On 26th October 1932, in the town of Aligarh near Mathura in India, Srimati Rama Devi gave birth to a son. His parents used to call him Surya (his full name being Surya Prakash Shukla), but he is now known to all of us as Shri Prabhuji. He was born into a Brahmin family (a family of scholastic caste). His father, Sri Prabhupada Acharya Mohan Swarup Shukla, was a great saint and scholar, related to the tradition of Nimbarka (Shukadeva) Sumpradaya. So Shri Prabhuji was educated in "the traditional way" by his father.
At the age of 18 years he left home and went into the Himalayan mountains to the ancient and holy town of Badarinath. He met Swami Saravanandaji (ji is a term of respect), who was a desciple of the great Vedic scholar Swami Gangeshvaranandan Ji. He lived with Swami Gangeshwarananda Ji for several years and studied the Vedas at his holy feet. Swami Ji gave him the name "Suryabhanuh" (He who enlightens the sun).
For another ten years Shri Prabhuji lived in Dehradun furthering his education, with Mahant Sri Indiresh Charan Dasji, from Guru Ramray Darbar. In the meantime he had met a French Mother, Madam Louise Morin, a follower of the great Mahatma Gandhiji, she was at the time caring for Mrs. Indira Gandhi (no relation, and later Prime Minister of India), while her mother passed away in Lausane, Switzerland. Madam Morin had many contacts with great saints and poets of the time, like Rabindranath Tagor, Romio Rollon, and it was at this time that Shri Prabhuji also came into contact with such great statesmen as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (The First Prime Minister of India) and Lal Bahadur Shastri.
The President of India at the time was Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, who advised Prabhuji to join the Benares Hindu University to do his doctorate degree. This he did. Then he met the great saint Vinoba Bhave, and was inspired by him and the work he was doing distributing land to the poor, a movement known as Bhudaan, and Shri Prabhuji began working for this cause. The picture album on the life of Vinoba Bhave, Vinoba-Darshan, includes some pictures of Shri Prabhuji walking and dancing along with his master, Vinoba Bhave, the direct disciple and successor of Mahatma Gandhi.
He travelled extensively abroad several times, once travelling overland from Pakistan to France, preaching the essence of the Vedic religion and the message of the great Mahatma Gandhiji of ahimsa, or non-violence, and Universal Love. He preached this message in many parts of the world, including many European countries such as France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and England, and other western countries such as Australia, and eastern countries like Iran, Turkey, Egypt, etc.. He still has a deep spiritual connection with all these countries and their people, he loves them with his heart and they in return love him too from their heart. People from these nations constantly visit him and he loves them all, because it is verily this what he teaches. Love all and everybody!
Shri Prabhuji is a great lover of music, since he believes that music is the greatest form to express the Divine Love that resided in our hearts. He listens to music from all over the world, music from all countries in all languages. He believes that music and songs are the direct voice of God which everybody can understand even if we are not familiar with the language of the song. The heart understands everything.
In 1973 Prabhuji went into the mountains of the Himalayas again, and this time he lived alone in a cave near Solan, Simla in the state of Himachal Pradesh, North India. Here he did intense tapasya (austerities) until 1979, a period of seven years.
Over the years of his life he came into contact with many great saints and masters in India and abroad. Swami Shivanandaji Maharaj, Swami Venkateshanandaji Maharaj, Swami Muktanandaji Maharaj, Sri Krishnamacharii, J. Krishnamurthy, Ma Anandamayi, Swami Hridayananda Mataji, and many other famous masters and teachers of Yoga.
In his life, he only gave of himself and his knowledge to help those who sought the path of enlightenment and Divine Love. This he continues to do today, in "Omkarananda Krishna Kutir" at Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas (www.omkarananda-ashram.org), on the banks of the holy river Ganges, in Rishikesh. He is a scholar of many languages, including Sanskrit, English and French. He is also training his son Siddhartha Krishna to follow in his footsteps.
Once you hear Shri Prabhuji speak you will want more and more of his teachings, you will crave for more of his knowledge, you will yearn to sit in his presence! His eloquence, his gentle quietness, and his great knowledge are very hard to find in the world today. He is a master who has dissolved his mind in to the Brahman (The Absolute) and sublimated his soul in divine life, one who has been given the answers.
Swami Chinmayi Ma
To buy Shri Prabhuji's most authoritative book on Karma Yoga "Karma Yoga : The Art of Action", and other books or CDs by Shri Prabhuji, check the following page by clicking here.
To see some of Shri Prabhuji's most beautiful pictures, click here.