“Respect honourable guruji
LIFE AND WORKS OF SANT TEUNRAMJI Who is crown to the head,
Whose blessed look alone
Gets every work completed.”
It is cited in Srimad Bhagwad Puran – from the origin of the universe – as and when the need was felt Almighty Paramatman has taken incarnations viz. Matsya Avtar, Varah Avtar for instance.
There are many types of incarnations of God such as :
1) Purna Avtar :Complete Incarnation
2) Ansh Avtar :Partial Incarnation
3) Naimittik Avtar :Casual Incarnation
4) Nittya Avtar :Mundane Incarnation
In continuation of this series of incarnations, in the later part of the 19th century, on 6th July, 1887, in the sacred land of Sindh, on the shores of Indian Ocean (Sindhu Dariyah), in Khandu village of Hyderabad, Sadguru Swami Teunramji Maharaj took the incarnation for the well being of human race.
His father, chelaram, as well as his mother Krishnadevi, were complete devotees of Almighty Lord. Whenever any religious personality would visit their village, Bhakta Chelaram not only brought them to home and offer his humble services but also performed Satsang (exchange of religious ideas) with them. Right from the birth, child Teun’s mother fed him with Soham Mantra (the religious chanting) along with her own milk, for his spiritual enrichment. Everyday while grinding the flour, she would take the child in her lap and sang verses from the Kabirvani (Lagi lagi shabd ki chot man mein) which meant – My mind has been hurt and affected by the ‘word’ (God’s name)
This environment of complete devotion in the family inspired child Teun and inculcated love for God in his mind.
At the age of eight parents sent little Teun to school. When the teachers wrote alif be on the black board and told students to bye heart, Teun would come out of the class, go into solitude and got himself engrossed in praying to God. In this task he would also involve his school friends.
Father’s shop as well as farms and other related businesses could not interest him a bit. Neither had he loved playing with friends. For this reason, most of the times he was scolded by his father. But child Teun wanted ‘the real bargain.’ Often he would run away from the house and would be found meditating amongst the jungles. At such instances, elder brother Tehelram would catch him and bring him home.
When he was 14, by the will of God – Sai Asuramji, a famous Sufi saint, arrived in the school, as a principal. He started Satsang in Chelaram’s house at his own insistence. Once while narrating the greatness of Sadguru he said that for the achievement of the real knowledge and truth, a Sadguru is a must. And that was it! Teun found his way to his final destination. He came under Sai Asuramji’s shelter and took the Guru Mantra and Diksha (became his devoted student).This led to an increase in his inclination towards God and living a secluded life. He would go into the fields and forgot the world around him in thinking about God and would sing verses in praise of the Almighty.
When Teun was 16, his father, Bhakta Chelaram got calls from the other bank (realized that he was near his death). In a query asked at the satsang he answered that now onwards Teunram would preach and guide them and that they would enjoy Satsang under him.
Now, he would enlighten people every evening at his home as well as on the village ground and gave them a bonanza of Satsang Kirtan. The crowd of curious people was increasing. All of them respected each other equally. He told the right path towards successful and enriched human life to everyone who came to him.
One day, Sri Guru Maharaj Ji woke up early in the morning at 4 O’clock, took his Kamandlu (a pot for water), kept his towel on his shoulder and moved out to reach Hyderabad at around 8 O’ clock in the night. He saw a Mahatman performing Satsang, bowed low to him respectfully and sat in front of him in Satsang. After the completion of the Satsang being asked by Sant Atmaramji , Swamiji told him that he was a resident of village Khandu and had come there for roaming there. Sant Atmaramji told him to dine with him and to rest in the corridor. Swamiji moved out to roam in the morning after taking permission from the sant. While roaming, he saw an old woman selling Ektara (Tambura – a musical instrument having only one string). He asked her the price for the same and she told 10 rupees. He started thinking as to how to raise money to buy as he had developed a great longing for it. Going further he saw a house being built by a rich person. He toiled hard for five days consecutively and with great effort earned 10 rupees. He purchased the Ektara and returned to Sai Atmaram’s place. At the insistence of Sai Atmaramji, he came under the influence of love for God and Vairagya (the feeling of detachment from the world), he started singing a bhajan in his melodious voice.Due to the mellifluous singing, Baba Atmaramji, and all the devotees got engrossed in love for God and requested him to sing another bhajan. After that Swamiji drowned, each and everyone present there in the sea of devotion with his bhajans and satsang. The Ektara would start singing when Swamiji would sing, with the singing both became one with the universal spirit, the Paramatman, and all the devotees would start rejoicing.
