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Who was Bhupendranath Sanyal

Published: Saturday, 18 April 2009

             Yogacharya 1 Bupendra Nath, author of the book "The master of Kriya Yoga" was writer and poet. Was born in 1877 in an Bramahn orthodox family of few resources and lost his father very early. He needed to overcome difficulties to be graduated. In 1903 began working as a teacher in the school 2 of Rabindranath Tagore, to whom remain bounded by deep friendship for life. Invited to assume leadership of the school, he held the position with such success that had been entrusted and turned it into an University.

            In childhood Bupendra Nath was very sick. His older sister, who was a Lahiri Mahasaya disciple, wrote to the Guru to say that feared for the boy´s life. Lahiri Mahasaya wrote back, assuring her not to worry because Bupendra Nath will have a long life to achieve his mission for which he was intended. The prediction of Lahiri Mahasaya was entirely fulfilled.

          The early spirituality of Bupendra Nath was so great that Lahiri Mahasaya, his Guru, did not hesitate to start him into techniques reserved to rare ascetics. The teenager proved that deserved the confidence in him deposited. With only two years in the spiritual path, period considered too small to yoga patterns, and having already reached the divine realization, received authorization to start his own disciples, fact quite rare.
           Bupendra Nath Sanyal granted, throughout life, Kriya Yoga initiations to many people who were coming to look for him. He never showed any type of preconception of religion or nationality.  Later, in his pensioner time, he became the private tutor of the Narshinghgart Raj princes.
         His life was simple and disciplined, as it suits for a Bramahn. Sri Bupendra Nath Sanyal was married and had children.

1 Rabindranath Tagore – Indian poet honored in 1913 with the Nobel Prize of Literature.

2 Yogacharya – Yoga Instrutor.



Bhupendranath Sanyal

          A boy of sixteen stood before the great master Lahiri Mahasaya with a handful of flowers, a moistened heart, and tears streaming down his face. The great master entreated him to confirm his dream in the holy abode of his Gurudev. Moved deeply by his profound yearning for godhood, purity, and humility, Lahiri Mahasaya made the boy’s dream a reality by initiating him into the holy path of Kriya Yoga.

          Bhupendranath Sanyal Mahasaya was born on January 20, 1877, in the village of Sadhana Para in the district of Nadia in West Bengal, India. This area is a holy and spiritually fertile land that has given birth to many great personalities, sages, and saints such as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Paramahamsa Hariharananda, and Shri Sitaram Das Omkaranath.
          Early in life, when he was barely two, his mother passed away and abandoned him completely to the care, nourishment, and guidance of his maternal uncle, elder sister, and sister’s husband. Sanyal Mahasaya bloomed into a divine person filled with inner joy and beauty in the spiritual environment of this Brahmin family. His regular spiritual practice began in 1890 at the age of thirteen just after his sacred thread ceremony and his initiation into the gayatri mantra. He passed his time reading religious books, scriptures, and meeting spiritual persons, saints, and sages. His spiritual practice and education were impeded by frequent illnesses during his schooling and subsequently in his college days.
          Sanyal Mahasaya's frequent illnesses compelled his sister to seek the intervention of his Gurudev. He assuaged her, however, saying Sanyal Mahasaya would live long, and many works urgently awaited his attention to be fully accomplished. Sanyal Mahasaya was so sincere, devoted, and committed to the practice of Kriya Yoga that he quickly ascended to the higher techniques and experiences. This inspired his Gurudev to allow him to initiate others into Kriya Yoga.

          Lahiri Mahasaya, sensing his imminent departure from this earth, omnisciently advised his dear disciple Sanyal Mahasaya to learn other higher techniques from Panchanan Bhattacharya, a highly advanced disciple and founder of Arya Mission, and to spread the message of Kriya Yoga. In spite of his avowed determination to accept a monastic life, Sanyal Mahasaya was destined to marry Kalidasi Devi at the age of twenty-one, following the footprints of his ideal and exemplary Gurudev. While discharging his household chores, as a father of two sons and four daughters, there is no evidence that he ever strayed from the Kriya Yoga path. Ascending to a state of Self-realization in 1902, he was widely adored as a well-established and fully accomplished yogi. His talents and skills, his untainted, unalloyed character, as well as his inner spiritual enrichment, created a close friendship with Rabindranath Tagore, with whom he worked as a teacher from 1902 to 1909, founding Shantiniketan Institute. Although Rabindranath started his school based on the ideal of the ancient hermitage schools, his creativity did not allow him to adhere to these lines. Bhupendranath Sanyal was one of those teachers who preferred the older ideal. Before coming to Santiniketan, he ran a store for Swadesi goods. Once on a personal visit to Santiniketan, he met Rabindranath who had already heard about this upright man full of idealism. Rabindranath requested him to join the school and in 1903, just after the Autumn break, Bhupendranath joined the school.

          He was a loving teacher and took care of the children. He would nurse a sick child so tenderly that those looked after by him, remembered him for it. When Mohit Sen had to leave the asrama due to ill-health, Rabindranath asked Bhupendranath to take charge as Adhyaksha. Bhupendranath was in Santiniketan for about 7 years after which he left to start his own Brahmavidyalaya in Mandar, near Bhagalpur, because he could not accept the changes being introduced into this school.
          The sacred serenity of Puri attracted him to pilgrimage to Puri many times. He established an asrama there named Gurudham in 1923 and an asrama named Bhagalpur in 1924. Bhagalpur became a center for the spread of Kriya Yoga.

          A gifted and prolific writer, Sanyal Mahasaya wrote many spiritual books and commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita in Bengali, demonstrating his understanding of the scriptures in the light of Kriya Yoga.

          On the 18th of January, 1962, he entered into the eternal abode know as mahasamadhi, but he remains immortal in the hearts of thousands of devotees and spiritual seekers who got a glimpse of an ancient rishi, a great yogi, and a divine guide and master.
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