Early Life

Sri Sri Mounibaba was born Ramesh Chandra Chakraborty on 16th June 1894 at Panchakhanda Nayagam in the district of Sylhet (now Bangladesh) in a respectable Brahmin family. His father was Sri Ram Chandra Chakraborty and his mother was Srimati Sarbamangala Devi. Ramesh was the eldest son. As a student he was intelligent with a strong body and became the leader of his age group in all areas however he showed particular interest in music, sports and games. With the expectation of a bright future, he was sent off to the Government High English School at Karimganj, Assam.

From early childhood, Ramesh was more or less indifferent to the material enjoyment of life. During his time as a student he was deeply influenced by an unknown visiting saint called Haribol Baba. In his quest to find God, he then fled away with Haribol Baba and toured east to west, north to south with enthusiasm, surprise, hopes and despair as to how and when his dream for spiritual adventure shall lead him to the long cherished goal.

Sri Mounibaba - early days

Quest for God

Sometime later, Ramesh came to Kashi Dham and surrendered himself to the lotus feet of Maharshi Anandamoy Brahmachari (Paramansha). On the advice and direction of his spiritual master, he then went to Dakhineswar (West Bengal) and began his spiritual practices in "Panchbati" with firm determination, devotion and self confidence at the place where Sri Ramakrishna had also practised and succeeded. He sat on the "Panch Mundi" seat and then one night, Goddess Kali, the divine mother appeared before him. The young devotee aged only 17 years, lost himself with divine delight and great success.

Maharshi Anandamoy Brahmachari (Paramansha)

He then kept mum (silent) for twelve years and the people of Dakhineswar called him "Mounibaba". While staying at Dakhineswar (Calcutta) the silent young sadhu would enter into the Kali Temple (Ma Bhabani) closed under lock and key at night and worship the Goddess with flowers and bel leaves.

Being the truly blessed son of the divine mother he then went to Kalighat, Tarapith, Kamakhya Dham and Bhubaneswari (Guwahati) and had the vision of Goddess Kali, Goddess Tara, Goddess Kamakhya and Goddess Bhubaneswari as well as the vision of Goddess Annapurna at Kashi Dham and Goddess Bimaladevi at Puri.

With divine direction he started his sincere yogic practices in Hatha-Raja Yoga under the guidance of Yogi Guru Swami Nigamananda Saraswati Paramansha. He achieved the highest result of Absolute Identification within a few years and was renamed Sachchidananda Nath Yogieshwer and later as Swami Sachchidananda Nath Paramahansha.

His lofty aim was to achieve complete perfection in all types of spiritual knowledge and practices and as such did not care about the inexpressible sufferings he endured whilst staying at different areas in the Himalayas and other parts of India. Having a deep inspiration and direction from the divine mother he then visited Sri Brindavan and sank into the ocean of devotion and love on the blessings of his Vaishnava Guru Sri Sri Vishweswar Goswami of Radha Kunda, the disciple of Sri Sri Vijay Krishna Goswami.

Having successfully reached the top in his spiritual adventure, Sri Sri Mounibaba came back to the society to redress the misery of men and women as Sad Guru (spiritual guide).

Family Life

The successful spiritual aspirant entered family life on the advice of his preceptor with a view to complete perfection in human life. His wife full of beauty and superior qualities, Sri Manada Sundari Devi surrendered herself in the service of her saintly husband and became happy with three sons. However, the saint had no interest in domestic happiness and remained busy with his spiritual practices.

He would spend the maximum time in the house of the domestic deity where he would recite the Gita and the Chandi (a sacred book relating to goddess Durga, the goddess of power).

Having detached himself from family bondage he went to the Himalayas at Rishikesh and settled there with the ambition of knowing more and more spiritual secrecy through the practice of austerities and deep meditation. Whilst travelling to Kumaon, Garhwal, Himachal Pradesh, Tibet and many other places, thousands of people surrendered to his lotus feet. He was known as Swami Sachchidanandaji.

Ranibari Ashram

At the time of the partition of India, the family of Sri Sri Mounibaba shifted to the village of Ranibari in Karimganj district of Assam. Prominent disciples in Calcutta maintained contact with Sri Sri Mounibaba as well as his family at a very distressed time. Sri Sri Mounibaba came to Ranibari from Hrishikesh with some disciples from Calcutta. In 1949, an Ashram was made at Ranibari. Sri Sri Mounibaba stayed there for about 2 years. He engaged in ascetic practice of austerities in the midst of five fires, burnt day and night with husk of paddy and people called him Tush Sadhu. Devotees from West Bengal and other parts of the country started coming to Ranibari Ashram and maintained communication with their spiritual master.

