Shriram Sharma

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Shriram Sharma
Pt.ShriramSharma Smiling.jpg
Born(1911-09-20)20 September 1911
Died2 June 1990(1990-06-02) (aged 78)
Haridwar, India
Other namesSri Ram Matta, Gurudev, Vedmurti, Acharya, Yug Rishi,Taponisht, Guruji
Known forFounder and Patron of All World Gayatri Pariwar (AWGP)
Home townAnwal Khera, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
Spouse(s)Bhagawati Devi Sharma
Websitewww.awgp.org

Shriram Sharma (20 September 1911– 2 June 1990) was a social reformer, a philosopher, and founder of "All World Gayatri Pariwar", which has its headquarters at Shantikunj, Haridwar, India. He is known as Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya by the members of the Gayatri Pariwar.

He pioneered the revival of spirituality and creative integration of the modern and ancient sciences and religion.

Birth and early life[edit]

Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya was born on 20 September 1911, to Pandit Roop Kishore Sharma and Mata Daan Kunwari Devi in Aanwalkheda village, near Agra in Uttar Pradesh, India.[1][2]. His father Roop Kishore Sharma was a scholar of the Bhagavata Purana (also known as the Srimad Bhagavatam) and he traveled widely to give religious discourses on the Bhagavatam. Roop Kishore was also the classmate and close associate of Indian educationist, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya who founded the Banaras Hindu University.[3] Later, when Shriram became eight years of age, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya solemnized Shriram's sacred thread ceremony (Yagyopaveet) and initiated him in the Gayatri Mantra. [4][5]

Shriram completed his elementary education from the primary school in his village, and his father taught him Sanskrit Grammar on the basis of Laghu Kaumudi and Sidhanta Kaumudi. Traveling with his father, as the latter visited various Princes and Maharajahs, and listening to his father impart religious discourses in their courts, Shriram achieved proficiency in the Bhagavata Purana too.[6] Shriram visited the Himalayas four times for higher spiritual attainments and took active part in Indian freedom movement and was sent to jail three times.[citation needed]

In 1943, he married Bhagavati Devi Sharma,[7] who assisted her husband in running the Gayatri Parivar and took over its running upon his death in 1991.[8]

First Meeting With His Guru[edit]

According to Shriram Sharma when he was fifteen years of age, he had an encounter with Sri Sarveshwarananda, a Yogi who resided in an astral body. Describing this encounter Shriram writes:[9]

It was the day of Basant Panchami Parva. While I was engrossed in worship in my room during the small hours of the morning (brahma-muhurta) I saw an aura of light. An astral body of a Yogi emerged in the middle of that aura of light. It was astral in the sense that his figure was visible although it was hanging in empty space with an envelop of light all around it. I was wondering as to who he was. The apparition said, "I have been linked with you and have been guiding you during your past several lives. Probably you have no recollection of your past lives and so you are frightened and amazed. See the events of your past birth and remove your doubts." His grace descended on me and I had a cinematographic view of actual events of my several past births. The figure who was enveloped by an aura of light further said, "These are critical times and there are great chances of mankind being grievously harmed and overwhelmed by the forces of darkness. I want to make you a medium to help solve the problems bedeviling humanity. It is for this purpose that I have come to you." On that day, I wholeheartedly and completely surrendered myself to Gurudev. The instructions that Gurudev gave that day were (i) performance of twenty-four Mahapurascaranas of Gayatri in twenty-four years; (ii) installation of an uninterruptedly lighted lamp (Akhand Deep); and (iii) visiting his retreat in the Himalayas four times as per his calls, and living there for intensive spiritual pursuits (Sadhana) under his direct guidance. All these instructions have been followed throughout my life and all that has been accomplished in my life is the result of Gurudev's grace.

Participation in Indian Freedom Movement[edit]

Shriram Sharma on a 1991 stamp of India

Fellow freedom fighters nicknamed him "Matta" (the Intoxicated, obsessed, completely devoted to the idea of a Free India) on account of his dedication and devotion.[10] Much of his writing and poetry were published in the Hindi newspaper Sainik (soldier) under the nickname of Matta.

