Bhagavaan Gopinath Ji - Some Reminiscences
My Personal Reminiscences: - During 1956 after circumambulating the Hari Parbat hillock in the mornings I would often visit my maternal uncle Sh. Prem Nath Khosa, a shaivite of high order at Rainawari, Srinagar, Kashmir. He suggested to me that I should go to Bhagavaan Ji with a purpose. Following this suggestion I became a regular visitor to Bhagavaan Ji. I am sure that Bhagavaan Ji was showering his grace on me. In 1961 I was posted to Jammu and Bhagavaan Ji enquired about me from my father and that too by my pet name, given to me by my parents.
Just one day prior to Bhagavaan Ji’s leaving mortal frame, an interesting thing happened. On 27th May, 1968 there were two betel leaf packets ready to be chewed at the end of the day’s activity. Sh G. N. Dhar was perhaps to come last of all to pay his obeisance and I was preparing to take leave of Bhagavaan Ji. Sh. Gopi Nath Dhar drew the attention of Bhagavaan Ji towards the betel leaves. Bhagavaan Ji ordered him to have one to himself and another to be given to me for chewing with its areca nut packed.
Sitting in the Holy presence of Bhagavaan Ji was always an elevating experience. Bhagavaan Ji’s birthdays used to be celebrated on a big scale. On one such occasion in the year 1966, Bhagavaan Ji placed a turban on my head with his hands.
Bhagavaan Ji as Saviour: - There are facts on record to show that Bhagavaan Gopinath Ji through his spiritual power has been protecting the country whenever there has been an aggression.
When Pakistani tribals raided the valley in 1947-48 he remained involved in the affairs using his spiritual powers till the Indian Army landed in Srinagar to combat the aggression. He undertook a fast which he broke only when an alliance was made at New Delhi, the capital of India between the Indian authorities and the Maharaja and the leaders of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. On this occasion He distributed a special “Prasad” at his residence. The recipients of this “Prasad” among others were my father Pt. Dina Nath Koul and Uncle Pt. Gobind Koul while I had the privilege of sharing the residue with them.
Bhagavaan Ji also involved himself in throwing open the Kashmir-Leh road for the Indian Army.
When the Indian proposal on the Kashmir question could not get justice from the Security Council against the invasion of Pakistan, Bhagavaan Ji put words in the mouth of Russian delegate at the U N to veto the resolution sponsored by Western powers. The self same Russian words were uttered by Bhagavaan Ji in Srinagar and were interpreted by a gentleman sitting in His presence.
During the Indo China war of 1962 Bhagavaan Ji even moved physically for intervention in the National interest and continued to do so till there was cessation of hostilities between the two armies.
In 1967 He intervened during the communal flare up and the subsequent onslaught on the minority community. While sitting in His august presence I did see his clear intervention, there was even a change of guard at the political level.
Bhagawad Gita as His Guru: - Lately there has arisen a good bit of controversy about who was Bhagavaan Ji’s Guru. Some unauthorized persons have also made some controversial statements. There is need to put the record straight.
Once a devotee had the courage to enquire from Bhagavaan Ji as to who His Guru was. He pointed towards the Bhagawad Gita, lying in front of Him indicating that the Gita is His supreme abode. It was his pointed reply. In Mahabharata it is said “ The Gita alone should be sung, heard, recited, studied, taught, pondered over and assimilated properly and well as the Gita comprises all the scriptures.” In Varahapurana Lord Him-self says: - “I take my stand on the Gita! The Gita is my supreme abode. I maintain the three Worlds on the strength of the Wisdom contained in the Gita.” Right from his early years Bhagavaan Ji was interested in saints and sages. His spiritual level was so high that He didn’t align himself with one or the other saint, though he would not stay back whenever there was a chance to see and meet a saint. One does not know what relationship he had with these saints. It could be one of a fellow traveller or may be they exchanged notes on their respective spiritual experiences. Their paths and methods may have been different but they had a common twin aim of attaining the Truth and alleviating the suffering of human beings. About these blessed souls the Lord says in Bhagawad Gita that with their minds fixed on Me and their life absorbed in Me, they enlighten each other about me, speak to each other about Me and are ever contended and delighted.
