Acharaya Srimat Swami Pranavanandaji Maharaj was an illustrious patriot and a great spiritual leader of modern India, known and revered for his invaluable contributions to the world not merely through preaching but practically demonstrating the essence of universal love, social service and reformation of the society, nationalistic zeal and above all superlative spiritual power. In a life span of less than 45 years (29th January, 1896 to 8th January, 1941) the Acharya left an impact unparalleled in the history of Indian spiritualism that has continually been guiding the entire human race towards peace and prosperity- epitomizing the vedic ideals.
The born-yogi need necessarily not to have any master to guide him but to keep the dignity of religious tradition of his faith, he was formally initiated in 1913 by Yogiraj Baba Gambhir Nathji Maharaj who seeing the young Vinod (childhood name of Swami Pranavananda) at first sight instantly noticed his high spiritual achievement already attained. Then within less than four years of strict austerity measures, Vinod was blessed with the supreme enlightenment in 1916 at the age of only 20. In 1914 along with Brahmachary Vinod was put in jail for three months because of his involvement with the freedom fighters. But the British Govt. failed to prove his involvement all the time in jail they released him. Actually Brahmachary loved the freedom fighters and used to help them providing shelter and food in the dark of night when they used to seek his inspiring words and to hide themselves from the British Police.
To carry out his social-service activities and universal teachings, he launched a mission way back in 1917 that took formal shape as Bharat Sevashram Sangha in 1923. Hundreds of selfless monks and thousands of volunteer-followers of the Great spiritual leader now have been untiringly serving the humanity covering virtually the entire India and in few specific foreign countries too.
He took formal Sannyas in January, 1924 at Prayag (Allahabad) Ardh Kumbh Mela from Srimat Swami Govindanandaji Giri Maharaj and known thereafter in the name of Acharya Swami Pranavanandaji Maharaj. The same year he for the first time initiated first seven disciples (Seven-Star) into Sannyas on the auspicious Maghi Purnima Day in February. The Acharya initiated 83 youths into Sannyas (Monk-hood) in his lifetime. The 6th President of the Sangha Srimat Swami Tridibanandaji Maharaj and Vice-president Srimat Swami Ramanandaji Maharaj are the only two living monks who are in their nineties now initiated by the Acharya.
As the philanthropic services by the Sangha increased into leaps and bounds, the Acharyadeva created Procession Party which includes selfless monks, volunteers to collect money to meet the demand of the Sangha’s activities in 1924. Now seven Procession Parties have been roaming almost the entire India doing this noble cause for the welfare of the country.
Famous Scientist Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy came in contact with Swami Pranavanandaji (Then Brahmachary Vinod) in 1921 when a severe famine outbreak was causing havoc in East Bengal (presently Bangladesh). The Acharya tirelessly organizing hundreds of youths into his already commenced relief and rehabilitation works successfully but scientist Roy meanwhile failed to organize the youths despite his substantial collected money for the relief works. Thus he decided to hand over the money to Brahmachary Vinod. Acharya Pranavanandaji Maharaj bestowed his special blessings on Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee who virtually fought to save Punjab and West Bengal from the partition.
In lieu of theoretical philosophy, Acharya Swami Pranavanandaji Maharaj emphasized on practical spirituality which would invariably unfold in many hues the dormant divine power and quality of spiritual life that lie unawakened in mankind. It is the result of his own practical experiments with the eternal truth that had led the foundations of our ancient ideals of sacrifice, self-discipline, truth and continence.
He never believed in pouring volumes of sermons to his followers. Instead just narrated the essence of whole spiritual practice and religion in only Ten Questions & Answers to be followed by one and all which is popularly known as Sangha Vani.