Bhagawaan Gopinath Ji As
by Prof O. N. Chrungoo
is indeed a pearl in the Himalayas. Its natural charm matches the spiritual
eminence of the saints and sages that have been born in enchanting valley from
time to time.
There are several energy
centres in Kashmir. These are of two kinds Primary and Secondary. The primary
energy centres are the permanent Shiva or Shakti power points, which symbolize
the powers of consciousness existing in the Universal Mother, the Universal
Mind, or the Universal power. A few instances of these are the Ice-Lingam of the
holy cave of Amarnatha, which waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon; the
Shri Chakra engraved on a Shila (rock) on the hillock of Hari-Parbat symbolizing
the Divine Mother as Mata Sarika; the holy spring of Khir Bhawani whose water
changes colours with the changing moods of the Divine Mother, Rajna, whom the
phenomenon symbolizes; (on the surface of the spring appears automatically the
Rajna Chakra, a form of the Divine Mother Rajna, when she is in a happy mood);
and the shrine ofthe Divine Mother Jawalaa at Khrew.
The secondary energy
centres are the places of birth, places of penance or the Ashrams of the saints
of highest spiritual attainment, whom God sends to this world in order to put
the earning humanity back on the rails of spiritual attainments. They also acts
as the mentars of those who are on the spiritual quest, even sharing their
spiritual experiences with them.
A few instances of such
saints from the part of Kashmir are Laleshwari, Peer Pandit Padshah ( Rasi Peer
Saheb), Mata Roopa Bhawani, Swami Jeewan Saheb and Swami Shaivaachrya Ramjee and
Every Sadhaka has to be
clear in perception and understanding about these two types of energy points
(Primary and Secondary). Kashmir is full of these Tirthas, seats of power. From
the early dawn of history we find a galaxy of sages, savants, seers and
spiritual preceptors profitably engaged in going near and near the essence of
divinity. Primary energy centres were, their attraction and guiding forces,
where they meditated, widened spheres of knowledge, unlocked certain knots for
the aspirants, to understand the ultimate reality. They established different
schools of thought, established Aashrams, Patshalas and seats of learning. These
places became the secondary energy seats for the seekers and their followers.
Neelmata Purana, the
ancient record of socio-religious account of Kashmir has paid glowing tribute to
the piety prevailing in this land, " O, King (Janmejaya), whatever holy
places are found in the world, do exist here also."
Kalhana the great
historian too writes in Rajtarangnee, "there is not a space even as large
as a grain of sesamum without a Tirtha in this country." Further he writes
the great saints have taken birth in this sacred land from time to time.
In our age, too, we were
fortunate enough to have amongst us in Kashmir one such spiritual giant,
Bhagawaan Gopinath Ji, a multidimentional spiritual personality. He lived in his
ownself and yet lived with the masses around him. To write about him, for a lay
man in spirituality is nothing short of impudance. But what encouraged me is the
foeling that, talking, writing in praise of a saint ofthe eminence of Bhagawaan
Gopinath Ji comes near to worshiping him.
This great saint was born
on the 3rd of July, 1898 A. D. at Bana Mohalla, Srinagar, Kashmir. His childhood
as well as adolescence was full of strife; he lost both his parents and all the
domestic responsibilities evolved on his shoulders; these included the
upbringing and marrying off of an unmarried sister. Schooling ended at the
Middle standard. However, he learnt the art of composing and worked as a
compositor at a printing press. Next he started a small grocers shop at
Sekidafar, Safakadal under the guidance of his maternal grand father, Pt. Prasad
Prof. B. N. Parimoo, son
of Pt. Prasad Joo Parimoo, writes: "Bhagawan Ji lived a normal life. He had
formed a group and as the leader of this group would organise trips to the holy
shrines of Kher Bhawani, Sharika, Pokhribal, Jawala Ji, Mahadev and Vicharnagh.
He was fond of going to saints. Having married off his younger sister, he felt
relieved of great domestic responsibility and started showing less and less
attachment to worldly attractions."
Bhagawaan Ji could no
longer remain a house holder. He shut himself up in a room for months together
and carried on 'Tapasya' (Penance) unmindful of food even. The business of the
world did not attract him any more. He severed all worldly bonds and got
absorbed in the Absolute. He attained the stature of a 'Siddha'. He attained the
position known in the Tantric Lore as that of the celestial realiser.
The late Prof. K. N. Dhar
a renowned Sanaskrit scholar writes, "such persons of towering stature are
'Divya Sadhkas' (Celestial Realisers) in the Tantric Lore. For them man is
essentially part and parcel of Divinity, but owing to his tortoise like self
centered attitude, grafting the host of limbs into his own body, has lost much
of his flavour and fragrance. Bhagawaan Ji throughout the Years assigned to him
for this enabling mission, strove hard in his own unassuming, yet persuasive way
to restore that devine spark to man. He tried to rehabilitate him on his actual
Bhagawaan Ji guided and
helped people in general and 'Sadhkas' in particular to strive for service to
mankind and the purification of the body, the mind, and the spirit. He himself
lived this truth in letter and spirit. Hence he has been accepted, as the great
Master the 'Jagadguru'.