He experimented with all sorts of spiritual disciplines, different methods of worshipping and various procedures of penance and thus climbed the ladder as it were, step by step. This position suggests that he had no formal initiation from any one. For had he got initiation from a Guru, he would have taken up a specific spiritual path. In that case he would have no need for all experimentation and the penance which he actually had to undergo.
Bhagavaan Ji seems to have collected and tasted the sacred waters of all the prominent spiritual streams and found a decoction, a sip of which paved the way for his liberation and emancipation.
Since Bhagawad Gita itself is the quintessence of various streams of self-realization – this provides the justification for its significance to Bhagavaan Ji.
Once an acharya from Varanasi came to see Bhagavaan Ji in order to ascertain what His spiritual evolutionary stage was. He bowed before Bhagavaan Ji and took his seat in front of Him. Bhagavaan Ji without any conversation recited a shaloka from Bhagawad Gita of which the English rendering can be: - “The Sun does not illumine it nor the Moon nor the fire. This is My Supreme state reaching which one does not return.” The acharya listened to him with rapt attention, bowed before Bhagavaan Ji and left satisfied.
It is thus clear Bhagavaan Ji was His own Guru. We are advised to abide by his dictates and not to practice as told for himself.
Bhagavaan Consciousness: - The Bhagavaan consciousness in its theological aspect involves emphasis on regular Aarti, monthly Homas, annual Celebrations. The manifest function of Bhagavaan Consciousness is to promote brotherhood, love and compassion. Particularly in times of cultural changes, Bhagavaan consciousness will be instrumental in tracing our roots. The spirit of enquiry, democratization of thought and scientific mind can elevate us from the level of only material being to spiritual being also. The Bhagavaan consciousness is sure to be torch bearer of humanity. It is such a world order that human race shall progress in material, mental, intellectual and spiritual fields in equal measure. The hall mark of the global Pariwar is service, humanity and love. The Vibration Is Still Given By The Ever Living Bhagavaan Ji. Bhagavaan Gopinath Ji for the protection of the virtuous and extirpation of evildoers.
He is every body’s own, each getting Him just as he/she wants. He is one’s father and mother. He knows our foolishness and therefore he forgives us. He wants sincerity, truthfulness and love. Like Gopis, who were not aware of any thing else in the world excepting Sri Krishna, we have to make complete surrender in love with Bhagavaan Ji.
Bhagavaan consciousness will enable us perennial joy and steady intellect.
The Current Institutions: - In 1968 eleven of his devotees (of whom only two are living now- Jaya Patwari and Pran Nath Koul) joined to form Bhagavaan GopiNath Ji Trust for the service of the Pariwar. It continued to look after Bhagavaan GopiNath Ji Ashram, Kharyar, published biography of Bhagavaan Ji and prepared some tools of sadhna. The migration of the year 1990 gave a jolt to the programme and to the needs of the Pariwar.
The pariwar to expand its activities created Jagat Guru Bhagavaan Gopinath Ji Charitable, Cultural and Research Foundation; another organized institution is a blessing of Bhagavaan Ji. It is being looked after by disciplined and deeply religious personalities driven to spirituality in a big way. They are full of spiritual wisdom and unwavering devotion. Their aim is to strive to live up to the expectations of Bhagavaan Ji in their worldly affairs and also spiritually. They are dedicated to spread Bhagavaan Consciousness. They pledge to carry His message to every nook and corner of the world for peace, tranquility and welfare of the mankind.
What Others Say And Experience: - Sh. S. N. Fotedar, Ist biographer of Bhagavaan Ji writes that it is a difficult task to write on those who have merged themselves with Nirguna Brahma. In his words, “I have no claim to the status of even a reporter on realization of this sort which transcends all temporal experience.”
The finding of Prof. M. L. Kukloo, the great shaivite and authority on Kashmir Shaivism; - Bhagavaan Gopinath Ji is the holder of thirty six elements from Shiva to the earth. He is capable of stopping the Wheel of Time. He is available to all irrespective of caste, creed or colour and one can be confident to have the liberation through his grace.
The national poet Sh. Sumitra Nandan Pant has said in his tribute that Bhagavaan Gopinath Ji is in the lineage of Lord Rama, Bhagavaan Krishna and Mahatma Buddha.
He appeared before Mr. P. Simpfendorfer, as Australian devotee and remarked, “World harmony depends on a globally inter-connected net work of light among sacred places and groups of people without regard to nationality or religion.
