H.D.G. Avadhuta Sri Brahmananda Babaji Maharaja
brahma-dhyāne sthitiste veśo’vadhūto’sti ramyaḥ
brāhmīṁ prāpya sthitiṁ tāṁ nityaṁ samādhau nimagnaḥ
kāruṇya-prema-gāthāṁ smṛtvā tvadīyāṁ suśiśyāḥ
brahmānandaṁ guruṁ tvāṁ nityaṁ namāmo namaste
“O Guru Mahārāja His Holiness Bābā Brahmānanda! You are situated in meditation on Brahman and your form of a renounced person is attractive. Attaining that state of meditation of the Supreme Lord you are always deeply lost in the state of samādhi. Remembering the story of your kindness and love, we bow down to you, salutations to you.”
His Divine Grace Avadhūta Śrī Brahmānanda Bābājī Mahārāja, disciple of His Divine Grace Avadhūta Śrī Mastarāma Bābājī Mahārāja, is the guru of Prabhuji. Guru Mahārāja, as Prabhuji calls him with respect and love, was born on November 13, 1930, in Lakhimpur, a small village on the banks of the Seryu River, near the holy city of Ayodhyā, India.
Guru Mahārāja stayed with his master for many years and found in him all the answers he was looking for. He attained mastery in the main yogic paths, such as karma, bhakti, haṭha, rāja, kuṇḍalinī, tantra, and jñāna yoga. It was after years of discipleship that his guru recognized him and officially initiated him as an avadhūta.
Guru Mahārāja tells that one night, Bhagavān woke him up and took him to the bank of the Ganges to give him a very important guidance. In that early morning, he told him that in the distant future, there would come the continuation of the lineage in the form of a person from the West who would request him to be his disciple. He instructed him that when that day came, he should accept him and guide him on the right path. Guru Mahārāja, very puzzled, asked him how he would recognize him, to which Bhagavān replied that he should not worry, that just by looking into his eyes, he would know who he was.
Prabhuji met Guru Mahārāja in 1996 in Rishikesh, India, and that same year asked to be officially accepted as his disciple. Guru Mahārāja accepted him and initiated him into the māhā-mantra. After guiding Prabhuji for more than 15 years, Guru Mahārāja ordered him to renounce sannyāsa and accept avadhūta initiation. In 2011, Prabhuji renounced the sannyāsa order and was initiated in a traditional Vedic ceremony as an avadhūta with the name Avadhūta Bhaktivedānta Yogācārya Ramakrishnananda Bābājī Mahārāja. Finally, Guru Mahārāja ordered Prabhuji on behalf of his master, to accept the position of guru Ācārya and take the responsibility of continuing the lineage, or paramparā.
In his later years, Guru Mahārāja resided in Attipra, Thiruvananthapuram, India. He left his body on May 4, 2015, at 11:00 a.m., in Rishikesh.
Śrī Brahmānanda Bābājī Mahārāja was both a shadow of existence and a light presence. He was a bridge between Prabhuji and his own master, His Divine Grace Bhagavān Avadhūta Śrī Mastarāma Bābājī Mahārāja.
The first meeting
By H.G. Swami Ramananda
In 1996, Prabhuji was walking along the banks of the Ganges River near the holy city of Rishikesh, where, drawn by a melodious silence, he sat down on the shimmering sand to meditate. Something about this place captivated him, but he did not know what it was. When he opened his eyes, after a long and deep meditation, he noticed a cave nearby. He could not resist entering the cave and, once there, he felt an even more mysterious power and plunged into deeper meditation.
There was something different about this place, unlike any other he had been to, as if the sand, rocks, and waters brought him closer to himself.
The next day, still excited by what he had experienced in the cave, Prabhuji noticed a sādhu standing next to the Shiva temple. His bright white clothes and noble movements distinguished him from the rest of the sādhus. Prabhuji approached him and asked his name.
– “This has no name,” replied the sādhu pointing to his heart.
– “Where do you live?”
The sādhu silently pointed his finger toward the Shiva temple.
– “May I learn from you?”
Although he had never accepted any disciples, the sādhu accepted.
Over the next few days, Prabhuji spent many hours with him, learning the mysteries of yoga and meditation. The sādhu, known by the name of Bābā Brahmānanda, became Prabhuji’s beloved dīkṣā-guru.
Bābā Brahmānanda took Prabhuji to the āśrama of his spiritual master, H.D.G. Avadhūta Śrī Mastarāma Bābājī Mahārāja.
To his great astonishment, the āśrama was that magical cave that Prabhuji discovered the day before. The powerful Bābājī used to live and meditate in that cave.
Then, Prabhuji understood that Bābājī lives in that cave through his presence. The amazing meditation he had experienced was his grace and he was giving him the wisdom of the Vedas through Bābā Brahmānanda.
To this day, when Prabhuji chants “Jayā Bhagavān” in honor of his beloved Bhagavān Mastarāma Bābājī, he is transported to the same cave, enjoying the nectar of Bābājī that still dwells in the empty cave of his heart…. and fills the hearts of those who listen to his sweet voice, singing in ecstatic devotion to the great soul that was His holiness Mastarāma Bābājī Mahārāja.