"Whenever you are in danger, - whether in the middle of the ocean, or in the midst of the battlefield, or in the deepest jungle - think of me and I will deliver you to safety."
These are the words from the very lips of that great Maharshi - the greatest yogi ever born - Yogavatar Baba Lokenath Brahmachari. He is the Living Gita; he is the Purnavatar; he is the divine synthesis of Jnana, Karma, Bhakti and Ashtanga Yoga. He is the Holy incarnation of the universal religion of love and compassion as preached by the Bhagvadgita.
Born in the year 1730, Sri Sri Lokenath Brahmachari was the fourth son of Ram Narayan Ghosal and Kamala Devi. Ram Narayan was a deeply religious person and had decided that his first-born son would be dedicated to the life of austerity. But motherly love was too great a bond for Kamala Devi to break and she could give up neither her first born, nor the second born, not even the third born. At last, the divine scheme of things was at play when the forth son was born to her. With the baby in her lap, whose body was glowing with a divine radiance, she knew that at last the time was ripe for the fulfilment of her husband's greatest wish. She knew that she could not bind this child with the fetters of her own attachment, so she let him follow the path of spiritual awakening.
In the neighbouring village lived Sri Bhagwan Ganguly, a householder (Grihi) sanyasi and a scholar of great reputation. Ram Narayan approached this great person to become the Acharya Guru of Lokenath and perform the sacred thread ceremony and to lead his son to the path of spiritual deliverance. So, when Lokenath reached eleven years of age, Guru Bhagwan chose the most auspicious day to initiate him as well as his bosom friend, Benimadhav. The three of them then left home to live in the jungles. Travelling for many miles, they came to Kalighat, near Calcutta (now Kolkata), a holy pilgrim site in eastern India, and the seat of Shakti. At that time, the place was full of sadhus and sanyasis, with long matted hair, and wearing loincloths. Lokenath and his friend started feeling at home right from the beginning in the midst of these holy men - who never told them anything even when they would disturb them in their meditation by pulling at their hair and their loincloths.
Then one day, having learnt that they too were destined to become like these sanyasis, Lokenath asked his guru to take them away from this place immediately because he wanted to sever all ties with his family, who knew where they were and were still sending them money and clothes for them. So the three of them moved away from Kalighat and went into deeper jungles.
Like a loving mother did Guru Bhagwan prepare the two boys for the hard life of austerity and renunciation. Under his able guidance, the boys, in addition to the practice of deep meditation, also observed various fasting vows that lasted - starting from a single day - to two days, then for three, five, nine and twelve days and then a fortnight. When the fasting lasted for a full month, twice in a row, Benimadhav could not complete his vow the second time, while Lokenath could do it easily. During the long years that these vows were being observed, Guru Bhagwan took complete care of his two disciples, from begging alms, to preparing their food, and even attending to their calls of nature. Afterwards, Baba Lokenath would always speak of his Guru with tears in his eyes and his voiced choked with emotion.
In accordance with the injunction of the Shastras that a sanyasi should visit his native place of birth after practising meditation and renunciation for twelve years, Lokenath and Benimadhav returned to their birthplace with (ruru Bhagwan Ganguly. Now at his native place, Baba Lokenath found himself gradually being engulfed into the web of Maha-Maya and the scheme of sensual indulgence as arranged by the Divine Mother. Many a day passed and never once did Guru Bhagwan remonstrate Lokenath for his behaviour, neither did he ask him to break his attachment and come away. Like the great teacher and proficient reader of the human mind that he was, Guru Bhagwan waited patiently for the time when Lokenath would have had enough of the test of the Divine Maya and would, of his own accord, tear himself away from his worldly attachments.