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2291Maharshi Santsevi Ji Paramhans: The Legendary Spiritual Preceptor

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  • Sant Mat Mysticism
    Oct 18, 2008
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      Maharshi Santsevi Ji Paramhans: The Legendary Spiritual Preceptor


      Sant Mat Fellowship:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SantMatFellowship
      {"Repeat the Name of your Beloved, day and night, again and again. With care in thought, word and deed, you will cross to the other shore." -- Sant Dadu Dayal}


      Maharshi Santsevi Ji Paramhans: The Light That Shone the Way to Millions

      -By Pravesh K. Singh

      ( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sant_santati

      http://blog.360.yahoo.com/praveshksingh )




      The second half of the nineteenth century was marked by a spiritual renaissance in India that saw the incarnation of a number of Sants like Swami Ramkrishna Paramhans, Baba Devi Sahab, Sant Radhaswami (Radhasoami) Sahab, Maharshi Mehi Paramhans etc. Maharshi Mehi Paramhans (28.04.1885 – 08.06.1986) made the Kuppaghat Ashram (Hermitage), Bhagalpur, situated on the banks of the Holy River Ganges, in the state of Bihar, India into the base camp for his sacred mission of spreading the precepts of Santmat far & wide.


      Maharshi Mehi Paramhans stood apart, shining brilliantly as a unique star amidst the galaxy of Sants, in that he built a bridge across the gulf that separated the age-old pillars of Hindu culture, the traditional religious scriptures like the Vedas, Upanishads, Shrimad Bhagvad Gita, The Ramayan, The Ramcharit Manas, etc. on the one hand and the literature and sayings of Sants on the other.


      He made an herculean effort to undertake a deep & detailed study of the scriptures and authored a number of books such as "Veda Darshan Yoga" (Gist of Vedas), "Ramcharit Manas Sar Sateek" (A Commentary on the Ramcharit Manas), "Shri Gita Yoga Prakash" (Essence of Gita), "Satsang Yoga"(A Compendium on Satsang or Spiritual Association), "Vinay Patrika Sar Sateek" (A Commentary on Vinaya Patrika), "Santwani Sateek" (Commentary on Selected Verses of Sants), "Bhavarth Sahit Ghat Ramayan" (Gist of Ghat Ramayan), etc.


      Through these wonderful books he showed beyond doubt that the basic premises laid out in the religious scriptures are in full conformity with sayings of Sants and that there is no essential contradiction or confrontation between the two.


      Maharshi Mehi Paramhans, in preparing all these brilliant books, was quite capably assisted by his chief disciple, Maharshi Santsewi Ji Paramhans (20.12.1920 – 04.06.2007) who inherited and enriched the legacy of Santmat he received from his Guru.


      Maharshi Santsewi ji Paramhans took Santmat to still greater heights amidst yet larger populace. His modest disposition, magnetic persona, sweet charming voice, flawless pronunciation, melodious rendition of verses/ hymns, captivating scholarly discourses punctuated with prolific quotations from the scriptures and sayings of Sants, and, above all, his living in absolute conformity with his preaching cast a magical spell on whoever came in his contact even for a short duration. No wonder then that more than two lakh persons from India and abroad made their lives blessed by getting initiation from him.


      Maharshi Santsevi Ji was born as the third son of his parents on the 20th December 1920 in Gamharia village of the current Madhepura District of the state of Bihar, India. His childhood name was Mahavir Das. He had three brothers and a sister. His father, Mr. Baldev Das Ji was a farmer by profession, while his mother Mrs. Radha Devi was a deeply devout lady. Mahavir Das Ji was a very sharp and obedient student; he always stood either first or second in his class. He was a staunch devotee of Lord Hanuman in his childhood. However, the premature death of two of his brothers must have given him a strong jolt, and made him realise the transitory nature of life on this earth. As if this was not enough, the sudden untimely death of his father threw his life into complete disarray forcing him to discontinue his formal studies; he could complete his formal education up to Class VII only. To support his family he had to take to tuition. He taught students of his locality. With full faith in his sharp intellect & capabilities as a teacher that they had, the parents had no hesitation whatsoever in handing over their wards to his sweet care.


      Once, as the fateful coincidence would have it, he had gone to Saidabad in the district of Purnia in Bihar. There he came to know that at Kankhudia, a place quite nearby, a month-long meditation camp was to be organised which was to be graced by Maharshi Mehi Paramhans Ji Maharaj. The seed of devotion that lay dormant within him began to stir, growing impatient to burst out. He became restless to have `darshan' (glimpse) of Maharshi Mehi and set out, driven by an invisible force, to see Maharshi ji.


