The saint-scholar-philosopher par excellence Pt. Shriram Sharma Acharya is the founder of Shantikunj, which has emerged over the years as a unique center and fountain-head of a global movement for moral - spiritual regeneration and the center for inter communion of science and spirituality in the light of glorious Indian heritage. Born in a village Anvalkheda; near Agra, UP in India, in 1911, he took unusual interest in spiritual devotion and social services right from childhood.
Pt. Sri Ram Sharma Acharya Ji
Great freedom fighter and founder of Banaras Hindu University, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, solemnized his Yagyopavit (sacred thread) ceremony and initiated him in Gayatri Mantra in 1923. At the age of 15, on the holy day of Vasant Panchami his Spiritual Guru (initiator), a great Himalayan Yogi Swami Sarveshwaranandji appeared (in astral form) in his vision during worship. At his guidance, he performed twenty-four lakhs, i.e. 2.4 million, Gayatri Mantras per year for twenty-four years. He visited Himalayas four times for higher spiritual attainments. He also took active part in India's freedom movement. He has to his credit, the unique distinctions of writing and publishing of commentary on almost all the Arsh Granthas (the ancient Indian scriptures), namely all the 4 Vedas, 108 Upnishads, 20 Smrities, 6 Darshans, and important Purans.
They were easily comprehensible and readily available. He went into Sookshmikaran Sadhna (transformation of physical being into astral one through higher Yogic practices); to generate the mighty spiritual power required for advent of golden era for mankind. He ultimately departed on 2nd June 1990, from his physical being on Gayatri Jayanti, the day celebrated as the day of incarnation of Gayatri Shakti on the earth, in the form of wisdom and prudence in mankind. This Mahasamadhi was in pursuance of the commandment of Mahakal (Almighty God) to accelerate the process of reviving Golden Era. He wrote more than 3200 books on a variety of subjects such as spirituality, philosophy of Gayatri and Yagna, family welfare, social reformation, moral education and most importantly, the revolutionary literature written before Mahaprayan (departure from his physical being) on the advent of the new era and the bright future of mankind in the 21st century. To know more please contact Vatika Shaktipeeth.
Mata Bhagwati Devi Sharma JiBorn on September 1926, in a famous priestly family, Mata Bhagwati Devi (Mataji), was extraordinary in her own way and unlike other children, was not interested in regular childhood activities such as playing, etc. Instead, she was more interested in worshipping God. She spent most of her time in singing devotional songs. Her favorite pastime was to make the offering of the Bilva tree leaves at the idol of Lord Shiva, and writing "OM NAMAH SHIVAYA".
During the early stages of her education, she studied Bhagwat Gita, and RamCharit Manas. After her marriage to Pt. Shriram Sharma Acharya (Gurudev), Mataji took over the responsibility of looking after visitors and guests. She willingly donated all her personal jewelry, which she received at her wedding, to Gurudev's Yug Nirman Yojna (mission for creation of a new Era), for establishment of Gayatri Tapobhumi at Mathura. This is the place where a grand 1008 kundiya Gayatri Mahayagna took place in 1958. In 1960, when Gurudev went to the Himalayas, Mataji took over Gurudev's responsibilities such as editing and publishing various magazines, administration of Gayatri Tapobhumi, and Yug Nirman Yojna, etc. When Gurudev returned, he declared celebration of Grand 1008 kundiya Gayatri Yagnas at Porbander in Gujarat, Baharaich in Uttar Pradesh, Mahasamund in Madhya Pradesh, Bhilwada in Rajasthan, and Tatanagar in Bihar.
Mataji took an active role in all of these activities. At the same time, more than four thousand branches of Gayatri Pariwar, all over the country, were started. By then, Yug Nirman Yojna mission had spread all over India; and there was significant readership of various magazines of Mission.In 1975, under the leadership of Mataji, Mahila Jagran Abhiyan (movement for emancipation of women) was initiated. Soon, about 4000 branches of Mahila Jagran Abhiyan were established with more than one million active participants. Its work was not limited to mere Slogan-raising, but also women's education, economic self-support, sacramental rites and acquiring self-respect, abolition of dowry and fight against the discrimination of women. Mataji considered everyone as part of her family. It was of prime importance to her, to arrange for their comfortable stay and spiritual guidance. It would not even come close if compared to all the comforts and luxuries that one would receive in a luxurious hotel.
Such was the love and affection that people enjoyed from her. People do not come to Shantikunj as tourists, but come for recharging themselves and to experience the peace and tranquillity in their personal lives. Mataji's physical presence was, thus, very essential at Shantikunj. It was this consideration for the welfare of the Parijans that prevented her from leaving Shantikunj for more than 20 years. Occasionally, she used to go for evening walk with Gurudev to the bank of Holy river Ganges.
When Gurudev took mahasamadhi on June 02, 1990, Gayatri Jayanti day, Mataji took over all the responsibilities of the mission and carried them over with great courage. In October 1990, under Mataji's guidance, Grand Shraddhanjali Samaroh, a program to pay homage to Gurudev, was organized . Over 15,00,000 devotees from all over the world participated in it, and resolved to carry-on the works of Gurudev, for dissemination of philosophy of Gayatri and Yagna. In 1992, on Gayatri Jayanti Day, Mataji disclosed about Gurudev's message from subtle and astral realms for the spread of Dev- Sanskriti (divine Indian culture or religious culture) all over the world for which series of Grand Ashwamedha Yagyas were to be performed. The series of Ashwamedha Yagnas started from Jaipur in Nov.1992. Till now, twenty-seven such grand Ashwamedha Yagnas have been celebrated in INDIA and abroads, besides the grand Anwalkheda (birthplace of Acharyaji near Agra, city of Taj) Pratham Poornahuti Samaroh in 1995. Mataji attended eighteen of them. It was for the first time that Mataji visited UK, Canada and USA in three Ashwamedh yagnas in Leicester-UK, Toronto - Canada and Los Angeles - USA.
Mataji initiated millions of people into Gayatri Mantra and with this, a new wave of character-building and social reform started. Mataji too, withdrew to the astral realm, to join her aradhya satta there, on September 19, 1994, Bhadrapad Mahapoornima day. This was done so that both of them could work together, as collaborators of the immortal Rishis and sages of Himalayas, (who are the guides and Guardian Angles of the Soul of the Earth), for ushering in a new Era in the Twenty-first century.