Gyaneshwar (1271 - 1296) Gyaneshwar was born in 1271 in Alandi, a small village near the Godavari River. His ancestors were from Pethan. His father, Vitthalpant, was unable to handle married life (as he was an ascetic with a holy disposition) and deserted the family for Benaras, where he sought refuge. However, Vitthalpant’s guru, Ramanand Swami found out about his family life. Vitthalpant was sent back home, where three additional children were born to his family. All four children became great spiritual leaders. Both parents passed away by the time Gyaneshwar was 16 years old. Gyaneshwar was a very talented person; he was enlightened, AND he was a yoga master, a spiritual leader, poet, and an intellectual. Gyaneshwar was initiated by his older brother, Nivrittinath. The latter wa
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 brot...
Sri Sri Bama Khepa (Bamacharan Chattopadhyay) (1837–1911) Bama Khepa was born to a poor Brahmin family in the village of Atla near the Tarapith temple (Birbhum district) in West Bengal. Sarvananda Chatterjee, his father, and Brahmamoyee Devi or Rajkumari Devi, his mother, were very pious and religious people. His family included a brother and four sisters eventually. A sister was also very religious, earning the name Ksepsi. At birth, his father gave him the name Bamacara. The name Bama Khepa arose because he was seen by Tantrics to be mad, in a divine sense, as in “divinely mad,” a great one. One unique habit that Bama Khepa had was going into neighbors’ houses at night to take their images and or murtis (statues) of their deities, carrying them to a riverbank nearby. He would venerate
Baba Lokenath Brahmachari (31 August 1730 – 2 June 1890) He was born as Lokenath Ghosal in Chaurasi Chakla, Barasat district, West Bengal to Kamaladevi and Ramnarayan Ghosal. Later in life, he was also known as Baba Lokenath. Lokenath means the Lord of Lokas (all the astral worlds) and the people who inhabit Earth. He was the fourth and youngest child. His parents followed the ancient tradition of dedicating one of the children to the sannyasa mode of life, dedicating him to divine service. He lived in Bengal and also in a village, Baradi, in Bangladesh. Baba Lokenath was 11 years old when he went to live with a householder yogī named Guru Bhagwan Ganguly, who lived in the nearby village Kochua. Gurudev could see the divinity within this child, so he took him on as his disciple and initi
Avadhoot Nityananda of Ganeshpuri (Bade Baba) (November/December, 1897 – 8 August 1961) Bhagawan Nityananda was born in Koyilandy (Panthalayani), Kerala, South India in November or December of 1897. He was adopted by a farmer couple, Uniamma Nair and Chathu Nair and given the name Raman. Unfortunately, Uniamma and Chathu had passed on by the time he was six years old. The responsibility for his care was handed over to Ishwar Iyer, a wealthy lawyer who owned several farms which Nityananda's parents had worked on. In childhood, he was given the name Nityananda, which means “always in bliss.” He exhibited the unusual characteristic of being enlightened, in a spiritually-advanced state. When he reached his 20s, he was already wandering as a yogi, venturing into the Himalayas while studying yo