(Last Updated on : 25-06-2014)
Baba Lokenath Brahmachari, also known as Baba Lokenath, was a Hindu saint and philosopher from Bengal, during the 18th Century. Nowadays, Baba Lokenath Brahmachari is revered through out Bengal in most households as a local deity. Baba Lokenath assured his devotees by his words that "Rane Bane Jole Jongole, Jokhone Bipode Poribe, Amake Smoron Korio, Amie Rokkha Koribo", which means, Whenever you are in danger, whether in war, forest, ocean or jungle, just think of me and I shall protect you. According to local legends, Baba Lokenath Brahmachari is considered as an incarnation of Lord Shiva, who arrived as a saviour to redeem the world of sin. Baba Lokenath is regarded as a living God and a saint by the Hindus.
Baba Lokenath is believed to have been almost 7 feet tall with thin physique. He denied himself of all physical pleasures and could counter the desire to sleep, never closing his eyes or even blinking.
Early Life of Baba Lokenath Brahmachari
Baba Lokenath Brahmachari was born in the year 1730, on Janmastami, the birthday of Lord Krishna
(18th Bhadra, 1137 Banglabad), in the village of Chaurasi Chakla, (Kochua), in Basirhat sub-division, few miles from Kolkata
. His father was Ramanarayan Ghosal and mother was Kamaladevi. Ramnarayan Ghosal wished to dedicate one of his children to the path of renunciation to the God and when the 4th son was born, he presumed that the right time has come. He earnestly requested Guru Bhagawan Ganguly of the nearby village of Kochua to be Lokenath's guru and teach him the wisdom of the Shastras.
Ascetic Life of Baba Lokenath Brahmachari
Young Lokenath left home with his guru at the age of 11. Sree Benimadhab, Lokenath's friend urged to take him along as he also wanted to adopt Sanyasa as a way of life. Therefore, he joined Baba Lokenath and Guru Bhagawan Ganguly in their quest.
After visiting the Kalighat Kali Temple
in Kolkata, Baba Lokenath Brahmachari went to live in the forest for 25 years. He served his master with full devotion and practiced the Ashtanga Yoga
, along with various forms of complex Hatha Yoga
. It was known to Guru Bhagwan that Baba Loknath would attain the magnitude of enlightenment. The Guru guided Lokenath for a period of 30 to 40 years, in the practices of the necessary yogic disciplines and Hatha yoga. Baba stood firm repeatedly, almost unimaginable austerities, under the guidance of his beloved Guru.
Later, he went to the Himalayas and meditated for almost 50 long years. At the mature age of 90, Baba Lokenath attained enlightenment. Eventually, Baba Lokenath Brahmachari traveled extensively by foot to Persia, Afghanistan, Israel and the Arabian Peninsula. He also made 3 pilgrimages to Mecca. During his pilgrimage, Baba Lokenath reached to the small town of Baradi near Dhaka, Bangladesh. A wealthy family made a hermitage for him, which later became his ashram. Baba Lokenath accepted the sacred thread of the Brahmins and covered himself in saffron robes. It is here that he was venerated with the title Baba (Father), as he performed various miracles and gave divine wisdom to all the devotees who came to seek his blessings.
Death of Baba Lokenath Brahmachari
On 1st June 1890 (19th Jyeshtha, 1297 in Bengali), Sunday, at 11:45 am, Baba Lokenath Brahmachari left his earthly existence and his physical body at the age of 160. He was meditating and went in to a trance with his eyes open.
Before his death, Baba Lokenath said, "I am eternal, I am deathless. After this body falls, do not think that everything will come to an end. I will live in the hearts of all living beings in my subtle astral form. Whoever will seek my refuge, will always receive my Grace."
Teachings of Baba Lokenath Brahmachari
Baba Lokenath Brahmachari is regarded as the Divine Incarnation of Jnana Yoga
(the path of discriminating knowledge), Karma Yoga
(the path of Selfless action), Bhakti Yoga
(the Path of Devotional surrender to the Divine) and (Patanjali's) Ashtanga Yoga
. Baba became the manifestation of their synthesis, the living inwardness and full personification of the Universal Religion of Love, the Sanatana Dharma, which is taught in the Bhagavad Gita
His teachings were simple and therefore enchanted the common man. Baba Lokenath advocated love, preached devotion and firm faith in God and in one's inner, absolute self. Baba Lokenath Brahmachari, after attaining enlightenment, said- "I have seen only myself. I am bound by my own karma. The materialistic world is bound by the tongue and the sex organ. He who can restrain these two is fit to attain enlightenment."
Baba Lokenath performed many miracles during his lifetime with the divine power that he possessed as he could feel the unbearable suffering of others. Baba Lokenath said, "I have everything in me. What you need in life, you have only to take. Do not think that with the death of this body everything will come to an end. I shall be as available to you as ever when I was in my physical body. Only the body will be burnt to ashes. That I, which is not the body, will never perish. I am the Changeless, Immutable One who is never lost nor finished. Wherever and whenever anybody needs my help, I shall be available forever after."
Temples of Baba Lokenath Brahmachari
There are several temples of Baba Lokenath Brahmachari scattered through the state of West Bengal. Some temples are also present in Bangladesh. Some of the most revered temples in Bengal are Kachua Ashram-near Kakra Mirza Nagar railway station; Poddar Nagar Mandir-Jodhpur Park; Sri Sri Baba Lokenath Brahmachari Mahamandal Ashram, Sodhpur; Tegharia Mandir-near Rajarhat Expressway; Chakla Ashram-Near Bira railway station; Anowara Ashram-Sri Sri Baba Lokenath Ashram; Jadavpur Naba Baradi Ashram, Jadavpur; Sai-Lokenath Milon Mandir Baguiati; Sree Sree Lokenath Sebashrom- Kakailcheo, Ajmirigonj, Habiganj.