AFTER THREE YEARS ROAMING IN THE HIMALAYAS MAHARAJ GAINED MANY SPIRITUAL POWERS BUT HE STILL HAD NOT FOUND THE LOVE HE SO DESPERATELY YEARNED FOR. WHEN HE THOUGHT ABOUT HIS BELOVED THAKUR HE REMEMBERED JUST HOW MUCH THAKUR HAD LOVED HIM.
History of the Mission - Maharaj's early life
IN 1964 MAHARAJ ESTABLISHED HIS FIRST ASHRAM IN BHUBANESWAR, ORISSA. MANY HUNDREDS OF NEW DEVOTEES WERE INITIATED. SAINTS & LOCAL POLITICAL LEADERS WOULD SEEK HIS SPIRITUAL ADVICE AS WELL AS POLITICAL COUNSEL.
Maharaj was dressed in the saffron clothes of a monk and had no possessions other than a blanket. He visited many ashrams and saints in the mountains and caves. He discovered practices for the union of the soul with the Supreme Soul and realised the truth beyond all sense of "I" and "my" but he still could not found the love he was searching, that all embracing universal love. And, when he remembered his beloved Thakur he realised that he had to return to his Guru's ashram.
On his return, Thakur welcomed Maharaj with open arms and immediately summoned him to his room where he had prepared a bed so he could remain close to his Guru all the time. It had been three years since he had first left the Ashram and Sree Sree Thakur longed to spend time with his great devotee. Maharaj lived in his Guru's room for five years and it was during this time that Thakur subjected him to many different experiences and spiritual tasks. This was all part of Maharaj's sadhana and preparation for the long spiritual journey that lay ahead. Thakur was like a spiritual surgeon, cleaning Maharaj's lower nature and adjusting his personality and shyness. Sree Sree Thakur was slowly equipping Maharaj with the same tools that he used to adjust people's complexes and egocentricity in order to fast track their spiritual path to God.
FILL UP THE PURSE OF YOUR CHARACTER WITH THE YEARNING TO SEE THE GOODNESS OF OTHERS AND BE A MILLIONAIRE OF BRIGHTNESS
Thakur told Maharaj on many occasions that he was God's messenger and that he was born to do God's work. Other devotees became jealous of the love and affection Thakur bestowed on Maharaj as well as his extraordinary spiritual powers. And, it was during this time that Maharaj started to learn English and he soon found himself giving speeches and writing books in English. His first English book was published in 1956 and entitled, SOLACE LORE, a name given by Thakur himself. Solace Lore was renowned for its intricately crafted, profound poetry, so much so that many people thought it could only have been written by Thakur. They found it hard to believe that any devotee could achieve such tremendous spiritual progress and also write such inspiring spiritual messages in a foreign language.
Sree Sree Mentu Maharaj was born on December 21st 1921 in Jessore, Bangladesh. His parents, Sailabala and Prakash Chandra Bose, were from noble Hindu families and had both devoted their lives to the great Prophet and spiritual Master, Sree Sree Thakur Anukulchandra.
When Maharaj was one year old his parents took him to Pabna to their great Guru's ashram and it was here that he lived for the next 16 years under the watchful tutelage of Sree Sree Thakur.
From an early age Maharaj had little inclination towards organised religion and was repulsed by the superstitions, complicated rituals and hypocrisy with which it was often associated.
When Maharaj was six years old there was a huge religious conference held at the ashram to honour Thakur's birthday. Thousands attended with many religious and political leaders in their midst. Maharaj found the conference very boring and dry and felt a strong inner compulsion to say something to the people. He walked up to the President and asked him if he could speak and was lifted up to the microphone. The gathered crowds were amazed to hear the young boy speak with such command and personality; they were spell bound by his spiritual awareness at that age.
Maharaj was soon sent to school by his family but he was not a keen student, preferring to play sports such as football, kabbadi and boxing. Just as he was completing his college course, at the age of seventeen, Thakur announced that a marriage had been arranged for him with a girl called Minu, a relative of Thakur's. This was a big surprise to Maharaj but he had no choice but to obey.
On the wedding day Thakur himself garlanded the couple and blessed them. Soon after the marrriage Maharaj announced to his friends that his wife would not live for more than 4 years. However, his prophecy was not taken that seriously at the time and during the first few years of marriage the couple lived happily together at his parents' house.
But, after four years, his prediction proved correct and his wife succumbed to smallpox and died. During the ensuing period of intense mourning Maharaj found himself losing all his attachment to family, friends and worldly things. He lost interest in everything and felt a deep vacuum inside and a yearning to achieve greater meaning in his life beyond the limitations of pleasure and pain. He decided to leave his parents and home and journeyed alone to the Himalayas, unsure of what he would find there.
TO FOLLOW THE TEACHINGS AND INSTRUCTIONS OF THE LIVING SPIRITUAL GUIDE WITHOUT A DROP OF DOUBT OR HESITATION IS THE BEST WAY TO SPIRITUAL SUCCESS
One day Sree Sree Thakur told Maharaj to go to the State of Kerala to attend a meeting at the University. The audience included Church leaders, politicians and radical communists as well as many spiritual souls. Maharaj delivered a rousing speech about the common truth behind all faiths and of the journey of the soul from God to Man and from Man back to God. He spoke passionately about Man's innate goodness and his yearning to experience union with God to free himself from the yoke of ignorance. Maharaj's speech had a powerful impact on the audience of believers, agnostics and politicians, so much so that the following day's local newspapers carried pictures of Maharaj and articles about him. The news spread far and wide and, as a result, a local spiritual teacher known as Guru Nathan Atmananda invited Maharaj to attend his ashram. Maharaj duly attended and on arrival found himself surrounded by a crowd of the Guru's disciples who had been captivated by Maharaj's speech the day before.
MAHARAJ IMMEDIATELY WENT INTO DEEP TRANCE, LOST IN THE STATE OF SAT CHIT ANANDA
Those who witnessed Maharaj's condition then and in the coming months spoke of him wearing nothing but light silk wraps and of a luminance emanating from his body; they also spoke of a magnetic quality of joy, peace and bliss in Marahaj's contact. After some time, Maharaj returned to Sree Sree Thakur; Maharaj knew he had attained all that he needed and he wanted to share it with anyone who wanted it.
It soon became clear that Maharaj was destined to follow in the footsteps of his own great Master to take his Mission and teachings around the world. Maharaj left Sree Sree Thakur's ashram in 1963 and travelled to Orissa to start his own Mission work.
Sri Atmananda greeted and embraced Maharaj warmly and offered him a chair to sit on at the same level as him. They spoke at length about the nature of God, self realisation and devotional love. Sri Atamananda was a follower of the Shankararcharaya monastic school also known as 'Advaitya Vedanta' whereby followers seek liberation through the identity of Atman and Brahman. Sri Atmananda did not accept the dualistic approach whereby the devotee can achieve God through his one pointed devotion and love for his Master or beloved.
However, Maharaj convinced Sri Atmananda that both dualism and monism were both necessary spiritual practices - two paths to the same goal. It was during these deep discussions that Maharaj realised the ever changing truth of the body, mind and external world; he realised the unchangeable truth beyond the body, mind and soul; he realised the state of ultimate truth that lay at the background of all existence. Thereupon, Maharaj fell into an ecstatic trance.