weekends Binode would sit with the village boys in the evening
and they will chant hymns and prayers of the Almighty Lord.
|Binode with his
followers helping the suffering ones.
Swami Pranavanandaji Maharaj
|- The founder & world teacher
|“His Divine Birth”
|Swami Pranavanandaji Maharaj was born
in the year 1896 on the auspicious day of Maghi-Purnima
(the full moon day of February). He was born in the village
of Bajitpur of Faridpur district of East Bengal, India.
Presently former East Bengal is known as Bangladesh, an
independent country. His parents were Bishnucharan Bhuiya
and Sarada Devi. Both his parents were the ardent devotees
of Lord Nilarudra Mahadev. Before the birth of the divine
child, Bishnucharan and Sarada Devi dreamt in a wonderful
dream that Lord Shiva would be coming to their home to
bless them. With the blessings of Nilarudra Shiva, Swami
Pranavanandaji was born. The little blessed child brought
enormous joy to his family. In his childhood days he was
called Budha, Jainath and later Binode.
|Little Binode never behaved like an ordinary
child. He was very calm, quiet, his mind was always in
meditation and he was a natural devotee of Lord Shiva.
He was often seen meditating under a tree in the adjacent
garden. He was attending the village high school, but
his mind never wanted to learn so-called academic knowledge.
Rather, he himself became a role model, which the fellow
students would follow. The teachers were all amazed at
his attitude and they loved him very much. His body was
well built, he had a very gentle nature, and his movement
was always soft and gentle. He practiced speech control,
and always had a smile on his face. His divine appearance
attracted youth of all ages, and they looked up to him
as someone wonderful. In fact, he was the source of inspiration
|“His Growing up”
|Binode was very dedicated
and obedient to his mother. Almost everyday a mongoose
would enter their kitchen and drink all the milk. One
day his mother asked him to catch that mongoose. Binode
gladly entered the deep jungle
and somehow caught it. When his mother saw what Binode
did, she smiled and then let the animal go back into the
jungle. Regular exercise, determination, simple and pure
living and truthfulness made Binode very strong. His natural
quality was food control, thought control, speech control,
movement control and sense control. Binode would go regularly
to the village cremation ground not far from his home,
and spend hours in meditation. By sitting there, he would
think how perishable this human body is and how it is
so temporary. His mind would travel beyond, searching
for the enlightened world of God. He was a natural yogi.
As he grew up, his love for meditation grew tremendously.
Sometimes he would go to the cremation ground at midnight
and merge in divinity.
|“Love for the suffering
Binode often had a group of young men
with him. Together they would help the village people
to nurse the sick and take them to the doctor and to
bring the deceases to the cremation ground. He also
helped the poor villagers by making roads in the village.
Occasionally fire would break out in a villager home,
Binode and his boys would go and put the fire off.
On Saturday and Sunday he would go home to home and
collect rice and other vegetables. Once enough food
was collected he would then distribute it to the very,
very poor ones. In fact, his kind heart always cried
for the poor, sick and disabled people. From his early
childhood days he never believed in caste system. Rather,
he believed all human beings are children of God and
that they are all equal. On weekends he would sit with
the village boys in the evening and chant hymns and
prayers of the Almighty Lord. He encouraged them to
come every weekend and join with him in chanting and
|“His God Realization”
Mother Saradadevi used
to do arati and worship a Tulsi plant every evening.
When Binode was only six years old, being curious he
wondered, why she worshiped a plant everyday. Even though
Binode saw Mother Saradadevi doing arati to the Tulsi
plant, one day, while he was standing on the roof, he
threw something on the plant. At that moment Binode
saw Lord Narayana appeared at that holy plant. He then
realized that Tulsi plant was not an ordinary plant.
Binode became a dedicated devotee to the Tulsi plant.
He then encouraged everyone to worship this holy plant.
Another incident happened. During the time of Durga
Puja the entire state of Bengal was in a festive mood.
The village Zaminder, Harabilash Babu requested Binode
to attend at least one day of his puja. He always believed
that if Binode attended his puja, all his desires will
be fulfilled. It was the day of Maha-Asthami puja, the
main day for Durga puja. Binode forgot all about this
day. The quiet and beautiful landscape of the village
Bengal, drawn him to the Bajitpur cremation ground where
he merged into deep meditation.
It was midnight, the sounds of bells, drums and sanhai
entered into his ears. Binode opened his eyes and suddenly
remembered that Harabilash Babu requested him to go
to his Durga puja. He stood up and slowly walked towards
the temple of mother Durga. Zaminder Harabilash Babu
kept waiting for Binode late into the night. He looked
here and there, but there was no sight of Binode. He
was broken hearted and finally went inside his room
to rest. There was no one in the temple, except the
beautiful and huge idol of Mother Durga and a small
earthen lamp. Binode looked at the divine Mother, and
then a thought came to his mind.
