The Holy Tradition of Masters (parampara)
Represents the succession of Shankaracharyas from the first to our most divine Gurudev--His Divinity Swami Brahmananda Saraswati Maharaj--the most illustrious in the galaxy of the Jagad-Guru Shankaracharyas of India.
At the tender age of nine, when the other children of the world were mostly busy in playgrounds, he had matured in the idea of renunciation and by continuous and deep thinking was convinced of the futility and evanescence of worldly pleasures. He realized so early that real and lasting happiness cannot be had without the realization of the Divine. The joys and pleasures that are obtained from the phenomenal world are mere shadows and smudged images of the ideal happiness and bliss, that is not far from man but exists in his own heart, enveloped by the dark clouds of ignorance and illusion. When he was barely nine years old he left home and went to the Himalayas in search of God, the Light that dispels the great darkness in the human mind, the darkness that stands between man and the inner Enlightenment.
On the path of the Divine a proper guide is necessary. During the search for a perfect spiritual guide, he came across many masters and good beginners but none of them came up to the ideal that he had set for himself. He desired his spiritual master to be not only well versed in philosophic learning but also to be a person of realization; and over and above these dual achievements, he should be a life celibate, perhaps the natural and legitimate desire of an aspirant who himself had decided to maintain that high ideal for life.
In the world as it is constituted today, to find a personality combining these three conditions and attributes is difficult, if not altogether impossible, and so the young truth-seeker had to wander far and long before he arrived at the goal of his search. After about five years of wandering on the Himalayas, he reached the township of Uttar-Kashi. In that "Valley of the Saints," at that small and distant Himalayan hermitage there resided in those days a great spiritual master, Swami Krishanand Saraswati, a sage deeply versed in philosophical lore, representing a rare and perfect blend of theory and practice, of learning and realization.
To that realized soul, the young ascetic surrendered himself for being initiated into the mysterious realms of the spirit, whose real key practices are attainable not from books and treatises, but only from perfect spiritual masters, who silently pass these top secret practices from heart to heart.
After some time, with the permission and order of his master he entered a cave at UttarKashi with a resolve not to come out before he had realized the Light Supreme. His desire to attain the Highest knowledge was not merely an ideal wish or intention; it was a mighty, overpowering determination that burned like fire in his heart. It permeated every particle of his being and bade him not to rest or stop before the complete realization of the Bliss Eternal.
Soon he arrived at the Heatless Smokeless Effulgence of the Self and realized the Divine Truth, the Cosmic Consciousness, the Ultimate Supreme Reality, Sat Chit Anandam, the Nirvana.
The greatest attainment of a saint is his life itself, the high edifice of a realized Upanishadic Living that develops under the stress of direct experience of the Reality. To understand that inner personality one must approach such realized souls with an open and receptive mind and try to visualize the great internal life that is the basis of their actual and real form of living.
At the age of 34 he was initiated into the order of "Sanyas" by his Master at the greatest world fair, "Kumbha Mela," that is held once in twelve years at the junction of the two holy rivers, Ganges and Jumna at Allahabad City. Then he again proceeded to blessed solitude, the only blessedness.
This time he did not go to the Himalayas, but went to the Amarkantakas, the source of the holy river Narbada in Central India.
For the greater part of his life he lived in quiet, lonely places, the habitats of lions and leopards, in hidden caves and thick forests, where even the mid-day sun frets and fumes in vain to dispel the darkness that may be said to have made a permanent abode in those solitary and distant regions of Vindhyagiris and Amarkantakas (mountain ranges). He was out of sight of man but was well marked in the eyes of the destiny of the country.
For more than one and a half centuries the light of Jyotir Math (The principal monastery of Shankaracharya ) was extinct, and North India had no Shankaracharya to guide the spiritual destiny of the people. Here was a bright light of spiritual glory well adorned by the perfect discipline of Sanatana Dharma, but it was hidden in the caves and valleys, in the thick forests and mountains of central India, as though the blessed solitude was giving a proper shape and polish to a personality which was to enlighten the darkness that had overtaken the spiritual destiny of the country, by the Flash of His mere presence.
It took a long time, twenty years, to persuade Him to come out of loneliness and accept the holy throne of Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math in Badariashramam, Himalayas. At the age of 72, in the year 1941, a well marked time in the political and religious history of India, He was installed as Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, and that was a turning point in the destiny of the nation.
The political freedom of the country dawned under His Divine Grace and He was worshipped by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the Indian Union. At the conference of the eminent philosophers of the world during the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the Institute of Indian Philosophers held at Calcutta in December 1950, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, the famous philosopher and the successor of Dr. Prasad as president of the Indian Union, addressed Shri Guru Deva as "Vedanta Incarnate" (Truth Embodiment).
An Extract from "Love and God"
~Maharishi Mahesh Yogi~
Maharishi speaks on *Love & God*