"Whenever you are in danger - whether in the middle of the ocean, or in the midst of the battlefield, or in the deepest jungle - remember me and I will deliver you to safety." - Mahayogi Shri Shri Baba Loknath Brahmachari.
The greatest Yogi ever born - Mahayogi Shri Shri Baba Loknath Brahmachari. He is the divine synthesis of Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga.
Mahayogi Shri Shri Baba Loknath Brahmachari was born in the year 1730 in undivided Bengal (Now a part of West Bengal) in the part of eastern India. The great Yogi Shri Loknath and his friend Benimadhab left their home with Guruji Shri Bhagaban Ganguly after their sacred thread ceremony. After leaving their family behind, they came to Kalighat (located in Kolkata) which was a dense forest at that time (1741), on the bank of river Ganga, and started ‘Sadhana’ under the spiritual guidance of their Guru Shri Bhagaban Ganguly. The process was extremely rigorous. They spent forty years around this jungle to practice Yama, Niamey, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana and Dhyana along with Brahmanusthan.
Brahmanusthan is an ancient divine performance, which included eight fasting procedures. These are, Naktabrata (one day fasting), Ekantara (two days fasting), Triratri (three days fasting), Panchaha (five days fasting), Nawaratri (nine days fasting), Dwadasaha (twelve days fasting), Pakshaha (fifteen days fasting) and Mashaha (one month fasting). When they became habituated to sit in one Asana comfortably for a long time, they had enough control over Pranayama or Yogic breathing, they had enough control over five senses, six enemies and when their ‘Chitta’ or mind-stuff was confident and limited to a certain place or object, Guruji engaged them for “Brahmanusthan”. They had to follow Vedantic Sadhana during this time, which was an important parts of their Yoga practice.
At the age of fifty-one years, the two Yogis completed their Hatha Yoga Sadhana in the deep Jungle near Kolkata. At the end of their learning, Guruji Bhagaban Ganguly told them to cook food for him by placing the fire on their thighs, which the two disciples performed successfully. This was to prove that fire could not burn the body of a successful Hatha Yogi.
One morning, they set out on a journey towards the great heavenly and peaceful abode of the spiritual seekers – the great holly mountain Himalaya. After travelling for many miles, Guruji Bhagaban Ganguly arrived at Himalaya with his two disciples through the way of North-west Mountain, which is famous as dwelling place of Gods and Goddesses. This is the great place, where many great Yogis achieved Siddhi (success) at the end of their Yoga-Sadhana. Himalaya is also considered as the king of all mountains, the highest mountain range in the world.
The natural beauty of the valley cannot be explained in words, which always attracts people from different parts of the world. However, these are same in Himalaya, where Yogis are engaged in Yoga-Sadhana for years after years and but there are inaccessible to the ordinary people. Different Yogis have described this mysteries place by different names in different times, Such as, Gyanjang, Koushiki Ashram etc.
They were walking on the rocky path. Gradually, they crossed the green area and reached the area covered with ice. Weather is different in this area, and very cold.
There were no trees and it was not a suitable place to stay! Wherever you see, everything was covered with the ice.
In this situation, Shri Loknath and Benimadhab realized why they had to go through Hatha Yoga practice for a long time. Otherwise, it would not be possible for them to stay here in this cold climate wearing a small piece of cloth. Fire cannot burn their body; cold cannot stop them to move ahead. Shri Loknath was ruminating over the past event of their exam, i.e. how Guruji examined them after completion of Hatha Yoga training.
Rishi Patanjali says in his Yoga Sutra, - “Tato dvandvanabhighatah” (2.48)
When one is mastered (became master) in Asnas, from that, there is no disturbance from the dualities. It not only helps to achieve freedom from assault by the pairs of opposites, but also by the hot or cold. At last, they reached at a rock with plain land. Some green grasses were there with some kind of flowers. There were many rocks surrounded by this land. They three were watching the natural beauty of this area. This area was higher than the previous area and climate was colder. They discovered a cave there and Guruji Bhagaban Ganguly told his disciples to build an Ashram for their stay and Yoga-Sadhana with pieces of stones and shrubs. The two disciples followed his order and made the place suitable for them to stay.
