Ācharyagüru Swami Shri Chidananda Bharati ji was born in 1909 at Chandoli village in Alwar Distt of Rajesthan near Gujarat as Shri Shivāharidas. The name was given for his father was devotee of Lord Shiva and mother devotee of Lord Vishnu. His parents were great followers of Maa Anandamayee so they took the child to receive her blessing the crucial time was 1920.
This blessing turned a child of 11 to look inwards and his desire to gain knowledge about divine became very strong.
He left his home at the tender age of twelve in search of knowledge and self-realisation. Travelling throughout India on foot the young brahmachari spent the early years of his life in the study of Sanskrit and mastering the scriptural lore.
He then followed the path of the ancient Rïshi’s of the Himalayas and practiced the most difficult tapasya and yogic sadhana while continuing the search of a real guru who could lead him to the final goal. He came across a number of ascetics about who one reads only in the scriptures, he felt his search came to an end when he met Swami Abhyānanda Bharati ji who had just returned from Tibet.
Swami Abhyānanda Bharati ji who was from the Adi Shankārācharya lineage and had received his initiation from Swami Sri Nrïsimha Bhārati VIII said that while meditating he felt that he was being called to Bāijnath for a purpose to a divine mission.
At the age of 21 Shivāharidas was transformed for life through the Sanyasā Dikshā and the name Swami Chidananda Bharati was given. He stayed with Swami Abhyananda ji for three years where upon he studied Veda, Upanishads, Puranas and did extensive tapasya at Chamoli, Gopeshwar, Rudraprayag, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamonutri
Even after intense tapas and advaita philosophy his quest was still there. At Gangötri Swami Abhyānanda Bharati took Jala Samadhi after saying that Swami Chidananda Bharati has to search for Guru while he was only permitted to pass knowledge of the texts to the divine swami and told him to go to Varanasi where he would be getting the answer.
Swami Chidananda Bharati who by the age of 24 he mastered the Upanishads, Vedas, Puranas but this did not quench his thirst for a Guru who could show him the path of divine, the path shown by Swami Abhyānanda ji came as a solace. He walked all the way from Gangötri to Varanasi. By the time he reached Varanasi Navratra had started.
From the day one itself he traveled all over the city meeting various ascetics and sadhus but nothing could fill his heart with tranquility and peace he was seeking. After doing darshan at Kashi Vishwanath on the night of navami he went to Manikarnika Ghat. The whole place was burning, funeral pyres were everywhere, yet his mind was still questioning.
MEETING THE GURU
His vision of this knowledge was provided by the Divine during the Navaratri period on the fateful night of Navami in 1943 near the Manikarnika Ghat, Varanasi. His inner voice told him to reach Girnar where he would find his Guru. On the same night itself he started walking the distance from Varanasi to Girnar near Junagarh Saurastra(A distance of more than 1400 km).
On the fateful day of Shivaratri, he started climbing the mystical mountain of Girnar. A tedious task not easy to attain in one go for more than 8000 steps are from the base to the highest temple peak. In the early dawn the mountain of Girnar rises darkly against the bright orange sky, like Gods descending upon Earth.
Shiva represents the Male consciousness and is named as Mahadeva (Lord of Lords), his body covered with ash, representing the destruction and also re-generation.
Celebration of Shivaratri at Girnar on that divine day in the words of Ācharyagüru Swami Shri Chidananda Bharati ji:
शिव बाबा का दिन था, उस आशुतोष का, नाट्यराज, जटा धाराया गंगा वाहिनी स्वरूप का था दिन और मैं गिर्नार के पास था हाज़ारो साधुओ का कारवाँ था, नज़रें जहाँ देखे वहाँ साधु थे. वातावर्ण में एक दिव्या शक्ति का अनुभव कर रहा था. उस परमपिता परमेश्वर की शक्ति का अवतरण का मैं अनुभव कर रहा था. श्रद्धा से जब साधु जनो को नमन करते हुए मेरी आँखें उस देवता के दर्शन के लिए लालाय्त हो रही थी जिनको मिलने का अवसर आज है
Shiv baba ka din tha, Us Ashutosh ka, Natyaraj, jata dharaya Ganga vahini Swaroop ka the din aur mein Girnar ke pass tha. haazaroo Sadhu-o ka caravan tha, nazrein jahan dekhe wahan sadhus. Vatavarn mein ek divya shakti ka anubhav kar raha tha. Us parampita parameshwar ki shakti ka avataran ka mein anubhav kar raha tha. Shraddha se jab sadhu jano ko naman karte hue meri ankhein us devata ke darshan ke liye lalayat ho rahi thi jinko milna ka awsar aaj hai
‘It was the day of Lord Shiva, The Ashutosha, the natyaraja, jata dharaya, Ganga vahini when at the holy place of Girnar thousands of Sadhu’s gather to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva I was called to meet the Divya Guru Baba. So many Sadhus around so much energy flow was there, I could feel the divinity descending all around. Bowing my head to many senior Sadhus I walked through, my joy was limitless, my mind was searching for the divine whom I would be meeting here’
Near the top of the Girnar mountain, I sensed powerful vibrations and powerful sounds of Dāmaru. There in front I saw the divine I came looking, he was holding two dāmru’s of different sizes in his hands and was rattling the dāmaru’s simultaneously, each at different speed, creating a mystical rhythm. I touched his feet and said ‘Aum Namah Shivaye’, Silently smiling, he gestures for me to sit next to him, and silently he continues with his ritual act: he sprinkles fresh marigolds around the fire, reciting magical formulae.
The person he found was Eternal Guru Aghor Baba Pinakin ji
The seeker had found His Master.
From that time onwards Ācharyagüru Swami Shri Chidananda Bharati ji has always been with Aghor Baba Pinakin ji till 26-Jun- 2002 when he took Jala Samadhi in Mandakini near Kedarnath.