Sh. T. N. Dhar “Kundan” writes in “The Saint Extraordinary – Life and Message of Bhagavaan Gopinath Ji” Bhagavaan Ji was a volcano of love, erupting with the lava of spiritual madness. Let us attain this consciousness and then love Him in the same way as Radha used to love Krishna. Let us taste this mutual relationship of love till it turns in to a transcendental explosion in which the two become one.
Mr. Simpfendorfer has said Bhagavaan Ji exercises a spiritual power unequalled since the times of Jesus Christ.
Sh. B. L. Kak, a noted journalist concludes, “Bhagavaan Gopinath had no formal initiation from any one. He was a self-initiated saint who experimented himself various spiritual disciplines and carved a path best suited to his genius and temperament.”
Bhagavaan Gopinath Ji has been a son God. According to Dr. S. Bhat, “Bhagavaan Gopinath Ji belongs to world category of seers like Guru Nanak, Jesus Christ, who had a message of peace and love for mankind.”
From writings on Bhagavaan Ji by Justice S. N. Katju of Allahabad, “His memory and influence will provide new lease of life and hope to the whole country.”
Ms. Sharmishtha Koul, a young administrative officer at national level, says, “There is no distinction between Bhagavaan Gopinath Ji and his consciousness as he belongs to both individual and the society. For him the society is one child which needs his constant care, love and benevolence.”
Pt. Madhava Joo Sathu in whose house Bhagavaan Ji lived for ten years was eager to have the grace of a guru. Once a mystic visited at his work place at the outskirts of Srinagar where Sh. Madhava Joo approached him for Guru Diksha. The mystic in return assured him that Bhagavaan is visiting his house soon. This came true when Bhagavaan Ji stayed in his house from 1947 to 1956.
My wife Durga Ji, who hails from a village in the vicinity of Srinagar, once wanted to arrange rice for the Mahajayanti celebrations of Bhagavaan Ji prior to 1967, through her father. During the arrangement a sense of boredom was expressed by the concerned person. Though the rice was made ready to be sent to Srinagar, soon a peculiar situation took place at last hour that the rice could not be lifted. At a later stage when Durga Ji visited Bhagavaan Ji for paying her obeisance, Bhagavaan Ji referred to the whole conversation (not directly) which transpired at her father’s place and said the effort was quite unnecessary.
Once sleeping in the room of Bhagavaan Ji at his orders, after I entered the bedding, Bhagavaan Ji got up from his Asana and left towards the window and kept conversing with some mystical energy, and perhaps left for Chakrishwar on the vehicle probably the lion, at the dead of night.
During the communal turmoil in Srinagar city our family temporarily shifted near the residence of Bhagavaan Ji. It was a God gifted chance that our whole family including our youngest child could visit to Bhagavaan Ji more than an occasion a day and the resultant bliss. And we remained quite absorbed in the construction of the first Ashram in the name of Bhagavaan Ji at Kharyar, Srinagar.
I was not prepared to leave my house at Rambagh, Srinagar when the turmoil of 1990 erupted and I would visit the shrine at Kharyar, regularly. Later due to the death of a close relation we had no occasion for 2nd thought and in distress left Srinagar, later transpired to be in our interests and the departure turned to be the benign grace of Bhagavaan Ji, for us.
We have to guide young aspirants to inculcate in themselves a modern outlook integrated with our prisitine spirituality as taught by Bhagavaan Ji. It was heartening to note that it is giving dividends as the audience got spell bound by young Rahul in explaining the mantra, “Om Namo Bhagavate GopiNathaya”, during a Kavi-samelan.
We join with Sh. T. N. Dhar, “Kundan” that in His future Incarnation the Lord will say- “among the accomplished souls I am Gopinath”- “Siddhanam Gopinathoham.”
Regular communing with Bhagavaan Ji in Prayer is easy, possible and self rewarding. It can be the ‘Mantra’ “Om Namo Bhagavate GopiNaThaya.” We have to imbibe the desirable qualities “Syezar” (straight-forwardness), “Pazar” (the truth) and “Shozar” (the Purity) as best as possible. We are advised to earn sufficient for our living and to help the needy. Besides, service to our parents, family and to look after the children is advocated by the Bhagavaan Ji. Ostentation need to be avoided when the end result is negative.
Pran Nath Koul 09868541295