Vedanta Keshri Swami Laxmananda Saraswati

published on August 30, 2008

By Viswasamvad Kendra, Orissa

Vedanta Keshari Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati (84) is known as second incarnation of Lord Parsuram. He took the vow to develop the downtrodden class of the society and made his centre of activities at Chakapada in tribal dominated Orissa’s Kandhmal district.

Besides social and religious development of the tribal people, he tried all most four decades to empower them economically and
academically. He established a Gurukul pattern of school and a college to teach Sanskrit in Chakapada a remote place of Kandhamal.

Sankaracharya Kanyashram, a residential school at Jalespatta is another ashram of Swamiji in the district, where education is being imparted to women population with an intention to build their character and bring cultural nationalism among them.

While there was a move to ban cow slaughter in India, Swamiji came from Himalaya to Orissa. After the movement of cow protection was over, Swamiji decided to return back to his Tapashya, when the then chief of RSS of Orissa Sri Bhupendra Kumar Basu narrated the sad stories of the tribal population of the State and requested him to help the suffering population. Swamiji went to Phulbani (Kandhmal) with Sri Basu, saw the life of people there and decided to serve the backward people mostly tribals and harijans, there and focus them to join into the main stream of the society.

In 1969 he started his first ashram at Chakapada and the ashram became a centre for brisk activities. He renovated the temples: Birupakshya, Kumareswar and Jogeswar and established a Sanskrit school and a college.

Swamijee invested his full energy to teach the youth of schedule caste and schedule tribe in Sanskrit and built the youths as disciplined citizen well civilized, well cultured, well educated, well spiritual and protector of the society.

Swamijee was well versed in Vedanta philosophy, Sanskrit grammer and was awarded with the honour as “VEDANTA KESHARI”. He was not only gave philosophical thoughts to the people but taught them good cultivation, animal care, and horticulture and so on. The students coming out from the Kalyan Ashram Gurukula are taking leadership of the society in economic, social and cultural fields.

Due to his selfless service to humanity he was warded with VIVEKANANDA SEVA PURASKAR”   from Kolkota.

He stood firm in Phulbani district for a long time and struggled hard to preserve and protect the tribal culture and dharma, the Sankaracharya of Govardhan Pitha, Puri awarded him with the Upadhi as”BIDHARMI KUCHAKRA VIDARAN MAHARATHI.

While he started his work in Kandhamal, a devoted RSS Pracharak, Sri Raghunath Sethi  associated with him for a long period. He initially selected his place of activities at Chakapad because there is Birupakhya temple.  Subsequently he established Kanyashram at Jalespatta, a Seva school at Tulasipur, Banki in Cuttack district and an Ashram at Panigola in Angul district.

The Birupakshya temple at Chakapada is situated in the district of Kandhamala (Phulbani). It stands on an elevation of about 800ft. from sea level. River Burutanga is flowing near the temple. The place is surrounded by beautiful natural scenaries. Chakapada has also been mentioned in the Ramayana.  The old age name of Chakapada is Ekachakranagari. The name is connected with Ramayana.   Here exists a Shiva temple where Linga is bent to south and all the trees of the place are also bent to south by his effort this place has been declared  a tourist place by the govt.

Swamiji was a visionary. It has been clearly established by his activities. Taken step by step and transform the total life style of
people of Kandhamal. Satsangh was his unique discovery to eradicate all evils of the society making them prosperous. He thereafter started Satsang at all villages of the district.

He has started night school for adult education. Insisting them to send their children to the school by which the literacy rate amongst tribal and Harijans of that area has increased. He stared a Sanskrit School named Kalyan Ashram, Sanskrit vidyalaya at Chakapad in the year 1969 which is now promoted to a Sanskrit college.

For the education of the girls, he established ‘Sankaracharya Kanyashram’ a wholly residential school at Jalespata in Kandhamal, in the year 1988 where 250 girls’ students are studying. He also established a school at Banki and ashram at panigola in Angul district. The student of Chakapada and Jalespata taking leadership in all social sphere of their life in Kandhamal and most of them are established in the government service.

