of Puri.
Kshitish Chandra Dev of Dakshinkhanda
Baba’s Gurudev, who was younger than Baba. He left his body at a very young age. Author of “Samādhi Nirnaya” and “Adhyātma Krishnaleela”- both unpublished.
Swami Shankar Purushottam Tirtha of Varanasi
1888 - 1958
Founder of Siddhayogashram, Varanasi. Served Swami Narayana Tirtha as a young Brahmacharin.
Baba Gangadhara Paramahamsa of Dakshinkhanda
1894 - 1979
Gurudev of Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha. Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha and Ma Gurupriya also received Deeksha (spiritual initiation) from him. Author of “Adhyātma Bhāgavatam” – unpublished.
Texts only declare. Deeksha does. Deeksha is the fire and brilliance that the Guru lights from himself in the disciple. The disciple must strengthen this flame to blaze well by his own sādhanā. - Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha
Eternal Magic of the Great Magician
At the cross road near Poornashram, Baba’s abode in Dakshinkhanda, stands a huge Banyan tree – the tree that was witness to the great turning point in Baba’s life. Baba, an accomplished young magician of yesteryears, was performing a magic show in the village during a festival. But that day, he failed in the highpoint of his show – “thought reading” by holding the wrist of anybody volunteering from the audience. The volunteer that day happened to be Sri Kshitish Chandra, a young school teacher of Dakshinkhanda and a disciple of Swami Narayana Tirtha. After the show, when crestfallen Baba asked Kshitish Chandra to explain the cause of that day’s failure, Kshitish Chandra pointed to this Banyan tree and said: “What magic you are showing! Why don’t you enquire into the Grand Magic of the Great Magician who has produced this huge tree out of the tiniest seed?” Baba was humbled. He pleaded with the young school teacher to give him spiritual initiation and reveal the mystery of the Great Magician. - Banyan tree near Poornashram