Rishi Tradition Activities

In the words of Gurudev Pt. Shriram Sharma Acharya (My Life — Its Legacy and Message - 89)

Risis are
 great men with awakened souls, who had once lived physically in the Himalayas

None of the ancient Risis have their physical bodies now although their individual consciousnesses still persist in appropriate planes of manifestation. Yugrishi Pt. Shriram Sharma Acharya Ji was introduced to all of them and was asked to follow in their foot-prints, establish an Ashram at Shantikunj, Haridwar as a symbol of Devatama Himalaya and execute the programme of revival of Risi traditions in such a way that the transition to the new era may be as smooth as possible.

Shantikunj is a symbolic representative of Devatma Himalaya. The souls of Risis residing in the Himalaya in astral bodies are summoned, invoked and installed here. It is still more important to know that not only mere idols of Risis have been installed here for symbolic worship but anyone sufficiently purified and fine-tuned can feel the strong vibrations of their particular energies. Thus, Shantikunj represent the energies of all the Risis.

Following are the detail of rishis and the activities under taken by Shantikunj.

Jamdagni’s son, Parashuram, had beheaded several tyrants by his battle axe. This can be taken as a symbolic description also. He had performed tapascharya in Yamnotri and had started a campaign for creative transformation. He destroyed evil tendencies of persons who were engrossed in immorality and were acting as impediments in the transformation of the society. He was engaged in the heroic task of rooting out viciousness and corruption prevalent in the minds of the people of his time. For this Bhagvan Shiva gifted him a Parasu (battle axe). In his latter half of life he had discarded the axe and had taken a spade in his hands which outwardly was symbolic of tree plantation but actually meant sowing the seeds of righteousness and creativity. The written and spoken words emanating from Shantikunj have played the role of Parasu in radically transforming the beliefs, feelings, thoughts and activities of innumerable persons.

Bhagirath had performed rigorous tapascharya to bring the Ganga from heavens to earth for removing water scarcity. Bhagirath Shila is situated near Gangotri. Ganga descended as a result of his tapascharyaand heroic industriousness and was, therefore, named as Bhagirathi. Bhagirath was put through a tough test; he successfully passed the test and earned the grace of Bhagvan Shiva. Today, there is an all-pervading famine of faith which can only be removed by Gyan Ganga, the divine flow of knowledge. The present famine in the realms of feelings and thoughts can be removed by the cleansing stream of knowledge which is flowing constantly from Shantikunj and it is hoped that goodwill and righteousness will soon be established throughout the world.

Charak Risi had undertaken thorough research of the inaccessible region of Kedarnath in the Himalayas to find out rare medicinal herbs which helped in healing. It is described in the scripture that Charak Risi used to have conversations with such herbs and enquired from them about their healing characteristics and qualities. He used to collect them at the appropriate time and conducted research on them. Several medicines which help in the growth of the life-forces, in pacifying emotions and mental derangements and which possess the qualities of bringing about positive changes in attitudes, actions and nature of man are contributions of his research. Ancient )Ayurveda has been revived here and research on finding out rare medicines and testing their ingredients, qualities with the help of modern scientific equipments, is being done at Shantikunj. How the use of only one appropriate medicine at a time can promote longevity is one of the researches which are being conducted here in accordance with Risi traditions of Charak.

Maharsi Vyas had written Puranas with the help of Ganesh in Vyas Cave near Vasodhara water-fall between the mountain ranges known as Nar and Narayan in Badrinath. Seclusion and peaceful and faithfilled environment is needed for doing any important work. In the present circumstances, when there is great dearth of good and inspiring literature, the founder of Shantikunj had, about twenty-five years back, written commentaries on four Vedas, eighteen Puranas, 108 Upnisads, six Darsans, twenty-four Gitas, Aranyaks, Brahmanas etc. and had made them easily available to all at modest prices. Appropriate literature, with a view to providing practical solutions to the forbidding problems of the present day life, is also being continuously written and it has influenced the hearts and minds of millions of people. The series of Pragya Puranas are a novel creation in which the philosophy of Upnisads has been explained in simple, easily understandable style through the medium of tales and stories.

Patanjali had conducted several researches and experiments on the science of yoga at Rudra Prayag on the confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini. He proved that human body was a storehouse of energy. If the centres of energy within the body could be awakened a man can be transformed into a divinised person and he can acquire immense spiritual powers (riddhis and siddhis). In Shantikunj the sadhaks are imparted training in hathayoga, kayakalpa, asans and pranayam. They are examined mentally and physically by a team of qualified doctors and experts with the help of sophisticated scientific instruments and are advised and guided about the sadhana which they have to perform.