The spirit of detachment from the material world reached such an extreme that he would not go home for days together sometimes even for three four days consecutively. Elder brother Tehelramji would search for him and take him back and complained with mother to convince him. Mataji would convince Teunramji with affection ;
Kahe mata Krishna, sun put mera, jag sukh le, tum kyon dukh sahta!
Ghar baithke apna kam kar lo, jyon jag karta, hai ved kahta!
Mother Krishna tells her son that when all the world is rejoicing why is he worried and suffering all the pains. Instead he should work sitting in the home which is done by all the world and which has been told in the Vedas.
After hearing to his mother Teunramji replied :
Sun mata meri kahu baat saanchi, main kal ke dand se bahut darta!
Kahe Teun dekha main soch karke, sukh naahin jagat main dhyan dharta!
Listen my loving mother because I am telling the truth that I am very much afraid with the punishment called Kaal (time). Teun says I have thought over and came to the conclusion that happiness does not last long in this world.
Similarly, once Maharaj Ji did not return home for consecutively three to four days, his elder brother and other satsangis found him sitting in a cottage near the ocean. All of them sat down after bowing low to Maharaj. Maharaj’s younger brother Gawaal lal folded his hands and prayed that you have come and sat over here but without you everybody in the sangat is unhappy. Games played by the Almighty are strange and beyond human understanding. His maya (the illusion that we call ‘world’) is beyond any explanation. It has influenced everybody in this world. So please tell us how to find solace from the maya (the illusion) of this world.
Laughing Maharaj replied:
Naam roop asat mithya maya, na kab sthir hoti hai!
Badhna ghatna aadat iski, chalati hai kab soti hai!
Anant adbhut khel kare puni, hasti hai kab roti hai!
kahe Teun yah mohni maya, par brahma ki jyoti hai!
The name and form of this maya is asat(false) and mithya (deceiving), hense it never remains stable. It is a habit of this maya to increase and decrease. It is ever changing. Sometimes it walks while sometimes it sleeps. It plays games which are infinite as well as novel ,sometimes it smiles and sometimes sobs. We cannot predict the world.Teun says that it is mohni maya(deceiving illusion) which is the flame of the parbrahman (the supreme power)
Maharaj Ji explained:
First try to understand this maya. Only by doing this you can get a way to win it. Whatever we are seeing and experiencing is all maya. This maya has such immense power as it has been created by God himself, it is supported by God but hides God himself from eye of the common human beings who have been created by God and are always craving to be one with Him, at least see Him once. It has taken all the three worlds under its spell and crippled everyone by her weapon of temptation. It does not let anyone escape from its claws. Only the virtuous people have kept themselves safe from it. Some of them have renounced the world and have taken the road to forests for meditation, some have folded their hands, became humble towards her and saved themselves. Others have tamed their senses and mind and thus achieved victory over this maya.
Swami Gurumukhdas asked ; Bhagwan, how to win these senses?
Sadguru Maharaj replied : by conscience, detachment from the material world, and with the support of God’s name.
At the insistence of the Sangat, Maharaj returned to Khandu, his birthplace the next day.
The light of the knowledge spread by Satsang done by Maharaj started illuminating all the directions and a large number of people were benefited by it. Not only common men and women but also sages and seers started visiting the Satsang for exchang of ideas over religion.