After two years had past, he again left for Hrishikesh via Calcutta.

Touring the world in both material and ethereal body, he suddenly came back to Ranibari Ashram in 1967, where his family had been residing. The members of the family and villagers were astonished at his sudden arrival after 16 years. The saint who had absolute identification with God only knew the purpose of his visit to the ashram and the important events that would take place during that period.

One such important event that took place was the initiation of Gurudas.

Initiation of Sri Gurudas

Gurudas had made a promise that if a real saint by chance ever came into his life voluntarily, who knew his mind and could convince him, he would then accept him as his spiritual master.

In September 1967, Gurudas and his family came to Ranibari to see his ailing mother. On the first morning Sri Sri Mounibaba came and said in his language "Well, I have come now for a special reason. Last night, while engaged in meditation I saw your arrival at Ranibari with family. Call your wife I will initiate (diksha) both of you right now as directed by God."

Gurudas put many questions to Sri Sri Mounibaba who affectionately convinced Gurudas. Finding no other suitable argument Gurudas agreed to surrender but wanted to take a bath before initiation. The saint stopped him and his wife saying, "Well, you are not at all impure. See nobody goes to the pond to wash before going to the Ganges. The holy water of Ganges purifies all past sins. Similarly, initiation by Sadguru with his holy touch washes all sins and further more removes ignorance and guides to reach the ultimate goal with rapturous delight." At last the victorious spiritual master completed his task of initiation and said ironically, "poisonous snake has bitten you today, this poison can never be removed by any snake charmer and it will gradually move upwards." Then he got up and moved towards the ashram with blessings to the family.

The newly initiated disciple wanted to pay something as dakshina but the master said "Don't worry I have accepted you and I will realise my dues in course of time when you will be really able to pay dakshina to your Guru. Well there is nothing in the world by which debt of spiritual master can be refunded by a disciple. But he can pay dakshina if he becomes really a devotee."

After some time Sri Sri Mounibaba again left Ranibri Ashram for Hrishikesh. The saint, who could know the mind of devotees, suddenly came back to Ranibari Ashram 1976 after nine years. Villagers and devotees were happy to see the super man again. Yet they were thinking as to what kind of games would be played this time as he never came to Ranibari without a definite purpose.

Sri Anandamouy Mounibaba Mission

In 1977, with the attendance of some close devotees at Ranibari Ashram including Gurudas, a splendid kirtan was arranged. Kirtan began with joy and devotion. In the mean time Sri Sri Mounibaba went to his seat and sank into samadhi. The next morning kirtan started with Sri Nam. Thousands of people including muslims attended the kirtan and took maha prasad. The devotees enjoyed kirtan in the same atmosphere as had been read in religious books well known as Gour Lila at Nawadeep over five hundred years ago.

The next morning Gurudev surrounded by his disciples expressed his great pleasure on the successful celebration of Krishna kirtan, blessed them and also asked them to do some yogic practice with him. The atmosphere was divine. He then told the disciples, "Well, you can form a mission". "Is it possible Baba?", questioned the disciples. "Why not" said Sri Si Mounibaba. He further said "suppose it has been formed now, since I have declared." After discussion, name of the mission suggested by Gurudas as "Anandamoy Mounibaba Mission" was approved by Sri Sri Mounibaba in the midst of clapping and cheers by the devotees. However, the developmental work of the mission started practically after the demise of Sri Sri Mounibaba since his publicity was strictly prohibited during his life time.

Sri Mounibaba - later life

Sad Guru Sri Sri Mounibaba

Sri Sri Mounibaba at the last part of his life remained very simple. Having oneness with the Supreme Being and the universe, he acted as a devotee singing the glories of Goddess Kali, Sri Hari and Sri Radhagobinda. His voice even at the age of 95 years was very sweet. His diet was recitation from the Gita and kirtan. He would say "this time is very bad; God's name alone will wash away all vice. Hare Krishna nam kirtan is the only means to purify the polluted minds and atmosphere and even to achieve perfection in mind."

Sri Sri Mounibaba is no more in material body but remains evergreen in his eventful deeds. Whilst He was in material body, his importance was limited to a few close devotees. After his demise many fortunate people began to believe in His divinity either in dream or in normal course of life through various activities. Heartfelt prayers to this lively human deity have become fruitful in number of cases and people are very much interested to pay their respects to his portrait. Frequent letters about His activities continue to be received from West Bengal, Orissa, Tripura and many places in Assam

The above life history of Sri Mounibaba has been adapted from the book written by Sri Gurudas and outlines the main events in the Saints life. For those more interested, a fuller version is availalbe for free download as a PDF file.

 

Guru Lineage