‘Param Pujya’ Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale is such divine personality who has taught seekers to follow ‘Gurukrupa Yoga’, a combination of ‘Karma-Yoga’, ‘Dnyan-Yoga’, ‘Bhakti-Yoga’ i.e all paths of spiritual practice so that they attain Sainthood in short time ! In His thoughts and actions, an indomitable ideology is observed for progress of Hindus, nation and the world. His activities in all fields like literature, journalism, art, language etc are most determined. In short, He is the zenith of ‘Dharmarakshaks’ for Hindus; He is the great national leader considering the movement undertaken by Him for welfare of the nation and He is ‘Jagatguru’ who thinks about welfare of the mankind !
Birth and worldly life
‘Param Pujya’ Dr. Athavale was born on 6th May 1942 at Nagothane in Raigad district of Maharashtra. He studied medicine and undertook further studies in psychiatry. He practised in Britain for 7 years and then in Mumbai as psychotherapist; so also conducted research in hypnosis. He trained more than 400 doctors in hypnotherapy.
Progressing in Spiritual practice and attaining Guru
During 1967 to 1982 i.e. 15 years working as hypnotherapist and conducting research, He realized that around 30% patients did not get cured with medicines and some of them who were not cured, got cured after going to some pilgrimage place or meeting a Saint or after performing some religious rituals. He thus realized that spiritual science was superior to medical science since it treated at physical and mental levels. His ‘jidnyasu (desire to learn)’ nature made Him study spiritual science in detail. He went to many Saints and got His doubts clarified from them as also undertook spiritual practice. In 1987 at Indore, He was given ‘Guru-mantra’ by great Saint His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj.
Extensive ‘Adhyatma-prasar’ and ‘Dharmajagruti’
Following His Guru’s orders, He immersed Himself in the mission of ‘Adhyatma-prasar (propagation of spirituality)’ and for that, He founded ‘Sanatan Bharatiya Sanskurti Sanstha’ in 1990 and ‘Sanatan Sanstha’ in 1999. He started visiting places all over the country, with His own money, and giving lectures. ‘Jidnyasus’ were captivated by His lectures and He lighted flame of devotion for God amongst thousands of ‘jidnyasus’. Now, there are hundreds of seekers who are selflessly working for making society abide by Dharma and virtuous, through the medium of lectures, weekly ‘satsangs’ and ‘Bal-sanskar’ classes. After 1997, His Holiness Dr. Athavale spread His movement of imparting knowledge quite extensively. He visited places in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa conducting more than 100 rallies.
Treasure of books created for imparting ‘Dharmashikshan’ to society
Realizing that people would follow ‘Dharma’ in right manner if ‘Dharmashikshan’ is imparted to them, He has so far created more than 235 books giving knowledge in scientific language. 58, 55,000 copies of 240 books in 14 languages have been published till February 2015 on various subjects such as Spirituality, Sadhana (Spiritual Practice), Worshipping Deities, Ideal virtuous routine, religious acts, protection of nation, protection of mother tongue etc. The knowledge made available in books is getting publicity now, even through TV channels.
Vyashti (Individual) and Samashti (Collective) spiritual practice !
1. He gave expansive form to ‘sadhana’ based on the principle of spirituality that ‘there are as many ways of sadhana as there are people’.
2. Liberation, however, cannot be attained without Guru’s grace even though one may follow any path of sadhana. For acquiring Guru’s grace, therefore, He taught 8 aspects of ‘sadhana viz. chanting, satsang, satseva, sacrifice for ‘Sat’, spiritual love without any expectations, bhav-jagruti (invoking of spiritual emotion), removal of personality defects and removal of ego.
3. Even if one undertakes ‘Vyashti Sadhana’ (individual spiritual practice like chanting etc), God realization is not possible without ‘Samashti Sadhana’ (collective spiritual practice such as Dharmaprasar, Dharmajagruti, ‘Rashtra-rakshan (protection of nation) undertaken for welfare of people). He taught this important aspect.
Bringing together Saints and Sampradayas
His Holiness Dr. Athavale didn’t stop at teaching spirituality to people but he tried to bring together people undertaking spiritual practice through different ‘Sampradayas’, by conducting ‘Sarva Sampradaya Satsangs’ in different cities. He brought different Saints on one platform. He travelled extensively to meet Saints and bound together devotees and those who believed in God; making further use of such union in the activities for revival of nation and Dharma.
