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Bhagawaan Gopinath Ji As Jagad Guru

by Prof O. N. Chrungoo

Kashmir is indeed a pearl in the Himalayas. Its natural charm matches the spiritual eminence of the saints and sages that have been born in enchanting valley from time to time.

There are several energy centres in Kashmir. These are of two kinds Primary and Secondary. The primary energy centres are the permanent Shiva or Shakti power points, which symbolize the powers of consciousness existing in the Universal Mother, the Universal Mind, or the Universal power. A few instances of these are the Ice-Lingam of the holy cave of Amarnatha, which waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon; the Shri Chakra engraved on a Shila (rock) on the hillock of Hari-Parbat symbolizing the Divine Mother as Mata Sarika; the holy spring of Khir Bhawani whose water changes colours with the changing moods of the Divine Mother, Rajna, whom the phenomenon symbolizes; (on the surface of the spring appears automatically the Rajna Chakra, a form of the Divine Mother Rajna, when she is in a happy mood); and the shrine ofthe Divine Mother Jawalaa at Khrew.

The secondary energy centres are the places of birth, places of penance or the Ashrams of the saints of highest spiritual attainment, whom God sends to this world in order to put the earning humanity back on the rails of spiritual attainments. They also acts as the mentars of those who are on the spiritual quest, even sharing their spiritual experiences with them.

A few instances of such saints from the part of Kashmir are Laleshwari, Peer Pandit Padshah ( Rasi Peer Saheb), Mata Roopa Bhawani, Swami Jeewan Saheb and Swami Shaivaachrya Ramjee and such others.

Every Sadhaka has to be clear in perception and understanding about these two types of energy points (Primary and Secondary). Kashmir is full of these Tirthas, seats of power. From the early dawn of history we find a galaxy of sages, savants, seers and spiritual preceptors profitably engaged in going near and near the essence of divinity. Primary energy centres were, their attraction and guiding forces, where they meditated, widened spheres of knowledge, unlocked certain knots for the aspirants, to understand the ultimate reality. They established different schools of thought, established Aashrams, Patshalas and seats of learning. These places became the secondary energy seats for the seekers and their followers.

Neelmata Purana, the ancient record of socio-religious account of Kashmir has paid glowing tribute to the piety prevailing in this land, " O, King (Janmejaya), whatever holy places are found in the world, do exist here also."

Kalhana the great historian too writes in Rajtarangnee, "there is not a space even as large as a grain of sesamum without a Tirtha in this country." Further he writes the great saints have taken birth in this sacred land from time to time.

In our age, too, we were fortunate enough to have amongst us in Kashmir one such spiritual giant, Bhagawaan Gopinath Ji, a multidimentional spiritual personality. He lived in his ownself and yet lived with the masses around him. To write about him, for a lay man in spirituality is nothing short of impudance. But what encouraged me is the foeling that, talking, writing in praise of a saint ofthe eminence of Bhagawaan Gopinath Ji comes near to worshiping him.

This great saint was born on the 3rd of July, 1898 A. D. at Bana Mohalla, Srinagar, Kashmir. His childhood as well as adolescence was full of strife; he lost both his parents and all the domestic responsibilities evolved on his shoulders; these included the upbringing and marrying off of an unmarried sister. Schooling ended at the Middle standard. However, he learnt the art of composing and worked as a compositor at a printing press. Next he started a small grocers shop at Sekidafar, Safakadal under the guidance of his maternal grand father, Pt. Prasad Joo Parimoo.

Prof. B. N. Parimoo, son of Pt. Prasad Joo Parimoo, writes: "Bhagawan Ji lived a normal life. He had formed a group and as the leader of this group would organise trips to the holy shrines of Kher Bhawani, Sharika, Pokhribal, Jawala Ji, Mahadev and Vicharnagh. He was fond of going to saints. Having married off his younger sister, he felt relieved of great domestic responsibility and started showing less and less attachment to worldly attractions."

Bhagawaan Ji could no longer remain a house holder. He shut himself up in a room for months together and carried on 'Tapasya' (Penance) unmindful of food even. The business of the world did not attract him any more. He severed all worldly bonds and got absorbed in the Absolute. He attained the stature of a 'Siddha'. He attained the position known in the Tantric Lore as that of the celestial realiser.

The late Prof. K. N. Dhar a renowned Sanaskrit scholar writes, "such persons of towering stature are 'Divya Sadhkas' (Celestial Realisers) in the Tantric Lore. For them man is essentially part and parcel of Divinity, but owing to his tortoise like self centered attitude, grafting the host of limbs into his own body, has lost much of his flavour and fragrance. Bhagawaan Ji throughout the Years assigned to him for this enabling mission, strove hard in his own unassuming, yet persuasive way to restore that devine spark to man. He tried to rehabilitate him on his actual moorings."

