Great soul has walked on this holy land of ours that today know as India. This book is an attempt to chronicle the lives and teaching of those sages and saints. Their number is large enough to give the book an encyclopedic from. The book covers a span as long as the creation itself.
All the epochs of Hindu mythology have been covered, viz satya., Satya Yoga,
Treta, Dwapar and Kaliyuga. Within Kaliyuga, it user a century-wise classification
and cover ancient medieval and modern saints, even those who are still alive.
Besides there is a Chapter in which saints from other religion who have been
associated with India are covered. A special Chapter is devoted to saints who
have established or propagated sampradayas (religious traditions).
While covering the sages and saints an effort has been made to make the best
use of materials available from various sources. The entries try to familiarize
you with the lives and teaching of these great Souls. The reader also gets to
know about their works and about the ashrams they established.
A reading of this book will leave you enlightened about the rich heritage
of our country. It acquaints You with spiritual tradition. You get to unearth
the treasure of Knowledge buried under layers of our ignorance. The book may
orient you towards a behavior exudes positive energy. And who know it may even
ignite that spark You which leads to the light of bliss.
The National Youth Day celebrated in India on 12 January on the Birthday of
a Great Indian. He is not a cricketer or chess player is he a politician Singer
or dancer. He is swami Vivekananda, Who introduced Indian philosophy to the
Western world. It is only appropriate that the Government of India decided to
observe a great saint’s birthday as an occasion to hold activities that promote
the Youth. For, it is the legacy of Indian saints and sages that represents
the true identity of Indian ideology. I bequeath this book to the youth of our
country so they can know and understand the roots from which they have originated.
Hope they will identify with that aspect of the country which is so much around
us and yet goes unrecognized and untapped. The lives and teachings of saints
and sages are so full of energy. Let it not go waste in a world that is starved
The canvas of this book is very wide, ranging from about three billion years
ago, when the human creation had started, to the present time. It has now been
accepted that the Big Bang created the whole superstructure of the universe
14 billion years ago. Later, various creatures came into being and human being
appeared about three billion Year ago.
When the Universal Divine source or Cosmic Energy or Cosmic Consciousness,
called by different names of god in different religion, started the creation
of human beings with the help of human being with the help of Prakriti (Nature)
or Maya, the supreme Power also created his shadow of divinity called Saints,
Rishis or Munis to remind the human being that there is a Creator whom they
should not forget. The input of Jnana or spiritual Knowledge had to be developed
and inculcated in the minds of human beings this vital role was assigned to
the ancient Rishis munis and saints in every age present one.
The ancient Rishis and munis got the Vedas, the original books of Knowledge,
through their meditative in-depth studies, researches and intuition. These books
proved to be the foundation of all knowledge not only spiritual, but also empirical.
They also laid down the detailed procedures of rituals for worship the Divine
Creator. The Rishis who got the Vedas in their Dhyana war called Mantradrashta
The second step of imparting the Knowledge contained in the Vedas and other
sacred books was also very Knowledge contained in the Vedas and other sacred
books also very important. For this purpose, God created another set of Rishis,
Munis and saints who acted like spiritual teachers by opening Gurukuls, admitting
suitable from various classes of society and making them better and ethically
organized person. This is how the civilization started developing.
The work the divine Creator did not stop there. He created another set of
spiritual researchers who made in depth studies of both the outside and inside
of the universe and discovered many scientific mysteries of the common people
particularly during the last 10,000 years, such great personalities appeared
and made many discoveries which provided the foundation for further research
and spiritual scientists.
Up to this stage, two-pronged efforts were made to improve him living conditions
on Earth. One was to provide suitable knowledge and the other was to develop
means of comfort in life. The Divine Creator, however, was not satisfied with
only these achievements. His real objective of creating the universe was to
take the process of evolution to such a height that human being understood Him
and then tried to realize Him.
The drama of creation is very interesting. Rivers are Created from the waters
of the seas, play their role on Earth and then return to the same source from
which they were formed. In the same way, every individual soul is a part of
the universal divine soul, emerges from there, adopts a body, plays the assigned
role on Earth and then returns to the original source. In other words, it has
been the intention of the Divine Creator that every individual should come back
to him after understanding Him and realizing Him in the true sense. For this
purpose, the assistance and guidance of specialized persons is required. Fitting
this role, saints have appeared in large numbers throughout the word in all
religions and stared creating a revolution amongst the minds of the people.
The tools which they have used for this purpose are many, viz., sat sang spiritual
listening to discourses, and singing Bahamans and Kirtans. All these help one
divert their attention from the pursuit of mere worldly matters to God realization
the higher purpose of life.
