Aghoreshwar Bhagwan Ram Ji

Early life:

Parampujya Baba Aghoreshwar Bhagwan Ram Ji was born in a small village named Gundi in Bhojpur district of Bihar state. According to the Hindi calendar Parampujya was born on the Shukla Saptami (seventh day of the bright fortnight) of Bhadrapad (sixth month of Hindu calendar) in Samvat 1994 (A.D.1937). Parampujya Aghoreshwar was the only child of his parents- father Sri Baijnath Singh and mother Shrimati Lakhraji Devi. His father was a well to do landlord, widely known all around the area. Before his birth, the mother had a dream that the child she was going to give birth to would not be an ordinary mortal, but he is none of other than God. Therefore, when the child was born, his father named him "Bhagwan".

Unfortunately, when Bhagwan had barely reached the age of five, his father passed away. After this, the child was looked after by his grandfather Sri Hridai Prasad Singh. His grandmother took great interest in his upbringing and Bhagwan also was too much attached to her. She also arranged for His early education. Bhagwan, however, seemed little interested in education and was more inclined to go to the temple to worship God and meditate. Bhagwan had with him religious books containing stories of different devotees like Bhakta Prahlaad, Bhakta Dhruva etc. He loved his fellow companions very much, and often organized collective games and taught other boys to be fearless and courageous.

Noticing Bhagwan's spiritual inclination, his family members built a small temple in the village and Bhagwan himself installed a Shivalinga in it and ever since He devoted more and more time to prayers, chanting and meditation. The child, Bhagwan remained with his family only up to the age of seven years. After that he did not stay longer at any place, never ate in his house but was fed by people at their homes or in the temples. Keenly interested in the worship of the Almighty, he even forgot to eat and remained without food and water for many days. He never cared for his clothes, comforts or protection of his body from heat and cold and thus started a life of penance. When interrogated by his family members, he felt uneasy and therefore, left the village and went to visit the holy places like Gaya and Puri. He stayed in these places for sometime and then came back to His village for a brief period.

Initiation: Aghor Diksha :

Bhagwan finally left the surroundings of Gundi village at the age of nine years and came to the holy city of Kashi (1946-49). He had a longing to have a darshan of Lord Vishwanath (Shiva). He reached the Dashashwamedh ghat but from there he did not know where to go. Meanwhile, an old woman in a silk sari approached him and asked is he wanted to go to the Vishwanath temple. He replied ‘yes indeed’. He was asked to take a bath in the Ganga after which the old woman accompanied him to the temple. He was over joyed by the darshan of Lord Vishwanath in Kashi (Varanasi) and wished to remain there for the rest of his life. But soon after he and the old woman moved on towards the Annapurna temple, where to his great surprise, the old woman disappeared. He was puzzled as he did not know who is she.

Nevertheless, he moved towards the Harishchandra ghat where there is also the place of Maharaj Sri Baba Kina Ram. Here, he met the then Mahant of the place, Baba Rajeshwar Ram Ji (the 10th successor of Maharaj Sri Baba Kina Ram Sthal). After making some conversation regarding spiritual things It was decided that he should join the order of Aghories and go through the ceremony of diksha (initiation). Although prior to this, he had been initiated by a Vaishnav Saint, he took Aghor Diksha from Baba Rajeshwar Ram Ji and was named as Bhagwan Ram.

Self-Realisation :

However, Bhagwan Ram could not remain in Baba Kina Ram’s Ashram for long,he left the place in 1949-50. He wandered on the banks of the Ganga and Sonbhadra and carried on penance and worship of his own. He attained self-realisation in his early teens (age of fourteen-fifteen) after undergoing severe penance of three days and three nights sitting on the bank of Ganga, in the cremation ground of Mehraura (near Sakaldiha, now in Chandauli district, Uttar Pradesh).

People of the area started respecting and paying reverence to Parampujya Aghoreshwar Bhagwan Ram. The poor and the suffering came to him for His blessings. Many were relieved of their suffering just by being in his presence. The devotees never had to express their feelings to Parampujya Aghoreshwar. Words were not necessary in his presence and even without a word being spoken the people realized that they had benefited. A mere glimpse of Parampujya was enough to initiate peace and pious feelings in the hearts of people. After coming in his proximity, one used to feel the presence of Almighty within. He would take no credit for the miracles, his love for the fellow humans was all encompassing.

Early Ashrams :

Parampujya Aghoreshwar stayed for some time in a hut made beside a pond in the Manihara village. Staying in Manihara, he established an Ashram known as the ‘Adi Ashram’ at Hariharpur (1953-54) near Tajpur village of Sakaldiha.