Justice S. N. Katju
writes, "Bhagawaan Gopinath Ji lived a very claistered life. He never moved
out of the valley. He was a great Siddha. Gradually, his fame spread and saints
and 'Saadhus' from different parts of India used to visit him. By his intense
Sadhana, he has become a 'Koula' and 'Aghareshwara' of the highest order. He
talked little and never preached but he was full of compassion and love for all
who sought his protection and blessings. He exercised his spiritual powers in
the interests of the nation. Kashmir is the fountain source of Shiva-Shakti
worship. It has produced great Koulas and Aghareshwaras of the tallest stature,
the last of whom was Bhagawaan Gopinath Ji, who left his mortal frame in July,
1968. His spiritual stature can easily be compared to that of Maharishi Ramana,
Shri Rama-Krishna Paramehensa and Shri Auribindo".
Bhagawaan Ram of Varanasi,
one of the greatest Aghareshwaras of present day India has described the state
of an Aghareshawana thus: "An Aghareshawara reaches a stage where he is
totally freed from all Karma bonds. For him, there is no Moksha (liberation) nor
"He becomes a burnt
seed which cannot sprout. When he leaves his mortal frame, he lives and directs
from the astral plane and he may enter the body of a living person and make him
an instrument of his line of action. He is not subject to the currents of cause
and effect, which bind the ordinary mankind. He is a law unto himself.
In short, he becomes the
Sun of his own solar system and performs acts either directly or indirectly
which appear to be befitting. Bhagawaan Gopinath Ji belonged to this spiritual
line (Parampara) of the Koulas and the Aghareshwaras. Bhagawaan Ram of Varanasi
has taken his photograph to 'Kreem-Kund', one of the oldest and most sacred
shrines in Varanasi where He is adored in the midst of the galaxy of
Aghareshwaras. Daily 'Satsang' bhajans, and aarti, is performed there."
The main seat of this
great saint is at 'Kharayar, Habbakadal, Srinagar, Kashmir, where an Ashram with
a registered trust is functioning. Bhagawaan Ji's relics are also there for the
darshans of the people. A 'Maha-Yajna' on Jeshtha Shukla Dwitiya and a 'Maha-Jayanti'
on Ashaarh Shuukla Dwadashi, and Guru-Poornima on Ashaarh Poornima, are the main
festivals celebrated at the Ashram.
Besides these main
festivals at Ashram, there is a Japa of 'Guru Geeta' and Homa (Namaa-Smaranaa)
of mantras on the first Sunday of every month before sunset. The Ashram at
Srinagar is one of the most effective and powerful energy centre.
Justice S. N. Katju says,
"Bhagawaan Gopinath Ji seems to be more alive now even after leaving his
mortal body". It is as true as the fact that the sun is in the sky and the
Ganges springs in the Himalayas, that His influence, guidance and directions are
being increasingly felt all over India and even in some foreign lands, wherever
his devotees are. He commands as 'Jagad-guru' and guides all. We have only to
establish a link with his divine energy through meditation, Puja and Archanaa.
Mr. Philip Simpfendorfer,
an Australian devotee of Bhagawaan Ji, has written in the world-famous journal
Cosmas, a living paper of Australia, "Kashmir has produced many people of
highly developed consciousness. The greatest in recorded history died in
During his life time of 70
years, Bhagawaan Ji's consciousness settled in the 'Turiyaa'. He never acted
like a spiritual leader, not did he seem keen to propegate his outlook on life.
In fact he was satisfied to live with relatives as a bachelor uncle. But in his
own being he lived out the pre-occupations of the awakened of this age altered
states of consciousness, harmonious living with Nature and its powers,
helpfulness to others in every day life and concern for humanity's well-being.
Although humble and an
introvert, he was able to direct aspirants according to their needs; in the
inward sphere, the realm of causes, he was a supreme master. He was willing to
heal, work miracles on material and weather conditions, cause divinities to
appear and solve the personal problems of individuals, but, when he was involved
in massive struggles against the powers of chaos in times of calamity or
warfare, no one dared go near him, for he was then like a whirlwind of fire. His
devotees still find his presence with them, long after, he gave up the physical
body. He still lives.
Bhagawaan Ji is even more
active as an inspirer for immature spiritual seekers than he was in his gross
body. He is their permanent guide and, indeed, that of humanity at large. His
way of working is quite unassuming. He works to help and guide a person from
behind the scene. In order to meditate on Bhagawaan Ji one has to think of him
as having a turban on his head, a 'White Pheran' (a loose gown worn by Kashmiris)
on his body, a Dhooni (Sacred Fire) in front of him. When the meditation (Dhyaana)
is perfect, He does nor fail to appear before the 'saadhaka'.