Devotees come and worship this idol of the Mother and
think of her as real. They offer their prayers at her
feet and ask for her blessings, thinking she listens
to them and bless them. Is it true that she can help
us, or it is an illusion
of our mind? He looked straight into the eyes of the
divine Mother Durga and said to her “Oh mother,
if you are true, if you really accept the offerings
of your devotees in this form, then please appear before
me. If you do not show me your real appearance, I will
never believe in you, I will know that all these pujas
mean nothing”. A tense moment passed, Binode
was standing with folded hands, tears in his eyes and
very emotional. He silently appealed to mother to appear
in front of him if she was real. Mother was pleased
with Binode and was happy to show her real form to him.
Suddenly, Binode saw a flood of light covered the entire
temple. As he looked in front of him, he saw the divine
appearance of Mother Durga, that divine Mother was standing
in front of him in her heavenly appearance. He could
see her eyes blinking and her hands moving. There was
a bright divine smile on her face. The lion, the snake
and the demon were all alive. Standing next to her was
Mother Saraswati, Mother Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha, Lord
Kartikeya, the peacock, the mouse, the swan, the owl
all came in their living form. Binode was surrounded
by peace, divinity and love. The divine Mother placed
her hands on the head of Binode and gave him special
|“Bravery of Binode”
Binode was always the symbol
of bravery. He never knew fear even existed on this
earth. Usually, ordinary people are scared of cremation
grounds, bushy and lonely areas. There was a big banyan
tree in an open field in the village of Bajitpur. Everyone
believed that ghost and goblins lived in that tree.
Many of them said that they saw demons there. People
were scared to go there even in bright daylight. But
Binode was fearless, and he used to go there frequently
in the day, the evening time and at midnight. Nothing
bothered him at all.
|“His Physical Strength”
Binode never ate fish or meat in his
entire life. He seldom took milk, yet his physical strength
was immeasurable. On one occasion the village priest
wanted to know why he would not even take milk. Binode
told him that it was not true that only fish, meat,
milk and other rich food can make one strong. He believed
that the main source for a strong body and good health
are, sense control and preservation of God given power.
Simple food was enough for him to maintain his health.
Practically speaking, he strongly emphasized on preservation
of God given power. He always mentioned to everyone
that simple vegetarian food, green vegetables, fruits,
constructive thoughts, regular exercise, meditation,
disciplined life, faith in God and respect for the elderly
are the secret for a long and healthy life. One time,
he mentioned that he could even break the cemented wall
with only one kick. Such was his power. In fact, he
was stronger than his brothers who ate fish, meat and
other rich foods.
As Binode grew up, his thirst for spirituality
increased rapidly. He started to spend more time in
meditation and in self-contemplation. More so, he was
very much disturbed to see the downfall of the youth.
It bothered him day and night. Naturally he was calm
and quiet, but he became very restless seeing what was
going on. His only thoughts were, how to save the youth
from moral degradation. His mental agony was unbearable.
He approached the principal of his school, Sri Birendralal
Bhattacharya and told him that he would renounce the
world and take the life of an ascetic to help the youth
and the fallen and untouchable ones.
Sri Birendralal was a seeker of divinity. He was a
disciple of Baba Gambhirnathji who was a great yogi
at that time. He observed the restlessness in Binode
and knew that this was very unusual. Sri Birendralal
took Binode to the Ashram of Baba Gambhirnathji in Gorakhpur.
Babaji was thrilled to see Binode. As he looked at Binode,
he recognized what a true and eager disciple he was.
Through his inner vision he saw that in the future Binode
would bring a huge change to the Hindu society. Baba
Gambhirnathji was indeed very happy to have such a disciple
and transferred his spiritual power to Binode.
Baba Gambhirnathji transferred his spiritual power
spent some time in Gorakhpur practicing yoga and meditation.
There was a tremendous change in his attitude and approach.
In fact, he was contemplating in his spirituality so
much that he did not even care about his own physical
condition. It was his Guru Baba Gambhirnathji who always
took care of him.
Binode then came to Kashi Dham to do some more austerities.
He spends hours after hours at the bank of the Ganges
doing meditation. At one time he had a very high fever
and suddenly fell unconscious. An old woman started
to come everyday to feed and nurse him. In this way
he was back to normal health. It was said and believed
by everyone that she was Mother Annapurna herself who
took care of her devotee.