Hindu Unification, Protection of Nation and Dharmajagruti
Giving title of ‘Dharmarakshak’ to great persons, who create motivation amongst thousands of people to work for protection of Dharma, is actually not adequate. The task, therefore, carried out by His Holiness Dr. is also of very high level. He kindled a spark amongst people to raise voice against mockery made of Hindu Dharma, Deities, Holy Scriptures, Saints and great national leaders. He taught seekers that the first voice raised against attacks on Hindus’ seats of worship should be of Sanatan Sanstha. Thousands of seekers precisely following His teachings, is a gift given by Him to the society.
He set up ‘Sanatan Prabhat’ periodicals group for creating a medium, at ideological level, for removing stupor and indifference gathered over people and to teach them, issues related to protection of nation and Dharma. Presently, 4 editions of daily newspaper in Marathi, weekly periodicals in Marathi and Kannada languages; besides, monthly periodicals in Hindi, English and Gujarati are published through this medium.
Transcendental work in Spiritual Realm !
1. Creation of ‘Sattvika’ pictures of Deities and Shri Ganesh idol
Pictures of Deities drawn under the guidance of His Holiness Dr. Athavale have invoked Principles of respective Deities at higher extent. Seekers draw pictures of Deities with subtle knowledge so that such pictures match with the universal form of such Deity to higher extent; therefore, the Principles of these Deities are captured in pictures drawn on papers. His Holiness Dr. used to tell seekers while they used to draw such pictures that we should develop so much devotion towards the Deity that the Deity should feel like coming and standing before the seeker and tell the seeker to draw picture. Initially, it used to take 6-8 months for drawing such pictures. Now, the principle of Deities is gradually increasing in these pictures.
2. Sanatan Sanstha’s spiritual research
In the present age of science, He got research conducted through scientific equipment so that people in this age would understand the importance of subtle subject like Spirituality. Through such research, He proved good effects of vegetarian food, Indian way of dressing, Indian music and dance, sadhana on human beings so also adverse effects of non-vegetarian food, western way of dressing, their music and dance etc on the basis of science.
3. Research on distress due to negative energies and its remedies
Many people in this world are distressed due to ghosts, evil spirits and spirits of our discontented ancestors. They are financially exploited in the name of removal of their distress. His Holiness Dr. has conducted research even on manifestation of distressing energies and remedies and found out spiritual remedy that costs nothing since it involves only chanting the name of Deities. People from India so also from abroad are taking benefit of these remedies.
4. ‘Sanatan Purohit Pathshala’
Sanatan’s pathshala creating Purohits (priests)
His Holiness Dr. Athavale has set up ‘Sanatan Purohit Pathshala’ to train ‘Purohits’ who will motivate people to abide by Dharma and show right path for God Realization within less time. Creating ‘Purohits’, who will practise their profession as ‘sadhana’, is the main goal of this project. By doing their job i.e. ‘Pourohitya’ as ‘sadhana’, they will soon progress to become ‘Shishya (disciple) – Purohit’ from ‘Sadhak-Purohit’ and move towards becoming ‘Saint-Purohit’. ‘Purohits’ from this ‘Pathshala’ can explain the meanings of religious rituals to the host performing it; thus, it is performed as per science and the host gets maximum spiritual benefits of performing such ritual.
5. Setting up ‘Gurukul’ which is like a form
of ‘Adhyatmik Vishwavidyalaya’ to some extent
After Takhsashila and Nalanda, attempts were not made for setting up a University for Hindus. His Holiness Dr. presented the concept of ‘Adhyatma Vishwavidyalaya’ in 1989. His outlook is imparting of knowledge not just for the sake of knowledge but He feels that students should attain liberation through speedy spiritual progress. It is the main goal of setting up ‘Adhyatma Vishwavidyalaya’. Through the project of ‘Sanatan Gurukul’ which is like a form of ‘Adhyatma Vishavidyalaya’ to certain degree, there are seekers studying for 11 hours every day, whose spiritual level was higher even at the time of birth and who have yearning for God realization. They will be taught subjects like art, grammar, ‘Yoga-vidya’ along with Holy Scriptures. Their teachers will also be evolved seekers and Saints in spiritual field.
His Holiness Dr. Athavale has given guidance in all subjects such as Dharma, Sanskruti, art, national interest etc. By undertaking ‘sadhana’ on the path shown by Him, 56 seekers of Sanatan Sanstha (till March 2015) have become Saints in short period and nearly 100 seekers are on the threshold of attaining Sainthood ! Hindus, groping in the darkness of selfishness and hunger for power, are shown bright sunlight by this great divine personality, so that they walk towards the same.