He was arrested for breaking prohibitory orders in April 1931 in Agra but released shortly afterwards. Undeterred, he announced a flag procession in the village of Parakhi near his home village Awalkhera. The government again issued prohibitory orders and the police force attacked the procession with batons. Shriram was struck unconscious and carried to a nearby hospital.

In 1933, he left for Kolkata to attend the Rashtriya Adhivation (national meeting) of Congress, but was arrested and sent to Asansol jail with other national leaders such as Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya, Swaruparani Nehru, Devdas Gandhi, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai etc.[11]

The yearning for literature[edit]

To help people, his aim was to diagnose the root cause of the ailing state of the world today and enable the upliftment of society. He recognized the crisis of faith, people’s ignorance of the powers of the inner self, and the lack of righteous attitude and conduct.

Realizing the potential of inspirational literature and its importance in sparking an intellectual evolution, he had chosen writing as the principal mode towards uprooting the evil tendencies and blind faith from people’s minds and replacing it with wisdom, strength and spiritual bliss.

Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya initiated the movement of VICHAR KRANTI (Thought Revolution) with the very first issue of Akhand Jyoti. By 1960, he had compiled and translated the 4 Vedas, 108 Upanishads, 6 Darshanas, 18 Puranas, Yogavasishtha and various Aranyakas and Brahmanas with lucid commentaries to enable the masses to understand the knowledge contained in them. The translation was also aimed at eliminating misconceptions, superstitions and blind customs, which were propagated in the medieval era by misinterpretations of the Vedas and other scriptures. This contribution to the world of knowledge and human culture was highly acclaimed and appreciated by scholars like Dr S Radhakrishnan, Acharya Vinoba Bhave; the distinguished title of "Vedmurti" was conferred upon him in its recognition.[12][13]

Understanding the modern day psychology of the people, and recognizing the non-relevance, in the present times, of the mythical characters and the background of life depicted in the Puranas, he wrote "Pragya Purana" in the narrative and conversational style of the ancient Puranas to preach the eternal principles of happy, progressive and ideal life with practical guidance relevant to the modern age.

He wrote many books on almost all aspects of human life, whether it be the elucidation of the esoteric aspects of the subtle science of spirituality, research directions on brain and consciousness, discussions on child psychology and family institutions, guidelines on mental, emotional and physical health, and cheerful attitude in daily life.

His discourses manifested a similar sense of eloquence. The simplicity of language in his orations and his ability to establish a rapport with the audience is said[by whom?] to have had a hypnotizing effect on the listener’s mind.

Establishment of Shantikunj and Brahmavarchas[edit]

According to the pressing need of the modern times, he established Shantikunj in Haridwar, as a spiritual center for implementing the teachings of different Rishis. He also established the Brahmavarchas Research Institute in Haridwar, a center for inter communion of science and spirituality, where interrelation between these two aspects is studied. The prime aim of setting up this Institute is to establish the ancient Indian Yogic Philosophy as the science and art of living.[14]

Acharyaji pioneered the resurrection of the rishi culture by a simultaneous renaissance and expansion of the reformative and constructive endeavours of the leading rishis of the Vedic Age. He reviewed the immortal contributions of the divine culture of India to the rest of the world and endeavoured for nurturing and re-establishing the foundational elements of the Indian Culture and the roots of its divine nature in new scientific light through several activities of the Gayatri Pariwar.

As a part of his intensive study of the Indian culture and religious philosophy, he rediscovered the sociological and psychological importance of pilgrimage. He taught how the ancient glory and the real purpose of the tirthas (sacred places of pilgrimage) could be revived in the present times for the welfare of the masses.

Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya (the Divine Culture University) inaugurated in 2002 posthumously, under the auspices of Shantikunj is an instrument for the revival of the Divine Indian Culture as per his vision.[15]

The dawn of the New Era[edit]

During 1984–1986, he carried out the unique spiritual experiment of sukshmikaraña, meaning sublimation of vital force and physical, mental and spiritual energies. He authored a special set of 40 books (termed Revolutionary Literature or Krantidharmi Sahitya) highlighting the future of the world and conveying the message of the dawn of the New Era of Truth during the 21st Century.

