The Mother Divine
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Impressions of Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath
“I will never forget the impression of this magnificent being, his body lapsing in shreds, power coming through him was that of a king. In fact, in my opinion he was embodying at that moment the office of what we in our Sufi law call the ‘qutub’, the pinnacle of hierarchy of the incarnate masters on the planet---I consider myself lucky beyond measure for getting diksha from him with a transcendental mantra…”
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, Head Of The Sufi Order, Worldwide.
“I agree with Sitaramdas Omkarnathji Maharaj when he says, everything that the Vedas say is true and there’s nothing beyond the Vedas. So the modern science is also a part of the Vedas, particularly, the atharva Veda.”
Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, at the inauguration of International Conference On Vedas and Science, at Rishikesh Ashram
“Beloved Babaji is verily naamavatar. His entire life and personality is a radiant example and expression of naam Bhakti and naam shakti. I bow down in silent reverence and love at his holy feet.”
H.H. Swami Chidanandji Maharaj, President, Divine Life Society, Rishikesh
“Baba is an older man and a great sadhu. It is my duty to go to him…I benefited from the spiritual exchange with him…Baba gave me a white woolen mat, which I still use. Baba Omkarnath is my Guru and I his errant disciple.”
H.H. Dalai Lama, in a speech at Baba’s centenary celebration, February 1981, Delhi.
“His touch was divine and emanated charging vibrations to all those having receptivity…achievement of self-realization is one thing but when that blessed soul is endowed to impart his power to other evolving souls, it is a remarkable thing.”
Jain Muni Acharya Sushilkumar, President Acharya Sushil Ashram
“Baba! Do not forget me---do not forget me!”
Anandmayi Ma, woman saint of Bengal
“My poor friends do not know that their Christ is here now! My babaji is Christ Incarnate, Christ Incarnate!”
Mohananand, alias Daniel S., an enlightened devotee from France


A Divine Life Foretold:
A lean sadhu of godly appearance with matted hair, bearing wooden sandals of his Guru on the chest was singing Naam with a large band of followers at Jagannath Puri. Some local inhabitants had foreknowledge of his coming and had already publicized his itinerary in a pamphlet that made a prediction by a companion of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu four hundred years back! It told of the coming of a sadhu who would be preaching the Mahamantra or Naam of sixteen words. The sadhu described was Sitaramdas Omkarnath, the founder of the Akhil Bharat Jaiguru Sampradaya.
Some Spiritual Experiences:
Sitaramdas Omkarnath was born as Prabodhchandra Chattopadhyaya. At the tender age of six, He experienced the beatitude of a vision of Lord Shiva, whom He described accurately to His father. At the time He was in Dumurdaha, which lies on the western banks of the Ganga. Dumurdaha is like Varanasi, dotted as it is with temples dedicated to various deities. At the age of twenty-six He once again had the vision of Lord Shiva. Shiva gave Him the Ishta Mantra (mantra of his favourite deity). He heard the holy Naad of ‘Ram’, ‘Aum’ and finally, ‘Jaiguru’. Remarkably, He also saw Devi, emerging from Shiva’s shoulder. She announced herself as the sadhu’s mother. She took His astral body in Her arms and gave Him the same Ishta Mantra! The vision continued as divine light manifesting itself.

In another significant experience, He saw His previous birth as a world-revered saint devoted to the Mother. On the day of Dol Purnima, He obtained a realization of His divine form and His divine mission. He heard the words, ‘Yada Yada Adharmasya Glaanirbhavati Bharat….’ And He realized His mission was to save humanity from adharma. At this juncture, He gave His Guru, Yogeshwara Dasharathideva, a vision of God that put Him in a trance for three days. The much-beloved Guru composed a hymn in honour of His much-adored disciple. In spite of attaining to final beatitude, He started His spiritual effort all over again. When He was twenty-five years of age, there was a move to install Him as an avatara. He refused. In later years as a very old preceptor with lakhs of followers in all ranks of society, He still maintained the same humble attitude. He expressed a wish to only mingle with the dust at the feet of the Lord.
Scholarship and Householdership:
From His childhood He evinced a natural religious discipline. He was tremendously attracted to the chanting of Naam. He was also an expert of yoga. He acquired proficiency in Sanskrit at the Chatushpati, a sanskrit school run by a Bengali intellectual. He met His senior colleague, Dashrathideva at this school; Dashrathideva soon became His Guru. He passed with ease the most difficult examinations on Vyakarana, Upanishads, Puranas and Vedanta. Later He maintained a Chatushpati Himself. Notably, he earned little from such activities. He maintained a large household consisting of His wife, children, relatives and students. His life was replete with problems of penury, ill health and a series of bereavements. But His commitment to spirituality and the work commissioned by His Guru was undiminished. A renunciate, He led the life of an ideal householder.
A Divine Commission:
At the age of forty-five, He was commissioned by His Guru, to preach the Naam or the Mahamantra. In the days before He gave up His mortal body, Dashrathideva saw a dream set in celestial space. The dream contained a message: the Mahamantra was the only means to universal succour, in the present age. Dashrathideva conveyed this message to His disciple. By now Prabodhchandra Chatopadhyaya had formally become a renunciate; he had donned the robe and assumed the name of ‘Sitaramdas Omkarnath’. He had already set up the Ramashram’ at Dumurdha. A little after being instructed by His Guru, Jagannath Deva materialized before Sitaramdas Omkarnath and instructed Him to preach the Naam.
Growth of Organised Activities:
Order named ‘Jaiguru Sampradaya’ was established and the work of preaching Naam started almost immediately. Food and clothes were distributed to the poor and free schools were set up. Temples were built and renovated and writing of Ram Naam was undertaken on a massive scale. Diksha, or initiation was given to would-be sadhakas. For the next forty-five years, this work went on through the length and breadth of the country.