      Sensing the genuinely acute thirst in him for spiritual pursuits Maharshi Mehi gladly initiated him into Santmat by teaching him `Manas Jap' (Internally chanting the sacred mantra given by Guru), `Manas Dhyan' (Meditating upon the form of Guru within) and `Drishti Yoga' (Meditation upon the Infinitesimal, Absolute Point or `Bindu' within). That was in 1939. The Guru had found the true shishya (disciple) in him. Mahavir Das ji was so deeply influenced by Maharshi Mehi that he wished to be kept in his personal service, but the latter's clear & categorical reply was, "Continue, for the time being, with whatever you are doing. You will be called when the time comes" (the obvious hint of Maharshi Mehi – he said so also to one of his disciples - was that Santsevi ji's services were more needed by his widow mother).


      Subsequently, when Santsevi ji's mother left this world in 1946 for her heavenly abode, he was called by Gurudev Maharshi Mehi to live with him. Santsevi ji would accompany (even when his mother was alive) Gurudev whenever he went on his mission of propagating Santmat. Gurudev would ask him to recite from scriptures and verses of sants. His chaste, melodious rendition of hymns & verses had a powerful impact on the audience.


      Santsevi ji received fatherly love & affection from Gurudev, Maharshi Mehi. He was deputed for a few years to manage affairs at the Ashramas of Dharahara and Manihari in the state of Bihar itself. He was called back to Kuppaghat Ashram in 1949 to live permanently with Gurudev Maharshi Mehi. He dedicated everything at his disposal to the selfless, ungrudging, whole-hearted service of his Guru till the latter lived in his physical cloak on this earth. It is because of his exemplary service that Maharshi Mehi gave him the name "Santsevi" (one who serves Sants). Serving his Guru for four decades (1946-1986) is a feat which is perhaps unmatched in the Guru-Shishya tradition of modern times. Gurudev personally guided him into studying different scriptures and learning different languages, nurtured right virtues in him, and trained him into becoming a perfect, truly deserving heir to him.


      Maharshi Mehi himself voluntarily initiated him, in view of his spiritual progress, into `shabda yoga' or `nAdAnusandhAn' (Meditation on the Divine Word /Sound) in 1952 and admitted him into monkhood by bestowing upon him the saffron robes and asking him to get his hair & beards removed.


      Maharshi ji's confidence in Santsevi ji had grown so much that he sent him as his representative to the All India Conference of Sadhus (sages) held at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Santsevi ji won the hearts of all the sages & scholars who attended the Conference by his lucid and detailed presentation which was lauded by one & all. The extent of faith that Maharshi Mehi had in him could be gauged by the fact that he would frequently refer to Santsevi ji as his brain and gave clear approval to him to give discourses during Satsang from 1960. Santsevi ji's discourses began to be published as a regular column in the monthly magazine `Shanti Sandesh' (Message of Peace) published by Maharshi Mehi Ashram, Kuppaghat, Bhagalpur.


      From 1970 he was given independent authority to initiate seekers into Santmat. Entrusting him with these responsibilities Gurudev Maharshi Mehi felt completely relieved that he had been able to finally handover his mission of propagating Santmat in safe, responsible & competent hands. Maharshi Mehi would often remark, "He (Santsevi ji) knows more than I". "I remained a `gud' (jiggery) while Santsevi ji grew to become sugar (sugar is a better refined product than gud)". "You (Santsevi ji) have rendered remarkable service to me. Your service itself is your `tap' (penance)." "The relationship between me and Santsevi ji is like that between letters `Q' and `U' (implying that just as Q always appears together with U in an English word, Maharshi Mehi and Maharshi Santsevi ji always live and exist together), "You (Santsevi ji) can't live without me and I can't live without you. I will be wherever you will be" etc... etc...


      After Maharshi Mehi Paramhans departed this world on the 8th June 1986 at the age of 101 years, Maharshi Santsevi ji continued to lend an extremely capable, dynamic, visionary & charismatic leadership to the movement called Santmat. His magic pull was amply visible in that all the Annual & special Conventions of Santmat were thickly attended, by several lakhs of people, and that more than two lakh persons made their lives blessed by taking initiation from him. Even on the fateful day, 4th June 2007, he departed he had initiated two ladies.


