Leela of Monastic Life
His heart rooted in spiritual pursuit, The Avatār was quick to move from polytechnic studies to Sri Ramakrishna Mutt, Mylapore, Chennai where He believed He would have the Ultimate Realization. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahaṃsa (1836 – 1886), its founder and one of the greatest Saints of India is one of the cherished mentors and eternal inspirations of The Avatār. The Avatār held extraordinary love for the Trinity of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi (Sri Ramakrishna’s consort) and Swami Vivekananda (monastic disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and one of the greatest saints of Mother India).
The Avatār lived an exemplary life of a brahmachari (monastic member), being the apple in the eye of His senior Swamis, surpassing all requirements of the mutt, fulfilling every responsibility beyond expectations, and instilling bhakti (devotion) in His brother Sanyāsis towards Sri Ramakrishna.
Serving senior Sādhus with such sincerity, he brought such dignity to the tradition of Sanyās. Many a monastic member smelt the sleeping giant in Him, as He moved from Chennai to Belur Mutt – the headquarters in Calcutta in 1999 – and from thereon to the Himalayan ghats… lured by the Avatāric Mission that lay in the offing…
The Avatār has recounted many a happening in the Ramakrishna mutt Chennai and Belur, during His morning public Satsaṅgs and informal sittings with aadheenavasis (residents) and devotees. In this single autobiographical volume, excerpts from two such sharings about two senior Swamis of the mutt most revered by The Avatār, are included.
Around 1996| The Avatar left His home in Tiruvannamalai in around 1996, after His gurus, Yogananda Puri and Mathaji Vibhutananda Puri, also left their body and attained the highest state of Consciousness, or Samadhi.
1996 | The Avatar (seated first on the left hand side in the row of Brahmacharis, dressed in white) along with fellow monks once He joinced the Ramakrishna Mutt in Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
Swami Gautamanandaji Maharaj – some of the best moments of my life
Around November 1996 | The Avatar on a short trip back to Tiruvannamalai with all the monks from the Ramakrisha Mutt in Mylapore.
Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj – a waking encounter
What is solidified emotion? If you are in Bhāva Samādhi, you will see everything as Devi. If you are in Bhāva Samādhi with Krishna, you will see everything as Krishna. So much of sweetness will be there by the remembrance of Krishna. When that sweetness becomes part of your action without even remembering Krishna…. just by your action if you are going through that same intense sweetness, that is what is called – ‘karmasu kauchalam’ – ‘efficiency in action!’
1998 | The Avatar (seated on the left side of Swami Ranganathanandaji who is in the cente) along with fellow monks from the Ramakrishna Mutt.
The Avatar with Swami Ranganathanandaji who He assisted and served during His time in the Ramakrishna Mutt.
Around 1997 | The Avatar in the Chennai train station, along with a few other brahmacharis as they came to see off Swami Thyagananda (the senior monk in saffron robes who is carrying a bag of chocolates).
Gopal Maharaj shares
Finishing His responsibility as the annadatta (person who feeds the people everyday), He would come and offer pūjā to His personal altar in the room and only then retire. He would be up early morning much ahead of us. He was not just the annadatta, He was also part of the Ramakrishna Vijayam monthly magazine as well as responsible for taking care of the guests of the mutt and more