Influenced by Maharaj’s mellifluous voice as well as his attitude, a Brahmin named Hundaldas became his follower. He dedicated himself to swamiji completely and started offering his serevices by cleaning the utensils and sweeping the floors. The family of Hundaldas got infuriated over it as they found it very hard to digest. They said, “You should feel some shame. You have made a Guru who has served our family. By committing such an act you have blasphemed our family name.” Hundaldas replied that he has handed himself over to a real Guru.
ganga kashi girnar tak, khoja charo dham!
Hundal ke man ko bhaya sadguru Teunram!
I have searched in all the directions from Ganga, Kashi to girnar(himalaya), covered all sacred pilgrimages (char dham) to find the right spiritual teacher, at last I have completed my search when I have met my sadguru Teunram whom I like the most.
One day when Swamiji was going for a bath in the dariyah, an old woman stopped him in the way and pleaded to convince the harijan to drag the dead dog lying in front of her house. The harijan was demanding four aanas for the work while she had only two. In spite of lots of convincing by swamji when the harijan did not budge, swamiji lifted the dog himself. The harijan complained against it and there was a heated argument over it. The panch (village mediators) called swamiji and his elder brother into the panchayat (the village local self government) and told that you have committed this work assigned to the lower castes. You have to pay a very high penalty for this crime otherwise you will be banished from the community and the panchayat. Swamiji refused to pay the penalty and answered that I have not committed any sin in doing this. The old woman urged me to do it for God’s sake. The humble harijan does not know the importance of God’s name but I know it very well. So I had to do it as my sacred duty. Whatever I had to say I had said, rest I will explain in evening satsang. In the evening satsang swamiji sang a bhajan.
Swamiji always preached and supported spiritual equality. Aacharya sadguru maharaj ji wandered every corner with his followers and spiritually enlightened the people who were under the spell of spiritual sleep. He tried to drive away social ills like untouchability, blind beliefs, eating of flesh, alcoholism etc. with the aid of love and kindness.
One morning, singing bhajans along with a group of 30-35 sages, maharaj ji reached the annual utsav (festival) of sufi saint zoak sherif – famous all over Sindh. He offered the benefit of his satsang for two days consecutively at the insistence of the saints. During the satsang maharaj ji said , “ saints and fakirs come to this earth for the betterment of the people and to show them the way to solace. They perform penance – trouble their bodies by hardships – and show the right path to the masses. The land on which pirs, fakirs and sant mahatmans pray and sing bhajans, that land is worth worship and becomes sacred. The celebrations that are being held in this holy land in this festival, are the results of the humble prayers performed by the sufi darvesh (wandering minstrels).
But we have heard that in this festival you people serve every kind of meat. Killing any being at this sacred place is a very great sin because my sai (God) is present in every being. So we should not hurt any of the beings.
Mandir tode, masjid ko tode, to mujhe nahin majaka hai!
Dil mat kisi ka tod, ye to ghar khas khuda ka hai!
Jo mans macchi khat hai, saja payen se hit!
Te nar narki jat hai, mat pita sahit
I don’t mind if you break temples or mosques, but you should not break anybody’s heart as it is special house in which God himself lives. The persons who eat flesh and fish are surely punished in the other world –after death – they go straight to hell along with their parents.
In response to this, the rulling haji Abdul Sattar declared that they have banned meat for this time. For the forthcoming festivals they will think in a positive way.
22 Falgun samwat 1978 i.e. march 1922, while wandering along with Tando Adam, where there were large number of heaps of sand. Swami ji climbed over these heaps and watched the enthralling scenery all around which captivated his mind. At one side there were beautiful trees laden with flowers and fruits of all kinds. Birds mellifluous chirping could be heard from the other side. Pristine cool breeze of the spring was blowing softly. After watching this breathtaking sight maharaj squatted there in the padmasana ( a sitting posture in yoga) and for many hours he was in a trance trying to know his own existence. The other saints too accompanied him in meditation.
In the evening after coming out of the trance swamiji told his beloved saints – “ I have come to love this land. I think, previously some sages and seers must have meditated in this land. This land is proving a source of immense heavenly happiness to me. I will sit here and meditate. If you people want, you can go back. Some of the satsangis went back after taking blessings from maharaj. Others like Swami Gwalanand, Swami Sarvanand, Swami Gurumukhdas, Swami Basantram, Murlidhar, Ganeshanand, Premanand stayed there with swamiji. In the evening all the saints plucked fruits from the trees and drank water from the stream. With the order of sadguru maharaj all the saints collected twigs from the forest and lit fire.