Binode then came to Gayadham, a very famous pilgrim
place in India. He intended to do oblation ceremony
for his departed father at the footprint of Lord Bishnu
and to do some more spiritual practices at the Brahmayoni
mountain. As he got off the train, a group of pandas
(priests) began to harass him, seeking to be hired to
do the oblation ceremony. Unfortunately, their behavior
was intolerable, as they were fighting among themselves.
Each one of them fought to gain Binode’s business.
Binode became very disturbed and realized that it would
not be possible for him to do oblation ceremony peacefully.
He also realized that it was very much needed to reorganize
all these Hindu Holy places. There was a tremendous
need to create a healthy environment in all these important
places, so that people can do their spiritual performances
peacefully. At that very moment, he took a vow, that
in the future one of his main work would be to reform
Gayadham and other pilgrim places of India.
|“His final attainment”
Binode came back to Bajitpur, his native
place. He was a different Binode, his mother was very
worried about him. Binode began to spend most of his
time in his spiritual search. His eyes were tearful,
his mind and thoughts went far away and he always merged
into divinity. Finally, it was the year of 1916. It
was again the full moon day in February (Maghi Purnima)
which is a very auspicious day. Binode sat quietly under
a Kadamva tree and merged into deep meditation. The
time was ripe. The time had come to give the fruits
for all the years of penance that were performed. His
mind, body and thoughts were ready to receive that divine
power. Once Binode was lost in divinity, he attained
the highest spiritual wisdom and liberation from illusion,
attachment and the cycle of birth and death. He became
free from sorrows, sickness and other sufferings of
He attained Nirvana and he attained highest spiritual
wisdom. At that moment God was revealed in his heart.
He felt a divine joy throughout his entire body. Binode
lost consciousness. He went deeply into spirituality.
After a long period of time Binode opened his eyes
and uttered these words- “this is the age of Maha-Milan,
Maha-jagaran, Maha-mukti and Maha-saman-nyaya. Universal
togetherness, universal awakeing, liberation of mankind
and universally unitedness.”
On Maghi Purnima, February 1916 Binode attained highest
Sevashram Sangha was founded”
||Binode founded the Bharat
Sevashram Sangha in the year of 1917. It has now become
one of the largest monastic missions of India. It was
first established in Bajitpur, a very remote village in
Bengal. Gradually, branches of the Sangha were established
all over India and throughout the globe. Bharat
Sevashram Sangha became a source of pride for the
country. In 1923 the organization was officially registered
as a non-profit, charitable, religious Hindu Monastic
|“Binode became Swami
There was no need for Binode to take
sanyas outwardly, because he was a born yogi and an
enlightened soul. After analyzing the future of his
organization and the importance of Sanyas in society,
especially in the monastic life, Binode decided to take
Sanyas. For that reason he attended Allahabad Ardh-Kumbh
Mela in 1924, and was initiated to Sanyas by Swami Gobindananda
Giriji Maharaj. Binode was named after Swami Pranavananda.
In this way, Swami Pranavananda included himself and
his monks in the Dash-nami Sampradaya which was introduced
by Adi-Sankaracharya. In that same year, he himself
initiated seven of his own disciples into monk hood.
The rest of Swami Pranavananda’s life was dedicated
to selfless service and activities for mankind.
|“Friend of the Youth”
Swami Pranavanandaji was always a friend
of the youth. The time came when hundreds and thousands
of young men and women were joining the Indian Independence
movement to free Mother India from British rule. These
youth left their homes, schools and colleges to fight
and free their country. They were like rent cloud, running
here and there afraid to be arrested. Swami Pranavananda
loved these youth from the bottom of his heart. He
gave them shelter, food and overall guidance to build
up their moral life. Many of them spent lots of time
with him. Eventually, some of them became lifetime monastic
members of Bharat Sevashram Sangha.
Apart from those youth, wherever he went there was continuous
flow of youth coming to him for inspiration, good company,
guidance, sympathy, advice and friendship. He molded
the lives of thousands of youth and made them good citizens
of Mother India.
Swami Pranavanandaji giving good advise to the young
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demands from you the strength you possess.
elevates and servitude debases.
|Knowledge is not for
mere display but for practical application.
|Society in every country
shapes itself out of its own initiative.
|Hatred is no substitute
|In open societies, ideas
are challenged by ideas alone.
|A nation that loses
its identity or sense of mission can never progress healthily.
|The essence of man as
a moral and spiritual being is that he is a knowing being.
|Science seems ready
as a final gift to confer upon us the power to remove
all human life from this planet.
|The existence of everything
depends on some conditions.
|By yourself you can
do nothing. Seek a friend.
|Every culture has its