In the field of religious austerities across the Indian sub-continent, Moharaja Anandaswami is a name to be remembered with reverence. This introspective religious austere was born at the village of Kalikuccha under Sorail Upazila of Brahmanbaria district in 1832. In the Indian Sub-continent of the then British colony, Anandaswami caused incredible self spiritual development in the arena of religious asceticism amongst chaotic socio-economic, political and cultural context. He played epoch-making role in reforming religion with progressive interpretation. Instead of the blow of the Brahminism, religious stigma, social prejudices, he introduced such a religious paradigm that carries the messages to enlighten humanity; makes the deep, philanthropic and humanitarian spirit flow eternally. His school is instigates human thoughts pervaded with supreme good will and spirit of welfare.
We should mention that Ananswami in his early life was a follower of the Brahmo Somaj introduced by Raja Ram Mohon Roy. Ram Mohon adapted the doctrine of Monotheism in lieu of Polytheism. Ram Mohon influenced by the Monotheism of Islam and Christianity intended to eliminate discrimination and meaningless intolerance from the religion. Ram Mohon’s main objective was social reformation. Aim of social reformation was his basic motivation to reform religion. But, Anandaswami, despite being erudite in “Brahmanism”, came to his village to concentrate on theology, inspired by humanity and spirituality. Neglecting discrimination, conflicts, cast system etc, introduced religious doctrine that eliminates differences among various religions and places human being in the humane world of benevolence. Coordinating all of the religions is the motto of Anandaswami. He is the devotee of kind and merciful creator “Doyama”. It is the common name and reflection of the creator for the followers of all of the religions. This aspect of all religions is the force of his contemplation on coordinating all of the religions. This theology can be considered by comparing with the pre-medieval synthesized thought of the three votaries - Kabir, Dadu and Nanok. Besides, we think that we can evaluate Sri Anandyaswami in the light if the contribution and significance of Sri Chaitnyadeva, the initiator of Gourio Boisnab manifestation of devotion. The reason is that we can interpret the life and works of these devotees from two perspectives- 1. Worldly; and 2. Spiritual. The secular and philanthropic humanitarian thoughts of these devotees focus the context of social and humane liberty. Though the principal objective of these devotees is spiritual liberty, their thoughts aim to achieve both the spiritual and worldly mission. Anandaswami is such a devotee in the Bengal trend of secular austerity that it is very important to know him and study his works. He introduced the religious paradigm of ‘synthesizing all religions’. He also discovered his own unique way and method of ascetic austerity. He wrote a number of books to explain the mystery of his meditative ascetic practices. The supremacy of his writings, his method and principles of ascetic practices arise our bewilderment! It is a matter of regret that very few people are aware of the life and works of this great character. However, Anandaswami has taken a very significant position among Bangladeshi and even Indian sub-continental religious gurus. It is our misfortune that we have not studied him properly and thus he is not projected duly. Even there is visible study and promotional activities about his descendent Mohorshi Monomohan Dutt. If we do not realize the essence of the great personality Anondyaswami who is followed and venerated by Monomohan, we shall never comprehend what a prosperous resource is remaining neglected at the back our sight.
His most important books are-
- 1. Prokreto totto
- 2. Yoga pronali
- 3. Sharba Dharma sangeet
- 4. Sharba Dharma Shadhan totto pronali
- 5. Sharba Dharma Shadhan totto pronali O Sharmormo
- 6. Ashirbad
It is very much significant and astounding that the trend Bengal’s innate practices has been exposed and expanded basically through music. The ancient Charyapada written by the Buddha innates, the medieval literature ‘Srikrisnakirtan’ and ‘Boisnab Podaboli’ are the supreme instances of ascetic music. The ‘Universal Religious Songs’ of Anondaswami are the succession of this trend. But his “Universal Religious Songs” has got specific appeal for their pure spiritual spirit. His songs are unique in their style of expression and diversity of contents. 444 songs have been published in a single volume, which is an enriched resource of Bangla folk songs. All of the songs are composed in various rhythms and modes of music. The songs reflect different types of notes and tones. His creations reproduce the notes and tones of Kirtan, Devotional Songs, Ascetic Songs, Shyamasamgeet, Qawali etc. However, they are all bathed in spiritual thoughts. It is said that these songs have not been created in human knowledge and intellect. Through these songs, he messages of the omnipotent have come into light. While Anondyswami remained occupied in meditation, the lyrics of these songs spontaneously came out and kept written. Thus, these songs are the sources of deep thoughts and knowledge. It can be said that these songs have been written during the practices of ascetic meditation of Anondyaswami. Anodyaswami himself termed these songs as the universal religious songs. He acquired inner vision by dint of his ascetic practices. He impulsively said:
If you wish to witness the beauty, board the meditation setting
Being never-aging ever-living, you’ll achieve the fruit of austerities.
The motto of his ascetic c practices was to hail the name of the “Doyamoy’. The dominant strain of his devotion, ascetic concentration is to preach the name of ‘Doyamoy’ through diversity of love-kirtan. He said:
The glory of the name of Doyal spreads over the globe;
The divine name of Doyal reached everywhere.
Churning round the ocean of truth, the Great
Achieved the priceless oceanic and heavenly sphere.
Human neglects the principal duty and become confined within the impermanent, decaying worldly activities only. Self-prudent Anondyaswami highlights his indicators of repents-regrets and self-realization:
O my foolish mind, what are the essences you look for on earth.
If one doesn’t accomplish body-centric austerity, his efforts go in vain.
Overturned with diseases and miseries, you cannot perform duly;
The songs also express the influence of yoga and Baul doctrine. There are many more examples in his songs that can be quoted. His musical philosophy is not only superb from the point of view of realization, theology, content-rhythm-ornaments-modes etc but also supreme as literary piece. They are like heavenly maxim to the devotees and followers. They are stairs upwards the after-world peace. On the contrary, the songs of Anondyswami are a giant resource the world of prayers songs.
We marked that ‘The Theory of Truth’ is the most important creation of Anondyaswami. To comprehend this book rightly, a reader should possess the devotion and mood of an ascetic austere. In this regard, Professor Ranjit Kumar Bishwas remarks:
Without knack of ascetic practices, the realization about ‘The Theory of Truth’ is not possible; however, by the grace of Doyamoy, if someone patiently continue to read it on, it will be possible for him or her to understand the book.’
There are 55 theories in ‘The Theory of Truth’. Through these theories, Anondaswami presented the core of his diversified ascetic life. The theories uncovered the significance of works, wisdom and devotion. These theories describe the temporary liberty of the human race. The freedom of human is mentioned here very logically, though the liberty of after-world is the principal focus here. The motto of the theories is to be lovingly devoted to the Doyamoy. The ‘Theory of Truth’ is the core of the universal religion. This book has power to be connected to all of the religions practiced on earth. It means all of the religions mingle into this religion to provide human with Mantra of life. The liberty of life is the essence of this book. The Theory of Truth is the extract of the universal religion.
Mohammad Shekh Sadi
Assistant Professor (Dept. of Bangla)