Next day in the satsang maharaj said – saints and sages should reside in the jungles and meditate in solitude. In solitude our mind can easily concentrate on God, which gives us immense spiritual pleasure. Pleasure of solitude cannot be compared with any other pleasure in the world.
Jo sukh ekant main, so sukh sur pur naahin!
Kahe Teun ekant jahan, sada raho tum tahi!
The bliss in solitude can not be found anywhere in the world. That is why Teunramji says you should always stay in solitude.
All the saints started remaining engrossed in meditation of God. They would eat something if any of the villagers from the nearby villages give. Otherwise they would eat only fruits. The love and devotion for swamiji in the minds of people started increasing after seeing his selfless love for God and his sacrifice. At the insistence of swamiji his followers and other saints made a monastery for their satsang and from 12 chaitra samwat 1979 they started performing satsang there. They cleaned a nearby place and made a farm there where they cultivated vegetables. Everyday they started distributing dhodho chutney as Prasad.
For enlightening people with the light of spiritual knowledge, the followers of swamiji founded Prem Prakash Mandal. With his spiritual power, maharaj attracted every type of being towards him. Within a few days time the number of the followers went on increasing and soon reached thousands. Now this monastery became the most holy place of Sindh. At the request of the saints, the place was named ‘Amrapur Sthan’. Sadguru maharaj showed the curious devotees the way to atma- sakshatkar(self-revelation) through recitation of ‘satnam sakshi’ mantra.
On the other hand, the main priest of the temple, baba Narayandas and some other discriminative minded persons unanimously decided that these sages must be driven away from here. Seth Radhakrishna, Mukhi Gopaldas, seth Dayaram and seth Mulchand came to the Thalha (monastery) to meet the sages. Swamiji gave them the Prasad of dhodha chutney, offered water and sent them back after convincing them. Not satisfied they complained to the Residency Magistrate. Infuriated by this, the very next day the Residency Magistrate visited the sacred place along with 4-5 policemen. But as soon as he saw sadguru maharaj , all his fury melted like ice. He took the Prasad , offered Rs. 10, touched maharaj’s feet and went away. However, the selfish minded Brahmins did not sit silent. They complained to the Tehsildar. He too could not return without getting inspired by swamiji’s satsang and taking the Prasad of dhodho-chutney.
The enjoyment and fame of satsang was growing everyday. Other so-called babas from the city, Brahmins as well as some of the rich people started being jealous of swamiji. Once again they complained to the collector. Getting the orders from the collector Tapedar, baba Narayangiri and policemen set fire to the huts. It was a very terrible sight. It seemed as if it the fire of the pralaykal(the time of destruction of the universe). Consecutively three days the fire was burning. People from the neighboring villages visited maharaj and said, “ Bhagwan, why are you facing so many hardships here?” sadguru maharaj made them listen a bhajan :
Prabhu ne apni kripa dhare…………..
Meaning : who can hurt the person whom God himself has blessed with his own protection.
‘I have a strong conviction that He Himself will complete His own work’, maharaj told his devotees.
Around one week later, at around 5.00 a.m. when swamiji and other devotees were meditating and concentrating on God, a British couple visited the debris and started enquiring – who has burnt this house? Sadguru maharaj looked at them and said, “ You have burnt it.” Listening to this reply both of them started laughing and told sadguru maharaj, “You don’t worry. Your house will be as it was. You just write an application and submit to the Karachi Commissioner.” Sadguru maharaj smiled and said, “ Why don’t you submit the application yourself?” Both of them were very delighted at the answers and went away saying, “ O.K. We ourselves will manage everything.” After they had gone the sages around him asked who these people were. Swamiji replied that they were Lord Vishnu (Narayan)and Mother Lakshmi themselves. The very next day, at around 10.00 a.m., manager of the Greek firm, Carter saluted maharaj and told him not to worry at all. He said, “ I have got a revelation from god himself that the land should be given to these sages anyhow. Such was the miracle of Lord Almighty that the collector Mr. Boles who had issued orders to burn the huts was transferred. In his place a new collector named Mr. Covi arrived. Carter and Covi collectively met the commissioner, took orders from him and sent official Desidense to Tundo adam where the monastery was. The official handed over seven acres and twelve gunthas of land to maharaj according to government orders.