The desired moment arrived after a long time for which Shri Loknath and Benimadhab were waiting.
Guruji Bhagaban Ganguly told them that they have already completed all the wings of Hatha Yoga very successfully. They have even completed starting part of Raja Yoga, Dharna or Concentration and Dhyana or Meditation very successfully. Therefore, only the eighth limb of Ashtanga Yoga is left for them to practice. This is Samadhi or super consciousness.”
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 3.3 states, “Tadeva arthamatranirbhasam svarupasunyam iva samadhih”.
This defines Samadhi as the stage when the object of meditation becomes the subject and whereby self-awareness is lost. It is the state of Super Bliss and Joy, merging individual consciousness into universal consciousness, a union between Jivatman (individual soul) and Paramatman (universal soul), a union of Shiva and Shakti in Sahasrara Chakra. Realizing the Brahman (pure consciousness) or Realization of God is the ultimate achievement of Human Birth. Self Realization is the ultimate stage of Ashtanga Yoga.
Samadhi state is achieved through devotion to Ishvara or Ishvara-Pranidhana.
As Rishi Patanjali states, “Through persevering devotion towards the Lord (God), perfection, which comes in meditative absorption is known as samadhi."
Baba Sri Loknath Brahmachari did not disclose much about the secret of his higher Yoga practice. Nevertheless, from his speech we have come to know that he spent nearly 50 years in Samadhi and achieved the highest level, a human body can achieve. During his Samadhi state, Guruji Bhagaban Ganguly could not sleep or eat properly, because, he used to take care of them day after day, year after year. During winter, their body was covered with ice and in daytime, in summer the ice melted down from the body. Baba Shri Loknath assumed his favourite posture Gomukhasana. Once he said that his blood became thick during this time and body was covered with extra layers of skin. This skin had removed when he left this area and came down to the plain land.
They did not eat or drink and so did not need to evacuate the bowel or urinate. This highest state of Yoga is very difficult to achieve without proper guidance of a Guru. That is why, Baba Loknath always used to tell about his Guruju Shri Bhagaban Ganguly, about his untiring labour and sacrifice of his entire life for his students. Baba Loknath said, “We are lucky enough that we have a Guruji like him”.
Samadhi is the highest practice of Yoga-Sadhana. Sam - same, adhi - highest. During Samadhi, Shri Loknath Brahmachari observed Brahma within his own soul, and achieved Brahmajana (the knowledge of God). This was a blissful state, which can be compared to Anandamaya Kosha of “Pancha Kosha” described in Tattariya Upanisad. During this state, the individual soul immersed in to the endless delightful ocean. Baba Loknath attained his Enlightenment, i.c. the state of being one with the universe and it’s Creator. This state is “Ashampragayata Samadhi” or “Nirvikalpa Samadhi” in Ashtanga Yoga and “Prakriti” in Chaturbingshati Tatta. Anandamaya Kosha merges into this world, and is not ruined by any kind of universal dissolution. This Anandamaya Kosha is the eternal existence/entity. That is the reason, for which once Baba Loknath said, "I am eternal. I am deathless".
According to Bhagavat Gita, Baba Loknath had achieved “Naiskarmya-Siddhi” through the way of Karma-Sannyas (Sankhya Yoga – The Yoga of Knowledge) and Karma Yoga.
As Lord Krishna says,“He, whose intellect remains unattached to everything, who has conquered his internal organs and is desire less, he attains “Naiskarmyasiddhi” or the most excellent perfection consisting in the state of one, free from duties through monasticism".
When Baba Loknath came back from Samadhi, he saw His Guruji still there in front of him to take care of them like a loving mother.
Baba Loknath was overwhelmed, and touched Guruji’s feet and said, “I attained my Enlightenment under your blissful guidance. You had to work very hard and sacrificed your entire life for me to achieve this highest state of Yoga, but you remained unchanged. I am feeling so sad for you Guruji. I am worried how and when you will receive the same?”
