Grand Master – Mahatma Shri. Ram Chandraji Maharaj of Fatehgarh
(1873 – 1931)
(Spiritual Master of Shri. Babuji Maharaj)
Shri. Ram Chandra of Fatehgarh, affectionately known as Rev. Lalaji Maharaj, was born on 2 February 1873, Lalaji belonged to a distinguished family of Jagirdars (landowners), originally from the district of Mainpuri in India. In 1857 the family’s property was plundered, and political unrest forced them to move to the town of Fatehgarh.
It was Shri. Lalaji’s conviction that a normal family life was most conducive to self-development. That any sincere seeker could progress to the highest level of spiritual attainment, while also fulfilling the duties of a householder. Not content to pursue such a goal for himself alone, he rediscovered and refined the ancient raja yoga method of pranahuti, whereby divine energy is transmitted by the Master into the heart of the aspirant in order to expedite his or her spiritual development. Shri. Lalaji offered his spiritual training to sincere seekers of any caste or creed, assuring that the highest aspirations, previously reserved for renunciates and ascetics, were brought within reach of all humanity.
This Great Master who was a prodigy of Nature, the Ultimate Reality, brought back to humanity the long forgotten art of transmission of the Upanishadic pranasya pranah and worked out a novel method of spiritual training which completely relieved the student / abhyasis of almost all of his responsibilities. With him dawned the new era of yogic training through transmission of which he was the Master. He could bring a man to perfection simply at a glance
The art of transmission was passed from Lalaji to his most devoted disciple, who coincidentally bore the same name, Shri Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur. Babuji, as he was fondly known, further refined his Master’s teachings into the current practice of Sahaj Marg (the natural path).
The most significant, unparalleled and unique gift of Shri. Lalaji Maharaj to whole of mankind for a millennia is His ‘Marvel Find’ Shri. Ram Chandraji Maharaj of Shahjahanpur (U.P), affectionately known as Rev. Babuji Maharaj. Through his profound Divine perception Shri. Lalaji Maharaj came to know of the birth of a boy in Shahjahanpur (U.P.) and His (Rev. Lalaji’s) eyes were on this marvel from day one onwards.
Sri Lalaji did not like luxury of any kind. The clothes he wore were simple and clean. Kurtas, shirts, pyjamas and dhotis were his usual wear. Sometimes he wore a waistcoat over his kurta and a buttoned up coat reaching down to his knees. He wore colored cap and wrapped a shawl around his shoulders in the winter. He wore no ornaments. Lalaji Saheb kept his eyes mostly down. He did not laugh aloud but simply smiled. His smile announced goodness and sweetness, and brightened others with its spiritual vivacity. He was a great lover of humanity and often used things given to him with love inspite of own dislike for those things. He hated flattery and though he loved his followers with their faults he never failed to enforce stern discipline with love. Frugal in his food habits he lived an unostentatious life.
By nature he was always calm but easily moved by the pains and pleasures of others. With a view to train his fellow brothers and disciple he performed the duties of a house holder exceedingly well. He respected his elders and saluted them, exercised humility with those of his own age without resorting to humiliation, and, and loved those who were younger than himself. Having attained oneness with God, he was best qualified to establish the missing link between man and his creator.
He was not only great spiritual leader but also molded the temporal life of his followers in more ways than ways than one by laying down guide lines for conducting the affairs of daily life in matters of birth, marriage, death etc.
Precepts & Teachings :
Sri Lalaji considered spiritual perfection to be based on three things.
1. Love for the Master,
2. Satsangh with the Master, and
3. Obedience to the Master.
He was against idol worship. Self-praise was so much disliked by him that he did not allow people touch his feet in order to pay respects to him. Excess of tapas and japa was not liked by him. He considered love to be the greatest tapas. He preferred the middle way and regarded the meditation on the heart as the real sadhana. He attached great importance to prayer, but it was not be for material gain. He himself constantly prayed for the soul of this world.
Shri Lalaji regarded, the real sadhana is to balance the mind. Eat less and earn a honest living. Without taking honestly earned food, spiritual experiences often go wrong. Once he wrote – “It is good to be put to worries. The home is the training center for submission and endurance, etc. It is the greatest form of penance and sacrifice.”
He always advised to cleanse our manas (mind) with practice and sadhana and then read, otherwise Reality will be lost upon you. He advised to avoid becoming a Master and serve as a servant should. He used to say that “God has hidden himself inside our hearts and exposed us. Hide yourselves and expose God! This is the real sadhana.”
Rev. Shri Lalaji Maharaj attained Maha Samadhi ,on 14th August 1931, the day of leaving his mortal remains he came to the puja room unaided, and all by himself lay on his bed with eyes closed, never to be opened again. At 1 A.M. in the night the light, which had illuminated and enlightened the hearts of groaning humanity with unparalleled love and changed the face of the earth, allowed itself to be extinguished.