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An Interview with Chandra Swami

It was in the village of Bhuman Shah that Suraj Prakash (Chandra Swami) was born on March 5th, 1930. His mother had a strong spiritual inclination. Right from the beginning, he had a very deep love and attraction for Baba Bhuman Shahji (1687-1747) and he later recognised him as his master. He also had a deep devotion and reverence for another great sage, Baba Shri Chanderji, who was one of the main exponents of the Udasin order.

As a child, Suraj Prakash used to have mystical experiences and visions of various saints unknown to him. He also had clairvoyant powers and knowledge of future events. In 1947, he was initiated into the Udasin order by Mahant Girdhari Dassji and his name was changed to Chandra Prakash. In 1951, he received his B.Sc. in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics from a college in Dehradun, northern India. In 1952, while studying for a Master”s Degree, the urge for God-realisation was so strong that he abandoned his studies and all worldly ties and justify for Haridwar. He grew his hair long and started wearing white clothes. He meditated two hours in the early morning and two hours in the evening and read Vedantic scriptures, like books by Swami Ram Tirth and Swami Vivekananda.

While in Haridwar, he met Swami Krishna Dassji, a sage with a rare love for Divine wisdom. Chandra Prakash was so impressed by his purity, simplicity and intense sadhana (spiritual practice) that only after staying with him several days, he asked the swami for the robe of a monk. The swami gave him these clothes and advised him to strictly observe the rules of a monk and follow in the footsteps of Baba Bhuman Shahji. From then on, he was addressed as Chandra Swami.

From there, he set out on foot to travel in the Himalayas and have the darshan (spiritual presence) of various saints. Later, he travelled to the northern states of Jammu and Kashmir, where he spent time in solitude, living in caves and small huts. This was a period of intense sadhana dedicated exclusively to God-seeking, which included prayer, breathing exercises, meditation, reading of scriptures and worship. During this period, he had numerous visions of great sages and saints, including Ramana Maharshi, Sri Aurobindo, Guru Nanak Devji and Baba Shri Chanderji.

One day, he had the vision of Rishi Sanat Kumar, who initiated him with a mantra (sacred phrase) and instructed him to recite it with a particular technique for a specific number of times. He devoted more than eight hours every night to the practice of the mantra and gave up all other spiritual exercises. This intense practice ended after three years. He then went back to his sadhana, and he again started having visions of various sages. Then, gradually all of this stopped. Everything was replaced by an ever expanding joy which filled his being more and more. Finally, the immutable, eternal Atman was realised as his essential nature and true Being. He was 29 years old at the time. In 1961, he justify Kashmir and went to live near Haridwar. He built several huts along the Ganges, in a forest nearby the town. Over the next four years, his realisation of the Self expanded to include the whole manifestation. Finally, he had the ultimate and integral realisation of the Divine at the age of 35.

He spent half of the year in complete silence and isolation, and during the other half, he made himself available for darshan and satsang for one hour in the afternoons. Many seekers came to him for spiritual guidance. In 1970, at the request of his devotees, he moved to Sewak-Niwas, a small ashram constructed for him by his disciples in Haridwar. In the late 1980’s

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