Guruji replied, “I was always a believer of Gyana Yoga. I had idea that Siddhi (success) can be achieved only through the way of Karma Yoga for Yogis. But I didn’t even try it for myself to achieve this success”.
As Lord Krishna said to Arjuna: “Oh Arjuna, there are two kinds of steadfastness in this world, spoken by me earlier, - through Gyanayoga (Yoga of Knowledge) for the men of realization and through Karmayoga (Yoga of Action) for the Yogis”.
Guruji continued, “Although, I am delighted to see that you achieved success guided through the way of Karma Yoga, I realize that selfless Karma or action is the greatest way to attain salvation or nirvana for the human being. However, I have already become very old, my age is 150 years, and I do not have the capacity to go through this rigorous process of Yoga-Sadhana. However, I will be reborn again and you will be my Guru that time to guide me through the way to attain my Enlightenment. Because of this reason only a Siddha-Yogi like Baba Loknath came down to the plain land to stay with the normal people like us.
After a few days (around 1835 - 40), Baba Loknath, along with his Guru and his friend set out on a journey towards Mecca and Medina on foot. Guriji wanted him to study the Holy Koran under an able teacher at Kabul, which is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. The three Yogis stayed for some time with Molla Shadi, who was famous for his poetry and his brilliant commentaries of the Koran during that time. Here Baba Loknath learnt Arabia language and he had gone through the holly Koran under Molla Shadi. From Kabul, they went to Mecca and Medina walking by foot.
While walking through the desert towards Medina, they met Abdul Gaffur, who was also a 400 years old, great ascetic, staying in the desert. He abstained from speech most of the time. However, Baba Loknath had a talk with him. Baba Loknath later said the following about this great man –
"I have travelled extensively all over the world and could find only two real Brahmins beside myself- one is Abdul Gaffur, and the other is Trailangya Swami (1601 – 1881)."
Mahayogi Shri Trailanga Swami (the great Yogi of India, who left (died) his physical body at the age of 280 years).
After few days, they left Mecca and set out on a journey to Kashidham (Varanasi) in India, one of the holiest pilgrim sites, on the bank of the River Ganga. They met a great Yogi Shri Trailanga Swami on their way to Varanasi. From that time, four of them were staying together. Later, these four great Yogis stayed together, when they came back to Varanasi. One morning, Guruji Bhagaban Ganguly left his body in a Meditative posture at the famous Manikarnika Ghat.
Sri Loknath and Sri Benimadhav lost their Guruji, who was their father, loving mother, there only friend and guide. They left their family and parents at the age of 11. After that, Guruji was the only person to take care of them as their father, mother and teacher. They received enlightenment because of him only; his hard work, his love and sacrifice all were there behind it. Baba Loknath later said, we were lucky enough that we had a Guruji like him.
-Guru is the creator Brahma; Guru is the preserver Vishnu; Guru is the destroyer Maheshvara; Guru is the Supreme Absolute, the visible divine incarnation. We salute that Guru.
After Guruji Bhagaban Ganguly passed away, the two great yogis - Loknath, and Benimadhav set out on a journey again to holy Mecca and Medina with Sri Trailanga swamiji.
After Mecca and Medina, these three great Yogis travelled Afghanistan, Persia, different parts of Soudi Arabia, Israel and entered in Europe. They travelled many places over there including Italy, France and Germany on foot. Then they stopped at the beach of Atlantic Ocean. Later, Baba Loknath said that it took them several years to travel all these places on foot. Baba Loknath learnt many languages during this time. As they took a long time to travel from one place to another they had an opportunity to interact with the people over there. After that, they returned to the loving lap of Himalaya for Yoga-Sadhana.
Moreover, when their mind and body had become peaceful and energized Baba Loknath and Benimadhab planed for a journey again. Baba Loknath had an urge to follow the rout that Pancha Pandavas took at the time of “Mahaprasthan”. Therefore, the Yogis decided to visit the four Adobes or the Char Dham in Himalaya, - Kedarnath, Badrinath,Yamunotri and Gangotri.