The formation of Yugrishi Shriram Sharma Acharya Charitable Trust[edit]

With ideals and teachings of Pandit Ji, the YUGRISHI SHRIRAM SHARMA ACHARYA CHARITABLE TRUST (registration No: 4981/2004) was formed in 2004 initially to work for the welfare of the poor and downtrodden in Bihar as the state had always been a laggard on all aspects of human well-being. The trust was formed by Shree Ramesh Chandra Shukla (1917-) – a social reformer of the 20th century and a disciple of Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya. The trust has a purpose driven approach with an uncompromising attitude towards values and beliefs. The primary source of such values and beliefs are the 3 pillars of spiritual/purposeful life (Upasana, Sadhana and Aradhana) and the 7 areas of evolutionary development (for a better world) as preached and clarified by Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya. The trust works on the 7 areas (of evolutionary development)- Health, Education, Awakening of Women, Environment, Eliminating Social Evils, Entrepreneurship and promoting spirituality. The underlying purpose of the trust has been to improve the quality of life of people so that their activities will finally help people to overcome social, economic and psychological barriers and usher positive change. With this theory of change in mind the trust started the Akhand Jyoti Eye hospital in December 2005 at village Mastichak, 60 km away from the capital city of Patna. Akhand Jyoti Eye Hospital was founded by Mr. Mritunjay Tiwari (grandson of Shree Ramesh Chandra Shukla) as part of his spiritual awakening process which happened through a chance visit to Bihar (his parental roots are in Bihar) wherein he witnessed a father selling off his girl child for a mere one thousand five hundred rupees. Mritunjay till then was an urban businessman and his world view was through his business insight. This incident shook him, and he realized that his world was nowhere close to reality. People in low-income regions of India lives in extreme poverty. Lack of education among the masses compounds the problem and the poor are treated as the downtrodden. Thereafter the trust resolved to only work in the low-income geographies of India. Today, Akhand Jyoti Eye Hospital - a unit of Yugrishi Shriram Sharma Acharya Charitable Trust works to eradicate curable blindness from low-income regions of India by providing affordable, accessible, sustainable, quality curative and preventive eye care services, and empower rural girls/women to achieve this.

Selected works[edit]

Biographies[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pandya, p. 33.
  2. ^ "Shri Ram Sharma Acharya, Chronology". gurudev.awgp.org.
  3. ^ Pandya, p. 35.
  4. ^ Sharma Acharya, p. 20.
  5. ^ "Seer-sage of the new golden era". akhandjyoti.org.
  6. ^ Sharma Acharya, p. 19.
  7. ^ 'Evolution of a Divine Mission: Chronological Compendium', in Hamsa Yoga: The Elixir of Self-Realization (Soham Sādhanā).
  8. ^ Lise McKean, Divine Enterprise: Gurus and the Hindu Nationalist Movement (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), p. 45 ISBN 0226560090.
  9. ^ Sharma Acharya, pp. 19-24.
  10. ^ Sri Ram Sharma Acharya. Indian Post. Retrieved on 6 December 2018.
  11. ^ Swatantrata-Sangram ke Sainik (Sankshipt Parichay). 33, District Agra. Suchna Vibhag (Information Department) Lucknow, UP. pp. 52–53.
  12. ^ Brahmavarchas (2001). Sanskriti Purush Hamare Gurudev (in Hindi). Shri Vedmata Gayatri Trust, Shantikunj. pp. 51–56.
  13. ^ "Yugrishi Vedmurti Taponishtha Pt. Sriram Sharma Acharya: Seer-Sage of the New Golden Era" Akhand-Jyoti (bimonthly) Jan–Feb 2003
  14. ^ "Estiblishments of Gayatri Pariwar".
  15. ^ "Founder-Patron, Devsanskriti Vishwavidyalaya".

Sources[edit]


External links[edit]