Yagyavalkya had undertaken research on yagya at Triyugi Narayan, had verified its efficacy in promoting the health of living beings and vegetation, in purification of the environment, inducing rainfall etc. There is a yagya-kund (hearth) in an inaccessible place in the Himalayas in which fire has been burning uninterruptedly since times immemorial. It is said that it is aglow since the marriage of Shiv-Parvati and is a symbol of the ancient tradition of fire. The Brahmavarchas Research Institute has undertaken the responsibility of conducting research on the ancient science of yagya which has become almost extinct these days. A full-fledged laboratory, duly equipped with modern scientific equipments, is functioning in the campus of this Institute for conducting researches on yagyopathy and people are wonder-struck to see its amazing positive impact on environment, pollution and treatment of physical and mental ailments, growth of vitality, rainfall of vital parjanya etc.

Vishvamitra is regarded as the Seer of , a creator of a new world. Sapta-Risis including Vishvamitra had in the ancient times performed tapascharyaon the sanctified land on which at present Shantikunj campus stands and had attained the grace of Adya-sakti Gayatri. I was inspired by Gurudev to build an ashram at this very land. The subtle vibrations of creative sadhana of Vishvamitra are still intensely active here.Mahapragya has been given the status of Yug-Sakti here and by installing idols of its 24 primary emanations, the message of Adya-sakti (Primordial Creative Power) of vasudhaiva kutumbakam and of steadfast and pure wisdom and righteousness was proclaimed from here. Several sadhaks have performed Gayatri anusthans and have grown spiritually. The Vishvamitra tradition is being revived here by conducting research about the power of sound and the technique of Savitri.

All-round training to vanprasthis was given in the ancient times in Gurukul Aranyak of Jamdagni which was located at Uttarkashi. Facilities were provided for training of wise, mature and aspiring persons in the performance of sadhana and penance. In Shantikunj arrangements have been made to impart training to parivrajak vanprasthis and public service workers. Children are imparted training in moral education in this Ashrams Gurukul vidyalaya and all-round training is being given to sadhaks in Yug-shilpi vidyalaya.

Devarsi Narada had performed tapascharya in Guptkashi. He used to play Veena and was constantly engaged in the work of public awakening. He used to give righteous guidance to the people by arousing their positive emotions and tendencies. Yug-Nirman music training school of Shantikunj has trained thousands of parivrajaks, who undertake tours in their regions and move in a group in jeeps in furtherance of Narad tradition.

Vashishtha had preached Yog-Vasistha to Ram at Devprayag. He integrated religion with statecraft. The founder of Shantikunj had participated in the Independence Movement from 1930 to 1947 and had undergone torture in jails. Later, the society was guided by him through the medium of books, literature; and everything which could be possible was done for the integration of spirituality and polity.

Adya Shankaracharya had performed tapascharya at Jyotirmath and had established four dhams (spiritual centres) in four corners of the country. His object was to integrate different cultures and to awaken people through religious institutions. This work of spreading Yug-chetna is now being conducted by Shantikunj through the network of Gayatri Saktipithas, Pragya sansthans, Svadhyaya mandals etc. which have been established throughout the country in the tradition of Adya Shakaracharya.

Risi Pipplada had conducted research near Rishikesh on the effect of food on mind. He maintained himself on the fruits of pipal tree and attained selfrealisation by exercising restraint and self-control. I strictly restricted myself to a diet of barley bread and butter-milk for twenty-four years, while performing Gayatri anusthans. Even thereafter, I have been living on boiled foodgrains and vegetables. Amritasan experiments are being conducted in Shantikunj in this respect. Soot-Shounik Risis used to hold sessions of discourses at Rishikesh by narrating ancient tales relating to the scriptures. The discourses of Pragya Purana in the present times have become so popular that people call it Yug-Purana . Four volumes of Pragya Purana have already been published and subsequent volumes are planned to be published in due course.

Harshvardhan had donated all his wealth at the time of Sarva-medh yagya which was performed at Har-Ki-Pouri, Haridwar. The founder of Shantikunj, too, had donated all his property for the construction of Gayatri Tapobhumi at Mathura and a high school in the village of his birth-place and kept nothing for himself or his family members. This tradition is now being followed by other workers who are permanently linked with Shantikunj.

