H.H. Shri Ananatanand Saish was a Guru beyond compare. He created three disciples each one on a different spiritual path
1. Path of renunciation – Ascetic – H.H. Bhuranandbaba
2. Path of Tantra -Tantrik – Shrirama Pandit
3. Path of Devotion) -Saint Bhaktaraj Maharaj (seat of inspiration for Sanatan Sanstha)
Let us learn about His family life, childhood, renouncing worldly life, meeting the Guru, spiritual experiences of seekers in His regard and His renunciation of the body.
1. Family life
H.H. Bhuranandbaba hails from Badwani District in Madhya Pradesh. His worldly name was Shankar and he belonged to the Bhilla tribe. He had a brother and a sister. When Shankar was with his family his sister got married. Poverty was so grave that he had to sleep with half the quilt on the floor as a bedsheet and half of it as a blanket covering himself.
As a child Shankar would hide in the hollow of a Holy fig (pimpal) tree. When the cobra there would hiss he too would retialiate with a hiss but not fear it. At the age of 7 years Shankar had severe boils on the body. They got infested with pus so much so that his mother would serve him food from a distance. Once when he has gone for his daily ablutions to the side of the canal an ascetic appeared there and told him to bathe and that he would feel better after that. It was very cold so Shankar could not take a bath. Then the ascetic told him to eat a laddoo. When he came to take the laddoo from the ascetic the latter pushed him into the water and did not allow him to come out for half an hour. Later as the sun began rising the pus discharged from the boils started decreasing and by noon the scabs too were thrown out without leaving any marks on the body.
3. Renouncing home and meeting
the Guru H.H. Shri Ananatanand Saish
After some time Shankar’s father expired. Someone commented that God had taken him away. It was then that Shankar went in search of God. After walking for three days he reached H.H. Shri Ananatanand Saish. Peeple would think of Shankar as an ascetic even at that time. Some would offer him food, others would inquire where he was going. He would reply that he was going to meet the sun and would ask the questioner whether he wanted to accompany him in response to which people would refer to him as a Maharaj. However some would also ridicule him. After three days Shankar reached the hut of H.H. Shri Anantanand Saish who had gone to Badwa. When He returned He found a young boy sleeping outside His door. He fed him tikkad. After a day had elapsed He inquired about him and offered His hospitality for a day or two. He then took him back to Badwa but Shankar returned to H.H. Shri Ananatanand Saish who told him to go back home once again. Shankar told Him he was homeless and offered to press His feet in exchange for food. This is how his seva commenced. Baba did not allowed this orphaned boy to feel so at all and that illiterate boy too did not leave a stone unturned in serving Baba. He would serve Baba day and night and would obey Him at all times.
4.Being initiated with a gurumantra
and getting transformed to Bhuranandbaba
Two to three months later Kotawalebaba told H.H. Shri Anantanad Saish that this young boy was good and that He should nurture him and to shave off his tuf of scalp hair. H.H. Shri Ananatanand Saish purchased ingredients required to perform abhishek (consecration) of Deity Maruti and on Tuesday (which is considered as the day of Maruti in North Bharat) He gave Shankar a bath, consecrated him, applied shendur to His forehead and both big toes and offered obeisance (namaskar) to Him. Then H.H. Shri Anantanad Saish told him to repeat this ritual on Him. Then he tonsured Shankar’s tuft of hair (shendi), initiated him with a gurumantra and standing in front of Deity Maruti told Shankar that was reborn from that day. He was no longer Shankar now he was Bholanand, yet for the Guru he remained Shankar. This name was appropriate for Shankar because he was really very simple and remained so till the end. Later He was known as Bhuranand.
5. Spiritual experiences
with respect to H.H. Bhuranandbaba
Before crossing the river at 2 a.m. H.H.
Bhuranandbaba saying that now his battery would
get charged and seeing light in front of him at that very moment
Once H.H. Bhuranandbaba was visiting Mortakka. The bhajan (devotional song) programme got over at 2 a.m.Then H.H. Bhuranandbaba told Saint Bhakataraj Maharaj that he was now going to sleep in his hut. So Baba told us to go and see how Bhuranandbaba crossed the river. I went accompanied by some devotees. It was pitch dark everywhere so there was no visibility. I shone a torch for him. Seeing it he shouted ‘Switch off that torch. Now, my battery will get charged’. Then light appeared before him. We got a chance to see how Gurumaharaj shows His disciples the way.’ – Mr. Bapu Joshi, Thane
6. Renouncing the body
H.H. Shri Ananatanand Saish had told Bhuranandbaba that he should not leave the hut or river bank till his death. Accordingly Bhuranandbaba did not go anywhwere, stayed there all his life and renounced his body there itself on December 15, 1989.
6A. Teaching through spiritual experiences
through the gross even after renouncing the body
After H.H. Bhuranandbaba renounced his body his disciple Parmanand did not know what to do. Once when seated in this a state of dejection he saw Bhuranandbaba. He asked him for a bidi. Parmanand gave it to Him. He smoked only half of it and threw out the rest. When Parmanand regained his senses he found a half smoked bidi there convincing him that everything which had happened was true and that the Guru was still existing.