      He had a cheerful yet reflective disposition. Anyone who had the fortune to be in his company, to sit at his lotus feet could feel his aura, was touched by the profound love he emanated for all alike. His discipline was immaculate. He never questioned a single word that was uttered by his Guru and imbibed all his advice in Toto with a heart full of gratitude. He had perfect control over his food habits; the meagre quantity & sattvic quality (having no spices, oil or salt) of diet that he had everyday was baffling for a common man. The routine he followed in getting up, meditating, going for walks, meeting visitors, giving initiation, attending satsang, having food, going to sleep etc. was impeccable regardless of wherever he stayed. He taught everyone to conserve natural resources like water. He did not allow even a single piece of empty paper go waste and utilised it for writing replies to his devotees. He took utmost care of the guests staying at the Ashram. His heart bled for even birds and animals. He cared so much for the dogs and cattle that lived on the Ashram campus. In his early years at the Ashram he had a pet cat that lived in perfect harmony with a dog as well as a parrot (though a parrot is the favourite sport for a cat that, in turn, is afraid of being hunted by a dog). People from all walks of life, all religions & sects would throng his corridors for mental solace and useful guidance in worldly as also spiritual matters. Several of Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains etc. had even taken initiation from him. His life serves as a role model to anyone who aspires to be a sincere spiritual seeker.



      There are numerous accounts of his devotees who were miraculously helped or rescued, directly or in directly, at different points of their lives by him. I, too, so fondly cherish many of such unforgettable experiences in my own life, which have left a deep indelible imprint on me. Great was He and great was his grace.



      He was a litterateur of the highest calibre. He was not only an orator par excellence, but also a prolific writer. He was a polyglot having good knowledge of several languages & dialects such as Bharati (Hindi), Sanskrit, English, Bengali, Marwari, Maithili, Angika, Nepali, Punjabi (Gurumukhi), Persian etc.



      He has a number of books to his credit such as "Om Vivechan" (Analytical Interpretation of Om), "Yoga MAhAtmya" (Significance of Yoga), "Jag Mein Aise RahanA" (Thus to Live in The World), "Sukh – Dukh" (Joys & Sorrows), "Satya KyA" (What is Truth?), "Lok Parlok UpakArI" (To Excel in This As Well As the Other World), "SAdhanA Mein SafalatA Kaise" (The Right Art of Meditation), etc. In order to emphatically underline the essential unity of all religions of the world, a cause he espoused so dearly all his life, he authored a great book "Sarva Dharma SamabhAv", a book which has been wonderfully translated into English as "Harmony of Religions" by Mrs. Veena Howard, Santmat Society. Several of his articles were compiled in the form of a compendium titled "Maharshi Santsewi GyAn GangA" (The Holy River of Knowledge of Maharshi Santsevi).

       

      In the course of his tours he got to meet a number of eminent personalities. They were, to name a few, Shri Bhupendranath Sanyal, Shri Jain Muni Dhanaraj, Buddhist Monk Jagdish Kashyap, Father Kamil Bulke, Shri Jayadayal Goyandaka, Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, Swami Shri Ramsukhdas, Acharya Vinoba Bhave, Acharya Sushil Muni, Shri Pramukh Swami ji, Swami Harinarayan, Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan, Swami Satyanand, Shri Asharam Bapu, Shri Morari Bapu, Pandit Parashuram Chaturvedi etc. This must have provided him ample opportunity to enrich his experience. He toured India widely to propagate the precepts of Santmat – from Assam in the east to Ahmedabad (Gujarat) & Amritsar (Punjab) in the west and from Kashmir in the north to Tamilnadu in the south. He addressed special conferences at Darbar Sahab of Amritsar, Dayal Bagh & Swami Bagh of Agra, Pushkar of Ajmer in Rajasthan, Rishikesh & Haridwar of the Himalayan State of Uttaranchal, Delhi, Rajgir etc. and various other places in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, West Bengal etc. It was during one such conference, the 86th Annual General Convention of Santmat in the Himalayan town of Rishikesh that he was conferred the highest spiritual title or honour of "Maharshi…Paramhans" by the most eminent sages and Mahamandaleshwars of the region. Since then he was called Maharshi Santsevi ji Paramhans.


      Maharshi Santsevi ji Paramhans sacrificed his whole life, every moment of his life for the welfare of the highest order of people. He quietly discarded his earthly body around 9:45 PM Indian Standard Time (GMT + 5:30 Hours) on the 4th June 2007. Such was his greatness that even in his passing he could be so humble. The legendary Guru Maharshi Santsevi ji raised his right hand from his funeral pyre in his farewell blessing (in the afternoon of the 6th June 2008), just as his Guru Maharshi Mehi Paramhans ji Maharaj had done while on his funeral pyre, as if he was passing the reassuring message that he & his blessings would always remain with those who love him and have faith in him.


      Though this great charismatic soul is no more with us in his physical form, he will ever live on in the memories of his devotees the world over, and his words continue to illumine the right path of millions & millions of people for generations to come.

      Jai Guru!