All the people present there started hailing maharaj. In reply maharaj said, “ Since time immemorial, era after era, the all pervasive bhagwan has taken innumerable incarnations to help good souls on earth to accomplish their works of benevolence. The people who had opposed maharaj repented. The very next day all the sages along with other followers repaired the huts, the satsang mandap,the kothar & the bhandar (the grain store) and made it as it was before.
One day bhai Govindram, bhai Awatram and bhai Sobhraj requested maharaj, “ Bhagwan, you are a wanderer by nature. You are found very little at this place. Most of the people who come to visit this place and get the benefit of your darshan have to return disappointed. So we request you to fix a time so that the devotees do not have to return disheartened.
Swamiji gathered all the sangat together and asked an opinion. All of them expressed the wish to arrange a samagam(gathering) of all the devotees and followers as well as other sages and seers on 12 of Chaitra as it was the very day when maharaj had started his satsang at this thalla (monastery). Maharaj was very pleased.
Similarly a religious fair was organized at Amrapur for four days in the month of chaitra on 12 chaitra samwat 1980 i.e. April 1924. a hawan was performed in the morning followed by the hoisting of the sacred flag. At 3.00 p.m. a grand procession was held with band and royal paraphernalia. All the saints and beloved followers of swamiji enjoyed the kirtan(religious sermon)and bhagwadnam (god’s name).
Sadguru maharaj himself gave the invitation in every corner of Tando Adam saying that everybody including sages, seers, Brahmins and the common people should participate in this brahma yagna (a large scale vedic ritual) and should also eat the prasad.
In the evening satsang maharaj said that we can get the benefit of the congregation of saints only because of good deeds performed in previous births.
Sut, dara aur lakshmi, papi ko bhi hoye! .
Sant samagam hari katha, tulsi durlabh doye
Even a sinner is blessed with children, wife and material benefits, but company of saints is available to only rare persons.
After the end of the fair maharaj continued his wandering through Rohdi, Daharki to a village named Chak where he described Vedant ( the core of Vedas), bhakti ( devotion) and Vairagya( detachment from the world) and emphasized the unity of jeev (the being) and brahma (the supreme soul). At that time, he bestowed many people with the supreme gift of God’s name. Swami Shantiprakash, Swami Udavdas, Pritamdas dedicated themselves to maharaj’s service and went with him to Amrapur.
(bhajan – sadguru sahib sant milaya)
One day during the chaitra fair Swami Asuramji told sadguru maharaj to tell any of his followers to bring his charandasi ( footwear). Swamiji himself got up, brought his footwear and put it under his feet for him to wear. Swami Asuramji asked maharaj why he himself did the work when he had asked to get it done from any of the followers. Why did you lift my footwear yourself/?
Sadguru maharaj lowered his eyes and humbly said, “ Bhagwan, am I not your follower?”
Swami Asuramji blessed him and said that thousands of devoted followers would respect you, serve you and your fame will remain till the end of the world.
One morning at around 10.00 a follower of the bhandara (donation of food) requested with folded hands that the water level in the well has gone down much and it would not meet the requirement of the visitors in the fair. Sadguru maharaj said that everything will be well done by God’s will. He came near the well, said the mantra satnam sakshi and dropped some drops of water from his pale. It is a well proved fact that the water level of that well has never gone down ever since.
