Swami Amar Jyoti
Swami Amar Jyoti was born on May 6, 1928 in a small town in northwestern India, not far from the banks of the Indus River. His childhood interests were many: science, math, music, writing, cycling, drama and sports, and He brilliantly excelled in all of these. His college education was temporarily interrupted by the partition of India in 1947,but He soon transferred to a college in Mumbai (Bombay). Much beloved by family and professors, He shocked everyone with the decision to leave home a few months before graduation, saying, “I’d like to read an open book of the world for my education.”
At the age of nineteen, without money or any particular destination, He took the first train to Calcutta.It was 1948. Refugees were pouring over the border of East Bengal (now Bangladesh) into West Bengal by the thousands each day. Living on a railway platform near the border of India and Bangladesh, He soon headed the entire volunteer corps there, working tirelessly 20 hours or more each day. After about ten months, the flood of refugees subsided and He returned to Calcutta.
He lived on the outskirts of the city in a quiet ashram and pursued classical music, sitar, religious studies and prayer. He began to meditate and do yoga and attended puja (traditional worship) at a nearby temple of a well-known saint. In a short while He “knew” His life work. Very soon He retired to Himalaya where He lived in silence and meditation for about ten years, one-pointed on the Goal of Liberation. Many places of pilgrimage were visited during those years, walking on foot many miles each day. But a small cave at Gangotri, the temple village near the source of the Ganga River, was the place of His greatest spiritual disciplines, awakenings and, finally, Illumination.
In 1958, taking initiation of VidyutSannyas (lit: “lightning”—a form of monasticism that is Self-initiated) at the holy site of Badrinath of Himalaya, and taking the name Swami Amar Jyoti (Swami—Knower of the Self; Amar Jyoti—Immortal Light), He descended into the plains of India for His God-given mission to the world. The first Ashram Gurudeva founded was Jyoti Ashram, under Ananda Niketan Trust, located in Pune, Maharashtra, India. Throughout the years after leaving home, His mother had never ceased searching for Him and awaiting His return. In answer to her prayers, He settled in Pune where she could be near Him.
In 1961, He accepted an offer by a devotee to visit the United States. Again, He traveled unknown, though He soon attracted many who had never seen such a holy man. Eventually He was persuaded to establish an Ashram, and Sacred Mountain Ashram was founded in 1974 followed in 1975 by Desert Ashram under Truth Consciousness, a nonprofit organization that serves as a vehicle for Gurudeva’s work in the United States.
The spiritual awakening on earth that Gurudeva reveals is the glorious destiny of mankind, once freed from our limited identity of self. Lovingly and ceaselessly, He continues to uplift and purify each of us for this awakening, for His way is the ancient relationship of the Guru to the disciple, the candle lit directly from the burning flame of Truth. Prabhushri constantly reminds us that we are at a breakthrough into a new age, where religions will be transformed into direct awakening and communion with our Highest Source. Like a mother whose love knows no bounds for her child, the Guru guides and nurtures the disciple on his or her own path to perfection, revealing in Himself the attainable Reality of God Consciousness.
After four decades spent in continually traveling, giving Satsang and Retreats, establishing Ashrams and guiding innumerable souls to higher consciousness, Gurudeva took Mahasamadhi—conscious release of the mortal body—on June 13, 2001 in Louisville, Colorado. According to His wishes, His Asti Kalash (urn containing Sacred Remains) was brought back to Jyoti Ashram by disciples from India. Within a year, a Samadhi Sthal in the form of a pure white marble pyramid was created for permanent consecration. It has thus become a beacon Light, a place of pilgrimage and meditation for all who are blessed to enter there.
The dedication of the Samadhi Sthal was conducted during five days of elaborate Vedic pujas and fire ceremonies attended by hundreds of devotees, from June 9-13, 2002. At the end of the dedication, the Brahmin priest who led the pujas enunciated the following: “As long as the sun and the moon and the stars and water (symbolic of life) exist, may this Samadhi Sthal be the Illuminator of millions of souls, and may You continue to guide and bless us.” Immortal Light— The Blissful Life and Wisdom of Swami Amar Jyoti: A Biography in His Own Words is available from TruthConsciousness.org.
SACRED MOUNTAIN ASHRAM
10668 Gold Hill Road, Boulder, CO 80302-9716