Parampujya Aghoreshwar carried on His penance in the valleys of the Vindhyas and stayed for sometime in a place called Kali-Koh in the Asta-Bhuji hills of the Vindhya range. It was here that the erstwhile ruler of Jashpur, Rajarshi Vijay Bhusan Singhdeo Ji came for the darshan of Parampujya Aghoreshwar and invited Him to Jashpur. Rajarshi Vijay Bhusan Singhdeo Ji donated huge area of land in Narainpur, Sogra and Gamharia villages in the Jashpur district of Madhya Pradesh (now Chattisgarh). Parampujya Aghoreshwar established the three Jashpur Ashrams; the ‘Janseva Abhed Ashram’, Narainpur in 1957-58, the ‘Brahmnishthalaya Ashram’, Sogra in 1960 and ‘Aghor Peeth Ashram’, Vamdeo Nagar, Gamharia in 1962.

Service to the Masses :

Personal salvation is not the ultimate goal of true saints like Parampujya Aghoreshwar, they are eager to share and spread the attained knowledge for the welfare of all. In order to provide social dimension to spiritual devotion, Parampujya Aghoreshwar established the ‘Baba Bhagwan Ram Trust’ on January 30, 1961, which is registered under the Trust Act. In order to carry out the welfare activities of this Trust, Parampujya established the institution ‘Sri Sarveshwari Samooh’ on September 21 (foundation day), 1961 in the garden of Haji Suleiman in Maduadih, Varanasi. This institution was formally registered under the Society Registration Act on November 28, 1961. Initiating the welfare works of the ‘Samooh’, Parampujya Aghoreshwar, with the help of voluntary contributions from the non affluent populace, started the leprosy treatment centre – ‘Avadhoot Bhagwan Ram Kustha Sewa Ashram’ (ABRKSA) in 1962 at Parao, Varanasi. Presently the Head Office of ‘Sri Sarveshwari Samooh’ is set up in this Ashram. Parampujya also established the ‘Aghor Parishad Trust’ on March 26, 1985, which is registered under the Trust Act. All these institutions are dedicated to enrich public life by serving needy and helpless in society and developing mutual cooperation.

Travels & Reformation Activities :

Parampujya Aghoreshwar travelled in every nook and corner of India and also under took journeys to the Himalayas. He also visited Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, France, Italy, Britain, USA and Mexico. Parampujya directly contacted Aughar Siddhas (saints) and Siddha Peeths (holy places) and denounced various misgivings in the society regarding the Aghor tradition owing to the erratic behaviour of some sadhus. Like a true reformist, Parampujya brought changes in Aghori practices in tune with modern times. He simplified the tradition so that it appeals to the masses. Parampujya Aghoreshwar also founded the ‘Aghor Research Institute and Library’, at present running under the Aghor Parishad Trust. It is not only an institute of Aghor-sadhna but also a guide to the curious researchers carrying on research on the Aghor tradition.

During the course of His travels, Parampujya had ample opportunities to see and study the life of people at large. He challenged the myths and pomp & show associated with current religious customs and social practices. “The Shastras (holy texts) have brainwashed you. Ignore them”. Parampujya Aghoreshwar would preach time and again and thus gave a new direction to the poor and oppressed people of modern times. As a true ‘Yugpurush’ (suited to the age), Parampujya harnessed both medical science and religion for the service of common man.

The Ashrams founded by Parampujya are not a burden on society. The devotees labour themselves, produce crops and vegetables that are not only sufficient for the inhabitants, devotees and visitors, but are also gifted to well wishers of the Ashram. Parampujya Aghoreshwar said, “Unlike the temples of today, we do not sow seeds of conflict. We inspire people irrespective of the religion to which they belong, towards common brotherhood and enlightenment”. Aghoreshwar Mahaprabhu amalgamated Aghor sadhna with human service which is practiced in his Ashrams. On account of His reformation activities, Parampujya Aghoreshwar is known as ‘a reformer among saints’ (‘Ek Aughar leek se hat kar’).

Maha-Nirvan :

After rendering life long service to the depressed lepers, destitute and exploited people, Parampujya Aghoreshwar Bhagwan Ram Ji took Maha-Nirvan on November 29, 1992 in Manhattan, New York. The last words from Parampujya Aghoreshwar were:

“Ramta hai so kaun ghat-ghat mein virajat hai, Ramta hai so kaun, bata de koi”

“I, Aghoreshwar, move freely everywhere, in all times. I, Aghoreshwar, am present in the rays of sun, in the rays of moon, in molecules of air and in every drop of water. I, Aghoreshwar, am present in all beings of the earth, in trees, in vines, in flowers and in vegetation. I, Aghoreshwar, am present in every speck and every atom of the space between the earth and the sky. I am in light and in darkness too. I have a form and I am formless too. I am in happiness and in sorrow too. I am in hope and in hopelessness too. I roam in past, present and future at the same time. I am knowable and unknowable too. I am free and fettered too. You will find Me in whichever form you search Me with devotion as your ally.”

His disciple, Pujya Gurupad Sambhava Ram Jee was beside him when Parampujya Aghoreshwar left this mortal world. According to His wishes, his body was consigned to flames on the bank of Ganga in Varanasi. This place is known as ‘Aghoreshwar Bhagwan Ram Maha Vibhuti Sthal’, which is at a distance of one kilometre from the Samooh’s head office.