Bhagawaan Ji guided and helped people in general and 'Sadhkas' in particular to strive for service to mankind and the purification of the body, the mind, and the spirit. He himself lived this truth in letter and spirit. Hence he has been accepted, as the great Master the 'Jagadguru'.

Justice S. N. Katju writes, "Bhagawaan Gopinath Ji lived a very claistered life. He never moved out of the valley. He was a great Siddha. Gradually, his fame spread and saints and 'Saadhus' from different parts of India used to visit him. By his intense Sadhana, he has become a 'Koula' and 'Aghareshwara' of the highest order. He talked little and never preached but he was full of compassion and love for all who sought his protection and blessings. He exercised his spiritual powers in the interests of the nation. Kashmir is the fountain source of Shiva-Shakti worship. It has produced great Koulas and Aghareshwaras of the tallest stature, the last of whom was Bhagawaan Gopinath Ji, who left his mortal frame in July, 1968. His spiritual stature can easily be compared to that of Maharishi Ramana, Shri Rama-Krishna Paramehensa and Shri Auribindo".

Bhagawaan Ram of Varanasi, one of the greatest Aghareshwaras of present day India has described the state of an Aghareshawana thus: "An Aghareshawara reaches a stage where he is totally freed from all Karma bonds. For him, there is no Moksha (liberation) nor re-birth.

"He becomes a burnt seed which cannot sprout. When he leaves his mortal frame, he lives and directs from the astral plane and he may enter the body of a living person and make him an instrument of his line of action. He is not subject to the currents of cause and effect, which bind the ordinary mankind. He is a law unto himself.

In short, he becomes the Sun of his own solar system and performs acts either directly or indirectly which appear to be befitting. Bhagawaan Gopinath Ji belonged to this spiritual line (Parampara) of the Koulas and the Aghareshwaras. Bhagawaan Ram of Varanasi has taken his photograph to 'Kreem-Kund', one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Varanasi where He is adored in the midst of the galaxy of Aghareshwaras. Daily 'Satsang' bhajans, and aarti, is performed there."

The main seat of this great saint is at 'Kharayar, Habbakadal, Srinagar, Kashmir, where an Ashram with a registered trust is functioning. Bhagawaan Ji's relics are also there for the darshans of the people. A 'Maha-Yajna' on Jeshtha Shukla Dwitiya and a 'Maha-Jayanti' on Ashaarh Shuukla Dwadashi, and Guru-Poornima on Ashaarh Poornima, are the main festivals celebrated at the Ashram.

Besides these main festivals at Ashram, there is a Japa of 'Guru Geeta' and Homa (Namaa-Smaranaa) of mantras on the first Sunday of every month before sunset. The Ashram at Srinagar is one of the most effective and powerful energy centre.

Justice S. N. Katju says, "Bhagawaan Gopinath Ji seems to be more alive now even after leaving his mortal body". It is as true as the fact that the sun is in the sky and the Ganges springs in the Himalayas, that His influence, guidance and directions are being increasingly felt all over India and even in some foreign lands, wherever his devotees are. He commands as 'Jagad-guru' and guides all. We have only to establish a link with his divine energy through meditation, Puja and Archanaa.

Mr. Philip Simpfendorfer, an Australian devotee of Bhagawaan Ji, has written in the world-famous journal Cosmas, a living paper of Australia, "Kashmir has produced many people of highly developed consciousness. The greatest in recorded history died in 1968."

During his life time of 70 years, Bhagawaan Ji's consciousness settled in the 'Turiyaa'. He never acted like a spiritual leader, not did he seem keen to propegate his outlook on life. In fact he was satisfied to live with relatives as a bachelor uncle. But in his own being he lived out the pre-occupations of the awakened of this age altered states of consciousness, harmonious living with Nature and its powers, helpfulness to others in every day life and concern for humanity's well-being.

Although humble and an introvert, he was able to direct aspirants according to their needs; in the inward sphere, the realm of causes, he was a supreme master. He was willing to heal, work miracles on material and weather conditions, cause divinities to appear and solve the personal problems of individuals, but, when he was involved in massive struggles against the powers of chaos in times of calamity or warfare, no one dared go near him, for he was then like a whirlwind of fire. His devotees still find his presence with them, long after, he gave up the physical body. He still lives.

Bhagawaan Ji is even more active as an inspirer for immature spiritual seekers than he was in his gross body. He is their permanent guide and, indeed, that of humanity at large. His way of working is quite unassuming. He works to help and guide a person from behind the scene. In order to meditate on Bhagawaan Ji one has to think of him as having a turban on his head, a 'White Pheran' (a loose gown worn by Kashmiris) on his body, a Dhooni (Sacred Fire) in front of him. When the meditation (Dhyaana) is perfect, He does nor fail to appear before the 'saadhaka'.

Vandey Bhagawaantam Gopinatham !
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