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Fifty One Saints of India
Fifty One Saints of India
Description
About the Author

Bimal Kumar Banerjee, born at Kolkata in January, 1935 and studied in different branches of Arts, Science and Engineering. During his research work in Bengali at the Calcutta University, he came in contact with Acharya Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee, Kolkata and Mahamohopadhya Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee, Kolkata and Mahamohopadhya Dr. Gopinath Kaviraj, Varanasi and the other eminent scholars. In course of his long service period in different organizations, he acquired wide experience as a school teacher, as an engineer in the N.E. Railway, Gorakhpur, U.P., Guest Keen Williams Ltd., Indian Oil Co. Ltd. and in the Ordnance Factories.

During his service life and afterwards, Shri Banerjee extensively travelled all over India. During that period he came in contact with many exalted spiritual leaders, Viz. Brahmarsi Deoraha Baba at Prayag, Hansa Baba at Jashidhi, Sri Mohanananda Brahmachari at Deoghar, Sri Anandamayee Ma at Prayag, Varanasi etc. Also he had the opportunity of coming in contact with Saintly persons like most Revered Swamijis of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, who were the direct disciples of shri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda; veteran Pandit and scholar Acharya Karunamaya Saraswati; veteran Doctor, Philosopher and self-abnegator Dr. Nalini Ranjan Sen Gupta of Kolkata and other most dignified persons. Also, he held many respectable positions in different persons. Also, he held many respectable positions in different religious organizations; e.g., Secretary Sri Ramakrishna Sangha, Gorakhpur, U.P.; Member, Sri Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, Howrah; Convenor, Brahmarsi Deoraha Baba Satsang Mahamandal, Kolkata etc.

Preface

This book is an humble endeavour to depict, through short sketches, the lives, the philosophy and the teachings of "Fifty one Great Saints of India". While writing this book. I could feel the guiding hand of Lord Sri Jagannath. Everything I needed, particularly the information I was looking for, presented itself to me with very little effort. The right books, journals, articles came to me as if by themselves. Thus, the search and research for information on the lives of these Saints have become another experience of the Lord's grace.

This is not to a scholar's work. It is a work of devotion done with the help of Lord Sri Jagannath and is offered back to Him with humility.

The spirit of India, which influenced our rich cultural heritage has been properly represented through the lives and teachings of her great seers - from the 'Rishis' of the Vedas and the Upnishads to Gautam Buddha, Sankaracharya, Andal, Appar, Guru Nanak, Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Tulsidas, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and other distinguished saints and sadhakas of this land.

The sacred lives of saints as described in this book, represent the progress of our spiritual history. Amongst them we have prophets, religious reformers, Vedantists, Vaishnavites, Tantrics, Mystics and Yogis. They followed different paths in course of their sadhana, although the goal was the same.

The aim of all of them was the same, that is, to achieve self-realisation and enlightenment. It also confirms the shastric truth:

"Ekam Sat Vipraha Bahudha Vadanti" - truth is one, sages described it in various ways. Attempts have seen made to maintain, as far as practicable, the chronological order in which these great sadhakas appeared and ennobled the people of this country.

It is hoped that the readers of this book, who have some spiritual urge will be happy to read it and will derive encouragement to take up the spiritual endeavors for their real welfare and happiness. If any factual error or any unintended mistake is detected, and pointed out, the same will be corrected in the subsequent edition.

I am grateful to Dr. Ramaranjan Mukherjee, formerly Vice-Chancellor, University of Burdwan and Rabindra Bharati for extending the favour of writing the foreword to this book.

I am also grateful to Revered Srimat Swami Shivamayanandaji Maharaj, Asst. Secretary, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, Howrah for encouraging and inspiring me with his valuable advice in this humble effort.

I am also grateful to Revered Srimat Jagatguru - Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Swaraswatee of Poorvamanya - Govardhanpeetham, Puri and also to Revered Srimat - Swami Smarananandaji Maharaj, General Secretary, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, Howrah for blessing this enterprise.

