Govindananda Bharati

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Govindananda Bharati
Religion Hinduism
Philosophy Swadharma
Born Jayanthan Nambudiripad
(1826-09-27)27 September 1826
Akkikkavu, Thrissur District, Kerala, India
Died 30 January, 1963
Dhruvasthali, Kathmandu
Guru Oruvannoor Pazhoor Achyuthan
Literary works Long Pilgrimage

Govindananda Bharati also known as Shivapuri Baba is a Hindu saint and a traveller hermit who taught the world swadharma, the ancient system of living. He is the first Keralite to encircle the world and earned the name Malayali Magellan.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Born as Jayanthan Nambudiripad in Akkikkavu of Thrissur District in 1826, he lost his family at the age of 9. His grandfather Achyutam, who was a well known astrologer in the court of Tipu Sultan, looked after him. Govindananda left his home when he was 24 with his grandfather and attained Iswarasakshatkaram in Amarantaka forest of Madhya Pradesh. After getting enlightenment, he became sanyasi in Sringeri Math and changed his name to Govindananda Bharathi.[3][4]

John G. Bennett had made contact with the Shivapuri Baba, a Hindu sage living in Nepal. He had first heard of the Shivapuri Baba in the early 1940s, and now learned from Hugh Ripman (a fellow student of Ouspensky) that the yogi was still alive.Bennett visited the Shivapuri Baba twice between 1961 and 1963, by which time the Shivapuri Baba was reportedly 137 years old. Bennett was impressed with the vitality and simplicity of the Shivapuri Baba's teaching, and later referred to him as his teacher. Bennett undertook to propagate the Shivapuri Baba's teaching and made various attempts to incorporate it into his own work.[5]

Shivapuri Baba died in 1963, shortly after he had approved the draft for his biography, Bennett's Long Pilgrimage - The Life and Teaching of the Shivapuri Baba.[6]


The year of birth of Govindananda Bharati is highly controversial. There is no evidence for the claim that he lived up to an age of 137 years. The claim that his place of birth was in Akkikkavu, Thrissur District, Kerala, is also purely based on speculation, and lacks any kind of historical evidence.