Swami Brahmananda Saraswati
Dev met his guru, Shri 108 Shri Dandi Swami
Ji Krishnananda Saraswati, in about
1874 whereupon he was given the name Brahma Chaitanya Brahmachari.
108 Shri Dandi Swami
His guru later
inducted him into sannyas
at the Kumbha Mela festival of 1906 in Prayag
(Allahabad), giving him
the monastic name Shankaracharya
Swami Brahmananda Saraswati.
Swami Brahmanand Saraswati
Krishnanand died, in 1936 Swami
Brahmanand Saraswati set up the Swami Krishnanand Trust to administer
temple and school in Varanasi.
"It is to be remembered
that back in
1936, before being offered the post of Shankaracharya, Maharaj Shri had
had built the Shri Brahmavidya Niketan and the Shri Brahmanandeshwar
Mahadev Ji Mandir (a temple) in Choti Gaibi, Varanasi, in rememberance
of his own venerable Shri Gurudeva. The beautiful appearance of the
ashram and mandir (temple) etc, was made on account of the management
and another major ashram in Siddhi Giri Baag, Varanasi, was built by
the name of Shri Brahma Niwas. This, the two other buildings and one at
Bahadur Ganj, Prayag (Allahabad) were all connected, and these
properties were placed under the protection of the Shri 1008 Swami
Krishnanand Saraswati Trust, whereof mention is made in Maharaj
Shri’s final will." (excerpt from translation by Paul Mason of
Hindi biography of Guru Dev).
Swami Krishnanand had many disciples, amongst them Yoganand
Saraswati, some years senior to Guru Dev.
it was first suggested to Guru Dev in 1927 that he
take the position of
Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath, but it was not until
April 1941 that Guru Dev finally accepted the post which had been
vacant for over a century. Prior to 1833 Jyotirmath appears to have had
an unbroken succession of Shankaracharyas going back to at least 1500.
In more recent years the names of the Shankaracharyas before Guru Dev
are recorded to have been:-
Succession to the title of Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math has been
heavily disputed since Swami Brahmanand's death in 1953. There was an
article printed on Swami
Brahmanand Saraswati's, published in his ashram newsletter, detailing
his will and the resultant controversies. The article has been
translated into English and posted online, with additional
to article on Guru Dev's 'Last Instruction(s)'
It is noted that at a website
connected to the late Leon McLaren an
image of Guru Dev's guru
is displayed labelled "Paramahansa Krishnanand Swami". An article there
states he was a disciple of "The thirty
second Acharya of Sringeri, Jagadguru Sri Narasimha Bharati VIII, was
Pontiff from 1817 until 1879." But, as Sri Narasimha was of
the Bharati Dashnami Sampradaya and Swami
Krishnanand was of the Saraswati Dandi Dashnami Sampradaya, it is
doubtful they were linked as guru
and disciple, though it
is reasonable to assume Krishnanand did have connections
with Sringeri Peeth
It has also been suggested
that Swami Brahmanand Saraswati's guruwas also the guru of
Shri Dada of Aligarh (1854-1910) who in turn was the master of Hari
Prasad Shastri (1882-1956), founder of
Shanti Sadan in London. As evidence attention is drawn to the Prologue
of 'The Heart of the Eastern Mystical Teaching' (Hari Prasad
Shastri, Shanti Sadan, 1948), wherein is described a meeting in the
[Dharuli is identified as Dharali, a village some way
north-west of Uttarkashi, near Gangotri, lying on what is now NH-108]
attended by the Rishi Vyasa and Shri Swami Krishnanandji.
Shri Vyasa adresses the gathering of sixteen young men and women; 'Holy Guardians of Dharma!
Illustrious Rishis! A new sub-cycle in this
Yuga is ending. A new light of the torch of Eternal Truth is to be
ushered into the world. The West has to live according to the Law which
the Lord gave her nearly 2,000 years ago. Optimism and activity,
ambition and love of power have stifled the growth of the spirit of the
West. Now let a new era open. A tributary of the holy Ganga of the Gita
is winding its way to Angala Desha [England]. Thus it has been
decreed. This holy and venerable Sage, this representative of the great
Shankara, this saint is undertaking the great task. Give your
blessings, holy Sages.”
In an issue of a quarterly
published by Shanti Sadan, 'Self-Knowledge'
(Issue Vol.43 No.3), there is a description of Krishnanandji by Hari
Prasad Shastri. In it he tells that Krishnanandaji was a wandering monk
of the Saraswati order, thus he was known as Swami Krishnanandaji Saraswati.
It is stated that Krishnanandji never answered questions about his
though he is thought to have come from southern India. A few sayings of
Krishnanandji's are offered:-
glory of the Upanishads lies in the teachings on non-duality found in
"Every man in the street can talk on duality;
it is only a God-favoured man who studies the doctrine of non-duality."
"Those who serve their Guru when his body is ill or his mind is
anxious, are the true and holy pilgrims."
"Purification of the self must precede service of man."
There is a problem in reconciling the identities of Guru Dev's guru and that of
Shri Dada, in that it is believed that Guru Dev's guru died circa
1936, whereas a representative of Shanti Sadan is
of the opinion that Shri Dada's guru had
likely died by 1890 (which figures if he was already advanced in years
when he attended the meeting in 1855).
has further information regarding Swami Krishnanand or indeed
about any aspects of this parampara,
(Acknowledgement: thanks for your very helpful assistance Declan!)