Remembering 7 Spiritual Gurus From India On Guru Purnima 2021


Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born on 15th April 1469 in Talwandi, Lahore (undivided India, now in Pakistan). He is one of the prominent saints in Indian history who spread the words of peace, love, and unity among his followers. He was the first preacher of Sikhism and is the First Guru. The followers of Guru Nanak are called Sikhs. The first full moon of Kartika month every year is celebrated as Guru Parba. In his birthplace, a big fair is organized to celebrate his birth anniversary.


A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was born in 1896 in Calcutta, India. He first met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, in Calcutta in 1922. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, a prominent devotional scholar and the founder of sixty-four branches of Gaudiya Mathas (Vedic institutes), liked this educated young man and convinced him to dedicate his life to teaching Vedic knowledge in the Western world. Srila Prabhupada became his student, and eleven years later (1933) at Allahabad, he became his formally initiated disciple.


Pramukh Swami Maharaj (born Shantilal Patel; ordained Narayanswarupdas Swami; 7 December 1921 – 13 August 2016) was the guru and Pramukh, or president, of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a major branch of the Swaminarayan Sampradaya, a Hindu denomination. BAPS regards him as the fifth spiritual successor of Swaminarayan, following Gunatitanand Swami, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj, and Yogiji Maharaj. He was believed by his followers to be in constant communion with Swaminarayan, and ontologically, the manifestation of Akshar, the eternal abode of Swaminarayan.


Pandurang Shastri Athavale was born on 19th October 1920, in the Roha village near Mumbai city. By the age of 22 years, Pandurang Shastri Athavale started giving discourses at the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita Pathshala, a school that was set up by his father. In the year 1954, he attended the Second World Religions Conference, which was held in Japan. At the conference, he delivered a speech on the concepts of Vedic ideals as well as the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. The Swadhyayees who spread the ideas of Athavale throughout the country are known as “Krutisheels’ or the people of action. Pandurang Shastri Athavale also founded an institute, known as Tatvagyan Vidhyapeeth, where young people study and learn his views and ideas. Pandurang left for the holy abode on 25th October 2003, in Mumbai.


Born in 1956 in Southern India, Sri Sri was a gifted child. Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a globally revered spiritual and humanitarian leader. He has spearheaded an unprecedented worldwide movement for a stress-free, violence-free society. Through a myriad of programs and teachings, a network of organizations including the Art of Living and the International Association for Human Values, and a rapidly growing presence across 156 countries, Sri Sri has reached an estimated 450 million people. Sri Sri has developed unique, impactful programs that empower, equip and transform individuals to tackle challenges at global, national, community and individual levels.


Jaggi Vasudev known as Sadhguru is an Indian yogi who teaches yoga, meditation and frequently answers questions related to spirituality. He is known for his keen wit, humour and ability to combine ancient Indian yoga with modern life. He founded the Isha Yoga Centre and has promoted several environmental issues. He has travelled around the world, speaking at venues from Davos to the United Nations. He promotes a spirituality which emphasises personal transformation, clean living and social awareness. He has been associated with aspects of Hindu nationalism.


Mahant Swami Maharaj was born to Dahiben and Manibhai Narayanbhai Patel on 13 September 1933 (Bhadarva vad 9, Samvat 1989) in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India. On 20 July 2012, in the presence of senior sadhus in Ahmedabad, Pramukh Swami Maharaj revealed Mahant Swami as his spiritual successor. Following the earthly departure of Pramukh Swami Maharaj on 13 August 2016, Mahant Swami became the sixth guru in the Gunatit Parampara tradition of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Mahant Swami Maharaj now presides as the guru and spiritual guide of countless devotees and helms the worldwide socio-spiritual activities of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.