Kanada Risi had conducted research about nuclear science and scientific aspect of spirituality according to the research traditions of  Atharva Veda. The intelligentsia today can be convinced not by words but by logic, facts, figures and evidence. In Brahmavarchas Research Institute, research is being conducted for integration of science and spirituality and the world is eagerly awaiting its results.

The parivrajaks of Buddha had undertaken extensive tours to spread the message of dharma (religion) throughout the world. In Shantikunj, parivrajaks are being trained for spreading the message of divine culture throughout the world. In India itself about a lakh Pragya-putras are engaged in this work of spreading Yug-chetna from house to house.

Aryabhatta was a great scientist who conducted astronomical researches to examine the influence of other planets of the solar system on the earth, its atmosphere and living beings. An observatory has been set up in Gayatri Nagar, astronomical researches are being conducted and an almanac based on drisya Arithmetic is being published from here. The spiritual teachings of the saints of the middle ages, viz. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sant Gyaneshwar, Samarth Guru Ramdas, Prannath Mahaprabhu, Ramkrishna Paramhansa in regard to the spread of righteousness are being followed in Shantikunj.

It is most important to stress that the atmosphere of this Asram is so surcharged with piety and righteousness that it automatically attracts people towards spirituality. This is due to the presence here of Risis in their astral forms. They must definitely be quite happy to see revival of their ancient traditions here. This earth has been blessed by the tapascharya performed here by the Risis. Lav-Kush were brought up and trained in Valmiki Ashram, Bharat in Kandva Asram , Rukmini performed tapascharya in Badrinarayan and gave birth to Pradyumna who, in valour and wisdom, was equal to his father, Shri Krishna. Pavan and Anjani gave birth to Bajarangabali in the Asram of Poosha. These are miraculous boons of tapascharya, sadhana performed in this holy region of the Himalayas.

There are several instances of advantages accruing to faithfilled persons from contacts with saints and by visiting holy places. A drop of water of svati naksattra falling in an oyster-shell becomes a pearl. It becomes vansalocan when it falls on a bamboo tree and camphor when it meets a plantain tree. A piece of iron when it touches paras becomes gold. My guide, Gurudev, has been living since several centuries in his astral body at Nandanvan in the Himalayas, which is known as heaven of the earth, the gateway of which is Haridwar, wherein Shantikunj is situated. He summoned me to the Himalayas from time to time to recharge my spiritual battery, whenever I was to be entrusted with new responsibility. I always experienced having returned from the Himalayas with an immensely augmented store of energy.

I often invite awakened souls, Pragya-putras, to Shantikunj to undergo training or perform sadhana to acquire competence to play the role akin to the bears and monkeys of ,Treta Yug, of gval-bals of Dvapar Yug in the tasks of ushering in the new golden era. This place has its own significance on account of divine patronage. Persons residing here even for a short time feel that they are being rejuvenated. In fact it is a spiritual sanatorium.

The ghrit lamp which has been alight for the last sixty years, performance of yagya for two hours daily in the morning and Gayatri Mahapurascaranas in both the navratris, daily jap by sadhaks in this sadhana Aranyak, all combine to create a sanctified divine environment here, as one finds in Malayagiri by the sweet smell of sandal wood. Even without doing sadhana a person feels unalloyed joy as if his entire time here has been spent in tapascharya and sadhana. Shantikunj Gayatri Tirtha is a sacred Siddhapitha because the Risis in their astral bodies are present here, overseeing the various kinds of activities being carried on here pertaining to their particular traditions.

The most important work of life has been to make direct and indirect, visible and invisible efforts to change the present milieu. These days there is intense crisis of faith. People are bent upon breaking all principles of propriety, morality and conduct. This has resulted in the growth of evil conduct and licentiousness. Today, neither an individual is happy nor is there any stability in the society. Problems, calamities, horrors are increasing day by day. The efforts to stem this overwhelming tide of unrightousness are not succeeding anywhere. The remedy lies only in the refinement of the minds and emotions of the masses and inspiring growth of righteous tendencies. This has to be done directly by constructive, reformative work and indirectly by invisible spiritual influence. This is being done and the entire energy is being mobilised to attain this objective. The results attained so far are encouraging and the results visualised in future will be unprecedented.

In short, Risi traditions have been adopted and revived by a brahmana mind in all earnestness. Persons who are engaged in such a work not only do good to themselves but also promote the welfare of others.


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