H.H. Shri Vishwaguruji Maharaj, Yogasamrat, Mahamandaleshwar was an ascetic yogi of great repute. He was born in 1904 in a pious and distinguished family on the holy day of Deepavali in a small village called Parai in Aligarh district of Uttar Pradesh.
From early childhood he showed signs of future spiritual greatness. In his childhood, Vishwaguruji enjoyed writing articles and giving speeches in schools and sanskrit academies. His father was a lawyer in Aligarh but he left his practice soon to serve the saints.
Vishwaguruji would often accompany his father while visiting these ascetics, which changed his ideology. Consequently, he acquired sufficient education in sanskrit and started leading an ascetic life in his village.
Under the tutelage of His Holiness Shri 1008 Shri Brahmanand Giriji Maharaj, he acquired vast knowledge of the sacred scriptures, the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Darshanas and the Epics. Although he was not interested in marriage under the pressure of the family members he acceded.
Soon a son was born to him. The call of the soul however became very strong and like the great Buddha in the past he relinquished his family and took to the path of renunciation, Sansyasa. Under the guidance of Shri 1008 Swami Heeranand Saraswati Ji Maharaj,
He ventured into kandara caves in uttarakhand himalayas. He lived there for some time and then for a long time, he lived in Rishikesh on the banks of Ganga in Agyaatvaas. On insistence of his devotees, he stayed in an ashram near Laxman Jhula for a while but finding it as part of the ‘prapanch’ – the mundane, he left that place too.
Vishwaguruji was an adept yogi with deep knowledge of yogasanas, samadhi, pranayama and spiritual knowledge. He travelled with 600 devotees and finished the char dhaam yatra. He travelled to Badrinayaran many times and also stayed in Uttarkashi. He would never wear sewn clothes or shoes.
His life goal can be well summarised by the following lines of the prayer:
हे पूरण परमात्मा। पावन हों जीवात्मा॥
विश्व बनें धर्मात्मा। सुखी रहें सब आत्मा॥
O dear God, let all the living beings be pure, let the world lead on the path of dharma,
Ultimately, Towards the end of Guruji’s life, when we were celebrating guruji’s 100th birthday, that time there were about 80 westerners. one of them asked me if Guruji will show his mastery in hatha yoga. Guruji demonstrated some of the most difficult advanced asanas s in front of 100+80 odd people. Those pictures are still here framed as a proof. They show even at the age of 100, guruji could show his mastery.
He led an ideal yogi life. He ate little, wore little, slept little but worked very vigorously. Till his mahasamadhi, he remained a glaring example of wonderful health and longevity. He had known no sickness, never seen to be tired, always cheerful and active. He began his day at 3 A.M. and retired only after 10 P.M. His physical strength, stamina, memory, fortitude were phenomenal.
Some inspiring examples are given below
(a) During the coldest winter mornings he can be seen out in the icy cool waters of the holy Ganga dipping (108 dips) in and out for over an hour at a stretch. He has done this even as he entered his 100th birthday.
(b) During the hottest day in (May/Jun) he can be seen out in the sun working with the laborers for the whole day, without even a break for meals.
(c) His stamina for long discourses continuing for several hours is well-known.
(d) His sharp memory, emotional control specially when severely provoked has to be seen to be appreciated.
(e) On days of less activity in the ashram he can be seen practicing asanas, pranayamas and other yogic kriyas for hours together.
In April 1997, he met with a terrible car accident. All those who saw the smashed Ambassador car wondered how one can come out alive from there. He not only survived but without any medication healed himself completely by sheer will power alone in about two week’s time.
He was very fond of initiating deserving candidates into the sacred mantra diksha on suitable occasions.
- Construction of a huge ashram comprising more than 150 rooms.
- Constructing one of the largest yoga-meditation halls of this area.
- A similar hall at the basement with additional 50 small rooms for individual meditation.
- A huge marbled Ganga ghat with a frontage of 300mtrs.
- A Yoga- Meditation Institute which is conducting regular courses in yoga and meditation.
- He has trained many disciples who are spreading his message from centers in many parts of India and abroad.
- He has authored two very popular books in Hindi ‘Vishwaguru Kalpataru’ and ‘Vishwaguru Yogadarshan’. The books have undergone many editions and sold in thousands.
He attained mahasamadhi in Oct 2007. He handed over his ashram to his beloved disciple Mata Santosh Bharti.