Param Guru Swami Bhabananda Giri Maharaj
(1894 – 1984)

Swami Sadhanananda Giri is the direct disciple of Swami Bhabananda Giri, and as per the tradition of unbroken Kriya Yoga lineage Swami Bhabananda Giri is called the Param Guru for all disciples of Swami Sadhanananda Giri.

Swami Bhabananda Giri Maharaj was born on the first Saturday of the month of Baisakh, 1302 (Bengali Calendar), English April,1894 in Iswarpur village of Midnapore district of West Bengal. He was the eighth child of His father Sri Ananda Prasad Das Adhikari and mother Kunti Devi. His father Ananda Prasad was a sublime Vaishnava. Bhabataran was Swamiji’s name in childhood, which means ‘the one, who rescues others from the imprisonment of earthly life’.

Child Bhabataran received his initial education in the village school. Till infancy, he always remained absorbed in nature around him. Blue sky, flying birds, green trees, and blue water of large ponds all these things catch the attention of the mind of little Bhabataran more than any otherworldly things. In those days, meditation was one of his most favorite pastimes. He spent many hours meditating in lonely places like in the garden of neighbor Sri Banamali Jana. Bhabataran was a born singer. He used to perform in village dramas in both male and female character roles. His most favorite role was Sri Radha. He was often absorbed completely in the character of Sri Radha and burst into tears while performing the role.

Bhabataran’s maternal uncle’s house was in the village of Gokulpur. Many sages and saints used to assemble in Gokulpur during the annual Tulsi Fair. Child Bhabataran used to go to Gokulpur during those days and kept himself engaged in the service of those saints.

By nature, Bhabataran was an intelligent and a devoted follower of truth. He had a charming personality and very easily could become intimate with others. Non-violence and religious feelings were very strong in him from his early days. Often he used to liberate fish kept in aquariums in the neighbor’s houses to ponds. He also used to open bird cages to free them from their bondage.

At that time, India was under British rule. Among youths there was a craze for joining the freedom fighting movements. Young Bhabataran was no exception. This movement took Bhabataran out of his home at an early age of twenty years only. During this period, he realized that spreading education amongst people is the most important aspect for true freedom of Indians. He started roaming from one village to another of Midnapore district and started building up schools and other educational institutions. Till today, those schools and institutions are playing an important role in the expansion and standardization of education. Having gifted voice, he used to sing patriotic songs of poets like Mukunda Das, Rabindranath, Bankimchandra, Kaji Nazrul etc. in many local conventions organized at different places of Bengal. Through his patriotic songs, he could blaze up the desire of independence in the minds of millions of youths of rural Bengal. He had also worked with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose during these days. He also participated in the famous Quit India Movement and Civil Disobedience Movement during the final days of India’s struggle for Independence. His unassuming personality gathered such deep respect from the persons of Indian origin in the bureaucracy – that many of them helped him avoid imprisonment. Many policemen used to come with a prayer for leaving their territory lest they should arrest him under direction from superior British officials.

He lost his father during these days of mendicancy. But at the time of his mother’s final days Bhabataran was by her side, attending to her ailment. He was just 21 when Kunti Devi passed away in the year 1916.This death snaps the last link of worldly life permanently from the mind of Bhabataran.

He now started mendicancy and visited many Ashrams in search of Satsanga. Bhabataran was wandering from place to place, until one day he came to Tribeni (the confluence of three sacred rivers, viz., the Ganga, the Yamuna and the Saraswati) near Allahabad, where he met a sage who belongs to ‘Udasi’  tradition and received his first initiation along with saffron dress. His new name becomes Bhabananda.

While attending a spiritual seminar (Dharmasabha) at Khukurdaha village near Panskura in Midnapore, he met Sriyukteswar Giri Maharaj, who, with his shining face and compassionate eyes, stole the young man’s heart. At once Sannasi Bhabananda took shelter under the lotus feet of Sriyukteswar Giri Maharaj at his Ashram in Shirampur & was initiated in Kriyayoga.

As desired by Sriyukteswar Giri, he came to Sarenga village of Midnapore district and dedicated himself into the practice of Kriyayoga & social service. One after another Ashrams were constructed at Handole, Kalapunja (naya), Ezmalichawk, Bhadrakali, Teltoka, Chandrakona Road etc. He founded the Ezmalichawk High School (1961) at Maina, Pairachawk High School (1962) as also many social organizations. He also established Sriyukteswar Vidyapith near the Karar Ashram near Puri as per the instruction of Sriyukteswar.

Whenever he thought it is necessary, he established schools, ashrams and social organizations for the welfare of the society. After completion of his work, he used to leave those places without any material attachment; transferring the responsibility of the new organization upon a competent person. All his activities were pointed towards the arousing of the moral character of the mass people.

It was Sriyukteswar Giri who advised him to be an Acharyea. Sannasi Bhabananda replied, “becoming an Acharyea means getting respect as an incarnation of the Absolute. How can I receive that reward till I myself can regard the whole of Universe as the Absolute” Sriyukteswar waited for two more years and finally initiated Swami Bhabananda Giri as Yogacharya in the primary school in Smaranbar village near Kalidan.

Swami Bhabananda Giri Maharaj always preferred to be away from publicity, leading a simple life devoted as much as possible to Sadhana. Many devoted souls came under the refuge of this Sadguru. His disciples are present every district of West Bengal, even throughout India. Swami Geetananda, Swami Arupananda, Swami Bhumananda, Swami Sadhanananda, Swami Bipulananda, Swami Nivanananda, Swami Chidananda, Swami Dhyanananda, Brambhachari Krishnananda, Brambhachari Muktananda, Brambhachari Birajananda, Brambhachari Sahajananda, Brambhachari Bhaktananda, Brambhachari Sarbananda, Brambhachari Bimalananda, Brambhachari Keshabananda, Brambhachari Shyamananda, Brambhachari Gyanananda, Brambhachari Nityananda are names of a few of his esteem disciples.

His last days passed in Sriyukteswar Math near Chandrokona in Midnapore district where his mortal sojourn ended on 15th Shravana, 1391 (Bengali year), 31st July, 1984.