Name: Shankar Nath Fotedar
D.O.B: 4th June, 1903
Place: Rainawari – Srinagar, Kashmir
Family: Great grandson of famous ‘KESARI’ Fotedar who was believed to have been blessed with a treasure of pearl jewels and emeralds etc. In fact the surname FOTEDAR means 'Foth Dar' in Persian (owners of pearls).
The noble lady distributed this wealth to poor, needy and destitute in her life time only.
Father: Bishember Nath Fotedar was a Revenue officer in the J&K state but passed away long before his superannuation.
Occupation: Due to early demise of his father he was forced to seek employment to feed his family (he was married when he was 14-15 years old. Jobs were very scarce those days. With great perseverance he was able to get a part time job at Vicharnag a paper plant and also a similar job in Industrial Laboratory (now housing Amar Singh college). He had such to travel about 20 kms daily for this work. Later on he got a job as Asst chemist in the above Lab. He worked on this job for a few years when the state govt. closed the laboratory. He was forced to change his job and shifted to Game Warden’s office. After some time he was appointed as Apiculture Dev. officer and retired in 1958 on the same post.
From childhood he had great enthusiasm for spiritualism and would follow and respect all saints of whatever hues and color. His first contact was with Swami 'KASHKAK' of Manigaon (ganderbal) and he often visited the saint. He was grateful when the saint would sometimes pay a return visit to his home and bless all.
After some time he similarly came in contact with Swami 'SON KAK', a saint though residing in Alikadal would be mostly mobile. This saint would also visit his home and bless all concerned.
This saint before his demise guided Shri Fotedar to Bhagwan Gopinathji. He developed great attachment to this saint from 1946 to 29th May 1968 (the date on which the saint obtained Nirvan hood). He would sit hours before him and was guided in due course in his own spiritual progress. His mind would be constantly on Bhagwanji and even when out of Kashmir the saint had first priority on his thoughts and actions.
After Maha Nirvan of this saint, he along with a handful of devotees build up an ashram in his name which in due course became a great source of relief to people who were affected with problems. Shri Fotedar formed a trust known as 'Bhagwan Gopinath ji Trust' which is now widely known as a center of Bhagwan consciousness and his teachings. A group of devoted followers headed by Shri Fotedar are responsible for this. In fact collected and collated data from different sources and wrote Bhagwanji’s biography for guidance and future reference of the people concerned. This book known as ‘Bhagwan Gopinathji’s of Kashmir’ is the most authentic book on the life the saint. It has had several additions including same in Hindi as well.
1972 to 1986 he collected a lot of book material about different saints and their teachings etc. These notes in book form were published as 'Garland of Divine flowers' and has served many a aspiring persons for their spiritual endeavors.
In fact Shri Fotedar was a known Yogi. A couple of years before his demise on 27th May 1989, he had been warning all those who came to see him that a great danger was awaiting Kashmir which was proved correct subsequently.
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