Baba Lokenath Brahmachari was born as the fourth child, to Kamala Devi & Ramnarayan Ghosal (a devout lover of God), in 1730 in a village called Chakla in Barasat district, a few miles to the north of the city of Kolkata. Ramnarayan, believed in the age-old Hindu tradition of dedicating one person from the family to become a renunciate monk, in service to God. Filial attachment prevented the mother from giving up any of her first three children. However, divine phenomena occurred during the birth of her fourth child which persuaded her to willingly dedicate it to God ! He was named ‘Lokenath’ which literally means, the Lord of Lokas (all the worlds). When Lokenath was 11 years old, Ramnarayan handed over the responsibility of this child to a great householder yogi and renowned Vedic scholar, Bhagwan Ganguly, who, realizing the divine providence of Lokenath’s birth, initiated him & his playmate Benimadhav, who also insisted on becoming a sannyasi!
For 30 years, Lokenath went through the most difficult yogic practices from ashtanga yoga to incredible feats of hatha yoga while living in the jungles and the plains, observing the vow of celibacy and fasting. Finally they all left for Himalayas and there, Baba, at the age of 90 years, touched the highest peaks of spiritual illumination, Nirvikalpa Samadhi (complete oneness with the whole cosmos or the divine). However, he realized that his Gurudev, who had given his whole life to his disciples, was yet to be enlightened! Gurudev informed Lokenath that he will give up his body shortly & asked Lokenath to accept him ( Gurudev ), in his next birth, as his disciple & lead him to moksha ( nirvana ) !!Baba prayerfully accepted !!This was possibly one reason why a yogi of Baba’s stature, instead of remaining forever in the Himalayas, came down & settled in the hamlet of Baradi in Bangladesh.
Another unique part of Baba Lokenath’s life is his travel on foot to Mecca, Afghanistan, Persia, parts of western countries, and to the North Pole, sanctifying the lands, finally coming to Baradi (presently in Bangladesh, 35 Km from capital city of Dacca) where he lived for the last 26 years of his life. As the words of his compassion, love and healing spread far and wide, his small hermitage became the holy confluence of all religious communities. He was considered the mythological Wish-fulfilling Tree. He never performed any miracles, but like fragrance to flowers, miracles happened throughout his life. He did not create any order of sannyasis, but instead, trained the householders to reach the high state of yoga through his instructions and his yogic teachings. Though this love incarnate yogi was busy during the day heeding to all the wishes of the common people, yet at night in his cottage, yogis from the Himalayas and Tibet would, leaving their physical bodies, come in their astral bodies to learn advanced yoga!! On 2nd June 1890, at the age of 160 years, in the presence of thousands of devotees, Baba left his mortal body, of his own will & entered the state of mahasamadhi, which is the retreat to the final Abode. During his lifetime, no one saw Baba blinking his eyes even once !! His eternal promises still ring in the hearts of his followers, irrespective of caste, color, or creed. Thus spoke the great Master who always melted in infinite compassion, just before leaving his mortal body: “I am eternal, I am deathless. After this body falls, do not think that everything will come to an end. I will live in the hearts of all living beings in my subtle astral form. Whosoever will seek my refuge, will always receive my Grace.” To immerse in the life of Baba Lokenath, and to catalyze your spiritual growth thence, please do read “ THE INCREDIBLE LIFE OF A HIMALAYAN YOGI ( The Times, Teachings & Life of Living Shiva Baba Lokenath Bhrahmachari).