Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Swami Gyanananda Sarwasati ( Gudia Baba ) 1876-1952

( Birabara  Dash , a poet,  wrote the Biography of Swami Gyanananda Saraswati by collecting true facts about swamiji from persons who had come in contact with swamiji . He has referred to Dr Janardan Pujari’s  “Kailash Pathe “(Odiya) and visited many places while writing  the book. A brief sketch of life history of Swamiji has been reproduced here from the aforesaid book ‘ Swami Gyanananda Saraswati ( Gudia Baba )’(Odiya). Forward for the said book has been written by Dr Nabin Kumar Sahu , Ex Vice Chancellor, Sambalpur University ).
Swami Gyanananda Sarswati 1876-1952
by artiste Tulsi Gadtiya
Gobardhan was born on 1876 Kartik , sukla , pratipada ( Girigobardhan Puja day ) at Bargarh town . Gobardhan belonged to a poor family of madhubashya caste . He was the third son of Dinamani Sahu and Jaikadhi . The swami passed away on Baisakh sukla dashami in 1952 at Atmaram ashram , Raigarh . Swami Atmaram (who had become a sanyasi ) was third brother of Swami Gyanananda Saraswati.
Swamiji  was physically very strong . His height was 7 feet 2 “, fair complexioned and well built . He had a unique feature.  He had to undergo child marriage at the age of 11/12 years, and his wife was of 9/10 years old of village Turum . Unfortunately, she died before coming to father-in-law’s  house . After her expiry, swamiji never got married , remained a bachelor  till expiry .
Swamiji achieved ‘astanga  joga’ and ‘astadasha siddhi ‘ from his master Swami Basudevananda . Due to delay in achieving siddhi, his master advised  Gudia Baba to undergo punishment for the sin done in the past. To learn and achieve ‘astadasha  siddhi’ , Gudia Baba purified his body by undergoing self punishment for the sin ,earlier at a young age . Therefore , to purify himself, he had to undergo a jail term for 21 days   at Sambalpur Central Jail . Gudia Baba came back to Bargarh from Haridwar , requested the Deputy Commissioner , Sambalpur and the then visiting Commisioner  Mr Woodburn to punish him for theft done from Mohan ‘s shop. Mohan was very rich person at that time, residing at Barpali. Under compulsion , the D.C. had to issue order for 21 days imprisionment  to Gudia Baba. After the jail term, he again visited Haridwar and achieved astadash siddhi.  Gobardhan ( Gudia Baba ) was then transformed to Swami Gyanananda Saraswati.
Swami Gyanananda  took the responsibility of Baghambari Ashram at Allahbad (UttarPradesh) . He became Mahanta of the famous Matha at Allahabad , after Swami Basudebananda Saraswati Rothaji handed over the charges of Matha .  Pandit Motilal Nehru , Madan  Mohan Malabya  were visiting the Ashram  on saturday evenings and meeting swamiji during discourse on religious matter . After seven years , swamiji did not like to continue there after his master ( Guru ) expired . He handed over the Math to one of his trained disciple, who at a later date became Mahanta , on recommendation of Gudia Baba.  
After he left Baghambari Math, swamiji went to Kapurtala of Hosiarpur district in Punjab. Mahant  Dibyananda of Kapurtala Math was intimately known to swamiji. Dibyananda wanted to leave his body within a week , and requested Gyanananda to take over Kapurtala Ashram. Under compulsion , Gyanananda became Mathadhish of Kapurtala Math, which had great wealth.  Swamiji stayed for 7 years at Kapurtala as Mathadhish. But wealth of the Math could not attract him. He left Kapurtala Math and started moving aimlessly. Then he visited  Afganisthan, Iran, Turkey,Tibbet etc., and preached on Sanatan Dharma.  Then swamiji came to village Kamgan near Bargarh and established “ Basudevananda Bedanta Sanskrit Pathasala” , a Sanskrit  school , with hostel fascility,  where about 40 /50 students read . Prahalad Pradhan was a student of this school. Prahalad Pradhan at a later date, established the Sanskrit University in Puri , Odisha. Swamiji stayed at village Kamgan from 1920 to 1930.  
Swamiji  stayed with Sushil Kumar Sarkar, Gouranga Charan Behera , Durgaprasad Mishra, Omkarmal Poddar and many others at Sambalpur . He stayed at Sambalpur from 1930 to 1946. He came in contact with Chandra Sekhar Behera , Dr Ramachandra Mishra, Mahendranath Varma, Durgaprasad Mishra, Gokul Chandra Babu , Shyamsundar Behera, Benudhar Pujari , Labanidhar Sunari , Sitaram Tripathy , and many others during his stay at Sambalpur. Dr Janardan Pujari , Chandrasekhar Behera had great respect for Gudia Baba .During his stay at Sambalpur  swamiji established a satsang ashram on the bank of river Mahanadi , with the help from above mentioned people, specially Chandrasekhar Behera and Dr Ramchandra Mishra. Now it is known as Gita Gudi . In 1936, Dr Pujari accompanied swamiji to Kailash and Manasarobar.  Swamiji had earlier visited those places .In 1946 , swamiji went to Raigarh, stayed there in Atmaram Ashram with his middle brother Swami Atmaram till his expiry(1952).      
Three Odiya and four Hindi books written by Swamiji were published . Those books are not available now . He was regular writer of articles in  ‘Kalyan’ (Hindi) magazine . 
After Swamiji left for Raigarh Atmaram  Ashram , Dr Janardan Pujari once requested him in 1947  to visit Sambalpur again, but swamiji declined and did not come to Sambalpur . So also , in 1948 , Brajmohan Panda had gone to Raigarh and requested swamiji to visit  Sambalpur , but  swamiji declined to come to Sambalpur.
Swami Gyanananda passed away on Baishakh  sukla dashami in 1952 at Atmaram Ashram , Raigarh.