I also avail of this opportunity to convey my heartiest gratitude to my well-wishers and friends, Sri Kamakhya Govinda Changder, formerly teacher of Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandir, Belur Math, Howrah and Shri Subir Kumar Sen, editor of the renowned English weekly magazine Truth for offering many helpful suggestions.

CONTENTS
Prefacei
Forewordiii
Blessing
(i) Swami Nischalananda Saraswatee -
Shri Jagadguru Shankaracharya Math, Puri
v
(ii) Swami Smaranananda, General Secretary, Ramakrishna Math and Mission, Belur Math, Hawrahvii
Gayatriix
Saints
Gautam Buddha1
Tirthankar Mahavir4
Sankaracharya7
Padmapadacharya11
Ramanujacharya15
Nayanmars18
Appar21
Andal26
Jnaneshwar31
Bhakta Kavir36
Bhakta Haridass39
Sankardeva42
Guru Nanak47
Prabhu Nityananda50
Sri Srikrishna Chaitanya53
Mira Bai57
Madhusudan Saraswati62
Goswami Tulsidas65
Ramdas Swami68
Trailanga Swami72
Mahayogi Gorakhnath75
Yogi Gambhirnath77
Sadhak Ramprasad79
Lokenath Brahmachari82
Jalaram Bapa85
Visuddhananda Saraswati89
Babaji Maharaj92
Shyamacharan Lahiri95
Bhaskarananda Saraswati99
Bholananda Giri102
Srimat Totapuri105
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa108
Ramdas Kathiababa112
Sadhak Vamdeva115
Balananda Brahmachari118
Bijoykrishna Goswami120
Deoraha Baba123
Sai Baba126
Vishnuddhananda Paramahansa130
Santadas Babaji135
Sadhak Ramthakur138
Swami Vivekananda141
Prabhu Jagadbandhu147
Sri Aurobindo151
Shrimat Upendramohan156
Swami Nigamananda162
Raman Maharsi165
Swami Pranavananda169
Sri Anandamayee Ma173
Dhananjoydas Babaji180
Sri Bholanath184

Fifty One Saints of India

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2007
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About the Author

Bimal Kumar Banerjee, born at Kolkata in January, 1935 and studied in different branches of Arts, Science and Engineering. During his research work in Bengali at the Calcutta University, he came in contact with Acharya Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee, Kolkata and Mahamohopadhya Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee, Kolkata and Mahamohopadhya Dr. Gopinath Kaviraj, Varanasi and the other eminent scholars. In course of his long service period in different organizations, he acquired wide experience as a school teacher, as an engineer in the N.E. Railway, Gorakhpur, U.P., Guest Keen Williams Ltd., Indian Oil Co. Ltd. and in the Ordnance Factories.

During his service life and afterwards, Shri Banerjee extensively travelled all over India. During that period he came in contact with many exalted spiritual leaders, Viz. Brahmarsi Deoraha Baba at Prayag, Hansa Baba at Jashidhi, Sri Mohanananda Brahmachari at Deoghar, Sri Anandamayee Ma at Prayag, Varanasi etc. Also he had the opportunity of coming in contact with Saintly persons like most Revered Swamijis of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, who were the direct disciples of shri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda; veteran Pandit and scholar Acharya Karunamaya Saraswati; veteran Doctor, Philosopher and self-abnegator Dr. Nalini Ranjan Sen Gupta of Kolkata and other most dignified persons. Also, he held many respectable positions in different persons. Also, he held many respectable positions in different religious organizations; e.g., Secretary Sri Ramakrishna Sangha, Gorakhpur, U.P.; Member, Sri Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, Howrah; Convenor, Brahmarsi Deoraha Baba Satsang Mahamandal, Kolkata etc.

Preface

This book is an humble endeavour to depict, through short sketches, the lives, the philosophy and the teachings of "Fifty one Great Saints of India". While writing this book. I could feel the guiding hand of Lord Sri Jagannath. Everything I needed, particularly the information I was looking for, presented itself to me with very little effort. The right books, journals, articles came to me as if by themselves. Thus, the search and research for information on the lives of these Saints have become another experience of the Lord's grace.

