Sri Shantanandapuri Maharaj is the disciple of Sri Purushottamananda Maharaj, who was the direct disciple of Sri Brahmananda (Raakhal) – who was one of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s prime disciples. All of them are verily Jivan Muktas. Once Sri Shantanandapuri Maharaj visited Chennai. During that time, Sri Sri Swamiji was not in town. Maharaj was taken to the Ashram where all the students chanted at His presence, led by the teachers. Maharaj was extremely pleased with the environ of the Ashram, the divinity of the place, and the lusture in the face of the young patasala students and their teachers. He spoke very highly of these. I happened to be at the Ashram. We were very happy to hear it from him.
Once I happened to visit Kankal, which is a place in Uttar Pradesh. This was quite a few years ago. Sri Sri Swamiji asked me to visit Vashishta Guha which was a place close by Kankal. Vashishta Guha is a place where Sri Shantanandapuri Maharaj, who is a wandering monk, comes and stays for a few months. He had a very huge following in the North.
I was fortunate to stay in the Ashram for a few days. Every time a devotee came to have Sri Shantanandapuri Maharaj’s darshan, Maharaj would introduce me to them and speak very highly of Sri Swamiji and our Ashram.
I imagined that Maharaj was making me feel at home and was being kind to me, and hence these words. But Maharaj truly meant it! One day, I offered to do ‘kainkarya’ cleaning up a room, when Maharaj told me, ‘Do you know who your Guru is? So many gurus may come by in this world. But it is extremely rare to see an Acharya. And your Guru is one! And what He has done till date is not even a miniscule percentage of what He is going to be doing in future!’
I was surprised and baffled beyond words hearing this from Maharaj! Indeed only Jnanis can understand other Jnanis!
Ms. Nirmala Giri, Chennai
(During a telecon Satsang)