Guru Dev: The Great Saint of the Himalayas by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi announces an upcoming visit to New Delhi by Guru Dev.
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His Holiness Shri Jagatguru Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math (Guru Dev).

Editor's notes: The following is a English translation of a transcript of the announcement given by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to the press conference convened by the Shri Shankaracharya Reception Committee in the Young Man's Tennis Club, Queen's Gardens, in New Delhi on October 15th 1952 at 5 p.m. in connection with the upcoming visit of His Holiness Shri Jagatguru Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math (Guru Dev). –RJR

The Great Saint of the Himalayas is Coming to Shower His Blessings on the Metropolis
A statement issued by Bal Brahmachari Shri Mahesh Ji (a very young Maharishi Mahesh Yogi).

Maharishi Begins

My own self in different forms...
It gives me a great pleasure to welcome you all and have your company here this afternoon. It gives me enough encouragement and support to acquaint you with the details of the mission for whose fulfillment His Holiness Shri Jagatguru Shankaracharya Swami BRAHMANANDA SARASWATI MAHARAJ will be visiting your city about the 12th of November 1952 and stay here for about a month for Dharmopdesha.

Swami Brahmananda Saraswati Maharaj, the present Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math Badarikashram (in the Himalayas) is a magnetic personality with a sweet amalgam of High Wisdom and Love of humanity. He combines in himself the Knowledge of the self with the mysterious powers -- the siddhis arising out of yogic perfection and hard penances, which he has undergone throughout his life. He is a great living yogi and scholar and is revered by millions of Hindus as their Supreme Religious head.

This great Saint of the modern age was born in Uttar Pradesh in a well to do and renowned Brahman family in 1871 and was enthroned to the seat of His Holiness Jagatguru Shankaracharya in 1941 at Banares, during the ninth session of the All India Sanatana Dharma Maha Sammelan convened by the Bharata Dharma Mahamandala in conjunction with a countrywide support of almost all the ruling princes and different socio-religious institutions all over the country. It may be recalled that it was a long persuasion of about twenty years which could convince Param Virakt Swami Brahmananda Saraswati to accept the great responsibility of the Shankaracharya at the age of seventy.

From the tender age of nine when he came out of his home in Search of God, till this time, his life was mostly spent in the lonely hidden regions of the Himalayas, Vindya Giris and the Amarkantakas which are rarely frequented by men and are chiefly inhabited by wild animals. For years together he has lived in hidden caves and thick forests where even the midday sun frets and fumes in vain to dispel the darkness that may be said to have made a permanent abode there in those solitary and distant regions.

But today he is easily accessible as he is now the presiding head of Shri Jyotirmath which is the greatest religious institution of the Hindus of Northern India, covering all different creeds and sampradayas and branches lying under the fold of Hindu Religions. One unique principle of the great Sage that distinguishes him completely from other living saints of today is that he does not accept money as gift from his visitors or disciples.

This brief description attempts to mirror a few hurried and short glimpses of the life journey of this great living sage who has actually transformed into a living fact the inner latent potentiality of the soul. He has known the great universal Truth; whose realization is the aim of the entire scheme of life. For him the mists of ignorance have completely disappeared and having known the Divine Reality he has verily become an embodiment of the great Divinity. His aim of life, if the life of a realized soul can be said to possess any such aim, is to broadcast the message of the Great Divine light that he has himself realized, the Light that is the Soul of all human beings. Having himself attained the pinnacle of Self-development, he aims at transforming the worldly-minded people into the Godly minded, and through his inner Divine touch to change the materialistic hearts of iron into spiritual hearts of gold.

Photo of His Holiness Shri Jagatguru Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math (Guru Dev) at 1952 conference. On the extreme left and center edge of photo is a young Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (with a dark beard, dark hair and bowed head) attending to Guru Dev's at his 1952, New Delhi, India visit.

His entire personality emanates the sweet perfume of spirituality. His face radiates that rare light, which comprises love, authority, serenity and self-assuredness that comes only by righteous living and Divine Realization -- one feels as if some ancient Maharishi mentioned in the pages of the Upanishads has assumed human form and feels that it is worthwhile leading a pious life and to strive for the realization of the Divine.

His Spiritual teachings are simple and clear and go straight home to heart. He strictly adheres to the course of inner development laid down by the Systems of Indian Philosophy and ethics and he raises his voice never in opposition but always in firm support of the Truths and principles contained in the Hindu Scriptures.

According to the tradition from the worldly point of view, the dignity of the Shankaracharyas throne has got to be maintained by the rich paraphernalia around his Holiness, but those who have come in his contact know the fact that the private life of the Sage is quite simple and renunciation.

I believe that he is a living embodiment of titanic spiritual force. If I were asked on the basis of my personal experience, about the living saints of today, as to who is the greatest amongst them, I would unhesitatingly name Shri Jagatguru Shankaracharya Swami Brahmananda Saraswati Maharaj of Jyotirmath the Beacon Light of the holy sanctuaries of the Himalayas. Shri Shankaracharya Maharaj has clear insight into the mind and the thoughts of the modern age. His teaching and commandments are based on sound reasoning's, which are quite agreeable to any reasonable thinker. He is a great critic of prejudices and narrow mindedness arising out of irrational love of caste, creed, nationality or any “ism”. His life is a living proof of the Truth of the Vedas and Shastras. He has opened a new era of renaissance of True Religion. He extends his recognition to anything that is good in any religion. He is accessible to all. Everyone can enjoy and derive benefit from his holy Darshan and elevating discourses.

He is coming shortly to shower his blessings on the busy and restless souls of the metropolis. I beseech you, my friends, to extend your hearty co-operation for the great cause in the interest of each individual of our society, in the interest of our nation and in the interest of the world at large. The great Saint of the Himalayas in coming in your midst and in the fitness of the great occasion, I appeal your good sense to extend your valuable support so that his elevating discourses may reach the masses in every nook and corner of our country and abroad.

Phot at right is of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, circa early 1960's.

Thanking you for giving me a pertinent hearing, I would like to say something, in short, about the shrine of Jyotirmath, the prime spiritual center of Northern India and the headquarter of Shri Shankaracharya Maharaj. Jyotirmath is one of four seats established by Adi Shankaracharya in this continent -- two thousand and five hundred years ago.

It is situated in the heart of the Himalayas 173 miles up from Hardwar and only 18 miles south of Shri Badrinath and may be said to be the queen of the Himalayas for natural beauty and spiritual values. Jyotirmath it was that the first Shankaracharya selected for his stay in Himalayas where he taught the highest philosophy of existence -- the Vedanta to his disciples, wrote his immortal commentaries on the eleven principal Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and Brahma Sutras and established a seat of Spiritual light to function as sansorium, a supreme center of the Eternal Religion of India to keep the Light of Pure civilization and culture burning for all the millennium to come. It is an ancient culture center of yoga, the Light House which has preserved and disseminated the Light of the Sanatana Dharma all the way down the ages.

More information

The transcription of “The Great Saint of the Himalayas is Coming to Shower His Blessings on the Metropolis” and the photographs of Guru Dev are courtesy of Mr. Paul Mason. For more information and a list of available books on the life and teachings of Guru Dev, please see: Books on Guru Dev available from Paul Mason

May the light and love of God prevail. Please let us know how we can help.

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