This is not to a scholar's work. It is a work of devotion done with the help of Lord Sri Jagannath and is offered back to Him with humility.

The spirit of India, which influenced our rich cultural heritage has been properly represented through the lives and teachings of her great seers - from the 'Rishis' of the Vedas and the Upnishads to Gautam Buddha, Sankaracharya, Andal, Appar, Guru Nanak, Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Tulsidas, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and other distinguished saints and sadhakas of this land.

The sacred lives of saints as described in this book, represent the progress of our spiritual history. Amongst them we have prophets, religious reformers, Vedantists, Vaishnavites, Tantrics, Mystics and Yogis. They followed different paths in course of their sadhana, although the goal was the same.

The aim of all of them was the same, that is, to achieve self-realisation and enlightenment. It also confirms the shastric truth:

"Ekam Sat Vipraha Bahudha Vadanti" - truth is one, sages described it in various ways. Attempts have seen made to maintain, as far as practicable, the chronological order in which these great sadhakas appeared and ennobled the people of this country.

It is hoped that the readers of this book, who have some spiritual urge will be happy to read it and will derive encouragement to take up the spiritual endeavors for their real welfare and happiness. If any factual error or any unintended mistake is detected, and pointed out, the same will be corrected in the subsequent edition.

I am grateful to Dr. Ramaranjan Mukherjee, formerly Vice-Chancellor, University of Burdwan and Rabindra Bharati for extending the favour of writing the foreword to this book.

I am also grateful to Revered Srimat Swami Shivamayanandaji Maharaj, Asst. Secretary, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, Howrah for encouraging and inspiring me with his valuable advice in this humble effort.

I am also grateful to Revered Srimat Jagatguru - Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Swaraswatee of Poorvamanya - Govardhanpeetham, Puri and also to Revered Srimat - Swami Smarananandaji Maharaj, General Secretary, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, Howrah for blessing this enterprise.

I also avail of this opportunity to convey my heartiest gratitude to my well-wishers and friends, Sri Kamakhya Govinda Changder, formerly teacher of Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandir, Belur Math, Howrah and Shri Subir Kumar Sen, editor of the renowned English weekly magazine Truth for offering many helpful suggestions.

CONTENTS
Prefacei
Forewordiii
Blessing
(i) Swami Nischalananda Saraswatee -
Shri Jagadguru Shankaracharya Math, Puri
v
(ii) Swami Smaranananda, General Secretary, Ramakrishna Math and Mission, Belur Math, Hawrahvii
Gayatriix
Saints
Gautam Buddha1
Tirthankar Mahavir4
Sankaracharya7
Padmapadacharya11
Ramanujacharya15
Nayanmars18
Appar21
Andal26
Jnaneshwar31
Bhakta Kavir36
Bhakta Haridass39
Sankardeva42
Guru Nanak47
Prabhu Nityananda50
Sri Srikrishna Chaitanya53
Mira Bai57
Madhusudan Saraswati62
Goswami Tulsidas65
Ramdas Swami68
Trailanga Swami72
Mahayogi Gorakhnath75
Yogi Gambhirnath77
Sadhak Ramprasad79
Lokenath Brahmachari82
Jalaram Bapa85
Visuddhananda Saraswati89
Babaji Maharaj92
Shyamacharan Lahiri95
Bhaskarananda Saraswati99
Bholananda Giri102
Srimat Totapuri105
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa108
Ramdas Kathiababa112
Sadhak Vamdeva115
Balananda Brahmachari118
Bijoykrishna Goswami120
Deoraha Baba123
Sai Baba126
Vishnuddhananda Paramahansa130
Santadas Babaji135
Sadhak Ramthakur138
Swami Vivekananda141
Prabhu Jagadbandhu147
Sri Aurobindo151
Shrimat Upendramohan156
Swami Nigamananda162
Raman Maharsi165
Swami Pranavananda169
Sri Anandamayee Ma173
Dhananjoydas Babaji180
Sri Bholanath184
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