The local Harijan and tribal people of Kandhamal become more health conscious after coming to the satsangh. They stared to keep their houses to clean take bath every day, take safe drinking and thousand of family of he scheduled caste community have given off taking beef which ,make them healthy and disease less.

Swamiji taught them not to take liquor or any other alcoholic drinks during Satsang. Then gradually they leave the habit of taking such drinks. When they were free form alcohol they got ample time to do some work. Which, they utilize in their field and other activities for their development. More than 500 villages in the district benefited out of Swamiji’s noble way to control liquor business as well as people on their own boycotted all intoxicants materials.

Swamiji teach grammar to the student in the class and technique of good cultivation in the field. He taught the villagers when and how to cultivate paddy vegetables etc. By which people of G.Udaygira and Raikia block area produce the best quality and highest quantity of beans in orissa. There also formed a vegetable cooperative society at Katingia by agricultural development the economic conditioned improved a lot. Swamiji always insisted the tribal not tp be afraid of any body. He accompanies them to the govt. officer and police stations and made them fearless. They got the courage to face to the collector or SP directly.

Now we can see greenery everywhere in the Kandhmal because it has more forest cover than any other district. It is all due to Swamijis efforts to insist them to take wood when required. He also established “Maths on the hill tops in several parts of the district and told the villagers that the trees in the hill belong to math and the village community. If emergency arises one can cut a tree and take wood only after the permission of the village committee. That worked tremendously. The joint forest management system which govt. started now has been started by Swamiji from 1970.

After all Swamiji was very much serious for preservation and protection of tribal culture and tradition . He has established and
renovated the tribal deity place (Dharanipenu) in several places. Similarly he has started a Rathyatra through out the Gajapati and Kandhamal district during which thousand of tribal are attracted to their own belief.

He often says that the area will not prosper where tear or blood falls. He was against the indiscriminate cow slaughter. He taught the people to protect cattle from slaughtering and taking beef. In several occasion he staged demonstration, dharanas and participated in the hunger strike in several parts of the state. He toured through out the state for this cause.

He was associated with several socio-cultural and religious organizations. He has established and renovated several temples in
different parts of the state. He was a founder member and inspiration of VHP and Kalyana Ashram of odisha.

His main work in Kandhalmal was protecting the tribals from Christian conversion. He tried his label best to reconvert the tribals to their original faith. Inspired by his personality thousand of people in different parts of the states become his disciple.
His main missions are:

1. Making the tribal youth strong, fearless, educated and financially sound.

2. Tribal should be strong in their belief and check conversion of their brethrens and reconvert those who have gone out.

3. Protection of cows

These made him popular thought out the states. During two big functions at Chakapad in 1986 and 2007 lakhs of people gather in that remote place.

As the reconversion gets momentum Christians feared of loosing their ground. So they attacked Swamiji several times(9 times). The ninth attack on him was on 24th december 2007, where he was  narrowly saved being murdered by heavily armed group of 200 people, at Darsingbadi of Kandhamal.

No efforts have been made by the government or administration to arrest the culprits (The Christian militants) and siege the illegal weapons kept by them. The roles of Christian NGO’s were not investigated. The attitude of the government was to protect Christians and harass Hindus. Hundreds of Hindus were arrested but a few Christians. Lakhs of rupees were provided to the churched and other Christian organizations as relief, which were not damaged during that period. These things encourage the Christian militants and they brutally killed Swami Laxmananda Saraswati, Bhakti Mata. Amrutananda Baba, Kishore baba and Purub Ganthi a guardian of a Kanyashram girl on the Janmastami night on 23rd August 2008 at 8 pm. They even dare to enter to the kanyashram and brutally kill 5 persons.

The brutal killing of Swamiji, has sent a shock wave in the country. People of Orissa are still not in a position to accept Swamiji’s killing. In a spontaneous response, people of Orissa observed bandh in each and every corner of the State on August 25. People of Kandhamal still not recover from the shocking demise of Swamiji.

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