Ashrams and maths were established in many parts of the country; among them the Mahamilan Math is at Kolkata and others at Uttar Kashi, Omkareshwar, Rishikesh, Vrindavana, Pushkar etc. Sanghs were started for Naamkirtan and for intellectual discourses. Many magazines and periodicals in English and Bengali were launched for furthering the purpose and mission of the Order. Under His influence, the singing of the Mahamantra or Naam became a rage at the different pilgrimage spots. The ‘abhayavani’ composed by Him spread like wildfire across the nation. During the Indo-Pak war of 1971, fought for the freedom of what is now Bangladesh, the soldiers sang the Naam prolifically. Sitaramdas Omkarnath has been described as the real general of that war which was won by India! Senior statesmen of the times, Lal Bahadur Shashtri, Indira Gandhi, Vajpayee and others had sought His blessings.
Recognition from All Quarters:
Religious preceptors of various Hindu and non-Hindu sects acknowledged Him as much more than a sadhu… as an incarnation of Divinity. He displayed no miraculous powers; He advised everyone to take refuge in the Lord and His Name. Yet all the leading lights of the day acknowledged to having experienced divine bliss on contact with Him. Among such persons were Sufi Pir Inayat Vilayat Khan, the Buddhist Dalai Lama, Ma Anandmayi, Daya Ma of the Yogoda Satsanga, the Nepali Baba, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and other mystics. He had initiated persons of lower castes into Naam and accepted them into His fold. Among His devotees were foreigners from U.S.A., Canada, Holland and France. He showed the greatest understanding of the different cultural milieu that they hailed from. There were Muslim and Christian devotees rubbing shoulders with the Hindu devotees. One of His Muslim devotees wrote the Naam as ‘Allah’ one lakh times and submitted the copy to Sitaramdas Omkarnath!
Writing as a Devotional Offering to Devotees:
He performed severe penance in the form of mauna and sarvasangatyaga, over months at a time. During such periods, He wrote books that presented the cream of His own study and experiences to devotees. His writings reveal the complete and rounded nature of His spiritual accomplishment. The ‘Sudhar Dhara’ presents the nectar of the scriptures, while the ‘Naamamrit Lahiri’ represents a crossing over the vast ocean of the Hindu scriptures to present the efficacious remedy of ‘Naam’. The ‘Naadleelamrit Lahiri’ presents the abstruse concepts of Jnana Yoga. ‘Sri Sri Brahmanusandhana’ and ‘Sri Sri Omkar Sahasra Giti’ present the cream of the Upanishads. Some writings bring Him out to be a devotee of Ram while others a devotee of Shiva. His writings reveal the depth and breadth of His knowledge, which was not merely scriptural but based on personal experience.
Philosophy of Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath:
A proponent of Pranavavaad and doctrine of Omkar, He said all the streams of spirituality, Ganapatya, Saura, Shakta, Shaiva and Vaishnava culminate into Omkara. Commissioned by God to preach the Mahamantra (Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare) He declared continuous singing of this mantra as a panacea. Swami Chidananda of Divine Life Society hailed Him as the Naam Avatara (Lord’s Name Incarnate) As the best course of action; a disciple must surrender to the Guru and accept devotional service as a way of life. A disciple should maintain the attitude of a ‘kinkar’ (God’s or Guru’s servitor) throughout his life.

“The ultimate answer to the question ‘Who am I?’ is –I am indeed the only true principle in this world. I alone exist; I am the one who has lost the way and am searching for it. After wandering through eighty-four lakhs yonis (births) I have now become a disciple devoted to spiritual practice. In the form of Guru and the Mantra, it is I who am sporting in order to uplift myself. I am established in the Surya, Sushumna and the right eye in the most subtle form, pervading all over.” This profound truth is Thakur’s supreme sermon.