Bhupendranath Sanyal (20 January 1877 – 18 January 1961)
Shrimad Bhupendranath Sanyal Mahasaya was born in 1877 in Sadhana Para, a village in the district of Nadia in West Bengal, India. At almost two years old, his mother passed away, so he was left in the care of his maternal uncle, elder sister, and her husband. Nonetheless, he blossomed into a divine young man filled with inner joy and beauty, as he lived in the Brahmin family’s spiritual environment. At the age of thirteen in 1890, his spiritual practice began upon his sacred thread ceremony and initiation into the Gayatri mantra by Shri Lahiri Mahasaya. This made him the youngest disciple, which meant that he spent a lot of time in the company of the older disciples, especially Swami Shri Yukteshvar. It was destined that these brother-disciples would establish ashrams in Puri.
He spent much of his time reading Hindu texts and religious books, and meeting sages, saints, and other spiritual people, though this was punctuated with illness in the early years of his life through young adulthood. He became accomplished in Kriya Yoga practice through his sincere, devoted commitment to this practice, which helped him to ascend to higher experiences, thus opening him up to more advanced techniques. He became so advanced that his Gurudev gave him permission to initiate others into Kriya Yoga, which meant that he was the youngest acharya in the Kriya Yoga tradition at the age of 16.
Lahiri Mahasaya had omnisciently encouraged Sanyal Mahasaya to go to Panchanan Bhattacharya (a very advanced disciple and founder of Arya Mission) to learn higher techniques so that the message of Kriya Yoga would be conveyed to the world. Although Sanyal Mahasaya wanted to live the life of sannyasa, he followed his guru’s footsteps by marrying Kalidasi Devi when he was 21 years old. Even though he was a householder with two sons and four daughters, he stayed focused on the Kriya Yoga path. Upon reaching a state of self-realization in 1902, he was well-known as a thoroughly accomplished yogi with a well-established reputation, as well as a very talented teacher.
As a result, he had a close friendship with Rabindranath Tagore, working with him as a teacher and founding Shantiniketan Institute (which later became Viswabharati University). He also established the ashram Gurudham in 1923 and another one, Bhagalpur in 1924 in Puri. (the latter ashram was the center for the spread of Kriya Yoga) Sanyal Mahasaya loved doing pilgrimages to Puri because of its sacred serenity. Sanyal Mahasaya was known for his spiritual books and commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita in Bengali, which were based on his understanding of the Hindu texts, drawn from the foundation of Kriya Yoga.
Sanyal Mahasaya entered mahasamadhi on 18 January 1962.
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