The Divine Creator has been sending good soul in different human bodies to
promote Janana Yoga, Karma Dhayana, Dhyana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. In the Bhagaved
Geeta, we Lord Krishna, we have lord Krishna who was none other than the Universal
Divine soul who had been incarnated to transform the metal state of the people
and make them better individuals in very way. He explained various types of
Yoga which are helpful in the elevation of the soul. He has also given the master
concept of integrated Yoga which combines the benefits of all kinds of yoga.
He asked everybody to ultimately reach the summit of Bhakti Yoga, Which is the
Yoga of surrender to the Almighty and also one of complete elimination of ego
including the sense of &amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;doership&amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;. This concept of Integrated Yoga
recently very developed by the great Yoga was recently very well developed by
the great yogi and saint, Sri Sai Aurobbindo, who lived in Pondicherry. There
have been other saints also who have endorsed the same view and tried to shape
personalities of individuals in a balanced.
Amongst the living saints also, there are a few who have realized the truth
behind the teaching of Gita, other sacred books, Rishis, Munis and saints and
have been trying to inculcate amongst their disciples the of idea of making
God-realization the aim of life.
A question is often asked by inquisitive mind. In spite of the incarnation
or advent of so many evolved souls, why are majority of the people still ignorant,
selfish and unethical? The answer to this question is that whatever good is
to be seen on this Earth and in howsoever small a number good persons are available
this is all because of the constructive roles played by those great personalities.
Had not created them the original jungle life with its uncivilized behavior
would still continued.
Most of the wise men of Satya Yoga, the first epoch, were wedded to the concept
of Jnana Yoga. In Treta, the next epoch, the new element of Jnana Bhakti Karma
emerged. Many of the Rishis Munis and saints set before the people expels of
ideal as a householder saint King Father Mother Husband Brother friend and even
as a neighbor. Those expels are still relevant and the seeker souls study them
and try imbibe in their in lives as far as possible those finer elements.
Next came the epoch of Dwapar. In which the formal worship of God as a personal
deity started. It was found that only the study of spiritual literature ets.
Did not give proper food to the seeking minds of the people Rather something
more required to keep them engaged and to change the complexion of their consciousness.
Therefore ritual worship was introduced and along with it the need for a personal
deity. The Divine Creator was aware of these development and He created various
forms His own power. For every individual taste and inclinational a deity was
available Interestingly. Evil deities are also available. In the Bhagavad Gita
Lord Krishna has clearly indicated that the worship by different people of different
deities is all relevant and ultimately reaches Him in a circuitous way, But
those who worship Him directly reach their destination faster.
In this book it was not possible to classify every sage or saint according
to their contribution in the field of Jnana Yoga Karma Yoga Dhyana Yoga or Bhakti
Yoga. However from their lives given in this book one easily find out the finer
threads of emphasis. The only requirement is to study with faith and love.
The present book is not an the not an end in itself. It is only a means to
provoke a seeking mind to study life turn attention introspect and then decide
about the aim of his life. Thus it is only a stepping stone or spiritual ladder
through which one can advance on the spiritual path and ultimately achieve God
realization .The effort made in this regard will considered successful if even
a few individuals benefit from it and make their lives happier more purposeful
and successful in every way.
To err is human. If you find anything wrong or misplaced in the book you are
welcome to human to point this to the author or publisher so that the requisite
corrections may be made in subsequent editions .
In this whole universe nobody can work in isolation. I have also received
not only information from various sources but also the requisite inspiration
to write such a book with many dimensions. I do not feel shy in disclosing that
the Divine Power has also been giving due guidance and inputs for writing this
book such guidance has come In dreams not only while asleep but also when awake
.An interesting experience in this regard is that one particular saints had
been left out. He later appeared in a dream and asked why he had been left out.
He also made the suggestion that he should be given a few lines in the book
Thus in a sense this work s the result of the result of the combined effort
made by the Divine persons in the form of saints ets the divine friends and
even those relatives who have proved to b esdquately divine Besides, I am particularly
grateful to my wife Smt. Shivrani Prasad my eldest son Dr Ajit Sinha, My second
son P K Sinha, daughter Rashm,Verma, Son in law Naveen Verma and grandchildren
Gauri, Ambika, Aditya, Shashwat, Anand and Shantanu.
A special mention has to be made about the publisher. The Times of India and
its owners, who like seasoned Jewelers recognized the special value of this
work and made an offer to publish it as early as possible.
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