Sadguru maharaj never forget to put up a tent in the fair of Kumbh. Kumbh fair was organized in the year 1930 at Prayag. Maharaj came along with his followers and set up a tent of Prem Prakash Mandal. There they started satsang, bhandara and annakshetra( free distribution of food). Maharaj visited all the tents along with his followers to meet the other saints and mahatmans like mahant Harnamdas, sakhar Sadhubellawale, swami Akhandanand chitrakutwale, swami Gangeshwaranand. They would discus philosophical questions with these sages.
There was no discrimination in the satsang at all. They never criticized any of the sect, line of opinion etc. He always preached that the fruit of devotion to God is self- knowledge, ultimate satisfaction and peace of mind whereas the fruit of devotion to world is unworthy pride, lustful longings and ultimately dissatisfaction.
He would emphasize the unity of being and the supreme god, jeeva and the Brahman in his discussion of Vedanta.
Jeev brahma ka roop hai, gawat muniwar ved!
Kahe Teun na jan tis, mudh batawat bhed!
Aana jana tujhmain naahi, na tera kab nas hai!
Kahe Teun yah nischaya kar le, tu swami tu das hai!
The being is a form of the supreme God so say all the Vedas. Teun says that common people (mudh) who does not know this reality tell that they are different(bhed). We cannot come to this earth by our free will neither can we exit from this world without his permission. So Teunram gives the humble advice that you are your owner as well as your own servant.
The world is an illusive dream. Because of our longing of this world we become unhappy. These beings think in terms of ‘I’ and ‘my belongings’. The ultimate reality is that in this world nothing belongs to him. The final abode of this body is the funeral place where his own near and dear ones leave him.
Do din jag main jivana, mat kar abhiman!
Mera mera kahat hai, tera ghar shamshan!
Main mera guru charan main, dijiye bhet chadhay!
Kahe Teun tino lok main, sahaj mukti ho jay!
We have come to this earth only for a limited period, so we should not have false pride. All the life we think in terms of ‘I’ and ‘my belongings’. The ultimate reality is that in this world nothing belongs to us. The final abode of this body is the funeral place where our own near and dear ones leave us. So I have renounced the world and dedicated myself on the feet of my beloved Guru which will make me free from this circumference of birth and death.
Accepting sant Madhavdas’s request satguru maharaj visited Hyserabad. Alighting at the station, singing, playing instruments maharaj came on foot till the Rani Baug, along with his paraphernalia. He started performing satsang in morning and evening. Swamiji said that we ought to know our own self. All the five senses that we possess, the material world is enlightened because of the atmajyoti (the flame of self). This atmajyoti is continuously lit in the heart of every being which is the temple of every body. We should take knowledge from sadguru to realize this flame within ourselves. This vital flame is the final and truthful form of any being.
At that time swamiji sang the bhajan:
Saakhi sirjan haru, saa thi jati asanji!..............
It is a well known fact that most revered sadguru maharaj promised his devotees that he will always be present on this earth in the same throne ascended form and that he will be continuously in contact with the supreme god. In 1942 sadguru swami Teunramji Maharaj left this material world. All the saints of the Prem Prakash Mandal ascended swami Sarwanand ji on the throne of the Guru.
He gave many other saints to this world who have shone bright in every corner of the world. The prominent ones among these were – swami Gwalanandji maharaj, swami Sarwanandji maharaj, swami Shantiprakashji maharaj, swami Gurumukhdas, swami dharmdas, swami Swayamprakash, swami Madhavdas, swami Basantram, swami Chandanprakash, swami Premanand, swami Ganeshanand, swami Udhavdas, swami Jayprakash, swami Jeevan Mukta, swami Murlidhar, swami Hari Prakash, swami Vidya Prakash, swami Chetan Prakash, swami Krishnadas, sant Bhajandas, swami Gangaram, swami Atmaprakash, swami Satyaprakash, swami Amardev, swami Arjandev, swami Khiyaram, swami Omprakash, swami Bahitram.
The enlightening teachings of swamiji are available in the form of vani, bhajans and ‘prem prakash granth’ which is a spiritual wealth for human beings. The granth offers light of the ultimate knowledge (brahma gyan) to the individuals seeking knowledge of the supreme reality (param atma)
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
संत तेऊराम जी
“Respect honourable guruji