Jagadguru Narendracharyaji Maharaj was born at 10:30pm on Friday, October21, 1966, in the village of Nanij in Ratnagiri District of Maharashtra, India. His parents were Baburao Surve and Subhadra Devi. Being born in the Capricorn zodiac, the child was slated for a monastic way of life. As Saturn governed over the birth sign, the child was predicted to possess valour, fame and oration skills. Narendra spent time in spiritual pursuits from his early childhood.
He became a devotee of the revered Saint Gajanan Maharaj. He became so engrossed in his beloved deity that not only did he think about Gajanan Maharaj at all times but also dreamt of him. His parents arranged for him to be married in order to bring him back to the mundane. His marriage took place on October 15, 1985. He was blessed with son, Kanifanath, on October24, 1988. After the birth of his son, Narendra felt that he had fulfilled his duties to the family and gave his life completely to spirituality.
His devotion increased with each passing day. As Saint Gajanan Maharaj was aware of Narendra’s future role, he advised him to seek initiation from a Guru. Following his guidance, Maharaj became the disciple of Samarth Sadguru Kaadsiddheshwar Maharaj of Kanheri, Kohlapur, on the full moon day of January 1991. Samarth Sadguru Kaadsiddheshwar Maharaj was a sage of very high calibre of acclaimed lineage. Maharaj achieved self-realization in March 1991 under the guidance. He realized that the power that pervaded the entire universe was within him as well. In fact, he pervaded the universe himself.
Sadguru Kaadsiddheshwar was aware of the future course of events. Observing Maharaj’s spiritual progress, he advised Maharaj to establish the Swarup Sampraday. On February 24, 1992, revered Narendracharyaji gave up worldly life and founded the Swarup Sampraday. His teaches that God is omnipresent and all pervading. His mahamantra is, ‘awake yourself and wake others up’. He is against all distinctions of caste and creed. The rich and the poor are equal in his eyes. Like the Adya Jagadguru, Jagadguru Narendracharyaji Maharaj also believes in ‘Jat-pat puchche nahi koi, Hari ka bhaje so Hari ka hoi!’ He has pledged to serve the under-privileged and downtrodden for according to him therein lies true service to the Divine. He has initiated many free social programs for the good of all.
His followers include rich and the poor, elite and the ordinary. He welcomes those who come back to Hinduism and gives them due respect. He has undertaken various initiatives to unite all Hindus. His efforts are aimed at making them aware of the greatness of their religion so that they forget all the divisions of caste and creed and come together for its sake.
His teachings are simple, yet practical. Instead of advising us to spend hours in prayer in today’s hectic life, he advises us to spare just 10 minutes a day for devotion and not think ill of others even in our distant dreams. To those seeking salvation he advises cultivating an attitude of detachment in their minds. He teaches that bhakti or devotion has two forms- Para and Apara, the former being for the householder and the latter, for the renunciate. He directs us to simple and easily practicable approaches that will enable today’s indulgent humanity to forsake mundane entertainment in favour of greater joys of spiritual enlightenment. Involvement in sense-pleasures has increased considerably in modern times due to prevalence of the sense.
Similarly, people have gradually become distanced from religion and culture due to technological advancements. Swami Narendracharyaji Maharaj is trying to rejuvenate their inner beings and reinvigorate their spiritual health in a big way. On October 21, 2005, he was ordained the Jagadguru Ramanandacharya. Once he received empowerment as the Dharmaguru, he began the process of bringing thousands who had left the faith back with additional vigour and in a more expansive way. The indifference to religious conversions prevalent in the akhadas among the monks and sages upsets Jagadguru Sri. According to him the holy men must not confine themselves within the monasteries but also crisscross the nation for the good of humanity.
They must look for ways to help the common man attain liberation. Jagadguru Sri has set an exemplary precedent in this regard. He roams the country for at least 250 days a year. During his meetings with the people, Jagadguru Sri has noticed ignorance about religion, worship procedures and Gods and Goddesses among the Hindus. He realized that to address this issue, it was imperative to educate them about their dharma. He has been relentlessly doing so since. He follows Ekeshvarivad or the existence of only one God who is attribute less.
This was the original Aryan concept of the Divine. As society grew, it came to include a different population of people, the non-Aryans. The worship consequently took on two distinct forms as well, that of Nirgun, meaning formless and attributeless and Sagun, meaning with form and attributes. Both the paths believe in the same core set of tenets, which describe God as eternal, deathless and all pervading. The revered Jagadguru Sri Swami Narendracharyaji Maharaj is a committed proponent of these tenets.